Author Interview: Zachary Steele

What’s new and exciting in your life as an author?

Well, it’s a busy time for me right now. My newest novel, The Weight of Ashes, is due out August 24th, with a fair number of events already planned and more on the way. I’m incredibly proud of this one and can’t wait to get reader feedback.

What is your connection to the American South?

I am a Southerner by birth. Born in Orlando, raised in Florida and Georgia, nearly all my life has been lived in the South. From rural areas to big cities, both sides of the political coin, immersed in the history and culture. This is my home. I enjoy writing about it, and working to breakdown some of the stereotypes that exist.

How has that connection to the South informed your work as a writer? 

More than anything, it’s given me an ideological base to draw from. Characters are always going to derive some aspect of personality from the real people I’ve known, but it’s the ideology of the South that has inspired my writing. There is a sense of family and community in the South that I haven’t seen in other parts of the country, and the depth of connection to one’s politics and religion is vibrant. People don’t just believe what they believe. They shout it with every part of what makes them a living human. Fortunately, I’ve had the privilege of spending equal parts of my adulthood in conservative and liberal areas. As a writer seeking to understand every motivation of the characters I create, it’s been amazing. I am a centrist, likely due to the exposure to such a variety of belief.

What can we expect to see from you in the future? 

I’m down the line on a contract for my fantasy series, the first of which is The Fallen Hero. Hopefully, I’ll have news to share on that soon. That will five or six books and follows the path of Oliver Miles, a young boy who finds himself the hero in the living world of his favorite series of books. It’s tremendous fun. I can’t wait for that one to come out. Also, I’m working with a friend on series of children’s books (either chapter books or middle grade). He’s an incredibly talented artist and the story is too fun not to tell. Beyond that, I’ll write a second novel for my current publisher to follow behind The Weight of Ashes.

My website is zacharysteele.com, where I blog occasionally and keep updated event info. There are links there to Atlanta-area indie booksellers who will have my book in stock. Otherwise, it’s available anywhere books are sold. So, no excuses! Otherwise, I’m rambling somewhere on social media channels about my writing, about Broadleaf Writers, the writing organization I run, my cat Winnie, or my new family that I absolutely adore.

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