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Meet Steven Hardesty & his book, Running in Heels

June 28, 2011

This post is part of an Indie Author Blog Tour. Enjoy!

Thank you for the opportunity to join the blog tour for a chat on a blog that feels so comfortable. Strange words, maybe, considering the subject of “After the Virus”! I’ve been thinking about writing methods because I’ve got a problem. My first book just went on sale for Amazon’s Kindle – “Running in Heels,” a story of murder, mayhem and cosmetic surgery – and the more I think about it, the more the book frightens me.

It’s that weird feeling you get when you suspect something you’ve created has gotten completely out of control. The “Frankenstein’s Monster Syndrome.” I only began to feel it after people asked me why my book has a female protagonist when I am, well, not female. (“Nobody’s perfect!” said Joe E. Brown in the last scene of “Some Like It Hot.”) It wasn’t supposed to be that way. The novel started out with a male lead character. I still can’t figure how the heroine crept into the story and booted him out.

Oh, I’ve tried to piece together the evidence from previous drafts – not easy to do when dealing with electrons – and I think this is how it happened:

You see, I’m not the sort who can write an entire book in his or her head and then key it and zip it off to fame and fortune. Nor am I a writer who can outline in detail. Once I’ve told a story, in outline or summary, it’s dead to me and I just can’t write it. So I get an idea and a handful of characters and a rough target toward which I want the story to go, and then I come up with an opening paragraph and start in, excited to see what happens next.

I had this fellow in my head – he was lost in life, desperate, no idea how to change things. Suddenly, fortune and disaster. How does he handle all that, what changes could it make in him? I opened my trusty PC and began to key in the opening para. But he wasn’t in the opening sentence. No. There she was, instead, this strange woman. Staring at me out of the computer screen, daring me to carry on the story without her. She took over the story, lock, stock and down to the last exclamation mark, and believe me I was making a lot of exclamations at that moment.

Where she came from and how she did it, I don’t know. And it worries me. Because I wonder, Will she come back, and which of my next stories will she take over?

Part of my problem is that my writing methods are pretty chaotic – because I don’t write stories, I listen to them. They’re for me first. The stories I like best to hear are those of ordinary people – unlikely people – who do extraordinary things. People who, when their backs are against the wall, decide to be something special. Not to “do” something special, to “be” something special. They may win or lose, and their sacrifice may never be noticed by the world, but they have for that one moment been heroes.

In “Running in Heels,” Kathryn Teal starts the story a coward but ends it a hero. I think she proves Buster Keaton wrong – every now and then some man or woman really does achieve a kind of perfection.

Cheers!
Steven Hardesty
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You can find out more about Steve at his blog and buy his book on Amazon. I have not had the opportunity (aka time) to read Steven’s book, which he just published on June 16, 2011, but his sample pages are awaiting me on my iPAD.

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