Welcome to the Author of the Week Page, where I set up a project to support Indie Authors by interviewing them and helping get their name and books out there! This weeks Author of the Week is MK Stein.
Hello MK! Let's start with learning a little about yourself!
Hi, Elizabeth! My debut book is called Fire in the Hole, it's a romantic comedy. As for myself I turned 50 last year and had a few things I wanted to do before I reached that milestone. Publishing a book was one. Getting a lead in a play and going to Europe were others and I performed in a Christmas play, though not as a lead, and had my trip to England booked until Covid hit. But I got my first book published 3 weeks before I hit 50. Whew!
My husband has always been encouraging and supportive and gets shushed a lot when I’m writing. My “office” is an oversized, stuffed green leather chair. I sit in it sideways, with my legs hanging off the armrest and my laptop, well, in my lap. We live on a golf course in Daytona Beach, FL, and my view is the 15th tee and palm trees. My husband happens to be the two-time reigning champion of that golf course, so a lot of times, I get to watch him teeing off outside my window. It’s the best of both worlds for both of us and occasionally he gets to shush me.
It sounds wonderful MK, what got you into writing?
I remember in high school, we used to have to write essay answers in things called “blue books.” It was a book of about ten pieces of lined paper folded in half with a, you guessed it blue cover. Whenever I had extra blue books, I would write short stories in them. By the time I graduated, I probably had amassed fifty stories.
I joined the military right after I graduated and my parents decided to move to Florida, so I had to downsize my life to a cardboard box. The stories went in the trash. My love of writing didn’t. When I got out of the military, I decided to become a Language Arts teacher. I wrote for classes in college, then for assignments when I taught. I left teaching and got a great job in the non-profit sector.
The idea for Fire in the Hole came about after my brother’s wedding in Jackson Hole, WY. The events up to and including his wedding were so much fun, I knew there was a book in there somewhere. All that practice I had helped. It’s my first novel, which leaves room for improvement, but it was so much fun to write!
I bet your brother is hanging his head, thinking uh oh! What’s the main thing you love and hate about writing?
I love making people happy. If I can give them an experience because of words that came from my head and through the medium of a story, those words got into their head and maybe helped them forget a problem, or made them laugh, maybe what I wrote helped them see a situation clearer, or resonated with an issue they were having. That is the greatest feeling for me. It’s such a huge compliment when someone tells me they got really caught up in my story.
Writing is painting a picture with words. I can see what the picture looks like and sometimes I forget that the reader can’t. Perhaps it’s because I forgot to tell them the important details? That’s when I hate that they’re simply readers and not mind readers!
I know, I've re-written my books so many times, just little changes, I now refuse to let myself re-read them or I'll keep making changes. What's next on your list to write/publish?
I’m working on a series called Color Me Crazy. It’s just about as far from Fire in the Hole as it can get, yet it’s still been so much fun to write. Fire in the Hole came about because of my brother’s wedding. Sydney and Dean are me and my brother. Certain parts of that book had to stay true to real events in order for the story to work so I couldn’t get too carried away with the fiction.
When I sat down to write Color Me Crazy, those characters wrote every line of the book. When I heard people talking about that stuff, I thought they were outright nutters. Now? I’m a club member with a punch card. One more book and I get a free t-shirt.
Where do I sign up for the t-shirt? Who is your favourite author, and why?
Linda Howard. She writes mystery with strong heroines and good romance. It’s never a damsel in distress. The damsel can usually kick ass and take names, but a law enforcement guy needs to haul her in for something and they make a good team to fight the “bad guy” together. Or she’s the law hauling him in. But her women are never weak.
Who encouraged you the most to write?
The most? If I can say his name…Rick Dolislager. English 101. No lie, that was the name of the course and he was my professor. One of the coolest teachers I ever had and he made writing awesome. An exercise he had us do was called “free-writing.” He had us turn off our computer monitor and write. It made us focus on WHAT we were saying versus HOW we were saying it. We couldn’t see if we’d made mistakes typing or if our grammar was wrong. We just wrote. I encourage everyone to try it. If you work with just a laptop, hang a magazine over it so you can’t see the page, or cover it some other way. Find a writing prompt and give yourself five minutes a day to write
That's good advice, are you as avid a reader as a writer?
I used to be. Last summer I read a book a day. My husband teased me that I was in competition with the kids at the library for the summer reading program and I was going to beat out some poor little kid for top spot and steal the prize of a bookmark. This year, I’ve been spending most of my time either writing or beta reading.
I bet I can guess but what’s your favourite genre?
Good romantic comedy, or romantic mystery.
Ah ha, knew it lol, Do you listen to music when you write?
I generally like it quiet when I write. I’m a huge music person, so if music is playing, I’m either singing or dancing, neither of which is conducive to writing.
Chair dancing when you write lol! What question would you ask a famous author?
Oh, I suck at asking questions. At least important ones. I’d be like, “OMG, I love your sweater, is that from Old Navy?”
Tell me a secret that none of your fans know!
I collect thimbles. I have over 160 little thimbles from all over the world. Most are ceramic, but I have wood, bone china, glass, pewter, even cloisonné. They’re one of those things that aren’t too expensive, and they don’t take up much room in luggage, so when people travel, they tend to pick one up for me as a souvenir. I write who it’s from and the date on a tiny piece of paper and put it inside. I use old printer drawers to display them on a wall in my kitchen.
Aww that's a sweet secret! Tell me what your main character would say about you!
My main character in Fire in the Hole pretty much is me, LOL. But, she’d probably say, it’s about damn time you got this book done!
LOL you/she are bossy! Finally, any words of advice?
I’ve almost died, twice. My advice to everyone is to live your life with no regrets. If you were to die tomorrow, what would you regret not doing? Do it now, before it’s too late.
Thank you for taking the time to sit down and for the wonderful interview. To keep up to date with MK please find her at,
Author Website: www.mksteinauthor.com
Disclaimer. The opinions and views expressed in this article are the interviewees and may differ from the interviewer/general public. The works and images published here may be subject to the Author's Copyright, please do not copy the images as your own.