>Innterview :- Steven Shrewsbury

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 Hi Steven how are things  at your end?

Oh, I have my healthy, if not my singing voice, so it’s a push.

Could you tell us what projects we can expect from you in the near future?

Currently available for pre-order at Horror-Mall, collab novel with Nate Southard called BAD MAGICK, hitting streets in November, about the same time as my fantasy epic THRALL from SEVENTH STAR PRESS. Danged proud of that novel and release via trade pb, hardback edition, kindle and eBook formats. Anyone who enjoyed Karl Edward Wagner or David Gemmell might enjoy it. Think Clive barker meets Wagner and crashes into THE SHOOTEST.

Next spring look for collab novel by Peter Welmerink and myself called BEDLAM UNLEASHED about a Norse Berserker after Clontarf.

Plus I have short stories coming in BLACKNESS WITHIN from Apex (Secrets of Fatima),

AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF OUR FLESH (Rogan tale) will appear in Ancient Shadows antho from Elder Signs press (one can pre order now on Amazon);

BOSTON CORBET: CASTRATO GUNFIGHTER will be in the weird western antho from Bandersnatch Books later this year.

Who has been the greatest influence on your writing?

Without a doubt Robert E. Howard. The books of his short tales were some of the first ones I ever read and his tales continue to inspire me. It’s a basic storytelling thing most modern folks seem to have lost. Probably Edgar Rice Burroughs, Harlan Ellison and Kurt Vonnegut all for different reasons.

Do you have any rituals that you like to go through when writing.

Not specially. I heard of a guy who hangs a sword on his back when he writes fantasy. He needs to get out more. I don’t put on Viking horns for S&S tales nor wear a leather thong when writing saucy scenes. I’m usually pounding out a tale of violence and adventure as my kids watch TV…so my background music is THREE STOOGES and iCarly, which explains much. I’m usually drinking black coffee, strong.

You have a close knit group of pre readers, how easy was it to find a group of people that liked your writing, but that weren’t too fan boyish

I have a couple fellas I know that can be brutally honest with me and I will accept what they say. They are good fellas I don’t agree with everything in life on, but guys gotta brawl at times. They are the goods. Frankly, it wasn’t easy, but ya pick up folks along the way in life.

If you could take another authors creation and put your twist on it, who and why?

Howard’s BRAN MAK MORN because i think there is an obvious modern tale to be told of it. I’ve love to writer a tale of Wagner’s KANE as well. Oh yeah, and DOCTOR WHO.


There are a lot of folks out there who call themselves writers, when they really haven’t published anything, at what stage did you if you
have felt comfortable using the term writer?

Any will debate the merits of being an author over being a writer. However, I’ve been writing tales since I was a kid. I still get ’em wrong at times, but keep at it. I think I called myself a writer more after GODFORSAKEN, my first real novel got published. I always knew that’s what I was…

Your most recent publication is
Bad Magick, written with Nate Southard, can you give us some
insight on how you went about collaborating with him?

We sat at HORRORFIND 06 eating breakfast, contemplating how to charge it to Paul Puglisi’s room, and talked of the Crowley bio I just had read. I mentioned Crowley’s stop over in El Paso and what that must’ve been like…Nate said, “That’d make a helluva novel.” It has. I slammed out roughs, Nate cleaned them up and accented things. It’s a damn good work.

Is there anyone else out there you would like to collaborate with?

Peter Welmerink again (that will happen) but Bob Freeman is at the top of my list. How we’ve kept from writing together so far is beyond me.
There are a few others…

I would love to see collaboration between you and Bob Freeman, I always thought a collaboration between you Bob and Willie Meikle would be special.  So how about it?
Funny you should say that, as a major deal is in the work that will combine the forces of Bob Freeman and myself…details when I can say them. I really do like Willie’s work, too.

Your novels can be best described as hard core, is there a line you wouldn’t cross?
I think if the plot and tale needs to go someplace, go. However, I’m never writing with my pants down, trying to get a rise out of folks in that way. I’m not big on the abuse of children. Years ago, I read a few cyber-punks writers who really got off on killing babies or whatever…their names are best left forgotten. In an epic I just finished it is mentioned and well known that a certain religion practices infant sacrifice…but the suggestion of it, and the idea that temple whores are bred 9 months in advance of a festival for it…well, that’s enough, no? 

The last piece that I read of yours was The Widow Makers Apprentice,  I really thought this was a stunning piece.  I hadn’t read a piece of fantasy this good since David Gemmell passed away.  What would it take to get more stories set in this world?
I appreciate that. Yeah, I do have a number of tales in mind featuring the Widowmaker, Absalom Abbas…one festering into a novel I think. That was a tale that just FELL out…


Which of your novels are you the most proud of?

Published, I really had fun writing HAWG. I wish it could see a larger audience. It was like rock & roll. The forthcoming THRALL as well, because I enjoyed the character of Gorias so much.


Yes Hawg is a personal favourite of mine.  Stronger Than Death to me anyway, seemed a more personal story.  How did you feel when writing the character of Joel Stuart?
Stuart is a take on an ancestor of mine who I’ve heard about all my life. My father met him in 1930. For some reason the old Missouri raider flows from my mind like dictation. He has many more stories to tell and its like a rush outta the blue I can’t explain. Joel appears in BAD MAGICK and another novel I’ve just completed.  


Is there any chance of a reprint in paper or digital form of your hard to find early novels, short stories?

Gawd I hope not (laughs) but I may be revising the Dack Shannon catalogue at some point.

So what’s the deal with Mr Gowran, how many times has he been killed in your stories?

Some folks are just askin’ for it. He dies in BAD MAGICK, too. I dunno, just kinda did that as a lark in one book, then he kept showing up as big Irish cop kinda guys. He is a big red headed sheriff in BAD MAGICK, down to the tats. Bryan Smith offed him as well, so it must be a fun thing. In the last few I’ve written (unpubbed so far) Kent doesn’t die, but I emasculated Joe Howe once, so that should count as a positive achievement.


Dorchester good, bad or just meh?

A shame when horror novels from a company won’t be as easily accessible, but, that’s the biz. I don’t think it’s the end of the genre as some are wailing that it is, bah. Life goes on. I have some friends that scored mass market deals and were better known because it was due to Dorchester, so, I hope that they carry on. In the end, the cream will rise and all that.

How important is research to you, it really gets on nerves when some authors can’t even get the most basic of historical facts right?
That drives me bugfuck crazy, if I must say so. I read many historical works for pleasure and yes, ideas come out from there. I always double check things as I do and at times, list a bibliography. In the aforementioned epic I ordered a slew of out of print books via our local library to check what crops, foods and things a certain culture ate. The internet is a good tool, ‘course, but I love a good book. 

How much has the area in which you grew up in influenced your writing?
I think growing up in  a rural area has made me closer to the earth, not in a pagan worship kinda way, but I appreciate it. I’m from the country, and enjoy the outdoors. It makes me appreciate the real world, and not realms of steel & glass. Hunting, fishing and all that came naturally to me, as it does my sons. I reckon if I grew up in the inner city, I’d have a different take on the world, life, music and God.  

Have any good fan boy moments you can share?

Well, at least they get my name correct. I think I’ve been treated pretty well by most folks. There are always silly times at conventions or online, but generally it’s been fun. I, myself, was smitten to stupidity when meeting Jack Ketchum…but had no trouble conversing with Harlan Ellison, Joe Lansdale, David Drake or Peter Straub.       

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