Hello my readers, and welcome to yet another author interview! This time, I had the pleasure to talk with Stephen Black. He runs the blog Fractured Faith and recently published his debut novel “The Kirkwood Scott Chronicles: Skelly’s Square“! Click those links to check out his work, especially that novel. It’s been garnering a lot of positive reviews, and can be downloaded on Kindle for just $3.99!
And now, without further ado, here is my interview with Mr. Black!
First, tell us a bit about yourself!
My name is Stephen Black. I live in Northern Ireland, married to Fionnuala with three children – Adam (17), Hannah (15) & Rebecca.
I’ve never been to Ireland, but I’m dying to visit one day! Any foreign countries that are on your bucket list to visit?
I’ve always wanted to visit Norway. And Alaska.
What was your first favorite book that you can remember?
The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Mine as well! Do you feel like Tolkien’s writings helped shape your reading interests? Or perhaps it influenced your writing style?
Most definitely! Cornelius Dobson has more than a hint of Gandalf in his character.
What inspired you to write your debut novel “The Kirkwood Scott Chronicles: Skelly’s Square”?
The book is inspired by my own struggles with OCD and the homeless community in Belfast, who I see every day on my way to and from work. The name ‘Kirkwood Scott’ just popped in my head one day.
So do you feel like the message in your book is for people with similar life experiences to yours, or is it more to raise awareness for those who aren’t aware of such struggles?
Both really. I want to offer hope for those going through one of the subjects I write about and awareness for others. We all can do more.
As a writer, what have you found to be your favorite part of the novel-writing process so far?
I enjoy hitting a creative vein and going with the flow, where the characters are almost writing the book with you. I also enjoy the support and interaction with my readers.
It’s a funny feeling when you realize your characters are starting to help you write their story! Is there a character besides the main protagonist that you particularly enjoyed writing?
I’d have to say Meredith. She’s a reader’s favourite, so much so I should have named it ‘The Meredith Starc Chronicles!!’
What’s next for you? Any projects in the works?
I’m currently 21,000 words into the sequel, ‘Skelly’s Tower.’ It will hopefully see the light of day in 2020.
That’s incredible progress in not a lot of time! Can you give us a hint of what readers can expect in this sequel?
The Kirkwood Scott universe expands dramatically. New worlds and characters. But it still retains its Northern Irish roots. Laughter and tears.
If you could go back to your first days of writing and give yourself advice, what would that be?
Believe in yourself and start 20 years earlier.
Believing in yourself is a big one. Are there any mental exercises you do or quotes/passages you read in times when your self-confidence takes a blow?
I just think back to where I’ve come from and what I’ve accomplished.
Besides writing, what other hobbies do you enjoy?
I’m a runner. I’ve ran 9 marathons and 30 half marathons.
Wow, that’s very impressive! I’ve got such tremendous respect for people who complete marathons just once, let alone that many. Do you have a favorite marathon that you’ve run?
It would have to be Belfast, my home city. I also loved Dublin, it’s the biggest I’ve done.
Let’s end this interview with a bit of whimsy: you’re going to be stuck on a remote island for 30 days and you can only bring 3 things with you (not including food or survival gear). What are you packing?
I’ll take a liberty and hope it has magical wi-fi. My phone, Kindle and some clean clothes.
That would definitely help pass the time! For myself, I think I’d bring a collection of all of Tolkien’s works, enough good bourbon to last a month, and pens and paper.