In our ongoing effort to help independent and self-published authors, we’ve introduced our Author Spotlight, a section of our website dedicated to these incredible artists. This week, our editor, Tim Koster, reached out to Steven Lloyd, author of Strange Roads.
Do you use a pen name?
Yes. I found at fourteen or fifteen that my birth name didn’t sound professional enough, so I used Lloyd, which is my middle name.
Where do you come from?
I live in Southern Illinois. I grew up around Lake of Egypt for the better part of my childhood. Believe it or not, Tim, I live in an area once named Bloody Williamson. It was the bloodiest place in America. Gangsters and darkness once ruled every day life for folks in the 1920’s and 1930’s.
My father, now 90, told me stories about mowing the grass of a buzzing cathouse ran by a black woman named Ma Hatchet. What’s more, he asked Ma Hatchet one day why all those white men come around. She laughed at my ten year old father, said, “Because the white men got money and the black men don’t, honey.”
What genre do you typically write?
I’ve written horror for as long as I can remember. At some point, I veered off and found other interests to write about, too. Rest assured, my stories will always have a dark slant to them.
When did you first become interested in writing?
About fourteen. Kind of snuck up on me. The English instructor assigned the class to write a horror story for the month of October. To make matters worse, I had to read the story in front of the class. I was mortified. I’d never written anything, much less read a book. That shit was for pussies. At least that’s what I thought back then. I wrote the story and read it in class the following week. When I finished, I looked up to find the silence deafening. I took my seat. At the end of class, the instructor took me aside and told me to never stop writing, that I had found my gift.
What, or who, inspires your writing?
That’s a broad question not easily answered. I’d say Hemingway, Steinbeck, Bukowski, fante, Carver, etc.. Was told a long time ago by an award-winning writer to read outside my chosen field and I’m glad I did. It made me a stronger, more disciplined writer.
What is your favorite book?
I have three: Fear by Ronald Kelly, The Thief of Always by Clive Barker, and Rest in Peace by Bill Crider. Bill’s book spoke to me on so many levels. Rest in Peace made me want to be a writer.
Why did you choose the indie/self-published route instead of traditional publishing?
Did the self-publishing thing a few times, but removed them because I didn’t feel satisfied. I dunno, it was a scratch I couldn’t itch. It felt wrong, if that makes any sense. I missed the thrill of the hunt. I wanted to run with the pack again. I longed for replies from editors. There’s no better feeling when you’re running with the pack, Tim.
You see, there was a magical time in the early 2000’s that is irreplaceable. I’ve rubbed elbows with some of the biggest names in this business. I surround myself with them like a long lost blanket.
Before Social Media, lots of the pros the likes of Brian Keene, James Newman, Ronald Kelly, Joe hill, Jack Ketchum, Ray Garton, Nick Mamatas, Gary A. Braunbeck, Rick Hautala, Tom Piccirilli, and Joe Lansdale, visited the message boards. They gave advice, talked about their day, or what they were working on or just shot the shit with folks. It was on a personal level. You had your trolls, but for the most part it was an enjoyable time for all. As young writers, we learnt respect for our elders in the business. It didn’t matter their age. In that time I watched many careers take flight. There’s nothing like watching the advancement of your peers.
How many books have you published?
Two: Strange Roads, a collection of short stories and Bleed With me, half memoir/half writing advice that’s worked for me. I’m proud of both. I’m not as prolific as most of my peers.
Where can someone buy your books?
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give an aspiring author?
Never give up.
I want to thank Steven for taking the time to answer my questions and to be a guest author for us here at 46 Series Entertainment. Makes sure to go follow Steven on Twitter and go check out his website at stevenlloyd.weebly.com.
If you’re interested in being our next Author Spotlight featured artist, please fill out our questionnaire.