Talk about yourself—Who are you? Where are you located? Anything you feel mentionable here.
Hey thanks for having me. My name is Steve Stred and I write dark bleak fiction. I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with my wife and son. I was born and raised in British Columbia, Canada. I have a number of novels, novellas and collections out and have also appeared in some truly humbling anthologies.
You can connect with me on Twitter and Instagram or find me on Facebook and send a request. My personal website is stevestredauthor.wordpress.com
I also read and review a lot of dark fiction, sci-fi and fantasy. My reviews feature on my own site as well as over on Kendall Reviews www.kendallreviews.com
What are you currently writing and what inspired it?
I’m always working on a number of things. Currently I’m finalizing a novel for release, as well as working on two other novels and four novellas, while outlining two other novels in a series.
All have been inspired by completely random things, but the novel that’ll be out hopefully in September is based on growing up in the mountains and The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells.
What genre do you write?
Most of my work is based in dark fiction, more horror really. I do have some sci-fi and fantasy type releases out as well as a Western-Horror novel co-written with David Sodergren.
Have you been published/are you working towards being published?
I have a novella called The One That Knows No Fear out through Demain Publishing, as well as stories in a dozen or so anthologies. Otherwise I release my work through my own imprint, ‘Black Void Publishing.’
What author inspires you the most?
I don’t think there’s a single author that inspires me most, but it’s more the collective of authors who I’ve had the fortune to work with or become friends with who inspire me. They always strive to deliver the best story possible and that’s what motivates myself when writing. I’ve always written and crafted stories that I want to read, so when I type THE END on the final, final draft, if I’m pleased with it, then I’ve accomplished my goal.
What books are your favorite and what would you recommend for others?
I’m a massive fan of Andrew Pyper’s work. His novels The Killing Circle, The Guardians, The Demonologist, The Homecoming, The Damned, and The Only Child, are all stunning and I recommend at least one of those reads once a day.
Beyond Andrew’s phenomenal work, I have soft spots for books that prevent me from breathing but are also slightly ambiguous. Think Michael Griffin’s The Armageddon House, Andrew J. Stone’s All Hail the House Gods, David Quantick’s Night Train, and Paul Tremblay’s The Cabin At the End of the World.
I’d also have to recommend books that leave you wanting more. Such as Remains by Andrew Cull, Crossroads by Laurel Hightower, Those Who Came Before by J.H. Moncrieff and The Forgotten Island by David Sodergren.
I could go on and on, but I’ll stop there! Ha!
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Have fun. Or try to at least. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Genuinely be happy for others achievements and celebrate their wins.
And as for specifically writing – don’t feel a need or a rush to get something out. Take your time, craft your story. Keep grinding.
What is your perfect setting for writing?
I do all of my writing on work breaks and my work lunch, so my perfect setting is my office door closed and my headphones on so I can sprint along on whatever current project I’m working on.
Are you a pantser or a plotter?
Yes and no. Depends. Some things I completely formulate in my head and write it down that way. Other things I’ll write out a guided plot. Some things will just be a complete sprint through.
What is your favorite written piece and if it’s published, where can one find it?
Actually, my favorite piece I’ve written would be my short story Snow On a Clear Night. It’s a story about a little ghost.
You can find it on Kendall Reviews, where it featured as part of the Isolation Tales series.
As an author of horror, I need to know, why do you write horror?
It’s honestly just how my brain works and what interests and intrigues me. It’s a bit of a lame answer, but it’s the truth. I have stories that I create in my mind and put them on the pages in the hopes others may enjoy them. If they do, fantastic. If not, that’s ok, I’ve still written a piece of dark fiction I personally wanted to discover.
What was your first experience with horror growing up? Something had to spark your interest.
My favorite stories are about the day someone got exposed to a scary movie.
I initially started to read darker stuff through The Hardy Boys mysteries. They always had something going on and a lot of it was kind of darker (at that age anyways) than the normal books I was reading. My neighbor, Patti, actually let me read her Stephen King books when I was 8 or 9 and that really had me fall in love with dark fiction.
Oddly, when it comes to ‘Horror Movies’ for many years the scariest movie I’d ever seen was The Monster Squad when I was young. It just scared the crap out of me. For many years after the song/jingle and opening credits of Tristar Movies reminded me of The Monster Squad and I’d get anxious.
What is the scariest thing you’ve read or seen?
Reading is tough because it’s usually the little details that frighten me. The knowledge that something is under the bed, or in the attic, and the dread that grows as the character goes to see. Books do scare me, regardless of others saying things like “Books have never frightened me!” For this reader; they have and they still do. Books about possession are probably the ones that scare me the most. The demon overtaking a person has always intrigued me but also scared me.
Also, the wilderness as a setting is always frightening for me. Growing up in the mountains and coming from a hunting family, the scariest moments in my life have been the feeling of being watched in the woods or knowing things are out there you just can’t see but they’re watching you – scary as all hell.
Have you written about a personal experience and turned it into a horror story?
I use personal experiences in everything I write. I find it the only way to really highlight or make moments more impactful and meaningful.
Favorite horror movies (books too if you haven’t stated those yet or have more horror specific)
Ever since my son arrived, I’ve stopped watching a lot of horror movies. I’ve actually lost a lot of desire to watch things in general. Saying that, when it comes to dark movies I really love, I’m a big fan of The Ritual, As Above So Below, The Mist, The Road, and The Grey.
Thanks so much for having me!