My Writing Journey
My journey to becoming a published author starts way back as a child. I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. I was reading Stephen King novels a fair bit earlier than might be advisable. On a completely unrelated note, it was around that time my loathing of clowns began. Go figure. At primary school, I remember a lesson where the entire session was given over to creative writing, crafting a story from our imaginations. I used to love these sessions, coming up with characters and adventures for them to take part in. Sadly, secondary school with all of the preparations for exams and qualifications somewhat got in the way and creative writing fell by the wayside for me.
I continued to read though. From time to time I’d dip my toe into something different, but often found myself reading and rereading the same things, often something by Stephen King or Terry Pratchett. In a bid to try new authors, I started a book review blog in 2015. Through this I discovered many new authors I’d not considered or come across before. It was from here, the idea of writing again struck me. It was one thing to review a book, but what was it like to be on the other side and actually try to write one?
I started out with an aim – to write a historical fiction novel based upon Jack the Ripper. I took a tour in London, got hold of maps of 1880s London and dove headfirst into some really indepth research. I was determined to get all of the little facts and details right. Sadly, this approach took its toll on me and my work. I lost my enthusiasm. After restarting more than once, ultimately, I gave up on it. I had written a few short stories around that time, but ultimately this seemed like the end for me and writing.
Then a spark of an idea struck me. It hit in the summer of 2019. It was just a little part of a character. Then another character came to me. And some snippets of conversations between them. Suddenly, ideas flowed and throughout the end of 2019 and on into 2020, I ploughed headlong into writing my steampunk adventure. Those characters became Captain Edison Crow, the leading man in my debut novel Chasing Shadows, and his childhood friend and accomplice Selah. Finishing the story was a time of mixed emotions. By the middle of May 2020, my journey had ended. These characters and locations I had spent so long creating and living with had said and done all that needed to be said and done. It was bittersweet. I was ecstatic to have completed the novel, but sad all the same. Chasing Shadows released on the first of April this year. The moment I held the first printed copy was something special.
During the lockdowns of 2020, I signed up to contribute a short story to a collection from authors ranging from novice to experienced. Over the last year I have continued to work on short stories to build my own collection in time. I am also working on the sequel to Chasing Shadows, As the Crow Flies. Now that the writing bug has well and truly hit me, I think it’s safe to say it is here to stay!
Thank you Steven for sharing your writing journey. I am sure readers are now itching to buy a copy of Chasing Shadows. I know I am.
About Steven Smith
Steven Smith lives in Bedfordshire, UK with his wife and cat. He has always been an avid reader and enjoyed writing at school. Since 2015, he has reviewed books on his blog, Books and Beyond Reviews. In 2019 he set to work writing his debut novel, a steampunk adventure titled Chasing Shadows, which reached number one on Amazon. His short story Coming Home features in the collection of short stories, Connections. When he isn’t writing, reading and reviewing books, he loves to travel, go to theme parks, build Lego and play video games.
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