Marji Laine: Faith~Driven Fiction

. . . Authentic and Intense

Interview with Author Steve Biddison

Okay, this story grabbed me from the first sight of the cover, but then when I learned what I did about the author, Steve Biddison, I was drawn right in.

Marji – What is your ultimate goal for writing in general?

Steve – My perfect dream world ultimate goal for writing would be to someday be able to make a career out of it. In other words, if I could write full time, that would be the ultimate goal in writing. As far as more realistic and reachable goals, I love to get my works in the hands of people who want to read it. I go from the idea that there
are people out there just like me who love to read the same things I love to read. I have such a wide array of interests that my reading genres vary. Therefore, my writing genres vary as well. I don’t know if the fact that I write different genres is a blessing or a curse. To date, my bestselling book has been, Coaching From the HEART, a book I wrote about my philosophy of coaching basketball. Being such a small target audience, I have been very happy with its success. Even though I will continue writing other genres like coaching books and devotionals, my dream is to find success writing fiction series.

Marji – Lofty goal. I sorta get to write full time, but am still looking forward to the day when my words earn money! So how does The Center Circle satisfy that goal?

SteveThe Center Circle is my first published novel. It is Book 1 of a young adult fantasy trilogy. But don’t let the term Young Adult scare you off. My readers range from teenagers to retired people. I am very satisfied with the reviews I have received so far and am now working on the sequel.

Marji – What inspired this particular story?

SteveIt’s kind of funny. The basis of this story began in English class my junior year in high school. We were assigned to write a short story. I think it was supposed to be 2-3 pages long. Being that I had been writing novels (albeit, they weren’t really that good) for several years, I had no idea how to write a short story. Honestly, I didn’t even care about short stories. But I tried. I ended up writing 10 pages on that assignment. The characters in the story were my fellow students in that English class, but it took place in another medieval type world. And it became chapter one of my series of novellas I wrote over the next few years.

Maybe it was because it was a series I had actually written and finished, and the characters were based on friends of mine, but for some reason, I always loved that story and dreamed of one day revisiting it and writing it over. This past summer, after having a couple of non-fiction books published, I decided it was time to revisit the novel I wrote 25-30 years ago. I started referring to this new version as the reboot of The Center Circle. But honestly, more changed in the new book than remained the same. But the basic timeless tale of good vs. evil is still at the forefront.

Marji – Since the characters started out as real people, it might be hard to think of them as actors, but dream a little. What actors might play your main characters if they made a movie of this?

josh hutchersonSteveTo answer that question, I actually took a survey in one of my classes. When it came to the lead role of Landru, the girls offered their suggestions which were met with boos from the guys in the class. Of course Zac Efron and Taylor Lautner topped the list. I had a hard time seeing Zac in the role because I can’t picture my character, Landru, breaking out in song and dance. And Taylor seemed too much of a pretty boy to me. So after a little more thought, I decided to capitalize on the release of the movie for The Hunger Games and chose Josh Hutcherson.

miley_cyrusAs for some of the female characters, I could definitely see Miley Cyrus playing the role of the leader of The Center Circle and Landru’s nemesis, Callitha. I realize she always plays the lead role and is usually romantically involved with someone in the story. Playing Callitha will help her expand her acting abilities. Callitha is a complicated character. She is one of the good guys, yet she doesn’t even try to (hide) her disdain for Landru and Brenlee.

Victoria JusticeBrenlee is kind of the outcast of the group. Callitha has no need for her and let’s everyone know it. It is Brenlee’s land that the Center Circle must defend and we see that even though she was a shy outcast as a child, she is a very capable warrior princess as a young adult. She has a special relationship with the Landru, but it has not quite developed into a romantic one. I think Victoria Justice could be a good fit for this role.

Selena GomezTheophania, a young priestess, or almost priestess, for the Center Circle is actually one of my favorite characters in the book. She was not originally a character in the story, but just showed up in a scene that was supposed to be kind of a stop gap to keep Landru away from the action of the story for a 24 hour period. But once she came onto the scene, the chemistry between her and Landru became obvious, and the story had to take a slightly new angle. Being that she was not in the original plans, Theophania does not have a major role in over half the book, but even after her disappearance, she still is felt in the story and she has made me promise that she will have a much bigger role in Books 2 and 3. She is one character that as I wrote her into the story, my mind formed an image of what she looked like – someone I actually know. But since I have to choose an actress, the closest thing I could come up with for her character is Selena Gomez. I think Selena could play the part very well.

Marji – I love the way you took it to the kids. Extra inspiration! What’s a lasting line from your novel – like the “Frankly, dear …” from Gone with the Wind, or “You had me at hello,” from Jerry Maguire.

SteveThe line that stands out to me right now is never actually said in the book. But it is kind of the byline of the story. “When Discovering Who You Are Is Just the Beginning.” It is kind of the underlying theme. At the beginning of the book, Landru does not not know his destiny. He thinks he is Landon, a normal college student. But soon discovers that he is an heir to the throne of Orion and member of the Center Circle.

Marji – I don’t read fantasy very often, but I love it when a good one comes along and this one sounds creative. How does writing fit into your regular day-in-the-life?

SteveIt’s really tough. I have a full time job teaching at an inner city high school. So I don’t really get to write much during the day. And with a wife and son, I try not to write in the early evenings. They go to bed fairly early so I try to catch an hour or so of writing then. But quite frankly, I am often times too tired to write at that time. I do write quite a bit on the weekends and during breaks from school. Spring break is coming up and I will be writing then.

I really appreciate Steve visiting today. His books are available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon,

A little about Steve Biddison:

In introducing myself to my readers, it would be easy to give you just the short bio of who I am. I am a teacher and a basketball coach who is married to my wonderful wife, Amy. Together we have one son, Landry. But I have come to find out that in this digital age, readers now want to be able to get to know more about the authors of the books they read. They don’t want just facts, they want to know what motivates them. What are their loves? In a world full of facebook, twitter, and email, people want to be able to communicate with others and see them as real human beings. With that thought in mind, I decided to write a little bit about how I came to be a YA author.

You can read his full bio HERE!


Author: Marji Laine

Marji is a recently "graduated" homeschooling mom whose twin girls have blessed her by sticking around the nest for a little longer. She spends her days directing the children’s music program at her church and working with the authors of Write Integrity Press to put out the best possible version of their books. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

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