Farm House a psychological horror story.
Rogue an espionage thriller that he wrote with me. If your relationship can withstand writing a novel together, you’re golden!
Practical Tips for Every Author a book jam packed with everything from grammar and punctuation to how to write a query letter.
The Littlest Princess is a sweet children’s book enjoyed by both girls and boys.
And his newest book that will be spotlighted here, Seeds
Steve Soderquist is the Operations Director, Chief Editor, and the head of Acquisitions for Foundations Book Publishing Company. He has edited, formatted, and worked with some of the best-selling authors of today and still insists he has the best job in the world—helping others reach their dream of being a published author.
He will freely admit to his rather unorthodox style of teaching ‘All-Things-English,’ but the results from those he has taught in seminars, webinars, and workshops speak for themselves. He lives in Brandon, Mississippi with his beautiful fiancé, fellow author and editor, illustrator, website builder, and owner of Foundations Book Publishing Company, Laura Ranger.
All available buy links can be found by clicking this cover
When the benevolent race known as the Illuminous visited earth back in the 1950’s, they weren’t aware of the aliens who had attached themselves to the hull of their ship. The Mor, also known as ‘Seeds’, found Earth to be a poor choice for a new home, but a home, nonetheless. When three brilliant college students inadvertently stumbled on a formula that enhanced the Mors’ ability to communicate and grow at an incredible rate, the race was on to reverse what had been done before all of life was destroyed.
Joshua and his alien partner Angel are part of an elite task force known as Cleaners and Seekers put together to eradicate the threat before the Mor could devastate the earth and all life, turning the planet into a desolate wasteland where only the Seeds would grow as it was on their own planet, destroyed millions of years ago.
Evolution gives each turn of the key one rotation; every stage set to have one chance. How far will the three students, one agent and the gentle female alien Angel go to play God in a playground created billions of years ago?
Could you tell us a bit about your most recent release and why it is a must-read?
Absolutely! Seeds is a science fiction thriller any age can enjoy. I’ve often been told by those who received advanced copies that this novel would make a great movie. I believe the reason may be because it’s a fast-paced, action-packed thrill ride from beginning to end. My best advice is take a deep breath going in because you won’t be allowed too many opportunities to come up for air! Fear of the unknown is a very powerful motivator for people to do incredible things, and this book is full of the unknown, and these people. You will find yourself asking, “What would I do in that situation? Would I run, or fight? Even with the knowledge that I could lose everything, but knowing everything’s at stake, is that enough to face a seemingly insurmountable task?”
I believe there’s a hero in every ordinary person, and this book is about that. No one thinks they’re special until they are.
What is your favorite part of this book?
As the writer, I have many, but what stands out to me is the relationship between Joshua, a highly skilled agent trained specifically for the task of hunting down the enemy aliens, who are masters of being subtle and ‘flying under the radar,’ and Angel, from another alien race who has agreed with the others of her kind to stay and help the humans in a fight for their survival. As partners, they learn to trust and depend on each other and in this mix, find out they are not so different after all.
The three college students who are pivotal in this story are as different from each other as three people can be, but it’s these differences that make them strong once they come together. I enjoy writing real people in unreal situations, and these guys made me very proud to have written them. Almost every scene with them in the same room is a treat.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Number one would be not understanding the mechanics of writing. Without all the little doohickey’s in place: grammar, punctuation, syntax, prose, composition—the machine doesn’t run. You could’ve written the next Catcher in the Rye but if it isn’t written well, it’s only a jumble of words on paper.
Number two would be not finishing. New writers (and some old ones) are notorious procrastinators. On top of that, since we’re writers, we can come up with the most convincing stories of why we’re not writing as opposed to sitting down and getting the job done. My advice has always been no matter how bad you think it is, see it to the end. Even if it’s something that will never leave your hard drive it counts as experience and let’s you know, as a writer, you actually can do it. The more you do it, the easier it gets!
What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?
You may be surprised at this answer, but it’s the flaws of people that make them the most human and relateable. It’s from mistakes great things are invented and accomplished; it’s from our weaknesses we become stronger. Confidence is great but that’s more a state of mind, while character is the backbone that is improved with the trials we all face. The interesting thing is, you can have character with no confidence, but it doesn’t work the other way around.
What do you love most about the writing process?
For me, writing is a game of strategy and the object of the game is, ‘Stump The Writer.’ I love writing my characters into tight and at times impossible situations, then watching them figure a way out without relying on the ol’ Dues ex Machina (god of the machine) or them suddenly becoming a polymath (a person of wide-ranging knowledge or learning). I have always told aspiring writers they can write anything they want: science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, horror, what have you, as long as it’s believable. Want to write about other planets with green, jelly-like characters that have six eyeballs? Fine. Want to write about a ghost that burps out dead people? Knock yourself out. But if the basic laws of physics and realities are involved and are out of whack, be prepared to explain how and why—realistically. If not, the reader is pulled out of the story and quite honestly, it’s a drag to read.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?
