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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Authors to Watch: Steve Dunn Hanson, author of 'Sealed Up'





I've lived in places that grew me . . . from a small Idaho farm town, a run-down neighborhood in St. Louis, and a middle-class southern California community, to Sydney, Australia, and Bucharest, Romania. My experiences are as varied as the places I've lived. I have a hopper full of "reality" including being a volunteer jail chaplain and flying with a U.S. presidential candidate in his small plane when an engine conked out. And all of this is fodder for my writing.

My latest book is the action/adventure/suspense novel, Sealed Up.

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Title: Sealed Up: The Course of Fate: Book One
Author: Steve Dunn Hanson
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 402
Genre: Action/Adventure/Suspense

The Da Vinci Code unsettles. SEALED UP shakes to the core!

 

UCLA anthropologist Nathan Hill, in a funk since his young wife’s death, learns of staggering millennia-old chronicles sealed up somewhere in a Mesoamerica cliff. This bombshell rocks him out of his gloom, and he leads a clandestine expedition to uncover them. What are they? Who put them there? No one knows. But, self-absorbed televangelist Brother Luke, who funds the expedition, thinks he does. If he’s right, his power-hunger will have off-the-charts gratification.
Striking Audra Chang joins Nathan in his pursuit and brings her own shocking secret. As they struggle through a literal jungle of puzzles and dead ends, she finds herself falling in love with Nathan. Her secret, though, may make that a non-starter.
When a shaman with a thirst for human sacrifice, and a murderous Mexican drug lord with a mysterious connection to Brother Luke emerge, the expedition appears doomed. Yet Nathan is convinced that fate—or something—demands these inscrutable chronicles be unearthed.
And if they are . . . what shattering disruption will they unleash?
Intricately layered and remarkably researched, this enthralling suspense-driven and thought provoking tour de force begs a startling question: Could it happen?

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Amazon




Thanks for coming today, Steve. Tell us a little about yourself?

I've lived in places that grew me . . . from a small Idaho farm town, a run-down neighborhood in St. Louis, and a middle-class southern California community, to Sydney, Australia, and Bucharest, Romania. My experiences are as varied as the places I've lived. I have a hopper full of "reality" including being a volunteer jail chaplain and flying with a U.S. presidential candidate in his small plane when an engine conked out. And all of this is fodder for my writing.

When did you begin writing?

While I had magazine articles published in the late 1970’s, early 1980’s, my first book wasn’t published until 1987. Over the years three more of my books were published, but with my busy schedule, putting the time in to get a book to the point where it was publishable was problematic. But that didn’t stop ideas for books formulating in my mind. Now that I am retired, those ideas are coming to life—hence, Sealed Up!

Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write?

The answer is “Yes!” All of the above. Ultimately, no matter how scattered my thoughts have been, as I have written them down, I organize them, then methodically create the story, plot, and subplots. I’m actually a pretty organized guy, and I use all of the features of Microsoft Word and Scribner with their linking & bookmark features so I can go to anything I need—research I’ve done, writing, helps, location in the book of certain scenes, etc.—whenever I need to and do it almost instantly. 

Can you tell us about your most recent release?

I’ve been very pleased with how Sealed Up has been received. It reached as high as #51 in the Amazon Kindle top 100 eBooks sold and was designated an Amazon Best Seller. The cover, thanks to Matt Doyle who designed it, won 1st Place-Gold Medal from AuthorsDB. The book is available as a trade paperback at Amazon and as an eBook. An audiobook will shortly be in the works.

How did you get the idea for the book?

The actual idea for my book, Sealed Up, came to me some seven or eight years ago, and it has been five years, hit and miss, in the writing. Much of this time was spent in research. I wanted every aspect to be completely authentic--from language, to people and customs, to settings, to clothes, to technology, to historicity, etc. Even the days and times of the heavenly phenomena (solar and lunar eclipses and the Venus transit of the sun) are spot-on. And I wrote it because in one way or another and at some future time, I believe that what I have portrayed fictionally as happening, will, in fact, happen. Prescient? I guess we'll see.

Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?

That’s easy. One of my key characters, quadriplegic, Hyrum Bentley, is patterned after my dear late friend, Jack Rushton. His wife, JoAnne, not only gave her permission for me to duplicate Jack's mannerisms and personality, but coached me along the way. I think you will love, Hyrum Bentley!

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?

Keeping at it. Writing is hard work. And at least for me, takes real discipline to do it. Sometimes when everything is flowing, I can’t stop typing. But other times it’s a drag, and the temptation is to find something that isn’t quite so hard to do. That’s when I have to force myself to keep focused. Interestingly, when I do that, it often seems to serve as a catalyst for some really good stuff to come out. 

Which authors have inspired your writing?

My goodness, there’s a lot. I’m a prolific reader and most books I read have at least some aspects about them that help me. But to name some giants out there whose writings have really affected me I would include Dickens, Tolkien, Chaim Potok, Shlomo Kalo, and the historical biographer David McCullough

What projects are you currently working on?

Sealed Up is the first in The Course of Fate series of three books. Expect the second, The Council, in about a year.

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?

Be patient with yourself. Find out what you’re doing that doesn’t work all that well, and what you’re not doing that you should be doing. THEN MAKE THE CHANGES! You may have the talent to write, but you’ll stay mediocre until you are willing to both learn and then do what it takes to be really good.

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