1) Tell us about your books, genre, stand-alone or series.
My books generally are dark in nature. Almost all of them are tinged with horror elements. I’m a twisted little f*** and don’t see things the way “normal” people do. You have breakfast with eggs and sausage and see eggs and sausage. I have breakfast with eggs and sausage and wonder what parts of the victim’s body are stuffed inside that sausage skin. Twisted, yeah I know.
His newest release – and in audio today!
2) How long have you been writing?
That’s sort of a loaded question. The first time I remember writing and being proud of what I had written was somewhere in the third grade (I’m in my fifties now). Our mother used to sit us down on Wednesdays at the coffee table in the living room and have us write. We could pick our own topic, and Momma would require us to write a one page paper on our chosen subject. She would grade us for spelling and grammar. i think my most memorable paper at that age was “When I become a rock star.”
3) Are you traditionally published, or self published?
Traditionally published? Are you kidding me? No way; I’m a proud indy. Let me briefly explain why I’m not seeking to have a traditional publisher.
In both traditional and indy [publishing] the first thing that happens is I write and get a story ready for submission. But in traditional publishing, I submit my work to a person that subjectively decides whether or not my writing will be financially viable for the market. More often than not, this one decision is influenced by their personal tastes. They say whether or not the work I just poured my soul into will bee accepted by the public. And oftentimes they are wrong. Let’s use JK Rowling as an example. She had over twenty rejection letters from publishers before a small press decided they would take a chance on her writing. We all know what happened after that.
The next issue is money. IF you get accepted by a traditional publisher, you’re lucky to get paid 10—13% of the royalties that the book you just wrote generates. But if i’m an indy author, I can see royalties of as high as 70%. So now I have to decide: 13% vs 70%. Hmmm…yea, no contest there.
4) If self-published when/why did you take that route.
See my previous answer. Let me also add I like to manage my projects from start to finish: I hire editors, I hire formatters for the interior, I hire covers artists, and love to figure out marketing plans for each launch. I love the nitty gritty details of bringing a book to market, and I’m okay with spending 12+ hours each day to do that.
5) Does writing energize or exhaust you?
I write. I’m an author. I chose this career. It’s obvious isn’t it?
6) How many hours a day do you write?
It varies. I try to stay in my chair and pumping out words at least seven hours a day, but under a tight deadline have stayed up for fifty-two hours straight to pump out edited words.
7) Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Of course! I think every author loves reviews. I’m extremely happy when five-star reviews show up, but the others that are three stars and down are a learning experience. It shows me what are perceived as weaknesses in my writing. The pivot, the determinant of whether I can grow as an author, is whether I take those negative reviews personal and let that resentment grow. If I can honestly assess my writing, I can use my negative reviews as a chance to hone my craft.
8) What was your hardest scene to write?
It hasn’t been written yet – or more precisely, it hasn’t been released yet.
Let me explain that. My middle sister (I had three) was violently murdered on June 2, 2017. I know how she got to that point, all the big events that led up to her being where she was, in the condition she was in, when she was murdered, and I was helpless to do anything about it. I’m working on a novel that dives in-depth about the subject. It’s a work of fiction, but there are thinly veiled events that happened in real life that heavily influenced the narrative. It’s an exploration of what I feel around the events, and each time I work on the novel I end up crying and have to stop and set it aside. After a year, the pain of losing my sister still overwhelms me at times.
9) What is your favorite childhood book?
That one’s easy. Lord of The Rings by JRR Tokein. It was the only fantasy book, the only book period, in which the author took the time to craft and create two syntactically correct languages for the story. You could say that about Star Trek and the Klingon language, but the creation of Klingon didn’t happen until the release of the series.
10) What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
lMAO, just sitting down at the desk and starting each day. There are a thousand things I want to do every day. It takes a few minutes to remind me once I’ve started writing that this is what I really love, what makes my soul soar. It really is a labor of love. There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing…it just takes me a few minutes each day to be reminded of that.
11) Who is your favorite author and have you ever tried to emulate them?
Favorite author? That would be Clive Barker. Emulate him? I couldn’t even begin to think that I could write like him. The visual tapestry his words conjure are as close to magical for me as any magic show I’ve ever seen. He writes the most psychologically dense horror stories I’ve ever read. He weaves nightmares and philosophy into new worlds that teem with life and menace and hope.
12) What book changed your life?
Books of Blood by Clive Barker
13) Is there anything you want us to know about you or your books?
First, they’re damn good and getting better. Second, I don’t follow one genre. You never know what I’ll write. But there is always darkness in them. Not everything ends nicely and neatly. Life is full of tragedies and personal disappointments. But there is always hope. I like to cover all aspects of that, of life.
What are you waiting for – get stalking!
My personal site, which is forever in a state of flux… https://stefanlear.com
Facebook profile… https://www.facebook.com/stefanlearauthor
Facebook group… stefanlearslaughterhouse
Amazon page… https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B01903R4WE
BookBub page… https://www.bookbub.com/authors/stefan-lear