Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Steven Nedelton's RAVEN AFFAIR
Okay, so the cover scares me. LOL. I welcome Steven Nedelton, author of The Raven Affair, to the blog today. Steven, tell us a little about yourself.
Thanks very much, Susan, for this opportunity. I am an author with three complete novels. My published novels are Crossroads and The Raven Affair. Both are in the suspense genre with paranormal and political undertones. I submitted another novel, Dawn for the fearless/Fear Factor, to my publisher in April. Crossroads and The Raven Affair were rated five stars by Midwest Book Review, Apex Reviews, The US Review of Books, and by independent book reviewers and readers.
What books came along at just the right time to influence your reading/writing?
I got my first grownup book present when I was thirteen, Three Musketeers, from my grandfather. And then, I got a book for each one of my teen birthdays. I believe those first few books made me think about writing. And then, a few of my school buddies began writing, and so I joined them. It was a serious business, all of us dreamed of becoming famous authors.
What are your writing goals?
I don’t have very precise goals. I try to write suspense, thriller genre novels. Of course, I would like to see my books read and would be very happy if one of them turned into a movie. I write when I feel that I have something interesting, hopefully, for readers too.
What is your most rewarding experience during the writing process?
Coming up with an idea and then turning into a novel, that process of creating, is very rewarding in itself. The end of that long journey of invention is the culmination, of course.
Tell us about The Raven Affair and formats available.
The Raven Affair is a suspense/fiction novel about a real criminal who was evading Justice for some thirty or forty years, and is finally caught and tried. But the novel includes also a number of directly and indirectly connected characters and events. There are two very likable priests living in San Francisco. There are Interpol agents pursuing the criminal. There’s a man who is living a double life, who works for Interpol, and is also a top gun-for-hire. Then there’s a young couple living a very romantic life, and yet unknown to the woman, her boyfriend is a dreaded underworld executioner. The action takes place in Europe and in the U.S. If I could rename the book, I think I’d call it--Runner. The novel was rated five stars by traditional reviewers, by a professor of Creative Writing and by authors/reviewers. The book is available online, and from book stores by order. In paperback and in Kindle format.
Do you think your writing has improved since your first attempt? If so, in what way?
I think my approach to writing, coming up with ideas and constructing a novel did improve. Starting my first novel of four hundred plus pages was literally a journey into the unknown. The central, single, idea cannot carry a novel. It’s a complex process of creating something out of practically nothing to start with. And it takes experience. But the final first product is always good, if it is well edited and publishable. Occasionally, it’s a writer’s best creation.
Were any of your books more challenging to write than the others? If so, why?
Yes, the first one was very difficult to write. I lacked the experience I needed to write a lengthy novel.
How do you develop characters? Setting?
I develop my characters and settings as I write. I don’t start with a plan for a new book. My original, central idea and the protagonist could come from a piece of news I read on the Internet, heard on the TV, or read in a magazine. The rest is pure imagination. My characters develop according to the needs of my story and action.
What are your protagonist’s strengths? Flaws?
In The Raven Affair, my protagonist is a disillusioned man who experienced a great family tragedy in his very early youth. And so, he becomes a determined avenger. In order to preserve his anonymity, he becomes also a very calculating man. One of his strengths is his deep sense of justice. There’s his determination to find the culprit and punish him, and yet, when he finally does get him in his gun sights, he decides to let him live to be tried in the Courts of Law. The novel action was such that his flaws did not show up. It’s a complex novel and one must pay attention to understand what is really going on. By the way, this novel is based on very real historic events.
How do you determine voice in your writing?
I use and change voice based on my characters. In general, I use simple, everyday language in my writing.
Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?
No, as I said earlier, my central scheme might come from an event I heard about. The rest is most often pure imagination and it takes time to get it right. I have to keep in mind that other ideas must connect eventually to the main one. In some instances, the central scheme may end up altered by newer thoughts.
How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?
My writing is influenced by my reading past. I used to read a lot, not so much now. I try not to allow my environment influence my writing. I try to be realistic in my books and describe people as they are. I try to avoid prejudice that comes from upbringing and the environment. There’s absolutely nothing truly ‘me’ in my novels, I don’t write about myself.
Describe your ideal reader.
I think and hope that my readers’ age would start around sixteen and end around one hundred. That would be my ideal reader.
After hours of intense writing, how do you unwind?
Exercise like biking or swimming is a great way for me to forget my writing pains.
Any current projects?
I started my new novel, Tunnel, a while ago. I have about thirty thousand words done, but it’s all very preliminary.
Where can folks learn more about your books and events?
All of my book information is available on my website, http://www.snedelton.com,/ and on Amazon, etc.
Continued success, Steven.