Stevie Collier is an American Fantasy Author from Texas. He attended Southwestern University, graduating with a double major in Business and French. When not writing dark/epic fantasy, he spends his time studying linguistics, working out at the gym, and spoiling his white Siberian Husky, Spartacus. He loves watching movies (horror, action, comedy) and anime, and is also an avid MMORPG player. Stevie has been writing from a young age, and has now turned his favorite passion into a successful career of sharing his stories with his amazing readers.
Stevie, thank you for agreeing to this interview. You have an impressive background with a degree in Business and French. How has your business degree aided you in building a foundation as an author in fantasy fiction?
Great question! My degree in business is one of the main reasons I am where I am today. My University didn’t offer classes on exactly how to be a self-published author, but it taught me how to ask questions and perform detailed research. When people ask me why my business degree is so important to me, I always say it’s because it taught me that learning never ends. Before I published my first work I had easily consumed well over 200 hours of self-publishing business material. Podcasts, blobs, books, interviews, youtube, and even some academic journals that I was able to obtain through my University. This allowed me to join the publishing business with precision–but there is so much still out there to learn! Not a day goes by that I don’t learn something new.
In tackling the feat of learning another language, I would expect that you had an early experience where you discovered that language has power. How does the use of language impact your writing in either composition or dialogue? Do you feel you spend extra attention on word choice?
I discovered my love of languages at a very young age. I’m pretty sure I’m one of the few people in the world that, at 8 years old, had a Japanese language themed birthday party haha (kids still showed up, which to this day still surprises me). Linguistics has impacted my writing in so many ways. For example, in order to learn another language properly, you must first master your native language. This meant taking my grammar classes seriously. Because language is so important to me, you will find many, MANY words based in other languages. For example, my newest series has all the cities named after Japanese words. An example of this would be Sumetai which is Tsumetai, or 冷たい which means either cold or cold hearted. Another example would be the city of Mizurine which is the capital city of a water world in my Dark Assassin series. Mizu = 水 which is water.
I know you have been working on your Dark Assassin Series, most recently releasing Spawn of an Assassin. Could you tell us a bit about the books? Will this be an ongoing series or is it complete in a trilogy?
The Dark Assassin series is currently complete. However, I am going to be re-writing/re-editing the series and re-launching it late next year. This means I may or may not write a 4th or 5th book. The trilogy revolved around a horrible parasite which has only one objective in its life–to consume blood and lots of it. This parasite makes a bad decision when it tries to bind with an apprentice assassin, who learns how to control its incredible power and harness it for good! This comes at a cost though, for to control the parasite, blood must be shed.
You have also started dabbling in writing LitRPGs. This is no surprise after learning your love for MMORPGs. Please tell us about your story, The Lionheart. Should we expect more LitRPGs from you in the future.
My LitRPG Lionheart was something I’ve always wanted to write. I am a HUGE fan of MMORPGs and have been playing them since Vanilla Wow, Everquest II, and Star Wars Galaxies. Currently, I have no plans to continue the series and the book does great as a stand alone. I am focusing more on Sword and Sorcery Fantasy at the moment.
From a young age I’ve always wanted to perform. As many writers know it can be quite a lonely job and the Fantasy Fiends Podcast allows me to be the rambunctious and charismatic person that I am. It is an outlet for me to release some of my energy while diving deeper into the elements of Fantasy. It is an amazing podcast/show to learn about new authors, as well as become more informed about what writers go through on a daily basis. The show is perfect for writers and fans of Fantasy alike! In describing the Fantasy Fiends Podcast, I would say it is witty, intelligent, creative, and most importantly, relaxed. My vision for the podcast is to focus more on making it into a youtube show, since we get most of our traffic on youtube. However, it will remain a podcast for those who like listening to us on the go or while doing the dishes.
What is your approach to marketing your books or the podcast? What tip would you provide to writers who have never marketed their own works before?
My main tip is to treat your writing as a business. I’m sorry, but the majority of writers who treat their writing as a hobby will find that their writing will remain just that… a hobby. Which is perfectly fine! I don’t see any problem with a writer wanting to write on the side while they have a main job somewhere else, you’re still a writer! However, if you want to make money at this and quit your day job, then you have to get serious. You’re going to need to work hard, study your craft, and study marketing! You’re going to need to network, invest in seminars, read books, listen to marketing podcasts, ask questions, and put your heart and soul into everything you do related to your writing. When you go to bed at night and feel as though you could have done more and that you spent too much time on youtube, then you genuinely need to feel bad. Writing as a profession is not a game. Sure, it’s the most rewarding job in the world, in my opinion. But when you don’t treat it like a real job, a lifetime career, then you will fail unless you have an overnight success, which is rare and not something you should even treat as an option. Even overnight successes require great effort and hard work. I know all of this might sound harsh but it’s coming from the mind of someone who is, first and foremost, a dreamer. This was the hardest lesson I needed to learn and now I push it on to you. Trust me, I bet it will be an easier pill to swallow for you than it was for me.
This year is going to be the most exciting year for me as an author yet! I am so happy to announce that in Spring 2019 I will be releasing my best series to date–The Bizarre Blade series! This is a passion project of mine and is my best work yet! It is a 5 book epic fantasy series revolving around the journey of Finn Featherstone and his misfit group of fellow adventurers. And luckily for my readers, all five books will be released within a couple weeks of each other, so no waiting around for months on end to find out what happens with your new favorite characters this time! This series has it all–adventure, heart, comedy, and some of the coolest creatures and characters that I have ever had the pleasure of writing. I cannot wait to get this story into the hands of my readers very soon. And that’s not all! As I mentioned earlier, in late 2019 I will be re-releasing the Dark Assassin series, complete with new cover art and re-written scenes! So expect to see many great things coming from me in 2019!
Can’t wait to read the first installment of the Bizarre Blade Series? Check out my Origin Story for our hero Finn Featherstone! https://claims.prolificworks.com/free/puaQr5Ah?source=blog
What can we expect from the self-publishing marketplace in 2019?
More or less the same. I’m a big fan of Jim Rohn (a motivational speaker on life and business) and he states that nothing really changes and that we must keep rowing out boat forward. Currently, I see more independent authors trying to push themselves into the market with pure quantity rather than quality. This will scare a lot of authors but realize that readers aren’t stupid–quite the opposite actually. They will see through the horrible quality of people trying to push out books in bulk, and they are sure to find your book if you keep tugging along and writing high quality stuff with amazing covers and lots and lots and lots and lots of love. Don’t worry about the future, worry about the present and put your heart and soul into it. The markets are going to change but you need to pursue the book premises that you want to write. Now, I’m not saying to write an extraterrestrial western romance with dragons, let’s be real here. We need to write in genres that sell well, but this doesn’t mean you can’t write what you want to! Just use your common sense. Want to know how to get rich as a writer? You need to create products that help a mass majority of people get what they want! Help enough people get what they want, and you will surely get what you want. I’ll go out on a limb here and say that if you write what you would want to read as a reader then the majority of readers will want that product. Again, please use common sense, but don’t forget to write for yourself more than anything else.
It has been a pleasure, Stevie! Please tell us where fans can find you online or in the upcoming year at events.
It has been an honor to be a part of this interview. The questions were fantastic, and I hope my answers weren’t too long-winded. Thank you so much for having me.
You can find me on Amazon by searching Stevie Collier. You can find my work at www.StevieCollier.com.