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2011 Interview With Steve Alten
An interview with the New York Times best selling author Steve Alten
Owen J Hollifield
2011 Interview With Steve Alten
Owen J Hollifield
1) Tell us a little about your latest book.
On August 1st, a new MEG book, MEG ORIGINS will be sold in all e-book formats. ORIGINS is the story of what really happened to Jonas Taylor in the Mariana Trench seven years before the MEG story began. At only .99 cents, itís a special way for me to thank my loyal readers. A week later, the original MEG will debut as an e-book. As for MEG 5: Night Stalkers, I want to time a release with the movie. I know my MEGheads really want to see a MEG movie, so do I. We have a new script I wrote and it rocks! We are finishing the process of independently financing the movie, so hang in there.
2)Which other authors do you find inspiring?
Every author has a personal success story, I am inspired by authors like J.K. Rowling who have enjoyed so much deserved success.
3)Tell us the one book ever published that you wish you had written?
4)Promoting your work is more important than ever now, what are some of the things you will be doing to promote your latest book?
I never turn down an interview, as you well know. Facebook and the other social networks are important, though I rarely twitter.
5)Are you a secretive author or are you happy for people to see your work while still in progress?
I am very open, honest, and accessible to my fans, but my work should only be read when finished. I can't imagine allowing readers to read works in progress, it makes no sense. A new twist must be filtered into the entire story, if not you are cheating the reader.
6)Describe your perfect day?
Sex with the wife, followed by lunch at the White House (not the President's place, the cheesesteak sub shop in Atlantic City, NJ) followed by a game 7 Philadelphia 76ers vs LA Lakers NBA final victory, then dinner and the movie premiere of MEG, then a chocolate dessert with the family... and more sex with the wife. Ahhhhh.
7)what would you like your professional life to look like in 5 years time?
I'd like to have at least 3 movies made, plus a few tv shows and 4-6 more books.
8)Is there anything in your writing career that you have regretted doing or not doing?
After we signed the MEG book and first movie deal in 1996, I was invited to write a treatment for a remake of JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH. I wrote it and the producer and studio head loved it. They bought it and wanted me to fly to Los Angeles for a weekend meeting. First class, 5 star hotel, limo, the works. Best of all, I'd be working with Steven Spielberg's partner, Kathleen Kennedy. A day before the trip, my ex manager says, "you can't go, it's against WGA rules." Being a rookie, I obeyed, not realizing the real reason he didn't want me to go -- he was not allowed in the meeting and was afraid I'd be swept up by new management. BIG MISTAKE. Fifteen years later I still regret it. I send Ms Kennedy signed copies of every new book, with an apology.
9)What are you working on right now?
THE OMEGA PROJECT.
10)How do you keep yourself motivated?
I love writing, plus it's my job. I have bills to pay and a family to support.
11)How do you integrate your personal and professional life?
I work out of an office in my house, so they remain integrated.
12)How would you as both a person and a writer define success?
I've achieved success, but I am far from satisfied. I want to be a #1 best seller in the USA (I achieved that in Spain, Mexico, and Argentina) and I really want to see my work on the big screen.
13)What's the most difficult or frustrating part of the writing process?
I once had an editor who read one of my manuscripts and said, "I don't get it." That was his entire comment, after 12 months of writing. Well what the f**k am I supposed to do with that? So I hired my own editor, rewrote parts of the story, and resubmitted it. And he said, "I still don't get it." This was on the day my son was born, so I went from the ultimate high to the ultimate low, because I really need the money and he's not "getting" the story. So I insisted on another editor, who "got" it and send me three small suggestions.
14)Professionally what's in store for Steve Alten over the next 12 months?
GRIM REAPER: End of Days debuts in mass market paperback on August 30th. GRIM REAPER is a modern-day version of Danteís Inferno, the hero is a returning Iraqi war vet who seeks to find his estranged wife and daughter in Manhattan, which has been quarantined with a man-made version fo the Black Plague. I absolutely guarantee GRIM REAPER will blow you away. It took me two long years to write it, but it was worth the effort.
PHOBOS (part 3 of the Domain 2012 series) will debut in hardback in October.
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© 2011 Owen J Hollifield
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