Welcome to Shannon Muir’s Infinite House of Books!
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INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR
What initially got you interested in writing?
I guess I’ve always been interested in writing because I was an avid reader from an early age. My mother always had a book in her hand, and would frequently take us to the local library to get more books. When I discovered Edgar Rice Burroughs at the age of twelve, I knew I wanted to emulate him and write my own stories.
How did you decide to make the move into becoming a published author?
I first wrote for my high school newspaper and made sporadic attempts at writing my own fiction. By my second year in college I knew I wanted to be a writer, and so switched my major from Biology to Creative Writing. I began writing short stories in college, and also wrote for a local “hippie newspaper” before leaving for New York City in 1979 to seek fame and fortune. My first sales were some comic book scripts to DC Comics, and a short story published in 1981 in a men’s magazine.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
I don’t consider myself a very literary writer. I simply want to entertain people. If I’ve accomplished that, then I’ve achieved my purpose.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
Creating new worlds and characters that never existed before. Writing snappy dialogue that sounds believable is especially satisfying. Some days I’m so excited about what I want to write that I sit down first thing in the morning and get to work.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
Getting started on any given day. There are always a thousand distractions, so it requires a real effort of will to actually sit down and do the work. Some days, the muse is just not present.
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?
Writing is not easy; it requires a real personal commitment of time and energy. Learn your craft by studying other good writers. Read, read all the time, and write when you’re not reading. As with anything else, practice helps you perfect your skills. Don’t be afraid to take criticism, but don’t take it personally. You’ll write thousands of words of lousy prose before you get to the good stuff. If the characters start talking to you inside your head, that’s a good sign. Listen to what they say and write it down. That dialogue will be some of the truest and best you’ll come up. Don’t be afraid to rewrite; rewriting is the whole secret to writing good prose.
Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?
I spent part of my childhood in Japan, and have always had an affinity to Japanese art and culture. I collect zeppelin artifacts and remain fascinated with the promise of lighter-than-air technology to make a better future. In my writing career, I’ve conducted many interviews, including interviewing famed fantasy artist Frank Frazetta, most of the EC Comics contributors, and two of the Apollo astronauts. As a ghostwriter, I have written 6 Hardy Boys novels and 3 Tom Swift graphic novels. As a lifelong aviation and space buff, I relish any chance to fly in different kinds of planes, and to learn more about space exploration. So far I’ve ridden in a 1925 Stearman bi-plane trainer and a B-25, along with my dad, who actually flew that plane back in the day.
What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
I don’t currently have my own blog, so the best way to contact me is to visit my Facebook page: Steven Ringgenberg. I’m always happy to get in touch with my readers and answer their questions.