Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Interview & Book Giveaway with Author Keven Newsome

It's a pleasure to introduce today's guest, author Keven Newsome. Welcome, Keven!

Q: What was your inspiration for Winter?
A: Many different factors contributed to the formation of Winter. I suppose the original germ was to write about a Goth Christian, to show how God can use any person no matter what other people may think of them. And in truth, that’s the simplest description of the book. In the flashback story, we see Winter’s decline into the Gothic subculture and her self-destructive behavior as she deals with the slow death of her mother and a new life with her estranged dad. But in the primary story, we see her having overcome her past. She’s now being used in a miraculous way by God. Giving her the gift of prophecy and having her fight a Satanic priest, was just for fun. To me, the real story is about Winter.

Q:  Have you always wanted to be a writer?
A:  I got an early start writing. My first piece was fan-fic based on a RBG video game. Oh, and I was eleven. I had wrote about three pages in the King’s English. Why? Because the video game used that kind of language. My classmates tell me I never stopped writing, but I don’t think I seriously considered writing until Junior High. That’s when I started to develop story ideas that I would write in High School. I took a break in college, writing my “practice book” after graduating. I’ve been working on Winter for four years now. Have I always wanted to be a writer? No. At times I wanted to be something else. But I think I have always been a writer, even if I wouldn’t admit it.

Q:  How does your faith impact your writing?
A:  This question is the reason I didn’t write in college. In High School, I didn’t care about mixing faith and writing. But as I grew closer to God, I couldn’t bring myself to write contrary to my faith. It took several years for me to get an answer. In part I have Frank Peretti to thank for inspiring me to write exciting stories of faith. My heart was originally for fantasy, and there was little Christian fantasy to be found for me to learn from. After much prayer, I began my “practice book” and wrote it as a fantasy allegory. Winter, a modern day supernatural thriller, came a little easier. Now, I enjoy creating stories that bring the supernatural to light in a very real way. But fear not…I have another fantasy in cue to write, too.

Q:  Do you plot out your story ahead of time, or do you think it up as you go?
A:  I am a meticulous outliner. I didn’t even start Winter until I had done a basic outline for the whole series. Then I did a complete outline for Winter. THEN I went back and wrote at least a paragraph describing each chapter in the outline. Only after completing that step for half the book, did I actually start writing. I do let the story grow and become what it wants to become. But when the story makes changes, I have to go fix my outline.

That being said…I have never outlined a short story.

Q:  What’s your favorite part of the writing business? What’s your least favorite?
A:  My favorite part is writing, of course. Being created in the image of God, humans can’t help but be mini-creators. Immersing in the creative process is the closest I can get to being like God. And isn’t that what we’re supposed to do? Try to be like God? I just pray that my efforts are pleasing to Him. My least favorite part is submitting. Nobody likes to be rejected over and over and over. Can’t we find a way to skip that part?

Q:  What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to a fledgling writer?
A:  Write. Write. Write. You want to be a writer? Write. Don’t dream about it. Don’t talk about it. Don’t spend all your time studying about it. Do it. And while you write, assume that every other writer is better than you. Listen to them. Learn from them. Grow. And keep writing.

Q:  Scenario: You’re about to be dropped off on a deserted island. You can take along one survival item, one book, and one person (living or dead… but they’ll be alive on the island). What and who do you take?
A:  Item – satellite phone. Book – A Practical Course in Wooden Boat and Ship Building. Person – the Survivorman, Les Stroud.

Q:  What’s the one far out sci-fi technology you’d most like to see become a household item?
A:  I want my flying car. Seriously, it’s 2011. Where’s my flying car?

I agree. I want the flying car and the briefcase it folds up into :+} Thanks for stopping by today, Keven. It was a blast!

Keven Newsome is a graduate student at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he is pursuing a Master of Arts in Theology specializing in Supernatural Theology. He writes stories that attempt to portray the Supernatural and Paranormal with an accurate Biblical perspective. He is the author of Winter, a thriller published by Splashdown Darkwater. He currently lives in New Orleans, LA with his wife and their two children. Keven is also the founder and administrator of The New Authors’ Fellowship and produces music and video through Newsome Creative.

Find him online at http://www.kevennewsome.com/ (mind the Es, there are four), on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thewordcrafter, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kevennewsome.

Winter Maessen didn’t ask for the gift of prophecy. She’s happy being a freak – but now everyone thinks she’s crazy. Or evil. Goths aren’t all the same, you know. Some are Christians….Christians to whom God sends visions.

Students at her university are being attacked, and Winter knows there’s more than flesh and blood at work.

Her gift means she’s the only one who can stop it – but at what price?

View the trailer below

If you’d like to be entered to win the e-book, Winter, just leave a comment on this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on Monday, June 20th. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) E-book in the winner’s choice of format (nook, Kindle, PDF) can be downloaded from Smashwords (with free coupon code) or emailed.


Robynn Tolbert said...

Great interview, you two!
I already have the book, so no need to enter me in the contest.
Enter to win, folks. You won't want to miss this book.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting, I am intrigued, and I'd love to win the book.

Dragonlots said...

I'm very excited about what God is doing in the SF/F/H genre with Christian writers. So many of us are now breaking into publishing, whether with a Christian or secular house. My own book 'Winter Awakening' is available on Amazon and has had excellent reviews.

I'd love to read 'Winter'. I have several friends who are Goths.

dragonlots (at)yahoo (dot) com

Will add I'm doing the Summer of Christian SF/F/H on my blog. June's list is on The Anamoly forums.

James D. Maxon said...

Saw the trailer. Looks like a good read.

Jeffrey Beesler said...

There's definitely something to the creative process being immersing. I always find myself more content when I have written something than on the days where I've written zilch.

Diane M Graham said...

Don't enter me because I already have it. Great interview, Kev.

Kat Heckenbach said...

No need to enter me--I have the book. Just stopping by to say how much I liked it!

Great interview. Love the part about the outlining :).

Tymothy Longoria said...

"To show how God can use any person no matter what other people may think of them."

AMEN. One of the fundamental truths of Christianity.

Therein lies one of the greatest-yet most misunderstood-truths of salvation.

Using the least expected to share the love, word, truth of God Himself.

Keven, If I haven't said this before, though I'm sure I have, I am very happy for you. The things of God, though never casting them aside, are left unsaid. Happy that you are bringing this to whoever chooses to read. Happy that you are "doing".

I share the same mentality.

Do it.

Do it.

GREAT interview.

Kevin and Charlotte said...

Most excellent interview. Very interesting, very intriguing.

May start spelling my name with 2 e's like he does and see if I can steal some of his mojo.

bminor said...

Hahahaha! My favorite response in this whole interview...the one about the desert island. I would never have thought to have Survivorman with me in that instance, but now I think that choice is total genius. (The oat-building book wouldn't hurt either.)

I hope the Lord blesses Winter beyond your imaginings, Keven. Great interview.

karenk said...

great interview...thanks for the chance to read this wonderful novel :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Jennifer AlLee said...

And the winner is... Cindy! I'll forward your email address to Kevin and he can send you the details about receiving your free copy of Winter.

Thanks to all who stopped by!