Today I welcome Steen Jones, author of The Door Keeper Trilogy to be my debut author interview.
The Smart Cookie asks: How Did the idea of The Door Keeper come to fruition?
Steen: That’s actually an interesting story! About 7 or 8 years ago, I noticed a door on the edge of a field close to where I lived at the time. It was a freestanding door that lead seemingly nowhere, but of course with my imagination, I immediately decided it went to Narnia. Every time I drove by it, I’d add a little something to the story in my mind, then would forget about it again. Finally, I jotted some notes in my phone and over the next few years, the story developed into a different version than what it is today. Finally, almost exactly 2 years ago, bored one day, I wrote an outline. After that, I simply couldn’t stop. FYI, the door is no longer where it originally was, because it now is in my backyard! (Great story for another time.)
The Smart Cookie asks: Wow. So there was really a door in a field? That’s awesome. How long have you been writing despite this being your debut novel?
Steen: This is an interesting question because I’ve been writing in a different way my whole life, but this is the first time I’ve attempted writing a story. Over the past ten years, I have blogged and journaled off and on as a form of therapy. Both of my kids were diagnosed with special needs while still young, and I learned early on that journaling and writing my prayers helped me manage my emotions and the issues I faced. For whatever reason, it was only a couple of years ago that I thought about actually putting my writing to a different use and writing fiction.
The Smart Cookie asks: Yes, I enjoy prayer journaling as well. Very therapeutic. Is fantasy your favorite genre to write?
Steen: Absolutely. I love fantasy because of the grand, epic story lines. I adore all things magic and the escape that fantasy provides. There is nothing I enjoy more than getting lost in another world and my imagination being stimulated. There are no rules in fantasy, unless you want there to be. My entire life, I’ve daydreamed, and this gave me an opportunity to actually call it work.
The Smart Cookie asks: The Door Keeper definitely provided me with an escape. I read it in one day. When not writing, what do you enjoy doing?
Steen: In the winter, you’ll find me cuddled on the couch with the dogs and my husband drinking wine and binge watching shows on Netflix. That’s about it for winter, I tend to go into hibernation. But in the summer, I’ll be outside at the pool soaking up the sun and relaxing by our pool. I love to garden, growing vegetables and colorful flowers. I’ve recently taken to cooking and baking, sometimes getting lost in the kitchen for hours.
The Smart Cookie asks: Who are some of your favorite authors?
Steen: I love C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. (I’m obsessed that these two were friends.) I also like Rick Riordan, he is so gifted with intertwining mythology and the modern world. I am currently reading the Harry Potter series for the first time, so J.K. Rowling is blowing my mind.
The Smart Cookie asks: Wow, I didn’t know J.R.R Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were friends. Very fascinating! What other genres do you enjoy reading?
Steen: I love contemporary fiction, romance, and certain Christian books that challenge me.
The Smart Cookie: Good to know we have similar tastes in books. Any advice for aspiring authors or creatives?
Steen: It’s difficult, because my road to being an author is so different than the usual path traveled. But, having experience in life, mothering special needs kids, and running a small business, I definitely have advice in general.
Patience in pursuing your dreams is invaluable. If you are not patient, you will never see your dream come to fruition. It’s the hardest thing to learn, and the most important. Once you do, the world is yours.
Missed my review of The Door Keeper? Check it out here.