Sunday, 18 November 2012


Steven Manchester is the published author of Pressed Pennies, The 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 Chicken Soup for the Soul series. 

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
I'm Steven Manchester. I was born in Fall River, Massachusetts. I grew up in Westport and now live two towns over—in Somerset. It was an easy move. 

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"? 
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 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. 

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say? 
Twelve Months:  a man discovers that he has 12 months to live, and decides to make every single moment count. 

Who is your publisher? or do you self publish? 
The Story Plant, a traditional publisher that has been amazing to work with. 

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre? 
Goodnight, Brian in December 2012; The Rockin’ Chair in April 2013 and then a fourth book (in progress)next August 2013. All will be heart-felt tales that are aimed at the human heart.   

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series? 
Each of these books are self-contained and not part of a series. There's no mistake, however, that they were all written by the same hand.   

Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along? 
I develop the characters first, and spend lots of time on them until I know them as well as I know myself. This makes it much easier as you get into the book; the characters will actually tell the story for you. 

Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite? 

I love them all--for different reasons. But if I had to pick one, it would be The Rockin' Chair (which will be out next April). 

Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite? 

Usually, the protagonist from each of my books is my favorite. In Twelve Months, Don DiMarco is my hero. In Goodnight, Brian, I fell in love with Mama from the first page. And in The Rockin' Chair, all of the love I have for my grandfather was poured into Gramps John. 

If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why? 
Grampa John --because he's my grandfather in so many ways; salt of the earth, simple wisdom and a giant heart. 

How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write? 
I've been writing since 1991. My wife and children have inspired me beyond my greatest dreams and I write for them.

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