Steve Samsel – Author Interview

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

My most recent and only book is The Adventures of Jonny Law. After ten plus years of writing movie scripts and trying to get them off the ground, I decided to turn one of them into book form. So my Jonny Law, you might say, took a back road into becoming a book.

It is a zany comedy about J.L. Hoover, alias Jonny Law, who always dreamed of getting into the FBI. However, due to some physical issues (spastic colon), he was unable to attain his dream job. But, refusing to give up on his dream, he forms his own agency, the S.A.A.O.A (Secret Agent Association of America). Soon into the story he crosses paths with his old high school buddy, Frank Miller and the two quickly find themselves on the biggest case of their lives that involves thwarting a kidnapping plot on the President of the United States.

Tell us something about yourself.What inspired you to write this book?

Well, you might say I took the long road to becoming an author. My first love was music. I was in rock bands throughout the seventies and eighties and had a number of records out, and am proud to say I received a respectable amount of airplay from them. During that time I was a brief member of the Spencer Davis Group and penned a song for Spencer’s Crossfire album titled, Blood Runs Hot. But, after a number of years living out of a suitcase I decided to go back to school. I got a TV/Film degree from a local college and shortly thereafter began producing music videos, one of which landed me a performance on MTV. And from there I took the next step in my creative development, which was to steep myself in every screenwriting book I could lay my hands onto and take the uphill journey of becoming a screenwriter. Cut to: years later, and after some near deals fell through, I guess you might say that is what inspired me to bring my Jonny Law into the world.

How did you publish this book? Why self publish?

I published the book on my own after forming my own publishing company. I believe what inspired me to take the route of self publishing was that for so many years in dealing with Hollywood, people had been giving me this excuse and that excuse for not wanting to produce my work, so I decided that I was going to give myself the green-light and deliver one of my babies into the world and see how it would be received. And I’ll mention that it has been received with open arms. A book review website/blog called Reading For Sanity gave it 5 stars on Amazon and summed it up on their site by saying Jonny Law “is a rip roaring good time.” “One hilarious scene into another,” was another comment taken from their review – and I couldn’t agree more. It really is a fun book.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I guess I never really thought about wanting to be a writer, “per say,” I just started doing what I had a desire to do. And, once again, it all began with the music for me. At a tender age during the sixties, music from groups like Beatles, and many others, moved me so much that I sort of fell into the desire of wanting to create and write songs that stirred people’s souls like mine was being stirred. And along with being moved by all the great hit songs, I was also very moved by anything comedic. So, once again, with the comedic writing, I think it was simply desire to make others laugh that created the urge to sit down for so many hours and write screenplays and now my first comedic masterpiece.

What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?

That’s easy, forgetting the distractions and sitting your butt down in the chair and doing it.

How do you research for your books?

Well, since I’m dealing with a fictional character there wasn’t really any research for my book, just a good deal of brainstorming and lots of re-writing.

Did you learn anything from writing this book?

Yes I did. For me this writing in book form was a much different technique than screenwriting. I had to learn to quit jumping around with this point of view and that point of view and be consistent in that regard. Another thing I learned is that writing is a covert craft, in that, if you keep doing it you get better without realizing it. Especially if you work with a good editor as I did. I could see this happening when I picked up scripts I had written and was amazed at what I saw that I didn’t see before. Wow. It was an eye opener when I realized how much I had progressed as a writer and not even been aware of it.

What am I reading now?

I am reading a book on World War II. I’ve always been fascinated with that slice of history.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?

I like to read anything humorous, just because there is so much negative stuff wherever you look. And in the humor category I love Mark Twain. I love the way he wrings out the humor in every word he puts to paper. Brilliant stuff.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

I am not presently working on my next book, but rather, a YouTube comedic show titled, The New Steve and Bongo TV Show. On the show I feature my book and find creative ways to keep coming back to it to promote the heck out of it in fun ways.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

The more you write, the better you get. It’s just that simple. If you think you have a great story, don’t take no for an answer. There is so much information on the web about self-publishing, it’s literally a gold mine. And find yourself a good printer who does books, they can be a huge help. Grey Dog Press in Spokane has been a great help to me.

What are you doing to promote your latest book?

Like I mentioned, I’m producing my up and coming YouTube Tv show and I do book signings whenever I can, and now I’m starting to do radio interviews. I’ve also got a website for my book as well – TheAdventuresOfJonnyLaw.com. You can read all of the comments I’ve received from my growing number of Jonny Law fans. My book is also on Amazon.com. You can read the great review I received on Amazon from independent book reviewer Reading For Sanity. And hopefully in and around May you’ll be able to view The New Steve and Bongo TV Show on YouTube.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

I am also presently working on a personal website that will have my music on it, music videos and “on the set” pictures taken from a couple of the short films I’ve produced. The site is located at SteveSamsel.com.