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River Steven's Interview

Article By: Author Interviews

Tags: Interview

River Steven's recounts passionately the inspiration for Chasing Train Tracks that will surely tug your heart strings. Keep your tissues handy, for the tears will surely fall.

Submitted:Feb 16, 2012    Reads: 126    Comments: 6    Likes: 3   

Q: Where are you from?
A: I'm just your average girl from Denver, CO J

Q: What is some of your latest news for writing?
A: Mmm, I'm afraid there isn't any for the moment. L I'm dabbling in a bit of writing here and there, but I only ever write when I know I'm feeling particularly inspired, but even then, there is rarely a finished product. My novel 'It Started With A Pie' is on an indefinite hiatus. But I did start another short story today which is sort of a sequel to Chasing Train Tracks, so we shall see how that goes. J

Q: When and why did you start writing?
A: Gosh, I still don't really consider myself one. I feel like to classify yourself as a writer, you've got to have written something that you are so, so proud of. I don't think I've written that story yet, although I do know that I am slowly improving and getting closer to regarding myself as one. J

Q: What inspired you to write 'Chasing Train Tracks'?
A: My birthday and the anniversary of my dad's death were approaching when I began Chasing Train Tracks. I took a hard, long look at my life, and for the first time in what seems like months, I was inspired to write. So I suppose it was my life along with the lives of people who I know that I drew from and which inspired me to write Chasing Train Tracks.

Q: How would you describe your writing style?
A: Oh wow. This is a seriously hard question, lols. Mmmm, I'd say simple, but honest. It also depends on what story you're reading. I'd say my novels are a lot more light hearted and aimed at being more humorous, but my short stories always were more serious and solemn, I suppose. But at the end of the day, my writing style is simple, with a mixture of description and dialogue, I think. (My apologies to everyone who is bored by my answers by now, by the way.)

Q: How did you come up with the title for 'Chasing Train Tracks'?
A: Originally, the title was going to go with another story that I started writing. It just sounded good, but I realized that the story I was writing at the time wasn't as perfect for it as it could be, so I scrapped it for several months until I started writing what is now Chasing Train Tracks. However, trains and train tracks have always been beautiful to me. They're so poignant, and I just think of how many people have walked across them over how many years, and I am reminded that I am not alone.

Q: Is there a certain message in Chasing Train Tracks that you want you readers to know or understand?
A: Like my character Summer, I have an affinity to grasp onto the past and the people I knew. I want for the people who read Chasing Train Tracks-for everyone, really-not to hold onto the past with such a tight grasp. Once something has happened, it's happened. When somebody's gone, they're gone. It's a sad truth, but life goes on, and we have to move with it. And although she didn't really do it in the story, Summer did use to fake smiles, like so many people do. You shouldn't have to do that. Everyone should have a reason to smile wholeheartedly, and if you ever do feel like you're faking smiles to the point where you don't really know what it is you're feeling anymore, you can come to me and I will truly try my hardest to put a genuine smile on your face.

Q: How big of a part did reality play in 'Chasing Train Tracks'?
A: Most of the basis for Chasing Train Tracks is my life. I had a problem with dwelling on the past, like many people I had a best friend who was like a sister that I drifted apart from, I was struggling with the past and the present and that in turn affected my future.

Q: What books that you've read have influenced your writing the most?
A: Definitely books like Before I fall, Before I Die, Never Let Me Go, Forbidden, If I Stay, Thirteen Reasons Why, and most of Sarah Dessen's books have affected my more recent writing. I'd say my older stories were influenced greatly by writers like Meg Cabot, any cheesy trashy romance book, lols. I stick to tragic, sad stick to tragic, sad romances these days.

Q: Are you reading any books right now?
A: I'm rereading the Harry Potter series- for LITERALLY the 200th time. I'm not even joking, I used to make it a rule of mine to read the series once every two or so weeks. I also read this damn frustrating book called A Hopeless Romantic by Harriet Evans and I swear, I could have butchered the annoying woman of a main heroine. Let's just say cheaters don't do well with me.

Q: Are there any new authors on booksie that have grasped your interest? Who are they?
A: Yep, there is J I don't think she's properly new or anything since I'm quite sure she's previously had an account, but Cheers had a really lovely wonderful Valentine's Day story that I adored, and she's so, so good.

Q: What are your current projects?
A: I'm writing a story which is the sequel to Chasing Train Tracks. J

Q: Do you see writing as a career?
A: I wanted to be a successful writer from when I was about five years old until about three or four years ago. But something like journalism has always been something I'd love to do, but I don't think writing books for a living is my dream any more.

Q: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in 'Changing Train Tracks'?
A: I'd love to say I wouldn't kill Blake again, but right from the start he was going to die. He did what he was meant to do, and died satisfied with the fact he had saved the girl he had fallen in love with. So no, I don't think I would change anything, except for perhaps some characteristics that Summer possesses.

Q: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
A: Writing heartfelt, sad scenes has always been something I've struggled with. Putting words on a page is a powerful thing, and since I get far too attached to my characters, if they're sad, I'm sad. If they're angry, I'm angry.

Q: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
A: Being so honest, I think. Chasing Train Tracks was the most honest thing I have ever written, with real people and feelings. The words literally just poured out, and I think that in total, I only spent about four hours on it, and it's over 5000 words long.

Q: Who is your favorite author on booksie and what is that really strikes you about their work?
A: This is so hard! But honestly, Lucky Alyssa. I can't express how much I love her stories. Her writing reminds me of Sarah Dessen's, and is simply enchanting, with the way she uses her words and can make you feel literally any emotion in the space of 2.9 seconds, lol. Her characters are flawed but incredibly realistic and loveable, and she had so much to give. She's also not only a wonderful writer, but such a beautiful person and dedicated reader. However, my favorite novel EVER on Booksie is Disney's Dismantled Fairytale by Phoebe Gardens, which has the most gorgeous characters. Not in looks, but in the things they said and in the way they acted, and it was a story I literally reread about ten times.

Q: Did you learn anything from writing 'Chasing Train Tracks'?
A: I learnt that in the end, everything will be okay. Even though people die, and people you love leave you, things will get better, and you will end up where you are meant to be.

Q: Do you have any advice for other writers?
A: It's going to sound hideously corny, but don't ever give up or let other people get you down. There are always going to be people out there who are cruel and say mean things about your writing, but as long as you are happy with what you have written, then there is nothing in the world that should stop you. Also, if you're suffering from writer's block, write it out, or go outside and stare at the sky. It really does help to clear your head. Don't write too many things at once, either, or that'll probably affect the amount you write I think.

Q: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
A: I love you guys. Truly. Every single one of you deserves all of the happiness in the world, and I cannot thank everyone enough for actually sticking by me these last almost two years. Booksie is home, but it would be nothing without each of you. Each of you means so much, and if you have dreams, and wishes, then you shouldn't let anything stop you, whether it be other people or even your own fear of rejection. You're all beautiful people, and I really do love you guys with everything I have.


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