Wednesday, April 13, 2011

An Interview with Steven James

It seems that time again when I need to stop being lazy and interview somebody. Several people were inspired by my interview with Erin Healy, and they either interviewed her themselves, or interviewed someone else. But these interviews that I inspired (really, it was just one simple interview that I hosted . . .) actually inspired me to conduct another interview.

I thought about interviewing Ted Dekker, of whom I'm a great fan, and even co-founded a writing group on Facebook that was inspired by him (check the Facebook box on the right). I decided against it, because he's always super busy, and has someone else read his emails for him anyway.

Even though I eventually selected Steven James, I later found out that the same was for him. He is very busy, and has somebody read his emails for him. Well, at least he answered my questions. That's what I like about Erin Healy, she actually runs her own email.

But anyway, yes, I chose Steven James. James is one of my favorite authors of all time, having written (and currently being in the process of writing) my favorite series ever, known as the Patrick Bowers Files. These books are bestsellers, and for good reason. If you remember, I reviewed his novel The Bishop (book #4 in the series) a while ago.

Anyway, enough wait. Interview away . . .


Reuben Horst: So how are you and your family doing, Steven?

Steven James: We are thankful that my daughter (who is 17) is recovering magnificently from her cancer that was diagnosed and treated last summer. Ballet and dance lessons, chorus, volleyball, class trips, student government, all fill the days of my three daughters.

RH: How old were you when you got into writing?

SJ: I’ve always like making things up, telling stories, etc… but it wasn’t until I was in my late twenties before I started sending in stories to be published. I always like to encourage young authors to get to work because some have a ten year headstart on me.

RH: What are your favorite authors of all time, Christian or non-Christian?

SJ: Peter Kreeft, Thomas H. Cook, Gillian Flynn, Guy de Maupassant, Mark Greaney

RH: In your Bowers Files series, who is your favorite character, Patrick Bowers not included?

SJ: I’d have to say I really like Tessa [Bowers, Patrick's daughter]. She has grown on me and watching her mature and change through the series has been fascinating.

RH: How do you think your upcoming novel, The Queen, is turning out? Can you tell us a bit about it, without giving too many details?

SJ: Well, it’s the most explosive one yet, with the biggest stakes. More like an episode of 24 than CSI—ecoterrosists, cyberterrorism, an internationally-wanted assassin, and Bowers trying to stop, well, all-out war in the Middle East.

RH: Of all of the books written by other authors in the Detective/FBI genre, which would you recommend the most?

SJ: I don’t read any. Sorry. I avoid them so that I don’t subconciously end up copying ideas, tone, voice, etc… Instead, I check out movies.

RH: Aside from the Bowers Files series, what is your favorite book that you have authored?

SJ: I’d say “Story.” It’s an exploration of the Christian story woven through the Bible. Wonder-based, somewhat poetic, when I wrote it I had the feeling that I was born to write that book. 

RH: Do you really think that the Bowers Files series could eventually go over eight books, like you mentioned in an interview with Family Fiction recently?

SJ: I’m hoping. I just agreed to write two more for my publisher—A prequel called “Opening Moves” and “The King.” If fans keep reading the books, I hope to end with “Checkmate.”

RH: This is kind of random, but are you into video games at all? If so, which ones?

SJ: I used to be, when I was a teen! However, most of the popular ones today are so addictive and complex that I’m afraid if I picked it up again I would get so involved I’d never finish my books on time.

RH: What’s your favorite brand of soda?

SJ: Root beer. Just like Tessa.

RH: Thanks for your time, Steven!


The Patrick Bowers Files currently consists of four books, The Pawn, The Rook, The Knight, and The Bishop. The next installment, The Queen will be released later this year, and eventually will be followed by a prequel called Opening Moves, and then the story will be concluded in The King and Checkmate.

You may think that this series is Chess-related, and you are right in a way. It's not really about the board game, but more about the idea. Which moves you make affects your opponent's moves, and in the end it all comes down to brains and strategy.

The Patrick Bowers Files is about a detective, Patrick Bowers, and his adventures, if you'd call them that. I will not say too much, except that if you like the thriller genre at all, you need to read this series.

Thanks, Steven, for your time, and an awesome interview!


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