Steven L. Shrewsbury is a fantasy and horror author who has well over 300 tales published online or in print.
Having read and reviewed ‘Thrall’ and a couple of his short stories for this website I can attest to his wry, world-weary humour. His fictional creation Gorias La Gaul is larger than life, and has to be one of the most vivid characters from fantasy fiction I have thus far encountered.
The follow up to ‘Thrall’ will be released very soon and is called ‘Overkill’ here is what Steven (known as Shrews to his friends and fans) had to say when I caught up with him.
Could you tell our readers a little about yourself?
Well, I'm a tall, blue collar worker, raised on a farm and still live in a rural area. I've love to tell stories my entire life and still do, as even anyone who works with me can attest.
Who or what inspired you to be a writer?
Ever since I was a child, listening to talking tapes of the Bible or Tarzan, I wanted to retell them in different way… I found doing that to Scripture will send me to hell, so I struck out to create my own tales. I'd say I've been hearing voices my entire life, but it's more like an inborn need to share tales.
What authors inspire you?
What advice would you give to other aspiring authors?
Read! Read everything you can, and not just in the chosen genre of your tale. Research. Edit. Read your work out loud. Get a thick skin, there's a chance you aren't the next big thing. Learn from your mistakes and be careful who you trust.
How many hours a day do you actually spend writing?
A couple. Sometimes, more.
Who is your favourite fictional character?
Probably a toss up between Howard's Solomon Kane and Wagner's Kane. Both are flawed, the latter more of an antihero. I loved flawed characters. I'd kill to write a book about Boba Fett.
Which character/s from your books 'Thrall', 'Overkill' and 'Hell Billy' do you enjoy writing about the most?
Gorias La Gaul, the 700 year old warrior in THRALL and OVERKILL, he's about as clear and real to me as it gets. He's harsh, tough and has a bit of heart, but is tough to love, yet hard to hate. He doesn't have many rules and after such a long life, he's not as quick as he once was, but still quite the fighter in the bar room or bedroom.
What do you expect your readership to get out of your stories?
Entertainment and escapism. People need to escape from this world at times and my tales provide another place, not on another planet or Universe, mind you, but a forgotten place in our history where the sky is the limit, sorta. You'll laugh, may be challenged to think and probably mildly offended by the violence, but, you'll be entertained.
What can your fans expect from you in the future?
More to come, heh. I have more books on the way, a Lovecraftian western LAST MAN SCREAMING plus more epic fantasy. One never knows where Gorias will appear again.
Do you have any other hobbies outside of writing?
Corralling my 2 sons, aged 13 and 7, haha, but I love to be outside, rain or shine. Huge football fan, too.
Thank you very much for your time Steven.
Deliverance will come... A great flood once wiped clean the earth, destroying everything upon it. Before the deluge, in a time now forgotten, the world was a place of warriors and witches, conflicts between kingdoms, and, until their extermination, dragons. In this world, men may live centuries, fallen angels have begotten terrifying spawn, and sometimes, the best hope can be found in a brothel. In the land of Transalpina, a new religion spreads, and important men are dying mysteriously, slain by what can only be the fire of dragon breath. Summoned by the Queen Garnet, the legendary warrior Gorias La Gaul returns to the place where he once saved the queen's young granddaughter from treachery and enslavement. The Princess Nykia is gone, and soon others may try to claim the throne. The queen has little choice but to turn to the only man who ever told her no. With the aid of one of the queen's elite guard, the battle maiden Alena, and the young palace servant Orsen, the old mercenary will face pirates and traitors, monsters and foul magic in the quest to find the missing heir and learn the truth behind the disconcerting murders. Deliverance will come for Gorias La Gaul, but for now there are women to love, secrets to discover, and killing that needs doing.
"Shrewsbury has succeeded in writing an exciting fantasy novel with some truly shocking incidents (one in particular is shall we say stomach churning!) This is unapologetically violent, shocking and very funny and in this universe an age gap of 667 years is not a bar to a physical relationship!" Daniel Cann, Fantasy Book Review
I must admit this is the first time I have come across Shrewsbury’s work and found his writing style hugely enjoyable. He has managed to create a deeply flawed character, who despite his violent and direct nature, we cannot help but warm to. They may not be for the squeamish or faint-hearted but these short stories should please fans and non-fans alike. I am certainly going to give the novel ‘Thrall’ a try based on these shorts.