The new RMFW Spotlight feature will introduce a few of our RMFW officers and volunteers. We started out with the first three members of the board of directors, sat them in the hot seat, shined the bright light on them, and channeling our best inner Oprah, plugged them with a few questions. Here’s what we learned from Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers President, Mark Stevens.
1. Tell us what you do for RMFW and why you are involved.
I’m currently president, at least for a few more months. I’m involved for one reason only: I love this organization. I’d be at home staring at blank sheets of paper and walking around the room in a useless daze if it weren’t for RMFW.
The third book in the Allison Coil Mystery Series, Trapline, is with Midnight Ink and they plan to publish it next fall. They also asked for a fourth book. Well, they did more than ask, they gave me a contract so that’s my WIP. The first two books, Antler Dust and Buried by the Roan, are available pretty much everywhere books are sold.
3. We've all heard of bucket lists-- you know, those life-wish lists of experiences, dreams or goals we want to accomplish-- what's one of yours?
I would love to spend a few weeks in New Zealand and Australia. Oh, and to make my way around Scandinavia. And Eastern Europe. And China. And certain parts of Southern Africa. I wouldn’t mind a sailing trip around the Caribbean, either. You asked!
4. Most writers have an Achilles heel with their writing. Confess, what's yours?
Ugh. That’s easy. Action scenes. I think I’m doing somewhat okay and then I go back to read the draft and those sections are usually downright awful. I miss my late friend Gary Reilly, who was an excellent editor and really knew how to pull these off.
5. What do you love most about the writing life?
What happens on the page...how ideas and story directions develop when you’re least expecting it. You’re innocently doing something else and then some idea pops into your head and you think: “that could work.” It’s the surprise factor. I live for those jolts that come out of the blue.
6. Now that you have a little writing experience, what advice would you go back and give yourself as a beginning writer?
Simple: write more, write more, write more. Get more feedback and then write some more. And read a ton, too.
I write by hand. My desk is the dining room table. I keep a watch handy to keep me focused. I give myself 45 minutes to an hour each morning.
8. What book are you currently reading (or what was the last one you read)?
Just finished Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. Now reading The Cut by George Pelecanos.
Mark, thanks so much for participating in our Q&A. Julie, you can switch the light off now. Mark has left the building.