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owen j hollifield

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Steve Alten Interview 2011
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Steve Alten Interview 2009
By owen j hollifield   
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Last edited: Monday, June 15, 2009
Posted: Monday, June 15, 2009

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An interview with the New York Times best selling author.

1) How long does it take you to research and write a book? Do you write more than one book at a time?

It can take a year or two to write a new book. The research is daily. I never write more than one at a time, but at times I may have to put a new book aside to edit one in the publishing pipeline.

2) How do you meet the demands of dealing with the press and promotion and still make writing a priority?

I wish that demand was bigger. The needs of the moment always outweigh the longer term writing.

3) When starting a new book, do you start with character or plot?


4) Do you write by the seat of your pants or plot everything out before you begin to write? How important is plotting to your stories?

I tend to plot things out on the larger scale, the details come with the actual writing.

5) What has success meant to you?

It means I need to work harder.


6) You've been in the business a while. During this time, what is the one thing you are glad you did for your career and the one thing you wish you would not have done?

Best thing I ever have done is committing myself to answer every single piece of e-mail I receive. In doing so, I have met people like yourself who support my work or help take me to new levels. Plus the fans know I care. The one thing I wish I could reverse was following the advice of my former manager when I had the opportunity to meet Katherine Kennedy at a weekend pitch meeting in LA. for a remake of Journey to the Center of the Earth. My treatment was optioned for the deal, but my manager decided I shouldn't go because he couldn't go. I was young and inexperienced and he had just signed me to a big pub deal for MEG so I relented.


7) Whom do you consider your influences and how have they affected your writing career?

Crichton, Clancy, Thomas Harris, Ian Fleming, Bram Stoker. They set my bar high.


8) What advice would you give an aspiring author who is just starting out in the business?

Don't write about what you know, write about the things you like to read and then do the research.


9) Do you have a writing schedule? What is it? How many hours per day, pages, days per week, etc.? How many books do you write per year?

I write everyday. Days remain flexible, depending upon what the daily demands are. I break around 5 pm to 11pm to recharge for the more serious late night sessions.


10) MEG:Hell's Aquarium is your latest novel, could you tell us a little about it?

Hell's Aquarium has two interwoven plot lines that merge together. The first involves the Philippine Sea Plate... the deepest, most unexplored realm on the planet. Hidden beneath its ancient crust lies the remains of the Panthalassa, an ocean that dates back 220 million years. Vast and isolated, the Panthalassa in inhabited by nightmarish species of sea creatures long believed extinct.

The second involves the Tanaka Institute in Monterey, California where Angel, the recaptured 76 foot, 100,000 pound Megalodon, has birthed a liter of pups -- five females -- far too numerous and aggressive to keep in one pen. One solution: A Dubai royal prince is building the largest aquarium in the world and seeks to purchase two of the "runts." The deal hinges on hiring Jonas Taylor's 21 year old son, David, to be their trainer. Jonas reluctantly agrees, and David is off to Dubai for the summer of his life-- --not realizing he is being set-up to lead an expedition that will hunt down and capture the most dangerous creatures ever to inhabit the planet! Go to YouTube and check out the MEG: Hell's Aquarium trailer!


11) I know you get asked about this a lot but the fans have to know, what is the latest on the Meg movie?

We have a great new script, and things are progressing, that's all I can say.

MEG:Hell's Aquarium is out now and for more information on Steve Alten visit his website

(c) Owen Hollifield 2009

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