Today, Tag Line Tuesday is happy to welcome the lovely and talented Stephen Hise, author and maître d’ over at Indies Unlimited. Let us begin.
Ed: Writers are creative people, I hear. So please answer each of the following biographic questions twice, once with the truth and once with a lie.
SH: Stephen Hise. Nigel Epiphany.
Ed: Where you from, Nigel?
SH: The East. The Delta quadrant.
Ed: You have a day job in the quadrant?
Ed: Seriously, who first looked at those and thought eating them was a good idea? But I digress…How about your dream job?
SH: Millionaire playboy ninja superspy assassin. Senior oyster shucker.
Ed: When not pining for oysters to shuck real good, why do you write?
SH: For all the crazy-hot author groupie chicks. I honestly thought I could make a couple of bucks.
Ed: You may now return to full honesty now, for…the LIGHTNING ROUND! (Zap. Pow.)
Band – KISS
Food – Soul Food
Game – Madden Football
Word – Soliloquy
Color – Sepia
Animal – Cave bear
Piece of clothing – Codpiece
TV show – Big Bang Theory or Futurama
Drink – Shirley Temple with bourbon, hold the Shirley Temple.
Song – Space Lord (Ed: By Monster Magnet. So sad that I know that.)
Line from a song – “I ate all the rest and now I gotta eat you…”
Pizza topping – Pepperoni or Unicorn
Place – Somewhere else
Quote – “Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.” – H. L. Mencken
Ed: Dear God, I do love Mencken. One of my favs: “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”
Three random things about yourself, please.
SH: 1). I am the kind of man whose integrity is not for sale except to the highest bidder. 2). I got the music in me. I’m okay now, though. 3).There are really only two random things about me. This is not one.
Ed: And now on to the talk of books, bookishness, and bookery.
What’s the biggest consideration when you are deciding what book to read?
Ed: That has to cut down on your ebook purchases. What genre do you enjoy most?
SH: I don’t remember the name of it, but it has lots of nouns and verbs.
Ed: What genre would you read only if you lost a bet?
SH: Appliance repair or installation manuals.
Ed: Gee, but that’s where David Mamet got started. “Step Four: Tighten the &#$^ing, $*!$(*&ing screws.”
Do you have a favorite author, and do you think they influence your own writing?
SH: My favorite author was Michael Crichton. He’s dead, you know. Next time, why don’t you just give me a papercut and pour lemon juice into it?
SH: No, I don’t pick favorites. I don’t want to hurt the other books’ feelings.
Ed: What’s the first book you remember buying with your own money?
SH: Do you mean money that somehow came into my possession, or money I earned through some legal means? I don’t like this question – move along.
Ed: Any books you have been told you should read, and know you probably never will?
SH: Any number of classics of literature.
Ed: “All” is not “any number.” Ever lied about reading, or not reading, a book?
SH: Why? What have you heard?
Ed: Ever read a book you were sure you were going to like, and not liked it?
SH: Yes. I honestly was disappointed in Pirate Latitudes by Crichton. I like pirates and I like Crichton, but it went down like a baloney and marshmallow sandwich.
Ed: Ever grudgingly read a book, and loved it?
SH: Well, I’ve read a book and grudgingly loved it. Sable City comes to mind. Damn your eyes, McNally!
Ed: For the first time ever, Tag Line Tuesday has a winner. 😉
What’s your favorite line from a book? (not your own, nor mine, for that matter)
SH: In response to Arabella Bishop accusing him of talking treason, Peter Blood quips, “I hope I am not obscure.” – Captain Blood, by Rafael Sabatini.
Ed: And on to the bookerishness which you did happen to write.
How, and when, do you tend to come up with titles?
SH: I come up with a working title when I begin work on the piece. I have to think of it as something. Then when I am ready for publication, I see if I can think of something better.
Ed: How do your characters get their names?
