It's still Monday, and you're here, so it must be time to talk with another author!
Now we have Steven Guglich joining us. Steven A. Guglich grew up in New York City. He lives in Williston, North Dakota with his wife, his four children, and his collection of books. He is an Elementary School Principal and is the 2020 North Dakota Principal of the Year.
In 2022, he and his wife launched Your Wildest Dreams Publishing, LLC to fulfil a dream born in the imagination of Steven’s Dad, Stanley and to publish Steven’s books.
For more information on Steven’s books, please visit www.stevenguglich.com
Book Link: https://books2read.com/PiercingTheVeil
Star Trek or Star Wars?
That’s a tough one. I love them both for different reasons. Do I have to choose?
A book you’re looking forward to release (by someone else)?
My favorite author is Brandon Sanderson. I can’t wait until the release of the fifth book in his Stormlight Archives series.
1) Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
My mind never stops! I am constantly coming up with new ideas for stories. My first series, The Veil Saga, has been a labor of love for the past fourteen years. It's a lifelong dream-come-true… born from the wonder and imagination of a child, grown up to find that magic is only make-believe. It unites both the child dreamer and the adult realist, written as a catharsis to reconcile both. It combines fantasy, mythology, mysticism, historical fiction, and various world views to create a story, for young and old, that dares to find hope in a dark world and ignite wonder in the reader. The first book in The Veil Saga, Piercing the Veil, comes out on March 31st, 2023.
2) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I’m a full-time elementary school principal. In order to find time to write, I get up at 4:00am every day, and write until about 6:00am.
3) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Unlike most writers I’ve met, I love editing. I feel like that is when the story really starts to come together and I come up with fascinating twists that pull all of the POVs together.
4) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Family time! I enjoy playing with my kids, going on road trips with the family, playing games or watching a good movie or TV show with my wife. I love playing Dungeons & Dragons. I recently got my oldest son involved by creating a fun campaign for him and his friends.
I also love cooking! I find that creating a delicious meal satisfies the same creative urges as writing.
5) Is there a trope you find yourself going back to in multiple works? Or one you avoid?
I find it so interesting that we humans love to classify things. I don’t think I was aware of the idea of tropes until I started to become a writer and everyone was talking about the different tropes. I’m a firm believer in just writing… write the story that is on your heart and forget about all the pre-conceived conventions. But, if I had to pick one trope that I despise, it’s the Chosen One trope. I mean, how many chosen ones can there actually be? I think that trope has been overused so much, it's just not interesting anymore.
6) What does your family think of your writing?
I think I’ve wanted to be a writer since middle school. I dabbled in world building, comic writing, and writing for RPGs with my friends. But it wasn’t until I met my wife that this “dream” would become a reality! She has encouraged me to carve time out of each day to get this book written. She spoke to my heart when she told me that I needed to be a writer. If it weren’t for her, I think The Veil Saga would still just be a dream. Now that I have four kids, they are just as excited about my writing, and especially this first book in The Veil Saga. They love to appear in my videos, and leave me little notes with their ideas on my writing desk. They also love to come up with new creatures and names of characters.
7) Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?
I think the best advice I’ve ever gotten was to just write. Forget about spelling, grammar, and structure. Just write. Get that first draft out of your head. Then, when you get to the second draft, you can worry about the structure, spelling, and grammar.
I also highly recommend finding a critique partner! They are so valuable! You’ll learn so much about writing, not only from the critique your partner gives you, but from the critique you give your partner.
8) What do you think makes a good story?
For me, a story must have three things: 1) Character Development 2) World Building 3) Story Development
Character development is very important for two reasons. First of all, readers need to care about the characters in the story. Second, that character needs to show growth over the span of the story. A stagnant character is not believable and can make for a very un-engaging story.
World building, I consider my expertise. I’m a deep worldbuilder. I want to be able to visualize the world and I want it to feel realistic. I don’t like fantasy races and cultures that are carbon copies of the ones here on Earth. When worldbuilding, I also ask why and what questions. Why do characters behave the way they do? What about their culture makes them believe the way they do? What elements helped to shape their culture and their world view?
Story development is the ability to put the first two elements together in such a way that the reader cannot help push on to the end of the story.
This is the reason why I love Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archives series. It is the perfect storm of all three elements.
9) Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Yes, indeed it does. There are some unfortunate times in the year where I am unable to write for days or even weeks because work is so busy, and I just get all antsy! I cannot wait to get back to writing. I’m a creative guy and if I can’t find some way to be creative, I become irritable.
10) What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Over the years I have met several authors who have become friends. My critique Partner, Darrelll Pursiful, has been a complete blessing to me. He has taught me so much over the years. Most recently, I have developed a camaraderie with Tiger Hebert, Deston Munden, Jack Adkins, and David Trotter. I’m not sure why, but we all seem to gravitate toward each other and we help to promote each other’s books.
11) If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Start writing now… don’t wait until you're 38 years old to start writing your first novel.
12) Are you traditionally or self published? Or both? Do you feel there are advantages to one over the other?
I am a self published author. Not because I didn’t think I could sell my story to a traditional publisher, but because I didn’t want a traditional publisher telling me how to write my story and what to put in my story. It was Dave Farland, writing mentor extraordinaire, that really helped me make that decision. In a workshop about traditional and self publishing options, Dave said that had there been an opportunity for him to self publish when he was writing the Runelords series, he would have done so. He knew the series he wanted to write was a trilogy. But his publisher made him write several more beyond the trilogy, and by his own admission they weren’t nearly as good because he had to really push himself to write those books.
13) What do you have coming next?
Piercing the Veil: Book One of the Veil Saga comes out on March 31st, 2023. After that, I hope to have Book 2 out within the next two years.
And now for some goodies! You've got the Excerpt from Piercing the Veil AND special info about the book - download both to read!