Author Interview: Steve Kemp

Today I am happy to welcome author Steve Kemp to my blog, where he is commenting on many different topics related to his writing.

steve kempAdvice for writers

I’m fascinated by the spectrum of published writers. James Mitchner said if 1 person reads your book then you are a published writer. Stephen King wrote a book about writing which I struggled to grasp a majority of the concepts in. I fall somewhere in the middle myself.

If my entire writing career means just the people I know have read my book it will have been a successful process. Write the story you want and let the chips fall where they may. I received some advice once about pov and decided to follow them strictly. The next book I read was a best seller and broke all of those rules.

I’m not an English major and to tell the truth my eyes gloss over when one starts talking. They strive to write to the levels of Chaucer, Dickens, Shakespeare and Hemingway. I could go to school for a decade and never reach their level, nor do I want to. Regular people read books too and someone has to tell those stories.


I am a prolific writer. At one point I was doing six pages a day, but about 2 is more accurate these days. I’ve heard Stephen King can do 8 a day. I believe I could if this was a full time job, but that’s not my reality at this moment. My biggest challenge is writing the middle of a book.

Rush Limbaugh talks for 3 hours a day on the radio and believes the mind can be at work all the time. Mine can think of new book ideas, come up with characters and what they might do next. I like develop an idea and see how the characters fight their way through a situation. This makes for a nightmare when I get to the middle of a book.

I start to doubt myself in the middle. Is this a good book? Can I spice it up by changing gears and plot line? Most of the time I just keep pounding away on the keyboard until the end seems possible. I’ve read quite a bit about other writers but have never heard this brought up. They always talk about the ending. Until then I’ll keep fighting through it I guess.

Tell us about your books

I like to write about normal people facing great challenges but having fun doing so. I’m not a fan of morbid movies or books. I prefer to be inspired. Why would a person choose to be depressed by a story they are committing a week of their time to? Writers should seek to inspire their audience. I can live my own life and be depressed if I so choose without a story tellers help.

So my goal is to make the reader laugh out loud several times to an empty room. That’s the best part of a book when you do this and look around to see if anyone saw you. Then you want to find someone and tell them how funny the joke is only to realize they wouldn’t understand unless they read the book. It becomes just a moment between you and the author. That’s the goal in my books, to inspire and entertain the reader.

kemp's bookHarry Dennison

This is a book inspired by several people and stories in the fire service. Any historian of a large fire department could probably assign a person or part of their history to this book. My goal was to bring the essence of the fire department out by mixing all of my own experiences together with these tales into one book.

Favorite books and writers

Stephen Ambrose stands out as one of the best writers I’ve come across. Now I’m biased as an amateur historian of World War 2, but it’s an easy argument to make. Story tellers for centuries based their works on some factual piece of history. He took a more direct line interviewing soldiers of the time period and telling their own story.

He’s able to capture the essence of their tale, to the point of receiving praise on accuracy from the men who experienced the actual events. Being a firefighter, I know firsthand what harsh critics people can be of stories within their field. Ambrose made it easy to root for each character, and to feel stunned when they were killed in action.

No longer were the men involved just statistics of the battlefield, they were individuals to be mourned as if you’d known them personally. While some may think his books glorified combat, I’m not sure they ever actually read one of his books. Ambrose’s biggest goal was to tell the soldier’s story in hopes one day the next generation would never have to go through the same experiences.

Novel – Harry Dennison, available on Amazon

Twenty five years ago, Harry Dennison witnessed his friend Mike, drown and he had been thinking about him ever since.  But Harry’s sanity, and his tenuous belief in the afterlife, is challenged when he believes Mike is communicating with him.

Even though he is plagued by doubts, what troubles Harry is that Mike’s son, Coleman, decides to join the Milwaukee Fire Department.  Is this the reason Mike is trying to communicate with him?  Will Harry be able to keep Coleman safe?

Haunted by his nightmares, Harry questions his every decision and worries about Coleman and his crew being killed while in the line of duty.  Ultimately, will Harry be forced to act against the firefighter code to save his crew and Coleman?

Harry Dennison is Steven Kemp’s first of several fiction novels

About Steve Kemp:

Steve Kemp is a writer and a fire-fighter!  He has worked for over 17 years as a Lt. on the Indianapolis Fire Department. He’s been happily married for over a decade and is the father of two beautiful girls.

As an avid reader and movie goer, he felt a need to not just be a part of the storytelling community, but to contribute something of value. While his favorites have always been the big budget blockbusters, he’s driven to write stories about people.

He savors the challenge of creating characters readers want to learn more about and strives to put them in situations which force people to wonder what would they do. Steve wants his readers to have an emotional response to his stories – similar to the one he had in creating them.

You can connect with Steven on Amazon or his Website.




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