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PenBlock Profile Author: Steven L Nelson

We try to cover some of our independent authors who support our website. Today we have a profile from one of our favorite authors - Steven L Nelson.

I've always been fascinated by story telling and the power of words - from Rocky, to Jurassic Park, the cartoons of child-hood to epics such as Trinity or even the Twilight series. Anyone with an interest in writing has to ask
the question - how does a book about vampire teen love become so popular? When you read it you realize quickly - it's not the fangs or the magic that does it. It's the shy boy and girl, the anxiety of not knowing the others'
thoughts, the ramped emotion and butterflies of your first love - relived in a gloomy small town, ie. anywhere America. We like Bella and Edward because they are so familiar.

Take the Karate Kid. Uprooted from his home, the foreign kid is dogged by the new boys, a David/Goliath story that is etched in the human psyche. The kid has to build skills and make allies to survive, otherwise the outcome is hopeless - and you lose interest. Survival must be possible. The raw emotion between the characters, Daniel's frustration and determination and the interplay between Johnny and the gang, we relive those scenes from our own histories. The closer our own past is to what's happening on the screen, or in the pages, the stronger our emotional reaction.

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, and growing up we would make up our own versions of Dragon Ball and role-playing games. That interest continued and developed into creating video game modifications (including a
fully playable Civil War mod for the game Ghost Recon), completing a degree in History before finally delving into novel writing.

I've tried to make a point in my writing to look at the everyday person and shy away from the "great-hero" stories, where one person carries the day and everyone else, the little people (and by extension the viewer and reader), are mere spectators. I've tried to look for and think of fascinating "every-day" heroes who change the world, without wearing a crown.

As a business person in my day job, we are constantly trying to make ourselves relevant to our clients and bring them something worthwhile - so that we can keep getting paid. The same holds true for book writing if it is
a business - how am I innovating and bringing the reader something new? What am I writing that is so good that people will pay me for it? One day it hit me.

Let me take my philosophy on story-telling and make it real. Why does the reader get to be a lazy spectator? I want to bring them to the story, literally! You will have to make the earth-shattering choices of your characters and live with the consequences, good or bad. We all remember these interactive fiction books growing up - why isn't fiction still written this way? I guess I'll have to do it myself...

As a compulsive writer, I have at least twenty novel ideas at various stages of completion. The work I have underway now follows a group of Visigoth youths in the rough and tumble declining years of the Roman Empire. Next, I have a Civil War novel following a young couple, falling in love, as we read the letters they wrote each other as the war came crashing down on their home town in Virginia.

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Steve Nelson's picture
Steve Nelson

Thanks Mike!

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