Cody Marks, one of the college students in Seeds and one of the protagonists. I suppose because in many ways, he’s a lot like me, (or I am him, depending on your point of view.) His mind is serious enough but if a zinger can be made, he’ll make it. He tends to switch gears without bothering with the clutch pedal when the situation calls for it, but thankfully, has a brain that usually backs up the play. Also, he’s funny as hell.
Can you give us insight into your main character?
Joshua and Angel are the lynch-pins holding everything together. Despite how different they are in most ways, they are very much alike in all the ways that matter. You get a sense that come hell or high water, they would no more betray the other – even for a world – than they could just stop breathing. They give hope that even in today’s world, where people can seem so markedly different, there is always the opportunity for connection, and even a deep friendship.
What does (s)he do that’s so special?
When you put yourself totally in the hands of someone else and trust him or her with your very life, that person becomes remarkable no matter who or what they are. Joshua and Angel definitely have specific skill-sets, but it’s not that backbone to why they’ve lasted longer as a team than any other in the ‘Swipe’ program.
Pen, typewriter or computer? I know what you currently use, but what would be your preference?
I like to take notes for my concordance long-hand. I always have. Putting it down on paper brings me closer to the characters as real people. If I hit a snag or am stumped, I also like to write that down. My penmanship is awful, but as long as I can read it…
Writing a book long-hand would take me forever. For one, I’m fairly proficient on the keyboard and two, my hand cramps quickly as I bear down so hard so hard on a pen. If I had a choice, I would use a typewriter. I love the sound as it goes clackity clack, and no distractions I get writing on my computer. It’s hard to stay focused on the story while I have notices, such as Facebook posts, email, and messages. It’s a romantic notion, but since you asked, my honest answer is typewriter.
Tell us about your cover and how it came about.
I had many elements I wanted to see for the cover and it changed often. Being my first foray into Sci-Fi, I wasn’t sure what would look best. The poster for the movie Alien popped into my mind as it was clean, to the point, and told the audience almost exactly what they were in for. Some books in this same genre also came to mind: the alien ship in War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells, Dune by Frank Herbert, Artimis by Andy Weir. The common thread is they aren’t vague, and they aren’t crowded. With that in mind, the cover was first drafted by Laura Ranger and myself as we talked through it, then finished out adding elements of desolation. It was far from simple, and I still laugh at the unrealistic artwork I was asking our cover designer, Dawné Dominique for. She said, “You think I have models in my backyard who wait to pose for me?” In the end, I am very pleased with how it turned out.
What are you working on currently?
I am fiddling with a manuscript called Mr. Buttons in between my responsibilities with Foundations and other free lance projects. It’s a horror novel, and hoo boy, is it horrible. In all the right/wrong ways. 😉 It’s brought me full circle back to horror.
What do you do to get book reviews?
Donate body parts. Okay, not that, but I would. People lead busy lives and giving (to them) a new author to read is likened to getting someone to get their hair cut at a shop they’ve never even been to. A certain amount of faith is involved but recommendations go a long way. Reviews and readers are like a train; get it moving and keep it moving takes forward motion, but once it gains momentum, it can be like a juggernaut. I use anything and everything our marketers and promoters suggest. In my opinion, handing out copies in person is still the best way to connect the book to the author.
If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?
Fifty Shades of Grey, just so I could give the middle finger to mean critics just like the author did on her way to the bank. You go, E.L. James.
What websites or resources have been helpful to you, as a writer?
Facebook has always been kind to me, but as a vehicle to sell books, it’s not very useful. Book review sites have gotten good results, as well as sites such as Bookbub, Fussy Librarian, and AllAuthor. Hands down and again, being there in person is still the best way to sell books and connect with readers.
What motivates you to keep going in this business?
My love of the business as a whole. I love writing, but I get the biggest charge from helping new authors achieve their goal of being published, as well as teaching what I’ve learned, whether it be English, formatting, publishing, or all three. When you do what you love, you want to share it with others.
What would you say is an interesting writing quirk?
Being able to write and listen to music at the same time. I’ve never mastered the ability. I need as close to total silence as I can get. But then again, I am not known for multi-tasking. The writer of these questions can work three screens, be on two phone-lines, one to a marketer, the other with a family member resolving a crisis at home concerning a young’un who has discovered the joys of running down the street naked, write a to-do list for upcoming book engagements, and answer I.M.’s. Me, I turn my phone off. 😀
What excites you about facing a new day?
Everything! I am extremely optimistic by nature and love a challenge. When pushed into a corner, I push back that much harder. When someone tells me I can’t, I say, “Challenge accepted.” Like above and multi-tasking, or lack thereof, I am like a Rottweiler when it comes to a problem to fix, or an issue to address. I don’t let go until it’s resolved no matter how long it takes. I’m sure there’s some OCD involved, but mixed with ADD, makes me at the very least an interesting guy to be around.
If money were no object, where would you live and why?
I am a homebody by nature, so wherever my blueberry (Laura) is, I am home. We have our eye on some big property that we will be buying soon, so stay tuned!
What is your favorite positive saying?
Don’t hold onto anger. Anger is an emotion that is self-serving and at best only feeds negativity to the ego. Be a problem-solver and choose to be kind instead.
Where can we find you online?