7 Questions With Author Allen Steadham
Allen Steadham is a Christian fiction author whose novels include the superhero thriller Mindfire and science fantasy Jordan’s World, the first book in the Jordan of Algoran series. Steadham created comic books and webcomics before he started writing novels. He has been married to his wife, Angel, since 1995 and they have two sons and a daughter. When not writing stories, Steadham and his wife are singers, songwriters and musicians. They have been in a Christian band together since 1997. They live in Central Texas.
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How do you manage to juggle life and writing?
It’s not easy. I’m married and have three kids. I have to squeeze time in for writing that doesn’t impact my family. So I get up very early and sometimes go to bed quite late. Fortunately, my family is very supportive of my being an author and that makes the sacrifices worth it.
What should readers expect from your next novel?
My next novel is Jordan’s Arrow, the sequel to Jordan’s World, a Christian science-fantasy. The Jordan of Algoran Series is a trilogy. People can expect more delving into who the characters are, especially Jordan. There are quite a few consequences, negative and positive, from the first book which have to be addressed in the second. Expect excitement and twists.
Jordan’s Arrow is a war book, which I never expected to write. It gave me an opportunity to show two sides of a conflict, both of which are relatable. And ultimately, this story let me show the catastrophic personal and physical costs of warfare to all involved.
This is Christian fiction and that is woven into the tale as well. It’s not arbitrary or tacked on as an afterthought but it’s not in-your-face, either. I was blessed to find a balance that I hope readers will find satisfying.
What’s the best advice/feedback on writing you’ve ever received?
“The first draft is going to stink. Keep writing anyway!” It’s such simple advice but it’s also very true. No first draft is perfect, no matter how talented the writer.
There will always be revisions, whether you make them, or an editor suggests them. And that’s okay. Keep writing anyway. Everything will work itself out by the end of the process.
What’s the best way for authors to approach self-promotion?
Start with social media and build a following. Even if it’s uncomfortable, put yourself out there. Believe in yourself and others will come to believe in you, too.
When you can add a website and get your own domain name. All the while, start thinking of slogans that sum up your writing style, build your own brand. It’s not easy, it takes time, but it is so worth it.
Do you have any tips for authors who are looking into getting more reviews for their novels?
Search for book bloggers based on the genre you write. Also encourage your friends and family via social media to leave reviews the same way you promote your book(s) to them.
Use free services like BookSprout to get Advance Review Copies (ARC) to readers in exchange for an honest review within a limited time. Take advantage of every opportunity available to you. It’s a lot of legwork but it will get you more reviews.
Just how much research is there behind a novel? Tell us how it looks behind the scenes.
There can be a lot. For the prologue alone in third Jordan of Algoran book, I decided to research medieval Russian history, folklore and fairy tales. For another portion of the same book, I looked up how sailors stored and prepared food on ships during the 1600s to 1700s.
And before beginning a Christian steampunk trilogy, I had to thoroughly research the steampunk genre, the European and American Victorian eras and more. It can take a lot of research to create a fictional environment based on a real one. That is, if you want it to be believable.
What are the 5 immediate tasks you hope to accomplish in the near future?
a. Finish edits on the third Jordan of Algoran book
b. Line up additional reviews for Mindfire and Jordan’s World
c. Promote the upcoming Jordan’s Arrow novel (release date, back cover blurb, cover, etc.)
d. Return to writing my first Christian steampunk novel
e. Get sleep somewhere in all of the above
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