Author Interview: Steve Vernon

Steve VernonName: Steve Vernon

Do you write with a pen name? If so, what is it?

Given that I write in so many varied genres I probably should have adopted a pen name – but I’ve always used my own name.

In which country were you born, and which one do you live in now?

I was born in Ontario.

Which genres do you write in?

I have written several ghost story collections, one true crime collection, one middle grade novel, one YA novel, one children’s picture book and an awful lot of horror fiction.

How many books have you had published? (feel free to name a few of the most recent)

Wow. I have written seven regional books – all released through local Nova Scotia press Nimbus Publishing. They include my latest release Maritime Murder: True Tales of East Coast Homicide (due out this month), as well as Haunted Harbours: Ghost Stories From Old Nova Scotia, Wicked Woods: Ghost Stories From Old New Brunswick, Maritime Monsters (a children’s picture book), Halifax Haunts, Sinking Deeper and The Lunenburg Werewolf.

I have also written numerous novels, novellas and short story collections – so many and in so many varied formats – that truthfully, I have lost count.

In addition to the seven regional books I have three horror novels – Devil Tree, Tatterdemon and Gypsy Blood – available in either traditional or e-book format, depending on the book. I have several novellas available – Long Horn Big Shaggy, Plague Monkey Spam, Sudden Death Overtime, Leftovers and many others – again, available in either traditional or e-book format.

How many?

Like I say – I’ve lost count.

What is the title of the first novel you had published?Steve Vernon - Maritime Murder

Again – there is no simple answer – because I’ve written in so many different formats and genres.

I’d say the first book I had published was Long Horn, Big Shaggy – A Tale Of Wild West Terror And Reanimated Buffalo – which was originally released by Black Death Books – in trade paperback format in 2004. The book is now available in e-book format for Kindle, Kobo, Nook and other e-reading devices.

However – the first book I had published with my regional publisher Nimbus was Haunted Harbours : Ghost Stories From Old Nova Scotia – which was originally released in 2007 and has sold more than 10,000 copies across North America.

What is the title of your most current published novel?

The most recent book that I’ve released is Maritime Murder – which, as I’ve mentioned , is being released by Nimbus Publishing in September of 2012. The book is a collection of historical murder tales taken from the history and folklore of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

What is the working title of the next book you plan to publish?

The working title of the next book is Flash Virus – a YA dystopic novel.

Opening sentence – “So as near as I could tell the end of the world as we knew it first began after Billy Carver’s butt rang halfway through the War of 1812.”

Do you read hard cover, paper books, ebooks or audio? Or a mixture?

Primarily paperback. I read mostly on the bus to work, so a paperback is nice and light to carry with me.

If you could be a character from a book, who would you choose?

I think I empathize best with Sinking Deeper’s Granddad Angus – a man who thinks that “adventure” is just a long-winded way of saying “fun”. Granddad Angus is a storyteller of the truest kind – a man whose entire life is dedicated towards spinning out his own existence in the most entertaining manner possible.

What is the first 300 words in your latest novel (ending with a period)?

Sudden Death Overtime – a novella of vampires and hockey

No one noticed quite exactly when the long black bus stole into the parking lot of the Anchor Pub. As far as anyone knew the bus just sort of drifted into the Labrador coastal village of Hope’s End like an unexpected snow flurry.

Things happen that way around here.

Judith Two-Bear leaned her elbows against the wood grain of the unvarnished table top. Her cigarette glowed like a lighthouse’s lonely beacon, bobbing as she nodded three beats behind the music of the static-ridden radio. She’d parked herself at the window seat since dinner time. She liked to watch the world go by from the sanctuary of the town’s only pub.

Several long slow warm beers later she found herself staring vaguely at the names and dates carved and inked into the table top. She knew some of them. She could guess at others and she wondered just who the hell the rest really were. How many lonely souls had made their mark on this table and then just sat here like so many half-finished glasses of warm draft beer – just waiting to be swallowed but not quite yet.

Truthfully, she didn’t think of any of this. Not in those exact words, any way. She felt it, perhaps. She breathed it in with the stale pub air. Her loneliness, her growing disappointment and her unvarying boredom were as much a part of her as the blood that sludged through her tired veins. She had lived her life and had nothing but time left to her keeping. She had seen her kids grow up and run away, her lovers grow cold and run away, she had seen life pull up to the curb and wave gaily once or twice before passing her right on by.

Who is your favourite character in this most recently book?

I’d have to say that my favourite character from Sudden Death Overtime would be Sprague Deacon – an old school ex-hockey player from Northern Labrador. Sprague is a man who has never backed down from a fight in his life – and when a mysterious tour bus full of the nastiest vampires you ever met roll into his little town and start raising hell Sprague sets out to see things right.

The questions from a to l are for your main character in your most recently published novel:

a) Name: My name is Sprague Deacon – spelled just like it sounds.

b) Male or Female: Hmph. Lemme check. Yup, still male, old age hasn’t cured that out of me yet.

c) Age: Older than my teeth by some = but round about the same age as my tongue.

d) Where were you born? Hopes End, Northern Labrador – just right over in that bedroom, second on the left.

e) What is your favourite colour? It used to be red…

f) Are you married? If so, what is your spouse’s name? Why ask that? Are you looking for a date?

g) Do you have children? How many? I’ve got a whole team full of them. At least I did until that bus came into town.

h) Are your parents dead or alive? Have you looked at me? My parents were alive back when cavemen were first figuring out how to grunt.

i) Who is your best friend? That’d have to be Fergus McTavish, teapot stout with eyes that always seemed to be laughing and the man could spot a puck coming from clear back behind the blue line. He’s my best friend, maybe my only one. There’s a lot of fellows that I would sit and drink with and a few more that I’d play hockey with – but damn few of them would I ever call friend. That word gets saved for the best of them.

j) Who is your worst enemy? Them teethy fellows in that bus. Them and any man that would attempt to count the colors in the roaring borealis!

k) What is your favourite flavour of ice cream? That’d be any flavor – especially if somebody is buying the tub.

l) What do you fear the most? Going last.

Now, back to you. A few quick questions:

Favourite colour: All of them.

Favourite movie: I’m a big movie fan. It’s awfully hard to pick – but The Magnificent Seven rides high in my esteem. I’d also throw a vote in For Zorba The Greek, Lawrence Of Arabia, True Grit, and Big Jake.

Favourite song: I don’t know about favourites – there are too many to pick from – but I’ve had the theme music from Game Of Thrones stuck in my head ever since I first watched the HBO series.

Favourite musical artist: Kristofferson, Cash, Cohen – a lot of the old boys.

Favourite ice cream flavor: Anything with maple in it – or butterscotch – or ice cream – or calories…

Biggest dream you hope to accomplish before kicking the bucket: Who says I have to kick it? I intend to go out writing – way too busy working the keyboard to ever bother with the kicking of buckets.

Toss me some links to post:

Blog/Website

Goodreads Author Page

Amazon Author Page

Smashwords Page

Facebook

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4 thoughts on “Author Interview: Steve Vernon

    • Thanks for visiting, Laura. 10,000 copies is impressive. That’s a best seller–I think–in Atlantic Canada, maybe in all over Canada. I’m not sure what the numbers are.

      Laura, there is plenty of hope for you.

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