I’m Steve Brock. My first novel is Half Moon Lake, which I would say falls into the mystery/conspiracy genre.
From Planning to Published
When did you start writing and why?
Author: I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but life intervened when I was young. Last year I realized that at 61 years old I was running out of time, so I made the time to do it.
How long did it take you to finish your first book?
Author: I began the first of September last year and finished the manuscript just after the new year. Once that was complete There was the editing, both mine and a professional editor I hired. That process took another couple of months. Then there was hiring a book cover designer and working with him. Finally, figuring out how to actually publish the finished book took more time. All together it took about seven months. I think the next one will be quicker though.
Are you indie, traditional, hybrid, or vanity, and why?
Author: I published independently this first time. I didn’t feel like going through the process of trying to find an agent. My understanding is that can be an arduous task, and I was prepared to take on the publishing process on my own. I was also told that traditional publishing has been slow to change with the times and a lot of authors previously published traditionally are now choosing to go independent.
How do you get critiques, betas, feedback, and edits?
Author: I was lucky enough to have a relative who is a long-time friend of an author who has published 58 books so far. I was introduced to her and she was more than willing to help me along the way, offering advice and critiques as I progressed. Without her assistance, it would have been much more difficult to know how I was doing during the writing process.
About Your Work
What genres and subgenres do you write in?
Author: This is my first novel and it happens to fall into the mystery/conspiracy genre. I’m not going to say that is the only genre I’ll write, however. I actually have a couple of new book ideas that I’m working on that would perhaps cross genres into science fiction. I say cross genres because if I write the book as I have it in my mind I wouldn’t consider it totally science fiction, but it would contain elements of SciFi.
How many works have you published?
Author: This is my first published work although I have been writing all my life, both for pleasure and for work.
Can you tell us a bit about your most recent publication?
Author: The book is titled Half Moon Lake. The story revolves around the main character who has life all laid out in front of him until a personal tragedy causes him to leave it all behind. He moves far from his home and begins a life of solitude working as a float-plane pilot flying people in and out of remote locations in northern Minnesota. His new life gets upended when he is accused of being involved in the disappearance of a group of campers he flew to a remote cabin. To make matters worse, a rival from his past reappears with vengeance on his mind.
Do you have other supporting services like a podcast, blog, webinars, courses, video channel?
Author: I do not, but it’s early and I’m still learning what might work best for me.
Do you recommend any programs, courses, or websites?
Author: Yes. I took a course that is offered through The Great Courses channel on Amazon. The courses they offer include just about any topic you can think of. They are college-level courses usually consisting of a series of lectures presented by a college professor. I found a course titled, How to Write Best Selling Fiction. It was very well presented, and I learned a lot from it.
What is your writing process, from idea to polished work? Pantster? Plotter? How long does that typically take you?
Author: I’ve found I like to start with creating a main character first. After that I work on a plot, but I’m not totally a Plotter. I like to know where I’m taking a story before I write, but I don’t require the whole thing to be worked out before I begin. I also find as I write I come up with ideas to make the story better.
Do you sprint-write like a starving cheetah, or are you a totally chill turtle writer? Somewhere in between?
Author: When I was writing this novel I tried to write every day, and for a while I set a daily goal for myself. That was helpful during the beginning of the writing process, but as I got closer to the end, and the whole story was complete in my mind, I found I didn’t need a daily goal any longer. There were days toward the end when I wrote into the midnight hour.
How did your family and friends react to your writing? Was it what you expected from them?
Author: Other than my wife, who knew I’d always wanted to be a writer, it was a total surprise to the rest of the family when I told them I had written my first novel. The immediate response was typically “I want to read it”, I don’t know if that was because they thought it would be a train-wreck they just couldn’t help but look at it or not. Of course, they have all been very complimentary after reading it, and they ask if I plan to write another one.
What do you listen to while you write?
Author: I always have the TV on in the background. I find a program I’m only marginally interested in and I write as it plays. Usually, I find when I finish writing that the program had ended long ago and I don’t know what is currently on. I can’t write in silence, I need that background noise.
Where do you write your stories? A tiny office? A loft? The kitchen table? In the bushes while you secretly people-watch like a total creeper? Or a warm café with mocha in hand and feet up on an ottoman?
Author: Most of the time I write on the family room sofa. I do have an office I retreat into when necessary. I don’t always write using my laptop. I really enjoy the tactical experience of putting pen to paper. There are several scenes in my book that I wrote by hand using my favorite fountain pen and journal. I would type those scenes into the computer later. Sometimes I find writing by hand is not only enjoyable, but it slows down my thought process when I’m working on a section that I haven’t completely worked out in my mind.
How can readers follow you and learn more about your books?