ED- The Publisher of The Eerie Digest is very excited to introduce an author who writes in the same genre that he does. Steven Nedelton began writing short stories in his teens and has become a very important author today. Steven, tell us about your early years in writing and how they provided you with the confidence in your career.
SN- Thank you very much for this opportunity to present my novels. I believe I became an avid reader after getting Tom Sawyer novel for my tenth birthday. And so, in a way, Mark Twain is to blame for all my later writing woes, including the nagging desire to become a writer some day too. They say Twain was a great writer, but I think he was a genius. How could a mere mortal write so many masterpieces? Actually, we were similar in some ways in our early youths, at least similar to his Tom and Huck. Just like those two, my friends and I used to go to the nearby river, though we never fished. We also ran along the sandy beaches, fought, got badly sunburned, smoked cheap tobacco, cursed abundantly, drank alcohol, and got sick from the evil combinations. Yet, unlike Tom and Huck, we were most often home on time. Those two had it easy, did not have to suffer the wrath of an infuriated parent waiting on them. I believe my friends and I started experimenting with the short story writing at the age of twelve or thirteen, definitely bitten by Twain’s bug. And one of my short stories did get published later in a literary journal, when I was in my twenties. But then I graduated from a university, and my writing nightmares began. I had to write job related technical reports at the end of each completed assignment. And that definitely put an end to all of my writing aspirations during the next three decades.
ED- Your first novel was ‘Fear!,’ you started it in the late 1990’s. Please tell our readers about this story and the theme behind it.
SN- Actually, it was my second book, and I completed it a few years ago. My very first novel or novella, some 30 K words total, ended in a shredder after I failed to come up with the central plot. In general, in order to get published, one should write in a genre that is at least partly popular, and provide a decent content. At first, I thought of writing an autobiography, but only the famous people use variations on their personal life in their first novels. I did not wish to write a novel based on my life alone and so I decided to present a view on life in general. Fear! is all about that. And so, this book, almost my first one, turned out to be my third novel. It should be released the next year.
ED- You next published ‘Crossroads’. Is there any similarity between this work and your first novel?
SN- There is no similarities. I was always an avid reader of quality thrillers, and I wanted to write one that would be in the genre of Frederick Forsyth, Ludlum and John le Carré, my favorite authors. Yet, coming up with an interesting idea proved to be very difficult. Furthermore, one idea alone could not result in 100K words, pretty much a norm for most submittals. Fortunately, I came across an interesting article in a major national newspaper in the mid 90s. It dealt with the new Russia woes, and there was a very short sentence in it about the Soviet KGB and CIA use of extrasensory in espionage. I thought I could use this idea in a novel. And so, Crossroads is an espionage thriller partly based on paranormal. The interesting characters came from my experiences in France and the Balkans. Though some of it is based on real life events and some research, most of the novel is pure fiction. Crossroads turned out to be my first published novel. It was rated five stars by Midwest Book Review and by a number of other professional reviewers. Most of the readers like it a lot.
ED- Your next thriller was ‘The Raven Affair’. For those of us that love thrillers you surely excel in this genre. As we have many students who read our magazine, and wish to become writers themselves, how do you plan your writing and the settings the story takes place in?
SN- In fiction, one must have one central, major idea that can be developed into a story. But, in order to exploit that idea, one must come up with a number of sub-plots and characters that are then connected, and somehow incorporated into the central plot. The sub-plots can come from research, or from the writer’s areas of interest. There are no rules for selecting the settings and characters. The process of building a novel depends solely on the writer. It is partly experience, partly research and mostly imagination.
ED- Please tell us about the plot of ‘The Raven Affair’.
SN- One of the major characters and several parts in The Raven Affair were based on the life of an infamous Balkans’ fascist. A local war government official who administered the execution of six hundred thousand innocent Serbs and Jews, including thousands of Muslims, during a maniacal ethnic cleansing rampage in the Balkans, in the Second World War. This madman then escaped from Europe and arrived to the United States. He ended up living quite happily in California until some of the relatives of his victims finally discovered him. The novel central plot is quite different. Although it is about revenge, about a fictitious avenger who knew about the murderer and pursued him across two continents, it incorporates other events and interesting characters ranging from priests and everyday folk, to narcotics dealers, hit men, and politicians. The novel was rated five stars by Apex Reviews, The U.S. review of books, by a Professor of Creative Writing and several other independent reviewers. It is well liked by most readers.
ED- Please provide the reviews of your work for our readers.
