Interview with Steve DeWinter: ‘I am a heavy plotter and planner.’

I was born and grew up loving to read. But enough about me; you’re here for my books. If you like super-charged thrillers that merge high-tech gadgetry with ancient mythology and pit the outcast against powerful clandestine organizations, you are among friends.

My goal as a writer is to transport you to fresh and exciting worlds that not only take you on a white-knuckle ride but leave you hungry for more when you finally turn that last page and reluctantly slam shut the back cover of the book.

This is my promise to you the reader.

I will continue to satisfy your never-ending desire for more. So keep reading!

When one story ends, another begins.

To find out more about Steve visit www.stevedw.com

Q: Thank you for this interview, Steve. Can you tell us what your latest book, Inherit The Throne, is all about?

A: Thank you for having me here today. I always love talking about my books. In my latest book, Inherit The Throne, Melissa Stone is a woman displaced. After being listed by the military as killed in the line of duty, her husband and young son move on with their lives. Living under an assumed identity, she would have been happy to spend the rest of her days under an assumed name in a small town. But my villain has other plans. She was the only one who could stop him, so he sends an assassin to close off the biggest loose end in his plan. His attempt to remove her has the opposite affect and instead puts her smack dab in the middle of the action. To find out what happens next, you will have to read my book.

Q: Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

A: Melissa Stone is a strong and capable woman. She has been referred by readers as a female Jason Bourne. Despite being a kick-butt female, she is still a mother, and that comes out when her son is put directly into harms way. Even though she has inner strength, Melissa still needs outward help. For this, she is surrounded by a cadre of supporting characters that help her find out who is trying to kill her, and more importantly, why. Nick is the man she turns to early on and he proves to be, by far, the best person to call. His easy access to much needed resources helps her evade the police after she tangles with the assassin; resulting in explosive results in the normally sleepy little town.

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

A: My characters are larger-than-life and crafted entirely in my imagination. Thankfully, I write about events that never actually happened, or at least not in the way I write about them. I would hope that nobody in the real world behaves like any of my characters do.

Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?

A: I am a heavy plotter and planner. I have usually written out what takes place in each chapter before I sit down to write out the detailed text that becomes the finished book you read. I work out the chapters and re-order them and revise them before I write out the entire novel. This helps me maintain a global perspective and assists with the pacing of my stories.


Q: Your book is set in some wildly different geographical locations throughout the story. Can you tell us why you chose these settings in particular?

A: The locations in my book range from the gritty backstreets of Washington D.C. to the fog shroudhed forests of the Pacific Northwest, back to the unique geographical location of the Adirondack Mountains, and the big finale taking place in a secret underground complex deep in the heart of Manhattan. I like to take my readers to places that they may not get to see on a regular basis and, since my book dealt with an attempt to gain control of the government of the United States, I felt that the story needed to encompass the entire geographical space of the nation.

Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

A: I like to have my characters travel as they change. The setting helps me identify where they are in their personal growth as well as giving me something that I can take away and make their lives even harder; pushing them to change if they want to stay alive. As a writer, I am a firm believer that without conflict, there is no story.

Q: Open the book to page 69. What is happening?

A: Melissa and Nick are debating about whether her small-town boyfriend is able to help them infiltrate a top secret government building. Melissa says that not only is he still injured from the assassin’s attempt on her life, but he is a civilian. Nick reminds her that he is not technically a civilian and is actually very qualified for the job. To this Melissa responds, “He was in the Navy fifteen years ago. He might as well have watched Top Gun four hundred times with what he still remembers about those days.”

Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?

A: This is from early on in the book when the double for the Vice President has second thoughts about “taking the bullet” for him.

Andrew perched on the edge of the back seat and watched as the dimly lit buildings of Washington, DC at night blurred past the limousine window. He felt like he was standing still, and the rest of the world was streaming by. When that first egg hit the top of the car he almost jumped out of his skin. It had sounded so loud; like a gunshot. Then more followed, hitting the sides and the top. Andrew was immediately pressed backward into the soft leather seat by the sudden acceleration as the motorcade sped away from the scene.

