TLM: When did you first know you wanted to become a writer?
SR: Probably about the time my first cell split in two.
TLM: How long have you been writing?
SR: In my early twenties I really, really wanted to write, but vastly underestimated how difficult it was. The desire never quite abated, you know. A writer writes because they have no choice. I kept plugging away, publishing nice, tight medical articles. Fiction was much slower to improve. I'd say I wrote about two thousand pages of fiction that has been burned, not mourned, before I wrote the first word good enough to be seen by others.
TLM: Who was your biggest influence, and why?
SR: There are several influences for my Brutal Bible Tales. I'd say Ernest Hemingway's short, concise sentence structure, Ann Rice, Clive Barker, and Ray Bradbury's beautiful use of language, Irvine Welsh for the courage to use distinct time and place patois, Robert Ludlum's suspense sense, Kurt Vonnegut's irreverence and Stephen King's glorious sense of the macabre.
TLM: A lot of writers tend to favor one particular genre over most others. What would you say is your favorite, and why?
SR: I prefer horror, especially with biblical, spiritual, or religious themes. I love the films: Angel Heart, Constantine, and Prophecy, for example. I don't know if my work can be easily classified, but I am a dark Christian horror writer of Brutal Bible Tales.
TLM: Who is your favorite author, and why?
SR: If I had a gun to my head and had to pick just one, it would have to be the one and only Mr. Irvine Welsh. He created a universe that requires you to come to him. It is his brilliance of storytelling that makes it worth reading in the Scottish brogue voice of Fat Bastard...Oh, Aye.
TLM: Do you find that aspects of your own personality show up in your work?
SR: Of course. Never autobiographical because I’m just not interesting enough. But every aspect of my personality makes it into my work as bits and pieces of many characters.
TLM: Are any of your characters based on real people?
SR: Aspects are. It could be a 'look' they have or 'quirks'...writers are like Templeton from Charlotte's Web. We take and hide tidbits of personas, appearance, and different things they say…music, art film, everything. Writers are thieves and hoarders, man. We will mesh anything and everything together to get the right stew of a story, believe that!
TLM: Authors sometimes, even on a subconscious level, tend to let their personality or beliefs come through in their work. Would you say you do that, and if so, what can readers expect to learn about you through your writing?
SR: What I set out to do was to not flinch when writing…to say whatever needed to be said…let the chips fall where they may. Specific to PILATE, I insisted on presenting both dark and light forces, like Immanuel and Satan, as both brilliant, powerful, and not to be trifled with. The Christ isn't a grinning fop and the Devil will pull your lungs out through your nose if you do not give to him his due.
TLM: Breaking into any business of this nature can be a difficult road to travel. What would you say to aspiring authors who dream of leaving their mark on this world?
SR: Just that: leave your mark on this world. Writing for financial gain in this day and age is likened to playing Jazz. No matter how brilliant you are, you’re probably gonna need a day job. Now the good in that is you do not have to kowtow to anyone. Write what your heart and gut tell you. They tell writers to "write what you know", which is good advice, especially if you have a specific knowledge base. Even better advice is to "write what you would want to read".
TLM: What are you currently working on at the moment?
SR: I am working on the second installment and sequel to PILATE, entitled "JONAH JOB: A Brutal Bible Tale". This takes the two classic Old Testament bible stories and turns them on their ears....it is unlike anything seen before, I kid you not.
TLM: Have you decided what your next project will be, and if so, care to give us some insight into what we can look forward to from you?
SR: I am in the planning stages for the third offering to the Brutal Bible Tales
(Harborside) series, "THE DARK MINISTER: A Brutal Bible Tale" about a wonderfully wicked Apostle Paul, and also a straight horror novel set in a hospital on the graveyard shift.
TLM: What is your ultimate goal/dream as an author?
SR: To leave a lasting impression. To leave a long trail. To have a body of work my future grandchildren will be proud to share with their friends and loved ones. To have my work still be here, long after I am not. Oh, and to have my twenty books turned into films! That would be tres, tres cool. :)
TLM: Is there anything else you’d like to share with everyone?
SR: PILATE: A Brutal Bible Tale is available now in paperback, e-book, Kindle and signed editions, and that the world Steven Rage created is a scary one. But some can triumph and transcend. Just know when you are thinking of reading my books, you must brace yourself for one WILD violent ride.