SN- The books reviews are attached.
ED- We understand that you are working on your next book entitled ‘Tunnel’. Can you give us a sneak preview of it?
SN- I started this novel about a year ago, but being too busy with promoting the two published novels, I stopped writing. I restarted it a few weeks ago. The novel is intended to be a thriller. I have less than 20 K words written, so it is very much in its infancy. Although I do have a partly central idea for the plot, it is too early to discuss it.
ED- Where can our readers find your work?
SN- My books are available Online at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, Fictionwise.com and Ereader.com, and at all bookstores by order. Apparently, there are a number of Crossroads out there and so the interested reader should use my name to search for it. The books are available in most formats. The information is provided on my web site www.snedelton.com and wix.com/snedelton/snedelton. The books’ blurbs, formal reviews and readers’ comments are available on Amazon.com.
ED- Steven, I want to thank you for the time that you have spent with us and hope that you will contact us when your newest novel is published. We love to keep all our readers informed on all those that we interview so that they can keep up with all their future achievements.
SN- I thank you very much for this opportunity to discuss my novels and I hope the interested readers will provide me with their comments. Without their critical opinion a writer is lost at the sea of his or her imagination.
Frighteningly Good, August 6, 2010
J Knox, MFA, Creative Writing Professor in San Antonio, TX, a fiction editor at Our Stories Literary Journal
The Raven Affair is a fast-moving book that pulls you in from page one. The sense of urgency that Nedelton creates from the get-go grows exponentially as the tale progresses. Raven is a hired hand, on the trail of a war criminal, but he soon finds his assignment isn’t what it seems. This book is dynamic and frighteningly believable, full of complex plot twists and sinister intellectual questions that, remarkably, kept this reader hooked.
The Raven Affair is destined to be adapted for the big screen. I found myself envisioning the scenes as I went along–quickly–unable to put the damn thing down.
The Raven Affair
Asylett Press, Inc.
(paperback, e-book, kindle)
Reviewed By Renee Washburn
Official Apex Reviews Rating: FIVE STARS
A no-nonsense assassin at the top of his game, The Raven is a highly
effective “problem solver” whose methods and results are beyond question. So,
with the end of World War II long since passed and an infamous war criminal
still on the loose, Interpol agents desperate to bring the sadistic killer to
justice have no other option but to call on the only one even more vicious than
he is…little does The Raven know, though, his handlers have much more sinister
plans in mind for his services…
Taut, engaging, and supremely well written, The Raven Affair is a superb instant
classic. With more than its fair share of break-neck action and mindnumbing
suspense, author Steven Nedelton’s compelling political thriller is a fastpaced
page turner, the literary equivalent of such silver screen jewels as the Bourne
series. Further bolstering the high-stakes mystery tale is a highly believable
central storyline of murder and mayhem in the name of global domination – quite
the tantalizing fodder for fans of complex narratives involving intricate
conspiracy theories brought to vivid life on the page.
With nonstop action and intriguing, well defined characters, The Raven
Affair is a bona fide literary thrill ride guaranteed not to disappoint.
The US Review of Books
PO Box 11, Titusville, NJ 08560
The Raven Affair
by Steven Nedelton
Asylett Press, Inc.
reviewed by Peter M. Fitzpatrick
“The Second World War is not over. Destabilize and confuse, that’s their game. It’s the super wealthy, I’m sure. Now they’re using America as their battering ram.”
A core group of old Nazis have reorganized themselves into a powerful group of industrialists, financiers, and politicians. Our government protects them because they helped us win the Cold War. Now they begin to forment riots and assassinate political opposition in the United States and Europe, in a final bid to seize power. Interpol, Holocaust survivors, and even the Russian SVR (the modern version of the KGB) know who some of them are. This riff on a what-if world of international intrigue and conspiracy allows the author to air some long held suspicions of U.S. government–and even Church–collusion in protecting Nazi criminals. In a tightly woven plot of spies, counterspies, deep cover agents, and sleeper assassins, issues of identity and truth become very convoluted indeed.
The author pulls no punches in describing the horrors and butchery committed by these devotees of Hitler. That they drew in and compromised so many in positions of power time makes this book a welcome antidote to historical forgetfulness, even if it is a work of fiction. The characters are drawn with a careful eye to how easily corruptible we are as a species. Any heroic figures are really just assassins for hire. It is a world driven mostly by greed and power, if not by insane notions of racial purity. There are some good people, but the idols of Church and State (our own) are seriously deconstructed. It is one of Vladimir Putin’s spies who comes off as the most idealistic. Hard-bitten realism prevails, which combines well with the suspense and action. It also helps justify this addition to the already huge body of fiction on Nazis. In the end, more realism helps us understand.
