Today I have an interview for everyone, with Steve Schmutz author of Sons of Prophecy: Davian's Deception.
Interview with Steve Schmutz
I grew up in Orem, Utah. As a youngster, I was active in sports like soccer and baseball. After high school, I served a two-year mission for my church in Honduras, then enrolled at BYU where I received a bachelor’s degree in business. I married my best friend in 1983. We have five daughters who have blessed us with 11 grandchildren, with the 12th on the way. I’m a software entrepreneur specializing in the claim and risk management industry. We live in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah.
Can you tell us a bit about your book, Sons of Prophecy: Davian's Deception?
At the heart of the book is a prophecy about triplet sons who are separated at birth. They don’t know they are brothers, and they don’t know they have been born in fulfillment of an ancient prophecy. The Sons of Prophecy series tells the story of how the three brothers each play a role in the great fight between good and evil. Here’s the prophecy:
Three to be born upon the mount
To a woman torn from hearth
One of Greatness
One to Strength
And One to Serve the Dark
Divided at birth the three will be
Not knowing of each other
Divided by Light
Divided by Faith
Divided but ever brothers
Why did you decide to write in the fantasy genre?
I didn't like reading when I was a kid – until 7th grade that is. One day, my friends turned my on to “The Hobbit.” Reading fantasy opened a new world to me – many new worlds, actually. I love the way new worlds, new cultures, new creatures, and a host of other magical things can happen in fantasy books. Writing fantasy allows my creativity to extend beyond reality…without going too far.
What is the hardest part of writing fantasy fiction?
The biggest challenge in writing fantasy fiction, at least for me, is being consistent. The characters, creatures, magic, and other things you create have to remain consistent throughout the book (or series).
Another challenge is believability. Although fantasy allows you to step out of the bounds of reality, you can’t go too far.
Did anything surprise you about the process of writing Sons of Prophecy?
Yes, I was amazed at how long the editing process took. Honestly, I think editing took more time than writing. It was a long, tedious process, but an extremely important one.
Can you tell us about some the research you did for your book?
I didn't really do research in the traditional sense of that term. Because I was making up my own world, characters, creatures, etc., I didn't have to research existing information. However, I did take time to create my world, including creating a map, a history of its people, etc. Most of that “research” is never mentioned in my book, but it gave me a foundation of “knowledge” upon which I could create my world.
Can you tell us about your writing process? Where do your ideas originate? Do you have a certain writing routine? What is your greatest challenge as a writer?
For my work, I travel quite a bit. Whether I’m sitting on a plane, or driving five hours to visit my parents, I do a lot of thinking and brainstorming. I always have a yellow pad with me, and I scribble my notes as fast as I can write. Then I go back and massage those ideas until they are just right.
Most of my actual writing takes place at my little desk on my Mac. I usually don’t like any music at all, but sometimes I’ll listen to Enya, or some piano music in the background, but it’s always turned down way low.
The biggest challenge I have as a writer is time. One of these days, maybe I’ll make enough from writing that I won’t need a day job. Until then, I have a software business I’m running which requires a lot of time.
You acknowledge J.R.R Tolkien as the author who sparked you interest in reading and (I'm assuming) in writing. Who else has inspired you as a writer?
There are a lot of excellent fantasy authors who have inspired me. Besides Tolkien, I would have to say that Terry Goodkind (Wizard’s First Rule), and Stephen R. Donaldson (the Thomas Covenant series) have been very influential on me as a writer. I couldn't get enough of their books, and it made me want to write like they did.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I enjoy being with my family most of all. I also enjoy working in my yard, running, playing games, and traveling with my wife. Also, I mentioned my software company – I love what I do in my day job. It’s a lot of fun to start and build businesses.
What’s next for you?
Book Two is already in the works. I actually have three book planned, and I know how it’s all going to end – I just need to fill in the story! I’m hoping to release Book Two in the middle of 2014.
Before seventh grade, Steve hated to read, but a stroke of fate happened one day when his friends introduced him to the amazing world of J.R.R Tolkien. Literally overnight Steve found himself reading like never before. A new world was opened to his eyes--a world that would never again be without a book on his shelf, in his pocket, and on his mind.
Although Steve's love for reading has spread to other genres, fantasy books will always be his home.
Steve has been married to his best friend for over 30 years. They have five beautiful daughters and will soon welcome their twelfth grandchild into the family.
In addition to reading and writing, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, working in his yard, running, hiking, golfing, and traveling with his wife. They live in Utah where Steve is a software entrepreneur.
Sons of Prophecy is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.