Monday, January 7, 2013

Author: Steven Manchester Guest and Giveaway!

I had the pleasure of interviewing Steven Manchester back in September with the release of his new book, Twelve Months, and today he has returned to Books à la Mode (I know, I know—these authors can't get enough of me! *wink*) with his newest, Goodnight, Brian, which hits shelves TODAY! Congrats on the new release, and welcome back, Steven!!!

Here's a little bit about the book:

Goodnight, Brian
Steven Manchester

Page Count: 308
Release Date: 8 January, 2012

Publisher: The Story Plant

Fate was working against little Brian Mauretti. The food that was meant to nourish him was poisoning him instead, and the doctors said the damage was devastating and absolute. Fate had written off Brian. But fate didn’t count on a woman as determined as Brian’s grandmother, Angela DiMartino – who everyone knew as Mama. Loving her grandson with everything she had, Mama endeavored to battle fate. Fate had no idea what it was in for.

An emotional tale about the strength of family bonds, unconditional love, and the perseverance to do our best with the challenging gifts we receive, Goodnight, Brian is an uplifting tribute to what happens when giving up is not an option.

How I Became a Writer and My Best Advice for Aspiring Writers


I suppose I discovered the writing world by accident—or perhaps it discovered me.

I’d just returned home from Operation Desert Storm, and was working as a prison investigator in Massachusetts. Needless to say, there was great negativity in my life at that time. I decided to return to college to finish my degree in Criminal Justice. During one of the classes, the professor talked about police work but nothing else. I finally raised my hand and asked, “The criminal justice system is vast. What about the courts, probation, parole—corrections?” He smiled and told me to see him after class. I thought I’d finally done it! In his office, he explained, “There’s no written material out there on corrections or prisons, except from the slanted perspective of inmates.” He smiled again and dropped the bomb. “If you’re so smart,” he said, “why don’t you write it?”

Nine months later, I dropped the first draft of 6-5: A Different Shade of Blue on his desk. From then on, I was hooked. I was a writer.

I’d written a lot at my job (report writing), but it all started with my college professor’s challenge. Perhaps because of my age and experience, I understood right away that writing is a craft that takes time to evolve; to mature, so I spent the next several years PRACTICING my chosen craft. Under the pen name, Steven Herberts, I wrote in every venue of print I could get my name in: newspaper, magazine, etc. I also penned two collections of poetry, and wrote drafts for two more books. After five solid years of writing, I finally believed that I’d found my voice; MY STYLE—and was ready to contact an agent.

The greatest challenge for me has been time. First and foremost, I am a dad and my children come first. After that, there are other responsibilities that need my attention. Yet, my passion to write has constantly gnawed at my soul. To overcome the obstacle of time, I made writing a priority over watching TV and sometimes even sleeping. Once my family is taken care of and the world closes its eyes, I’m up for a few more hours each day—chasing my dreams on paper.

It has taken thousands of words, hundreds of pages, before I finally identified with a particular genre. I decided that my voice was a more sensitive one: a male perspective to a female audience. My novels, Twelve Months and Goodnight, Brian are evidence of that.

Now that I have nearly two decades of writing and getting published under my belt, here are a few tips on being a writer I wish I had known at the beginning of my career. I enjoy trying to help new writers break in. My advice is always the same:

  • Be true to yourself, always.
  • Write constantly.
  • Keep the faith!!!
  • And NEVER, EVER, EVER quit. Most people in this industry would agree that more than talent or skill or even luck, perseverance is the one trait that will always get the job done.
  • Knock on every door you can, and keep knocking. I promise that eventually someone will open and the warmth you feel on your face will more than validate every hour spent alone in the darkness.

About the Author



Steven Manchester is the published author of 
Pressed PenniesThe Unexpected Storm: The Gulf War Legacy, and Jacob Evans, as well as several books under the pseudonym, Steven Herberts. His work has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning, and BET’s Nightly News. Recently, three of his short stories were selected "101 Best" for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. 


When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or his four children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing.


Giveaway!

Steven has been generous enough to give away one copy of Goodnight, Brian. To enter, all you have to do fill out the Rafflecopter form below :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Rules and Disclosure:
Stop giveaway ends January 22nd at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open internationally! Woohoo!
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their prizes will be forfeited.
I am in no way responsible for the prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!