There are some interviews you look forward to and this was one. Steph Post lives down the road from me, so the speak, in the Sunshine State. She was born here but won a prestigious creative writing scholarship and went off to North Carolina for the Bachelors from Davidson College and her Masters from UNC Wilmington. Her full time gig is teaching at a performing arts school in Tampa. She is a fascinating, talented writer whose novel A Tree Born Crooked is due out in November 2014.
Synopsis: Thirty-six year old James Hart, with a tough-as-nails exterior and an aching emptiness inside, does not want to go home. Upon hearing of the death of his father, however, James decides to bite the bullet and return to Crystal Springs, Florida, a collapsed rural town running on the fumes of the occasional interstate tourists passing through. It is a place where dreams are born to die. Here, James discovers that he is too late for Orville’s funeral, but just in time to rescue his younger brother, Rabbit, from the deadly consequences of his petty crime life and, in the process, discover that he can’t escape the grips of his family, and might not even want to.
Steph was kind enough to answer a few questions. So let’s get to know the up and coming literary star.
Q: Imagine for a moment that you’re a famous, bestselling author. They’re making a movie out of your last book. What do you do next to top that you’re already achieved?
A: I would LOVE to have a television show made out of a novel of mine. I write cinematically already, so I don’t think this would be too far-fetched one day. But I think that television dramas are the new movies. The writing on shows such as Justified, Sherlock and True Detective is amazing! I think that this would be even more exciting than a film.
Q: Creativity comes in many ways – for example, painting, photography, sculpture, music and theater. What other things do you do or have you done that are examples of using your imagination or other artistic talents?
A: Before writing took up all of my time I used to paint. I loved painting because there was no pressure- it was just fun; I never had any ambitions about becoming a professional visual artist. I still miss it and hope that at some point I will have enough free time to get back to it.
Q: Many writers say that being creative becomes an integral part of their daily lives and part of their routine. How do you balance your responsibilities to others around your need to create?
A: Fortunately my husband and friends understand my writing obsession. When I get really focused I can spend ten or more hours at a time working on “the book” and everyone around me has learned to deal with it, I suppose. I only write, though, on the weekends or holidays. So during the week, I’m concerned with work, but it also gives me a chance to relax and have a somewhat “normal” day.
Q: Let’s talk about when you were a kid. In school were you a troublemaker, an instigator or the teacher’s pet? Explain.
A: I think I was pretty difficult to put in a box. I was very independent, but loved learning. I definitely spoke my mind a lot and this got me into trouble at times. For better or worse, I think I tend to transcend labels.
Q: Where do you see yourself at this moment in your life had you never decided to write a book?
A I imagine that I would have just finished up earning my Ph.D. Two years ago I was seriously considering doctoral programs, but then realized that I couldn’t do EVERYTHING all at once (even though I sometimes think I can). I made the decision to walk down the creative, instead of purely academic, path and I’m glad that I did.
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