As I stated earlier, Steve Creech is the owner of DragonWing Games.
As with all the other interviews, I ask that if what you read interests you, you can support the Kickstarter Project.
ME - How would you describe your style to someone who has never read your work?
STEVE - My professional writing background lies within the games industry, specifically with roleplaying games. I started in 2001 by freelancing and also overseeing a review website known as d20 Magazine Rack. Most of my work was published for Bastion Press and now I run my own company, DragonWing Games. I'm not afraid to take chances in my writing and with my writing. I adapt my style to what's necessary for a good story to be told. For example, my story in The Awakened is written in both first person and third person perspectives, which is something you don't normally see in a story. However, it was necessary to be able to understand the protagonist's point of view.
ME - This book represents a shared universe; would you be tempted to revisit it in a longer format?
STEVE - Absolutely. I've already had several ideas in my head since Hal first brought this project to my attention. Besides, I can't be the only person who wants to know what happens next to the characters in my story.
ME - On the Kickstarter page, you appear to be involved in a lot of various projects, what were your inspirations?
STEVE - Inspiration can come from anything. A line in a song, a movie or TV show, another story, or even just out of thin air. For instance, the first time I heard The Calling's "Wherever You Will Go" I immediately thought of a paladin descending into Hell to save his love. For my part, much of my inspiration is drawn directly from life experiences and lessons learned. I just twist that inspiration into something fitting to the story I want to tell.
ME - What books are you currently reading? Any authors in the fantasy genre that you would say most influenced you?
STEVE - Right now, I'm reading The Breach by Patrick Lee, Conqueror's Shadow by Ari Marmell, and First Landing by Robert Zubrin. I love my Nook and typically have multiple books going at the same time. I have very eclectic tastes and will read almost anything as long as it engages me. As far as fantasy authors go, I'd say I've been most influenced by Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian (and the authors that have taken up the mantle) along with Ed Greenwood, R.A. Salvatore, and Margaret Weis.
ME - If you could work in any other genre of literature, what would most interest you?
STEVE - Science fiction, specifically Star Trek, is the genre I grew up with. To visit the Federation through writing a novel has always been a dream. My father introduced me to Robert Heinlein when I was a teenager and it opened the floodgates for me in terms of favorite genres. In the past 10 or so years, I've also developed an appreciation for urban fantasy/horror and have put together some outlines for potential stories in that genre.
ME - Have you read any of the other stories in this collection, and if so which of the authors in this book did you most enjoy reading?
STEVE - I haven't been privy to any of the other stories, but I am just as excited as everyone else to read them. Being close friends with several of the authors makes me even more anxious to read them. I've always enjoyed Ed Greenwood's works and knowing Ed, he's bound to surprise me in one way or another. I'm also looking forward to reading what Darrin Drader, Doug Herring, and Hal Greenberg have put together. They are all great guys.
ME - Do you foresee “The Awakened” being a universe that you would like to revisit in the future? Do you have other ideas for stories set in this universe?
STEVE - Oh, yes! I not only want to revisit it in its current fantasy form but also in the modern day format that Hal has been discussing. In the fantasy form, I'd like to go back and tell the origin of my main protagonist and why he came to be the way he is. For the modern Awakened, assuming it gets ordered, I'd be interested in seeing stories of Awakening involving machines.
ME - What were the biggest challenges of writing your story?
STEVE - Honestly, it was keeping it short. There was so many other things I wanted to add to the story, but I had to keep it within the assigned word count. I knew I wanted to do something a little different than everyone else so rather than focusing on a connection with another animal, I went for something more elemental in nature. It was also a challenge in making the reader identify and develop an emotional reaction towards the two primary characters. Did I succeed in doing just that? Well, time will tell after the book is released.
ME - Working in a fantasy setting, are there any of the standard fantasy tropes that you are tired of?
STEVE - The standard Tolkein-esque fantasy worlds have grown a little stale to me. Not all elves have to be perfect and dwarves don't have to be dirty mountain dwellers. I like authors to surprise me with a new twist on these familiar tropes. For example, in Larry Correia's Monster Hunter International series, he has taken elves and made them akin to southern white trailer trash and lawn gnomes are ghetto gang-bangers. Granted, it is an urban fantasy genre, but it's still a new take.
ME - Any advice for aspiring authors?
STEVE - If you have a full-time career in another profession, keep it. For every Stephen King or Tom Clancy superstar, there are a hundred thousand other authors that make mere pennies for their stories. To become a successful writer, you need to build your fan base and tell good stories. Today's digital age offers limitless potential for new authors to get their stories out there. The Independent Author's Network is always a good place to start when you do publish something. Like any career, networking is a must. Get to know fellow authors and learn what works from their experiences. Most of all, ask questions. There is no such thing as a dumb question if it is asked for the desire of knowledge.
ME - Last chance, anything you’d like to say to any readers of this interview?
STEVE - Don't be afraid to read genres or books that you might normally shy away from. A wise man once told me that the day you stop reading is the day you stop learning. Reading is what exercises the imagination and allows the mind to expand. We are now beginning to see a generation of people whose reading skills are decreasing because they have never found that one book that ignited their imagination and thirst for more. Share your books with others and promote imagination over ignorance. We'll all be a better world in the end if you do.