- What inspires you to write?
Anything and everything. Self-help themes and inspirational messages are all around for those who are looking for them. Difficult topics are also wonderful challenges to research and convey.
- Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they feel inspired?
I write whenever something strikes me. I may have to hurriedly jot some notes down in the moment, then write about it more fully later.
- Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
Chuck Swindoll, Billy Graham, Max Lucado, Jerry Jenkins, David Jeremiah, Philip Yancey, Lee Strobel, Oswald Chambers, C S Lewis, and many of the “older” authors (Moody, Ironside, Tozer, etc.)
- Over the years, what would you say has improved significantly in your writing?
Attending several writing conferences, being a member of the Jerry Jenkins writing guild (he’s a master!), paying attention to editors, and writing…writing…writing. Show, don’t tell. Write with strong verbs.
- Do you read and reply to the reviews and comments of your readers?
Yes, I try personally reply to every email I receive or review comments on my books, articles, and blogs. It is a way of interacting as well as helping equip and encourage my readers / followers.
- How much of yourself do you put into your books?
Quite a bit. Mostly, I use stories, analogies, or word pictures to convey a theme or truth. Much of my writing is from my past experiences or those of friends and associates (with their permission, of course) in the hope of helping others avoid mistakes or encouraging them in some way.
- Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your writings?
Oh, yes! My books, articles, and blogs mostly contain life stories to help equip and encourage my readers and followers. Equip them to avoid some of the life mistakes I’ve made and to chase more fulfilling pursuits. Encourage them to be stronger, live bolder, pursue the destinies God has orchestrated for them.
- What books have influenced your life the most?
Primarily, the Bible. Other than that, I inherited my dad’s library when he died. Reading books on self-help, self improvement, leadership, inspiration, etc. as well as compelling faith-based novels (Left Behind series – Jenkins / Lahaye, The Darkness series Peretti, Rosenberg series, etc.)
- Do you have a day job other than being a writer? And do you like it?
I’ve enjoyed a rewarding 36-year career in banking. I started as a mail clerk in the accounting department and moved up to senior leadership. An incredible experience of learning and associating with great people along the way.
- Does your day job ever get in the way of your writing?
If I focused solely on writing, it would. However, until my writing supports me full-time, the day job takes priority. That’s why I jot quick notes throughout the day for any writing topics and pick them back up after hours or on weekends.
- What is your view on co-authoring books; have you done any?
I’ve had the privilege of contributing to several “co-authored” books (Moments series – Lehman). Here again, a compilation can be a rewarding experience where an author can learn from other authors.
- Do you pen down revelations and ideas as you get them, right then and there?
Yes, sometimes that happens in the shower, while driving, or while mowing the lawn. I’ve learned to capture the thoughts and ideas as soon as possible because they’re gone if I don’t. I’ve tried to recall them in the past and it doesn’t happen. Capture the moment in the moment!
- When can the readers expect your next book in print?
My latest book, Deck Time with Jesus, launches March 14th, 2018.
- Are you working on something new at the moment?
I’m currently working on a daily devotional as well as a book on leadership lessons I’ve learned. Those will probably not be available until sometime in late 2019, early 2020.
- It is often said that in order to write something, you must believe in what you are writing. Do you agree with that?
Absolutely! I try to steer away from “what if” or “virtual reality” scenarios. The real world, with present day challenges and struggles contains enough material to write. I try to stay grounded in the present moment.
- Do you need to be in a specific place or room to write, or you can just sit in the middle of a café full of people and write?
I’ve written in coffee shops, while at the beach, in the mountains, while driving (voice recognition), lots of different places and settings to capture the moment. That said, when I am finalizing or writing in earnest, I need the quiet of my office.
- What advice would you like to pass on to young writers of today that is unconventional but true?
Make sure what you offer is truly value-add. Don’t just write to tell your story – make it applicable and beneficial to the readers.
- Do you have a library at home?
Absolutely! Over 400 books and I’ve read all but a handful.
- Who’s your literary superhero?
Without a doubt, Jerry Jenkins.
- Do you blog?
Yes. You can find my blogs, articles, and other information at NateStevens.net Come visit me and subscribe!