CROSSROADS REVIEWS (Crossroads at http://www.SNEDELTON.com)
MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW 5.0 out of 5 stars for Crossroads spy thriller
A fascinating and entertaining story of cold war espionage, highly recommended, December 11, 2009
By Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA) –
Double crossing, triple crossing, quadruple crossings are not things that were unheard of in the espionage time of the Cold War. “Crossroads” is a story of cold war espionage as Tallman distrusts the newest defector to the agency, former soviet spy Mikhail. When new technology is on the line, it becomes harder and harder to know who to really trust. “Crossroads” is a fascinating and entertaining story of cold war espionage, highly recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast-Paced, Tight Prose, December 22, 2009
By J. L. Knox “JLK” (San Antonio, TX USA)
OK. This is not the genre of choice for me, but I’ve come to know Steven Nedelton and I had to admit, his book (CROSSROADS) sounded interesting, so why limit myself, I thought. So here’s my take: This is a plot-driven, fast-paced, spy thriller that seems to incorporate a lot of research and keen literary skill. I’m very glad I picked up this book, and thanks to Nedelton, I’m in the market for an occasional thriller. To recommend this book, I have to resort to a reviewer’s cliché: I couldn’t put it down.
Jen Knox, Author of MUSICAL CHAIRS,
Fiction Editor at OUR STORIES Literary Journal
“Reminiscent of John Le Carre with a dash of Ian Flemming, Steven Nedelton’s Crossroads plunges us deep into the complicated and not yet thawed Cold War mind-power experimentations and its dubious dark characters that once inhabited that volatile underworld. Written with an uncanny knack for plot and time-shifting, this 21st century thriller also introduces us to 20 th century CIA Agent David Tallman, the main character who possesses depth, passion and, in the grand tradition of Hemingway at his best, more than his fair share of tragedy and wickedness. An unusually multi-layered and absorbing novel, Crossroads will be and should be read by thriller and spy novel enthusiasts all over the globe.”
–Vincent Zandri, author of ‘As Catch Can’ and ‘Moonlight Falls.’
“…read this Five Stars novel from an author that I feel is equal to Daniel Silva, Steve Berry, Baldacci and other writers of exciting thrillers.” Fran Lewis: Reviewer, January 7, 2010
“A techno-thriller in the tradition of Tom Clancy, Crossroads combines the best of Cold War era cat-and-mouse espionage with a healthy dose of conspiracy topped off with a bit of mind control. Steven Nedelton displays a masterful sense of suspense as he winds his way through the intricacies of back room political machinations. With a keen eye for detail, Nedelton leads us down the dark road of international intrigue, assassination and real world politics. Crossroads is a first-rate thrill ride that will keep you tearing through the pages to reach the dramatic conclusion.”
–Sean Harris, author ‘Dead of Winter’
“An exciting new book is out, Crossroads by Steven Nedelton. I recommend it highly, in fact I bought it. It is a mind bending thriller that deals with espionage, murder, revenge and mayhem. If you have ever ridden on a roller coaster, you had better keep your hands in the car with this one. This will keep you on the edge of your seat but at times there is NO edge. Mind control takes over leaving you grasping and gasping at this Ian Holm style story. It is, however, much more than that. You won’t put this book down unless you need a brain break. Try it; it’s worth the ride! At SNEDELTON.com.”
Joseph Parente, author/actor, Jan. 28, 2010
“Crossroads is an international spy thriller with an intriguing plot that twists and turns thus engaging the interest of the reader till the final page. It contains an array of interesting characters ranging from the bottom of the food chain like Mme Benoit, an ex-cop turned killer for hire Hans Polf to the top Russian Special Operations boss Sergey Sokolov. In this spy game no one is spared, no one is indispensable. It’s how each character meets his/her end that makes the plot suspenseful and satisfying as a spy thriller. The plot flirts back and forth, from the United States, to Russia and to France giving it an international flair.
Steven Nedelton has a flair for details – a good example is how the fallen Volkov stalked Solkolov to have his revenge. Time and time again, Nedelton painstakingly builds up a scene before the violence erupted, giving the plot suspense and visual detail. He has a keen eye for details.
A good read for a lazy day at home.”
–Mei L, a reviewer