Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Author Interview ~ Sevastian Winters


Sevastian Winters is a story teller's story teller. An author who firmly believes that characters have the inalienable right to be themselves, good, bad, and ugly, Sevastian enjoys injecting his characters into impossible situations.

A faced paced, action author who grabs you and pulls you through the pages, never stopping to let you breathe, Sev's got some stories to show you. So lace up your running shoes and let's go!

--- Interview

MWU: Let me start by saying thank you for agreeing to let MYSTERY WRITERS UNITE interview you, it really is a pleasure to support all the hard work of fellow authors! Now for the fun stuff!! What would you say your biggest writing quirk is?

Sevastian Winters: Thanks for having me. Hmm…. My biggest writing quirk… When I finish a book, before I release it, I print out a copy and light it on fire. I figure that one man’s masterpiece is another man’s kindling, and if anyone is ever going to burn one of my books, I want to make sure I’m first.

MWU: Aside from the main characters in THE TROUBLEMAKER and WOLF’S RISE, who is your favorite character and why?

Sevastian Winters: To tell you the truth, if I had it to do again, I’d re-write the Troublemaker. It probably won’t help my bank account to say this, but it’s not a very well written book. The story is good, but the execution is so embarrassing that I nearly took it off of the market recently. Now to answer your question: I really love my minor characters. I think a writer has to, if they want to get any traction with readers. People are complex. No one is fully good or fully bad, and especially when a character has limited ‘on screen’ time, the writer has to figure out how to bring them to life…to create a person instead of a prop. If I had to pick my favorite among them, I’d likely go with T.J. from Wolf’s Rise. He’s a walking paradox, and I love that.

MWU: What is one of your favorite chapters or scenes in THE TROUBLEMAKER and WOLF’S RISE and why is it your favorite?

Sevastian Winters: Bar none, my favorite scene in those two books comes from the Troublemaker, shortly after a couple is forced to endure the trauma of delivering a still-born baby. I’ve never gone through that pain personally, but after writing the scene I could barely get out of bed for three days. The scene itself is incredibly visceral, purposefully disjointed, and perfectly human.

MWU: Now that you’ve completed several books, is there a character in any of them that you may want to go back to at another time and write about them again?

Sevastian Winters: Well, for sure, I am writing a number of sequels to Wolf’s Rise. Next in that series is Wolf’s Cry, with releases at the end of March. I’m also planning to write a book called My Hat’s Funeral which I intend to pen as “Bill Collins,” a minor character from Wolf’s Rise, who wrote a novel and movie screen play by that name. I like the idea of littering the story universe with odes to other stories. I think that is a fun little way of saying thank you to fans who stick with my work.

MWU: Another question I ask every author I interview. Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so, how do you cope with it?

Sevastian Winters: Writer’s block is cured by but one thing: Writing! Show me someone with writer’s block and I will show you a person who is wrapped up in being a writer instead of being wrapped up in chronicling a story. When all else fails, ask your characters what is next. Then write it. Writer’s block doesn’t happen for people who are sitting at their desk with the story file in front of them. For those starting with a blank file, looking for characters or a story, I recommend the story formula I teach in my book How I are Becomed a Very Much Gooder Author. I defy anyone to use that story formula without finding a story to write.

MWU: Writing THE TROUBLEMAKER must have presented some interesting challenges being that the subject, even in this day and age is still pretty taboo, what where they and how did you overcome them?

Sevastian Winters: Actually, it didn’t present any challenges for me in the slightest. I write the story that’s there. I don’t care too much about who the reader might be. I know from the outset that there is always a market for a well-told story, even those whose subject matter is considered taboo. A writer’s job is to act as a camera and microphone… never a commentator. The characters themselves must live out their truth on a page…whether that truth bears any resemblance to how I feel personally as an author or not. I work from the premise that every character has an inalienable right to be themselves. As such, I start with characters and then I put them into the pressure cooker of story to find out what will happen next. I don’t believe a person can be a very good writer until they fully grasp the truth of that. Maybe that makes me a bit pompous… I don’t know. I just know that, for me, showing the character’s truth is far more important than whomever might be offended by it.

MWU: If you had less than a minute to tell a perspective reader what they could expect from THE TROUBLE MAKER or WOLF’S RISE (you are at a trade show and someone has stopped by your booth) what would you tell them? Go….

Sevastian Winters: Wolf’s Rise is the werewolf novel for people that don’t like werewolf novels. It’s a military thriller… Werewolves meet the Bourne Identity. If you like six-page descriptions of drapes, Wolf’s Rise isn’t for you, but if you like books so jammed with action that you can skip your cardio workout at the gym for the week, then lace up your running shoes and come run with the big dogs!

MWU: I just love the title of your “HOW I ARE BECOMED A VERY MUCH GOODER AUTHOR” publication! Can you give readers a glimpse into why you wrote this book and how it can help aspiring writers like me?

Sevastian Winters: Having read dozens of books on writing, I came to realize that most books on writing discuss writing as a business or writing as a craft, but none of them discuss it as both. Having worked for ten years as a marketing professional and six years as a corporate CEO, I am well acquainted with some things to which most authors have very little exposure. I’m no expert, and I am wary of anyone who says they are, but I have done my homework. I wrote this book as a cheat sheet, to help writers bypass some of the mistakes I’ve made along the way. No matter if you’ve been writing for ten minutes or ten years, How I are Becomed a Very Much Gooder Author has something that will make you say “wow! I never thought of it like that before!”

MWU: What can your readers expect next and when can they expect it?

Sevastian Winters: I am releasing two new novels in the Spring: My Eyes Face Forward: Memoirs of the Serial Killer, and Wolf’s Cry, the first of several sequels to Wolf’s Rise.

MWU: Is there anything you would like to say to new writers, new readers or current fans of your work?

Sevastian Winters: Yes, please. To new writers, I say, excellence is its own reward. Learn your craft. To new readers, I say, never read a book just because you have it. Life is too short to read bad books, eat bad food, or collect bad art. Read what really appeals to you, and if a book doesn’t keep you riveted, put it down and go find something else. To new fans, I say Thank you. I am honored and I promise continued dedication to excellence. 

The synopsis for THE TROUBLEMAKER:

Tyler Wabash has more to deal with than just an abusive childhood in a single parent household. He (or rather she) was also born in the wrong body. Join Tyler on the Journey of a lifetime as he grows from a troubled little boy named Tyler into a triumphant woman named Renee. Sometimes life is as much about the journey as it is the destination. (Author note: This book was written before I realized that line editing and content editing are different skill sets. I am taking steps to have this book properly line edited by Feb. 1 2012).


Ten years as a marketing professional, followed by six as a corporate CEO and 5 years of writing full time, have given me a unique perspective on the business of being an author. From learning how to brand yourself, to starting the next book after your fans have begun to review the work you just finished, How I are Becomed a Very Much Gooder Author takes you through the steps, one by one, from aspiring author to very much gooder author, all the way, helping you avoid the pitfalls that I've found along the way in my writing and publishing journey. I don't claim to be an expert, but I have absolutely done my homework. Consider this book your cheat sheet. No matter your experience as an author, I guarantee, it will be worth every penny of the $3.99 eBook cover price.

The synopsis for WOLF’S RISE:
The military thought they were making the perfect weapon. Unfortunately for them, they were right! Werewolves meet the Bourne Identity in Volume I of this adrenaline packed LupoSapien Project series.

To purchase any of these titles, click on one of the links below:

The TroubleMaker

How I are Becomed a Very Much Gooder Author

Wolf's Rise (The LupoSapien Project)

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