Steven Manchester: Author Spotlight

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Manchester Author PhotoCan you tell me a little about your book/series?

I’ve recently signed a 4-book deal with The Story Plant.

The first book, Twelve Months, became a #1 best selling e-book on Amazon.

Synopsis: Don DiMarco has a very good life – a family he loves, a comfortable lifestyle, passions and interests that keep him amused. He also thought he had time, but that turned out not to be the case. Faced with news that might have immediately felled most, Don now wonders if he has time enough. Time enough to show his wife the romance he didn’t always lavish on her. Time enough to live out his most ambitious fantasies. Time enough to close the circle on some of his most aching unresolved relationships. Summoning an inner strength he barely realized he possessed, Don sets off to prove that twelve months is time enough to live a life in full.

The second book, Goodnight, Brian, was released in January 2013, and has already garnered some rave reviews:

Synopsis: Fate was working against little Brian Mauretti. The food that was meant to nourish him was poisoning him instead, and the doctors said the damage was devastating and absolute. Fate had written off Brian. But fate didn’t count on a woman as determined as Brian’s grandmother, Angela DiMartino – who everyone knew as Mama. Loving her grandson with everything she had, Mama endeavored to battle fate. Fate had no idea what it was in for.

What inspired you to write this book/series?

My children; everything I write is for them.

How did you get started writing?

I’d just returned home from Operation Desert Storm, and was working as a prison investigator in Massachusetts. Needless to say, there was great negativity in my life at that time. I decided to return to college to finish my degree in Criminal Justice. During one of the classes, the professor talked about police work but nothing else. I finally raised my hand and asked, “The criminal justice system is vast. What about the courts, probation, parole – corrections?” He smiled and told me to see him after class. I thought I’d finally done it! In his office, he explained, “There’s no written material out there on corrections or prisons, except from the slanted perspective of inmates.” He smiled again and dropped the bomb. “If you’re so smart,” he said, “why don’t you write it?” Nine months later, I dropped the first draft of 6-5; A Different Shade of Blue on his desk. From then on, I was hooked. I was a writer.

What was your first memorable life changing book you read and why?

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee; in my opinion, it is literary perfection.

Was it always your dream to become a published author?

My grandfather was the greatest storyteller, which I truly admired. I would definitely say that I had aspirations at a very early age.

What are your essentials for writing?

First, and most importantly—a plot / storyline that I am absolutely passionate about. After that—time.

Do you have a favorite place to write?

Believe it or not, my dining room (no one goes in there).

Do you have any words of advice for aspiring writers?

Now that I have nearly two decades of writing and getting published under my belt, here are a few tips on being a writer I wish I had known at the beginning of my career. I enjoy trying to help new writers break in. My advice is always the same:

  • Be true to yourself, always.
  • Write constantly.
  • Keep the faith!!!
  • And NEVER, EVER, EVER quit. Most people in this industry would agree that more than talent or skill or even luck, perseverance is the one trait that will always get the job done.
  • Knock on every door you can, and keep knocking. I promise that eventually someone will open and the warmth you feel on your face will more than validate every hour spent alone in the darkness.

Without giving too much away what’s your favorite part of the book and why? Favorite scene or line?

In Goodnight, Brian, my favorite part of the book is when Brian receives his devastating prognosis (that he’ll never walk or talk), and his grandmother (“Mama”) tells the doctor that he’s wrong. From that moment on, her unconditional love kicks in to help heal the boy.

What can we expect in the future from you as an author. Are you working on any new books?

I have a new novel, The Rockin’ Chair, being released in June. I’m also starting a new novel, which is only in the storyboard phase,

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

Read Goodnight, Brian because it will help to renew your faith in other human beings.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?

I hope to keep writing for many, many years to come.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?

A soldier (G.I. Joe action figures were big back then). I became a real soldier and discovered that it was a lot more fun playing in the back yard.

How do you react to a bad review?

I try to see if there’s anything that will improve my writing in the future. After that, I just let it go. I’m one to dwell on the positive.

What’s your favorite season/weather?

Summer—at the beach!

Who or what inspires you?

My children and my wife; they are honestly my greatest inspiration.

 

The Rockin Chair front cover

 

Steve Manchester is The Story Plant’s Author of the Month. This means we are offering sensational deals on all of his works. Steve’s next book, The Rockin’ Chair, will be out June 18. You can learn more at our website.

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On June 7, 2013
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