Saturday, October 31, 2015

Steven Finkelstein

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Age: 34

Question:  How long have you been writing?

   I’ve been writing seriously since I was eighteen, my freshman year of college, though English classes were always my favorites in school.

Question:  What was the name of the first book you ever published, and when was it published?

   The name of my first novel was "Transitional Period", and it started life as a series of interconnected short stories I wrote during college. It wasn’t published until this year, over a decade later.

Question:  Was this book published by a publisher; or did you self-publish?

   I self-published it. I didn’t think my writing was getting the attention it deserved from lit agents, and I felt that the stigma attached to self-publishing that previously existed in the industry no longer applied. The publishing industry had changed, and I felt the need to change with it. 

Question:  Tell our readers about this very first book.  (For example:  What was the inspiration for writing it, and what was it about)?

   "Transitional Period" was probably the most autobiographical of my novels, as happens oftentimes with writers. It’s about the temptations of the college lifestyle, sex, drugs, and bad behavior. More than that, though, looking back, I see it as a novel about being reluctant to grow up. The author Paul Auster read it and described it as “sophomoric.” I can’t really argue with that, but I always felt there was a certain manic energy and vitality to it that I enjoyed.

Question:  Can a person still buy this book?  If so, where?

   Absolutely. A newly revised version of it is available on Amazon, for Kindle and print-on-demand. Just type my name into the search engine and it’s one of the top hits.

Question:  How many total books have you published?

   Four. Three novels, and a collection of short stories, all of which are available on Amazon. I just finished a new fantasy novel, and I’ll be trying to get it published through conventional means. If I can’t, then I may self-publish that one as well.

Question:  List all of your titles =

Transitional Period
The Woods
Hell To Pay
A Long, Slow Burn, and Other Stories.

Question:  Any future writing projects in the works?  If so, tell us about it, and any pertinent dates to go with it.

   I’ve been working for most of the past two years on the new fantasy novel I just completed. Like I said, I’ll be making some queries to lit agents in regards to that. But I’m always working on new material. For updates on anything new I have coming out, you can always check out my website,

Question:  What is the title of your current book, and tell us a little about it.

   In this interview, I specifically wanted to promote "Hell To Pay". Although, all four titles currently available were self-published this year, "Hell To Pay" was written most recently. It’s a crime novel, straightforward genre fiction, in the tradition of Elmore Leonard, say, or Robert B. Parker. The action stems from a gambling debt, which leads to a kidnapping. You’ve have these sort of disparate elements of the societal spectrum, on both sides of the law, colliding with each other. It’s cops-and-robbers, but there’s also a bit of social commentary at play.

Last question, if someone comes across this article and reads it, what would you like to tell them about why you think they should try reading your book or books?

   Even though the four titles I’ve published so far vary broadly in terms of content, I try to put my all into everything I write. That means that whatever the genre, my primary purpose was to turn out the best product possible, and I’ve always considered myself, above all, a consummate storyteller. I love writing, the craft of it, and I think that comes across in my work. I care about my characters, whatever their flaws. The entertainment value, I think, is intrinsic in my writing. If the writer is having fun, I believe the reader will too. 

Anything else you'd like to add that I didn't ask you, but you would like to share with our readers? 

   Just this: give self-published writers a chance. There’s a lot of worthwhile writing out there that is waiting to be discovered that just hasn’t found an audience through “traditional” publishing. I’m living proof of that.

BLOG WRITER'S NOTE TO AUTHOR:  I can tell that you write for the pure love of doing just that.  You have an interesting variety of books so far.  I also found your blog to be quite interesting and entertaining.  Good Luck with your future writing, and thank you for the interview.

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