Steven Baird is a great new voice in the Fantasy genre. His first published book Creiton's Sword was recently favorably reviewed here at SFFWorld and can be purchased at iUniverse.com.
Q: Was Creiton's Sword your first attempt at a novel?
A: Creiton's Sword was my first intentional attempt at a novel. Many years ago I wrote what was supposed to be a 15 page short story that ended up almost novel length.
Q: How long did it take you to write Creiton's Sword?
A: The idea for the book rambled around in my head for over ten years. I had many false starts over the years, but I never got pass 30-35 pages. Once I decided to sit down and write the entire story without a stop, I had it complete in around 5 months.
Q: What put you on the path to writing Creiton's Sword?
A: I found myself constantly reading books and imagining how I would have ended it or developed the plot and characters differently. I guess I wanted to write the kind of book that I would want to read without second-guessing anything.
Q: How was the experience with iUniverse?
A: I connected with IUniverse while they were undergoing a major restructuring. I had some frustrating months of long delays on shipments and many people complained about the amount of time it took to get their books once they ordered them. Now things are running much more smoothly.
Q: Do you plan on continuing Bryant's story or was there enough closure with Creiton's Sword?
A: I have many more stories planned for Bryant. I have written over 300 pages on a sequel, but I came to the conclusion that the book was going to be around 1,000 pages. I'm working on how to shorten it to 500-700 before I start again. In the meanwhile I'm working on finding an agent for another book I've completed. I have also started a shorter book with a friend to bide the time until I work out the problems with the sequel to Sword.
Q: In my review I mentioned the novel reminded me a bit of Glen Cook's Black Company series. Do you count those books as an influence or any others in particular?
A: I found Robert Adams' Horseclan books helpful in that they portrayed mediveal combat in a more realistic manner than most fantasy books. Richard Adams' Watership Down was a masterpiece of character development and interaction. When I was a teenager I actually fiddled with the idea of attempting a sequel to the book. I guess Richard Adams' writing influenced me more than anything else.
Q: Are any of the characters based on specific people in your life?
A: Some characters are based on friends and family members. Most characters just seemed to "happen" as I wrote.
Q: Is writing full-time now or sort of when you get home from your day job?
A: I teach middle school English to pay the bills. I usually write 4 -5 nights a week during the school year from about 6pm to 8:30 or so. I take the summer off to relax and plan my next project.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about the other books you have underway, with the co-author and by yourself?
A: I've completed a high fantasy novel entitled When Dragons Sleep. I am currently searching for an agent for that one. The novel I'm currently working on is more along the lines of Creiton's Sword in that magic exists but does not play an overwelming role in the plot. It's an idea that came about through discussions with my friend Alice Earle. We have a good start and should be finished by Christmas. After that I'm going to re-vamp the sequel to Creiton's Sword and try to have it finished by next summer.
I would love to someday get the opportunity to write full-time for a living. Right now, just running into a stranger from time to time who has read my book and liked it is thrill enough. I even have an e-mail address set up for anyone who reads Creiton's Sword and has a comment (good or bad.) It is firstname.lastname@example.org
Sounds great Steven. Thanks for your time and good luck with your following books. Steven Baird's books can be purchased at www.iUniverse.com, www.amazon.com, and www.bn.com