Author Steve Dunn loves to create worlds and explore their highways and byways since he was young. He always had a passion for stories both real and unreal. Spanning genres in his search for a good yarn, Steve writes breathless action, colorful characters and elaborate settings. It is a pleasure to feature him here on No Wasted Ink.
I’m Steve Dunn and am a full-time church pastor in Kent, United Kingdom after spending twenty years as a paramedic in the National Health Service. I also work part-time for a couple of fostering agencies too. I’m married to Jennie, and we have a thirteen-year-old daughter, a ginger dog, and a bearded dragon.
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always written, can even recall one particular sci-fi short story I wrote for school homework, but it’s grown over the years into full novels. These characters appear in my head and they will not leave me alone until they’re on the page and released into the wild.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’d never really considered myself as a writer until very recently – even once I got my first two books onto Kindle I felt like a bit of an imposter, just hoping a couple of mates might download them. As they picked up in further sales and then Viking Resurrection appeared, I suddenly realized it was okay to call myself a writer (rather than “someone who writes”) and am now pretty proud of the fact. It’s a gift I enjoy seeing grow and it’s no bad thing to admit that, whilst still letting others decide how good you are and they can do the major championing on your behalf!
Can you share a little about your current book with us?
Viking Resurrection is my most recent fantasy novel. I’ve written Gold a’Locks And The Three Weres as a free novelette since, and my latest novel Suffragette Sensei is a historical thriller, but Viking Resurrection is my most popular in the world of sci-fi/fantasy. Set mostly in 999AD Europe, it’s an epic adventure that spans an era and a continent. We join twelve-year-old Amy as she hunts down her missing parents and confronts a rising army of undead Vikings, led by nine sisters with terrifying powers.
What inspired you to write this book?
It originally began as a “Pirate Princess” tale (!) but as the characters drew shape in my mind, the tale suddenly demanded a shift to an earlier era and helped define the journey that these protagonists were to take. The final tale is dramatically different to those embryonic thoughts! And I love it all the more for it.
Do you have a specific writing style?
My use of language has been described by many as poetic and evocative, and I guess that is one of my hallmarks. I love evoking the sounds and smells of a scene or interaction, and am passionate about the “show, don’t tell” rule – while not banning the word “felt/feel”, I’d rather the reader senses the emotions or setting alongside the protagonist rather than simply be told how they’re feeling.
How did you come up with the title of this book?
Once the Viking/magic storyline was taking shape, it was always going to be called “Rune-Riddle”, and stayed as such for a long time. But towards the end, I recognized this was somewhat obscure, didn’t fully sum up the tale, and lacked a certain punch for marketing purposes too. “Viking Resurrection” already sounds like a movie I’d want to see! It was a no-brainer for me. And now a prequel, “Viking Dawn”, is in the works, about one side character in particular that everyone seems to be asking for more of!
What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?
Stephen King has influenced me somewhat over the years, particularly in his descriptive style, and his book On Writing has been immensely helpful and inspiring. Clive Barker’s gift of melding the fantastical with the real has made a significant mark on me, and I will always have a special fondness for Bram Stoker – Dracula is my all-time favorite (and most re-read) book, with its compilation of journal entries, letters, and memos that provide such an amazing tale. No mean feat!
Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?
I did! I use GIMP and stock images for all my covers. My art college days paying off! Writing on a budget…
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep writing. Stop saying, “I’d like to write a book”, and write it! Even if it’s for fifteen minutes a day when life gets crazy, the danger is waiting for life to slow down – which it doesn’t always, we never know what’s around the corner – or for our “Muse” to come. Oftentimes she only arrives once we start typing/scribbling. Get those creative juices flowing by doing it, they’ll come. As Neil Gaiman says, “You sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard.”
Also, let your characters tell you what they could be doing next; it can sound weird, particularly to non-writers, but listening to these people that reside in your head puts flesh on their bones and life into your stories.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Just a big thank you for their support thus far – there are some in particular who are my biggest champions and they like to tell everyone about my books. For that, I am both humbled and very very grateful.
Herne Bay, Kent, UK