Monday, September 9, 2013

Interview with Suspense Author Steve Westover

Steve Westover lives in a small Midwestern town with his wife and four kids. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Political Science and currently works in banking. 
 Steve has two middle-grade fantasies: Crater Lake and Gold Clash. He also has two FBI thrillers. To learn more about Steve, visit his website,
Hello, Steve. Welcome to my blog. This is a young adult novel with lots of suspense. Please tell us about A Nothing Named Silas.

Thank you, Linda. In the not-so-distant future domed shields cover entire communities where every citizen is assigned the same field of labor. Silas has trained his entire life to join the Command Shield but after he fails a critical test, he is drafted into a menial life of the Labor Shield. He couldn’t be more disappointed and he feels like a failure…like a nothing. He doesn’t know that powers beyond his control determined his draft into Labor and now he’s stuck with it.

Citizens living under the domed shields are ruled by regents and Silas’ new regent seems intent on breaking him down mentally, emotionally and physically so that he can be controlled more easily. As Silas endures a series of humiliating tests, a group of insurgents recruit him to help change life under the shield. As Silas learns about who he is and where he came from, as well as his mission in life, he is forced to decide which side he’ll fight for, the regent or the insurgents. The reality of Silas’ origins and his pre-determined life is shocking and will keep the reader thinking long after the book is finished.

Wow, this book sounds quite intriguing. Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

The concept for A Nothing Named Silas is the result of some brainstorming my wife and I did while driving. I can’t give away that concept because it would be a major spoiler. For a book to hold my attention it has to be fast-paced with interesting characters so that’s what I write. This book was a blast to write because my wife and teenaged daughter read my chapters as soon as I finished them. They urged me to write faster so they could find out what happens next and they gave lots of great feedback along the way. Writing this book was really a family adventure.

How fun! What age group would enjoy this novel and did you have to do any research for this story?

Silas is a teenager and so is the heroine so I wrote it with a Young Adult mindset. This is a dystopian thriller. I think the genre, the subject matter and the action will have broad cross-over appeal.

What does your family think about your writing?

They love it. My wife and kids are a great encouragement and certainly my biggest fans. I come from a large family of 8 children and my siblings have all had fun reactions. They were surprised when I wrote and published my first book in 2010. They said things like, “Wow, this is like a real book.” Yep, it is. I often use my family members as test readers. That approach may not work for some authors, but my family is brutally honest so it seems to be a good system so far.

That is so funny what your siblings said. I guess they were really surprised at your writing abilities. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

Hmmm. No pressure. One of my favorite songs is Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd and I consider myself a simple man so there’s nothing too thrilling to tell. Each year I like to learn new skills and try new things. One of my biggest failures was when I tried raising bees. I thought I was pretty cool. I’d wear the helmet and mesh face cover but I wouldn’t wear any other protection. I’d wear short sleeves while checking the hive and this usually worked fine but then I got stung and I discovered that I’m allergic to bees. After I managed to kill both hives I didn’t replace them because, hey, I’m allergic. Genius. (FYI- getting a bee stuck in your helmet (bonnet) really is panic inducing.)

Oh my gosh! Yes, having a bee in your helmet would really make me panic. I’m terribly afraid of bees. When I was young, my brothers found a hornet’s nest and tossed a rock at it. This wasn’t their first time to do this. They had done it before. Well, it made those bees real mad and they went after my brothers. When I saw what was happening, I began running, too. I was the innocent victim and got stung all over my back, but my brothers didn’t get hurt at all. Got figure!


Sara said...

This book sounds so good! It's definitely going on my TBR list. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

Stephanie Black said...

I'm looking forward to reading this book!

Ashleigh Swerdfeger said...

I love dystopian novels :) I think my brother would like it, as well. I like the story.

Kelly Nelson said...

The book sounds great! My dad was a beekeeper and I remember getting a few bees stuck in my long hair when I was younger. No fun!

Becky said...

Great interview! This book sounds very interesting. What a way to find out you are allergic to bees. I remember getting stung by a bunch of yellow jackets while picking blackberries with my mom.
I have added "A Nothing Named Silas to my list to get.

Mary Preston said...

My daughter introduced me to Dystopian. I'm looking forward to a great read.


Heather Nor said...

I love dystopian. Awesome you get support from your family. Writing seems hard enough without having to worry about support from those closest to you :)

gatosqueak at gmail dot com

Library Lady said...

I would love to win this book to add to our Young Adult section of the church library.
Janet E.

LAWonder said...

I love suspense novels and need more clean YA novels for my book review site. This sounds like a really good one.
Thank you for the interview and giveaway

Holly Letson said...

Sounds like an interesting story.

Also, about the bees, wow....Reminds me of when I was young, and sat a little way's down a hornet nest, and ended up being stung by alot of them.

George A. said...

Would love to read this book. I've never heard of the word "dystopian" until now.

George (

Lisa And Randy said...

This sounds like a great book to read. I'd love to read it.

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations, Janet E. You are the winner of this YA book. I know the youth at your library will enjoy this suspenseful story.