I've lived in places that grew me . . . from a small Idaho farm town, a run-down neighborhood in St. Louis, and a middle-class southern California community, to Sydney, Australia, and Bucharest, Romania. My experiences are as varied as the places I've lived. I have a hopper full of "reality" including being a volunteer jail chaplain and flying with a U.S. presidential candidate in his small plane when an engine conked out. And all of this is fodder for my writing.
My latest book is the action/adventure/suspense novel, Sealed Up.
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About the Book:
Title: Sealed Up
Author: Steve Dunn Hanson
Author: Steve Dunn Hanson
The Da Vinci Code unsettles. SEALED UP shakes to the core!
UCLA anthropologist Nathan Hill, in a funk since his young wife’s death, learns of staggering millennia-old chronicles sealed up somewhere in a Mesoamerica cliff. This bombshell rocks him out of his gloom, and he leads a clandestine expedition to uncover them. What are they? Who put them there? No one knows. But, self-absorbed televangelist Brother Luke, who funds the expedition, thinks he does. If he’s right, his power-hunger will have off-the-charts gratification.
Striking Audra Chang joins Nathan in his pursuit and brings her own shocking secret. As they struggle through a literal jungle of puzzles and dead ends, she finds herself falling in love with Nathan. Her secret, though, may make that a non-starter.
When a shaman with a thirst for human sacrifice, and a murderous Mexican drug lord with a mysterious connection to Brother Luke emerge, the expedition appears doomed. Yet Nathan is convinced that fate—or something—demands these inscrutable chronicles be unearthed.
And if they are . . . what shattering disruption will they unleash?
Intricately layered and remarkably researched, this enthralling suspense-driven and thought provoking tour de force begs a startling question: Could it happen?
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Thanks for letting us interrogate you! Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?
Maybe I’m a masochist. Just kidding—sort of. Writing can be agonizing, frustrating, depressing, and a bunch of other –ing words. But the bottom-line is I wanted to be an author because I have something to say.
Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be? I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?
I don’t know what it is supposedly cracked up to be, but it is work. Really hard work. And it takes off-the-charts self-discipline to keep at it. The perks? Well, there is nothing that quite equals the creating of something beautiful, meaningful, and true.
Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?
My first books years ago were traditionally published, but this one, Sealed Up, is self-published. I probably would have gone traditional with this one, if I could have found an agent that fit. As it turns out, I went the right way. I’ve learned a ton in the process, and my book is doing very well. The downside is the time it is taking to “do everything.” That’s slowed the writing of my next book in the series, but that’s okay.
What’s the snarkiest thing you can say about the publishing industry?
I’m not being snarky, it’s just the way it is. By definition publishing decisions are mostly subjective, and to make their bet as sure as possible, agents and publishers cater to authors with a track record. Fortunately, there is now a viable way for unknown authors to successfully self-publish. It’s tough, but the author is in control, and it can work.
Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?
My wife, children, and grandchildren have all been ultra-supportive. It’s amazing how much help they have been.
What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?
Getting into the Amazon Kindle ebooks top 100 ebooks sold (#51) and being designated by Amazon a Best Seller two months after my book was published. Not in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that!
How about the social networks? Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?
Facebook and Goodreads have been the best. Twitter? Ehh!
Book sales. Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)? How are you making the sales happen for you?
My cover is great and has been phenomenal in attracting readers. I think my book’s description is very good too. Maximizing SOE, getting word-of-mouth going, etc. has all been helpful. The really big things have been getting the word out on places like NetGalley and using special price promotion with the help of folks out there who have a zillion subscribers—like BookBub.
What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?
I’m too laid back to do that. But if I did, it would be how grateful I am to live at a time when, with limited means, I can effectively get my books published and distributed so just about anyone in the world can access them.
Okay, too much sugar for you today! Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in. Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?
Well, I believe I have something meaningful to say, and being a published author is the vehicle to get that word out. All of the trudging has been a learning process that helps me be better at doing that. For me, that’s been a pretty small price to pay.