Seven Steps is a new author with a flair for telling original stories filled with action, romance, and beautifully detailed settings. She specializes in diverse science fiction romance with strong heroines and hot heroes. Seven Steps is a working wife and mother as well as a devoted owner of a beautiful cat named Rosie. She enjoys hanging out with friends and family, thrifting, and anything that reminds her of the 1990's.
Your debut novel, The Slave Planet, is a science-fiction novel exploring the idea that women run the planet Venus. What do you think people envision when they hear sci-fi, and how does your book meet and differ from those expectations?
When people think science fiction, I think that they think of Star Trek. In a way they are right. Science fiction explores fictional accounts of how science can alter the course of mankind. Science fiction is supposed to be based on some sort of science or technological theory. My book, The Slave Planet, is completely based in science. Things like spaceships, and hovercrafts (helicopters) are a reality now. The futuristic technology, like terraforming planets, and bio domes, are things that can we can definitely see in our lifetime with the right technological advances. Science fiction fans will not be disappointed.
Do you have any work that has “been shelved?” Unfinished beginnings?
Of course. I don't know anyone who doesn't. The beauty of it is that works don't sit on the shelf forever. They are just waiting for the right moment to shine. One work that I've been kicking around is a historical romance that takes place in Jamaica. It would be between a Scottish duke and a Jamaican woman. I wanted to explore something like this because the people of Jamaica are so varied. It would be interesting to see how the two different cultures would play off each other.
Where do you see yourself in five years in regard to the literary industry?
I would love to be a full time writer in five years. It would be awesome to make writing my only career. I would also love to win an award for something. Maybe even a USA Today bestseller. Who knows?
Is there any terrible advice you’ve received for your book or career? Bad advice you’ve overheard someone else be told?
Mostly with marketing. Everyone has their own way that they want to capture their audience. Some ways are more tried and true than others. All I can say is to do research on your method and don't put all your eggs in one basket.
What are your biggest concerns about the current literary world?
The lack of diversity in literature can be somewhat off putting. I wish that science fiction and fantasy would be more diverse in their offerings. It's 2016. We all look different. Show that in your writing.
What trends, tactics, styles, or genres would you like to see become, at least temporarily, popular in modern writing?
I love fantasy. I would like to see fantasy other than shape shifters or vampires. More steampunk, definitely. More original story lines. Everything in entertainment is so recycled. I'd love to see some fresh ideas.
How much do your books look like your original vision, and how much do they stray from what you had in mind?
Very different. A lot of times, when you outline, you expect your book to go in one direction, but when you start writing the soul of a character the book goes in a different direction. It's like a woman who gets dressed for a party, and she has in mind what she wants to wear, but she ends up wearing a completely different outfit. When I started writing The Slave Planet, I originally wanted to just re-write my previous story, Eve Ate The Apple - The Escape. But the two stories ended up being completely different. The only thing they have in common is one of the character’s name. Writing is funny like that. You never know where you're going to end up.
Where do you find yourself getting stuck most often—beginning, middle, or end?
The end. It’s hard to say goodbye to a character that you love.
If you could hire someone to do any of the writing work for you, what jobs would you assign to them?
Editor. I want to do two or three passes on a manuscript and hand it off, but that's not how it works. You have to read the manuscript until your eyes bleed, then read some more, and then, when everything is perfect, that's when you hand it off to the editor. I need them in my life before that.
What is an assumption people make about writing that bothers you?
That authors write for free. Boooo! No, no, no! We need to eat too.
Can you tell us a little about The Slave Planet?
The Slave Planet is set in the distant future on the colonized planet Venus. The men on the planet have, little by little, sold themselves into slavery to the women of the planet. By the time Nadira, the main character, is born, all men are born into servitude. Nadira has a slave named Kiln whom she falls in love with. But her mother finds out and sends Nadira and Kiln away. When Nadira joins the High Council, she is found out again. (They are very bad at sneaking around.) That information is used to blackmail Nadira into voting for a very corrupt politician. Nadira refuses, and that's where the story really takes off.
How fast do you tend to write? How long is your editing process?
I write a first draft in about 30 days. Editing takes about two months or so.
Do you prefer writing from a female character’s perspective or a male’s?
I love writing from a strong heroine's POV. Their power makes me feel empowered.
If you met people like your characters, would you get along?
Depends on the character. The main villain, Arees, is a really terrible person. She's a back stabber, a liar, and a master manipulator. Me and her would not get along. But me and Nadira and Eva would be besties! I feel like Nadira and Eva are two sides of me. Nadira is the lovable, empowered, smart, strong side. Eva is my bad side. She offends easily, she is vengeful, but she is also loving and easily hurt. I love them all!
What was the hardest part in writing or publishing your first book?
Marketing is hard. It's a lot to learn, but it's coming along.
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