Interview with Steven Manchester

Interview with Steven Manchester

What genre do you write and why?
Adult contemporary fiction; heartfelt novels. If I can’t make my readers feel, then it’s not worth the time and effort.

Interview with Steven Manchester
Tell us about your latest book.
In Ashes, two brothers—estranged for fifteen years—are brought together under circumstances that neither can avoid. By trapping them in a car for several long days, I was able to play out some deep, dark emotions that quickly rise to the surface. The outcome proves to be biting and comical exchange that the reader can experience as if they’re sitting right there in the backseat with the box of ashes. Although there are several twists and turns along the way, the goal was to keep the journey real and relatable—proving that every family has its fair share of dysfunction, as well as unbreakable bonds.

What marketing methods are you using to promote your book? 
Book blog tour; Netgalley; Goodreads giveaways; press releases to local and national media; New England book signings, etc.

What formats is the book available in?
It will be released in hard cover and all electronic formats (pdf, mobi, epub). Later, we will release it in paperback and audio versions.

Who are your favourite authors?
Stephen King, William Paul Young, Mitch Albom—just to name a few.

What advice do you have for other writers?
Never forget the passion you felt when you first picked up a pen. It’s easy to get inundated with all the sales and marketing, but it’s all about the creative process.

What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?
“If you can dream it, you can live it.” – Walt Disney (I believe it applies to writing as much as anything else).

What's the best thing about being a writer?
I’ve been able to touch lives in a positive way and make some sort of difference (at least I hope so). I’ve shared my dreams with my children and proved that dreams do come true—with a whole lot of perseverance and hard work. And I’ve been able to give life to the creative thoughts that constantly fight for my attention.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?

Interview with Steven Manchester
Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
Jason, the brother who is a Correction Officer. As an ex-CO, I can closely relate to him. He’s flawed, a work in progress—but his intentions are honorable and pure.

Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?
I think readers will really enjoy the characters in this book, as they’re both real and relatable. The brothers carry the storyline and will make readers laugh, cringe and maybe even shed a tear.

How long did it take you to write your book?
The first draft took me approximately six months; from storyboard to print took eighteen months.

Who designed the cover?
My publisher, Lou Aronica—and I love the cover!

Did you learn anything from writing your book that was unexpected?
It’s happened to me before, but even more so with this novel: If the characters are developed well enough, they’ll actually tell the story for you. It happened in this case. I got to know both brother so well that there was never any doubt about how they would act, react and speak. When you get to that point, it feels like magic.  

Where can a reader purchase your book?
as well as all other online retailers.
What are you doing to market the book?  
Book blog tour; Netgalley; Goodreads giveaways; press releases to local and national media; New England book signings, etc.

Who inspires you?
My children—more than anything.

How do you research your books?
A lot of my work is taken from real life. For Ashes, I also conducted some online research; and mapped out a trip with AAA.

What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
I’m actually in the process of developing a storyboard that I can present to my publisher. The working title for the book is Three Shoeboxes. I plan to take an ordinary man, have the world and all its troubles bring him to his knees and then see how he finds the strength to get back up on his feet.  More to come…  

What are your thoughts on self-publishing verses traditional publishing?
I think that the market has changed dramatically in the last decade. Traditional publishing used to be the only route if you wanted to be a legitimate writer. That’s not true today. There are some wonderful self-published books being released today. The key is to ensure that the work is vetted by talented copy editors, proof readers, etc.

Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
When I was young, my grandfather was an amazing storyteller. Although he never put pen to paper, I was awed by the power of words—to make people laugh or even cry. I knew then that I wanted to be a storyteller too.

I’d just returned home from Operation Desert Storm, and was working as a prison investigator in Massachusetts. Needless to say, there was great negativity in my life at that time. I decided to return to college to finish my degree in Criminal Justice. During one of the classes, the professor talked about police work but nothing else. I finally raised my hand and asked, “The criminal justice system is vast. What about the courts, probation, parole – corrections?” He smiled and told me to see him after class. I thought I’d done it! In his office, he explained, “There’s no written material out there on corrections or prisons, except from the slanted perspective of inmates.” He smiled again and dropped the bomb. “If you’re so smart,” he said, “why don’t you write it?” Nine months later, I dropped the first draft of 6-5; A Different Shade of Blue on his desk. From then on, I was hooked. I was a writer.

Does your family support you in your writing career? How?
My family is the foundation on which I stand. I am constantly inspired—and grateful—by their support.

What are you currently reading?
The Pentinent by A. Keith Correiro

What books or authors have most influenced your life?
The truthful to answer to this is all books and authors that I’ve been exposed to have influenced me—whether in a positive way or not. As a student of my craft, I pay close attention. To name a few specific writers: Stephen King, the master of our time. Harper Lee, John Steinbeck, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Charles Dickens, Mitch Albom, William Paul Young, Frank McCourt…the list is endless.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
When not spending time with my beautiful wife, Paula, or our four children, I’m promoting my published works or writing. I also love to read, watch films and attend live theatre. And I enjoy fine dining.


  1. Great interview. I read this book, as well as all his other novels, and I can attest he definitely makes the reader "feel". Can't wait for his next book THREE SHOEBOXES. Sounds like another fantastic book from the master story teller!


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