Well, they got that part right. This meant that the rest, no matter how incredible it sounded, was most likely true. It was probably the most overused plot in low-budget sci-fi movies, but Andrew knew that somewhere, out there in the night, there was an intelligent robotic killing machine looking for him. There was nothing left for him to do but sit back and wait.

Knowing the end was drawing near, Andrew naturally reflected on his life. But all he could focus on was the whirlwind year he was about to complete. Ten months ago, after the surgery, Andrew learned the informal medical term “new lease on life”. He set out to make his bucket list, the list of things he always wanted to do but never took the time. And now he finally had the time.

But when a sharp stabbing pain forced an emergency evacuation by helicopter from the peak of Half Dome in Yosemite, Andrew learned a new medical term only six months into his “new life”. Metastatic cancer. What this meant for him was that not only had the cancer come back; it came back in more places than it had started.

And now, four months later, here he was.

Sitting in a limousine posing as the Vice President of the United States.

Waiting to die.

He reflexively winced through every intersection as the convoy of vehicles screamed through at high speed. At this hour there was almost no traffic, and every cross street provided ample opportunity for a high-speed side-impact collision.

This was taking way too damn long.

Andrew suddenly glanced up at the roof of the limousine. An overpowering desire to live washed over him. He knew why that first egg sounded so loud. Maybe he could reach it? Pull it off and throw it out into the street? There were other treatments he could try. He didn’t have to die right now, did he?

Andrew shook his head as his vision blurred slightly. He knew that this euphoric thinking was a direct result of the opiates in his system caused by the breakthrough pain medication.

Still, he had a lot to live for, didn’t he?

Of course he did.

That settled it.

Andrew leaned to his left and fingered the controls to roll down the back window. A strong wind immediately blew around inside the cabin of the limousine. They must’ve been traveling at least seventy miles an hour.

With the window rolled down all the way, Andrew sat with his back to the window and reached up behind him to grip the door frame where it met the roof. With a single motion he lifted himself up and out and sat down on the edge of the closed door. The wind threatened to pull him the rest of the way out of the limousine, and he splayed his legs on opposite sides of the door’s interior to create an anchor for himself.

The wind buffeted him fiercely.

He squinted against the harsh conditions and scanned the roof of the limousine for what he knew must be there. And then he saw it. The tiny magnetic transponder sat just this side of dead center on the roof.

If he could just reach it.

Clamping his legs to the frame of the car he pushed a little higher, to give himself a longer reach. Flashing lights from his right drew his attention away from the tiny device. He glanced over at the Chevy Suburban filled with Secret Service agents. They were frantically flashing their headlights at him.

What did they think that would achieve?

Did they think that he didn’t know what he was doing?

He returned his full attention back to the device that sat, mockingly, just out of his reach. Losing leverage but gaining more reach Andrew pushed up ever so slightly with his legs.

Just a little further.

He almost toppled out of the limousine when a motorcycle officer appeared on the opposite side right into his field of view. The loud roar of the wind rushing past at over seventy miles an hour made it almost impossible to hear the officer, but not quite. “Get back in the car!”

With his left arm splayed forward on the roof to provide additional stability Andrew made one final push and gripped the tiny object with his fingertips. A second motorcycle officer joined the first, and they took turns hollering questions and commands at him. Andrew tugged at the device. It resisted slightly before releasing its magnetic grip and came free into his fingers.

He had done it!

He waved the device in front of him showing it to the two motorcycle officers with a big smile on his face. “I got it!”

And then his face fell as he looked past the two motorcycle officers to see the blurred grill of an SUV heading straight for them at impossible speed.

As soon as the Audi Q7’s bumper made contact with the second motorcycle, the collision detectors triggered the shaped C-4 charges, which focused all of their explosive power directly at the limousine right in front of it.

It happened so quickly that Andrew never even felt the end of his life.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Steve. We wish you much success!

A: And thanks again for having me on today. I enjoyed this interview very much.

1 Comment

Filed under Author Interviews

One response to “Interview with Steve DeWinter: ‘I am a heavy plotter and planner.’

  1. Sorry it took me so long to get here. Thanks for having me on for an interview, it was fun and I had a great time.

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