Sunday, December 22, 2013

An Interview with Steven Atwood, Author of Amari

I am pleaseed to welcome to Shelf Full of Books Steven Atwood, author of Amari. His book was reviewed on this site this past Thursday. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars. Please check Thursday's post for the full review. Thank you Steven for joining us today. Let's start with your biography, and then head into some questions.

About the Author:

My life had its ups and downs, like most people. Along the way, I met my beautiful wife who saved me. I was in the darkest part of my life at the time, practically lived in seclusion even though I had a roommate. I smoked, drank very heavily, believed everyone owed me something, and I had a dead end job. My life was spiraling into the abyss, until I met her.

To make a long story short, she reached into a bucket of sludge, picked me up, hosed me off, and married me. She never asked me to change, but her example and my love for her made it my priority.

Soon after we were married, I rejoined the military after 9/11.

About six years ago, we were drawn into the church. We had a need that neither one of 

us could explain. As we continued along our journey towards God, we decided to become Catholic. Everything that both me and my wife do shows our faith at center stage.

We have been married for over thirteen years and have three loving children. Steven is still serving in the US Army.

The Interview

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I always had an interest, but I never acted on it until recently.

What inspired you to write your first book?
What got me to actually do it was when I sat down with my kids and watched the TV shows for young kids and I was appalled. I decided to write something appropriate for my kids with a good Christian message.

Where do your ideas come from?
When I was planning Amari, I went to the local Barnes & Noble and looked up and down the Science Fiction shelves. I wanted to do something different. It seems to me that in recent years, whenever there is a successful book a whole slew of books with very similar story lines followed. Twilight comes to mind and Hunger Games.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
First thing that comes to mind is simply finding the time. I am still in the Army and my responsibilities as a husband and father take a lot of my time.

What are your current projects?
I just finished a short story called Bane and it will be edited over the next couple of weeks. This will be free on all eBook platforms.

I am already up to chapter 5 of Amari: Camp 7. This sequel takes place immediately after Amari ends. I have five books planned for the Amari series.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
Amari is my favorite. When I was writing, she took over and changed the whole course of the novel. The original plan was for her to be antagonist and Colin to be the hero. But, she came to life so vividly that I rewrote it. The result was a far better book.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, there is strength in faith and forgiveness. Also, when you realize this life is temporary and a better life will be after this one, there really is little to fear. I tried to show the contrast when two characters died in the book.

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?
I do actually, I went on Goodreads, approached bloggers, and spent a long time just finding the right reviewers that would be a good fit for Amari.

How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
Pretty good. On Amazon, I have thirteen reviews with a 4.2 rating and 4.23 rating on Goodreads.

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
Usually about half of my allotted writing time is given to marketing. I blog some, but I spend most of my time on the boards, evaluating promotion venues, and social media.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
If you would like to get the announcement for Amari: Camp 7, go to and register with the site. I only send emails to my readers when I have an announcement. For example, there will be beta reading opportunities for Camp 7 next year and this will be venue I use to get them.

Contact the Author:

The Book

By Steven Atwood
Publisher: Steven Atwood
Published: Sept. 15, 2013
ISBN: 9781492707097

Amazon Synopsis:

Amari Prokop murdered her first victim at age eight...

She acquired her own starship at twenty-four...

She started smuggling people from Earth to the freedom on Europa for a price, but found that blackmail and murder paid much better. All that wealth should have made her happy. But it didn’t, nothing could fill that void she felt. She had to get out and start over.

Now on her last job, all she has to do was kidnap Cloee Thompson from a government transport ship and hold her until Amari’s employer was ready to take her. The promise of a pardon from the United Nations was too good to pass up. It was the only way to leave that life behind.

Colin Ross was an Interplanetary Space Security Force (ISSF) agent, handpicked by the United Nations to 
recapture the mysterious terrorist Cloee Thompson and stop Amari, dead or alive. With his partner Marlie, they began the chase across the stars.

Can Amari escape Colin and the ISSF? Will she get her freedom? Who will steal Amari’s heart? Why is Cloee Thompson so important? Who is pulling the strings and why?

Book Links
Amazon  *  B&N  *  Goodreads

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