SH: I try to name my characters after people who won’t sue me. As I am dirt poor, the world is my oyster in this regard. I do tend to name villains after people in real life who, for one reason or another have vexed me. Hence, the villain in my next book, the evil Honcho McNally.
Ed: Oh good, another Irish/Mexican…typecast as the villain. 😉
If you could live in the world / with the people of one of your stories, which one would it be and why?
SH: I don’t write happy stories. I do not want to go there.
Ed: What do you think your books say about you?
Ed: Is there anything you have written which you would now like to change or revise, wish you had written differently, etc.?
SH: Well, there was a note to my gym teacher I forged. I don’t know what tipped it off, but I guess all things being even, I’d take another crack at that one.
Ed: Tell me about your favorite character.
SH: Marcy is a sexy, flirty master manipulator.
Ed: Have your favorite character tell me about you.
Marcy: Steve is a sexy, flirty master manipulator.
Ed: If I should call the police, blink twice, Marcy.
Back to Steve. What’s your favorite line which you have written?
SH: From my work in progress, my protagonist, Pheven, having seemingly fallen into an inescapable trap set by arch-villain Honcho McNally, falls to his knees and screams at the sky, “McNALLY!”
Ed: I can see the movie trailer now.
And now, the weird vagaries of Stehpen’s writing mind. Plotter or Pantser?
SH: Definitely pantser.
Ed: Best/Worst advice you ever got as a writer?
SH: I don’t remember anyone giving me advice. People get quiet when I walk up.
Ed: Best/Worst thing about being a writer?
SH: Getting to know other writers has been the best thing. Indie writers are just the best all-around people I’ve ever known. The worst thing is the marketing.
Ed: I hear that. So, why Indie?
SH: No one respectable would have me.
Ed: That explains how you got on this blog. Is being a writer what you expected? How so or how not?
SH: I never expect anything. That’s how they get you.
Ed: Have you, or would you ever, collaborate on a story?
SH: I have and I am.
Ed: “Absolutely not, and I am,” would have been a more Hisean answer.
If you were starting to write for the first time, what would you do different?
SH: I would definitely have spent more time on editing, and concentrated more on the cover art. I love the one I have now, but the old one was just killing me.
Ed: What is the most important thing you have learned about writing?
SH: Stay in the margins.
Ed: What’s the moral of the story?
Ed: Finally, some real answers to hypothetical questions.
Your computer is smoking, wheezing, and sparks are shooting out of the back. You can save one thing off the hard drive.
SH: What is it? I’m sorry, my computer is actually an abacus. I suppose I could just grab a random bead, but what’s the point really?
Ed: You are looking at the back of a book in a bookstore, reading on online blurb, or whatever. What sort of thing makes you say “yes,” what sort of things makes you say “pass?”
SH: If, in a mere few lines, a writer can sketch out a premise I find intriguing, I will say “yes” and then steal the book. If the blurb is just too nebulous or pretentious, trite or syrupy, I will say “pass” and then steal the book.
Ed: You have one perfect day of free time, no obligations, needs, or responsibilities. What do you do?
SH: The list is too long and depraved to detail here.
Ed: Someone “in the business” suggests you change something you feel is a critical part of one of your books, and guarantees it will increase sales. What do you do?
SH: Meh. If I like it, it stays.
Ed: You are offered just enough money to live comfortably for the rest of your life, if you will just stop writing. What do you do?
SH: Wait. Are you doing that? Did I just lose the money by answering?
Ed: What question do you wish I had asked?
SH: I wish you had asked me who I thought was the sexiest, smartest, most awesome female author I know. But you didn’t. (Sorry, you-know-who)
Ed: Thanks for stopping my, Steve. And leave the silverware on the table.
As has been mentioned, you can see Steve blog on himself and others at Indies Unlimited, and do check out the book UPGRADE, for which he offers this Five-Word Synopsis:
“Beware your heart’s desire. Seriously.”
Smashwords (multiple e-book formats) https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/23869