Theresa: What is your genre and who is your intended audience?
Steven: I write mystery and crime novels and I hope that people who like good fiction are my audience. I have set most of my novels and stories in Puerto Rican communities, both on the island and in New York, so anyone looking for that setting will be pleased, I think.
Theresa: What are you currently writing?
Steven: Something completely different from what I’ve ever done – a “sword and sorcerer” set in 1099 – the Crusades. So far I’m enjoying it – good to research the period. For instance, there was a well-documented case of mass cannibalism during the war.
Theresa: How do you make time to write?
Steven: I sleep very little. Often I write from about eleven at night to one or two o’clock. A lot of writing, of course, is thinking through the plot, building characters in your mind, etc. and this can be done at any time during the day. I sometimes find myself watching the movie of my stories in my head while I’m driving. Probably not the best practice…
Theresa: What inspires you to write, other than fame and fortune?
Steven: I guess I’m just a writer at heart. Stories come to me, and I write them down. For some stories I have felt a sense of advocacy at work in me – that is, I want to speak up for people and about causes. For instance, when I first sat down to write a mystery years ago, I set it in Puerto Rico mostly because I hadn’t ever heard of a mystery set on the island (there have been some, but not many). My first novel deals with some of the horrible conditions Dominican immigrants confront trying to enter Puerto Rico. My second novel is partially about domestic violence. There are voices that need to be heard. That’s inspirational.
Theresa: What would you have done differently in your writing life, if anything at all?
Steven: I probably would have gotten an agent before selling my first five books. Not that I would have necessarily gotten more money, but it is valuable to have a professional eye go over your manuscripts – someone who has read ten thousand other manuscripts.
Theresa: Tell us about your marketing strategy.
Steven: I haven’t had one yet. That’s probably another thing I would change about my writing life. I keep hoping that one day I’ll start a Twitter or Facebook account, but the Steven Torres who would do those things hasn’t appeared yet.
Theresa: Does your spiritual life influence your writing? If so, how?
Steven: It does. It gives me a sense of right and wrong that I hope works itself out on the page. It also gives me a desire to expose some of the difficulties people face. Ultimately, it’s probably the reason I usually write about crime.
Theresa: Thanks Steven! I so enjoyed reading The Concrete Maze. It was gritty, described a slice of real life and the narrator’s wry sense of perspective came shining through. I’ve just finished Precinct Puerto Rico Book One and am looking forward to settling down to read the rest of the series. You are an inspiration. Check out Steven’s website www.steventorres.com