Steve Rodgers

Hoppers, fiction, Issue 26, March 1, 2014

Birthdate? November 23, 1965
When did you start writing? I started my first novel when I was seventeen.
When and what and where did you first get published? My first published story was “Freaks” in Deepwood Publishing’s Ruined Cities anthology.
What themes do you like to write about? I’m drawn to the mysterious, and there is plenty of opportunity for that in speculative fiction. I tend to shy away from aliens who talk and sound like humans. When I describe extra-terrestrials, I prefer them to be bizarre and barely comprehensible. After all, if we can’t even communicate with the other sentient species on this planet (dolphins) why would we share any common ground with aliens based on a different biology?
I’m also drawn to historical speculative fiction, and have written stories set in the Aztec empire, the American civil war, Eighth century Europe, early century Africa, and others.
What books and/or stories have most resonated with you as an author? Why? How do these stories and their characters find expression in your work? One of my favorite authors is Orson Scott Card, because of his ability to evoke strong emotion in the reader. I think evoking emotion is the essence of good writing, speculative or not. I also like Stephen Lawhead for his historical fiction, Harry Turtledove for the same reason, and many others.
While it is great to admire a given author, certain stories will not lend themselves to emulating any given style. In a story meant to be funny, evoking strong emotions may not be appropriate, and so on. So while I’d love to emulate Orson Scott Card’s emotional train-ride in general, I will only try it on some stories. Every tale has to be unique, and true to itself.
I started my first novel when I was seventeen, lightly inspired by a D&D campaign. I stopped writing when life got in the way, and then picked up speculative fiction writing again four years ago. My first dip back into the waters was a fantasy novel based on the original concepts from my teenage years but with none of the original text--tempered by real life, every single word has been replaced. I spent a couple years writing and re-writing the novel until it became something I’m mostly proud of. It’s been read by a handful of people (including two professional editors) and has gotten high marks from everyone whose seen it (see this link for some nice words on my novel from a professional editor: However, it’s still on a shelf, waiting for one more revision on the first few chapters before I let it see the light of day.
In mid-2012 I began writing short speculative fiction, and in early 2013 I began submitting my stories to various venues. In that time I’ve received four publications (including this one).
I live in San Diego, California with my wife and furry kid.