Today I have the privilege of interviewing J C Steel, author of Through the Hostage: When survival is all that matters (The Cortii series book 1). The whole series looks great. And those covers are gorgeous! I think I’d get the books just for those.
What is the hardest part of writing?
Honestly? Not doing it. I can’t even remember a point in time when I didn’t clock out to tell myself stories in my head when real life failed to provide sufficient entertainment. These days, the thing most likely to lose me my job is probably the fact that when I’m hatching a new book, I get bits and snippets lodged in my head, and after a while the cumulative effect leaves me with the attention span of a fruit fly on crack.
I can definitely relate to having to tell that story right now and the resulting lack of focus on anything else.
Tell us about your favorite literary character.
I have a lot of book characters I like, but if I had to pick a top favourite, it would have to be Dorothy Dunnett’s Francis Crawford of Lymond. Dorothy Dunnett wrote historical fiction, and the protagonist of one of her series is a minor nobleman named Crawford of Lymond. He’s brilliant, educated, and nasty, and he goes from chained to the oars in a galley for a crime he didn’t commit to outlawry in Scotland to a brush with the Sultan Suleiman’s court to training the Russian army. I’ve read and re-read those books so often the covers fell off the first set and I had to replace them all.
I think you’ve spotted a definite advantage of ebooks. We can reread those with no danger of lost covers! Your favorite character sounds like a less honorable Jack of all trades. How about you? What are some of the jobs besides writer that you’ve held?
I’ve worked retail for student beer money, I was employed for five years as a genealogical researcher for a gentleman whose ancestry involved finding and translating documents from everywhere between Russia and Argentina (and they said I’d never use that degree in languages), I’ve worked as a project manager and editor for several years, and I’m currently working in financial compliance.
Oh, wow. I think that job doing genealogical research sounds fascinating.
Okay, time for some word sprints! Plotter or pantser?
I only plot in real life, I’m a pantser all the way.
Morning person or night owl?
If I didn’t have to work…so, so a night owl.
What superpower do you wish you had?
Telekinesis, because seriously, I could improve boring meetings no end.
About the Book
Title: Through the Hostage: When survival is all that matters (Cortii Series book 1)
Author: J C Steel
Publication date: 28 February, 2015
Length: 345 pages
Synopsis: Khyria Ilan is a commander in the Cortii, the most elite mercenary organisation in known space. With a past she can’t remember, and commanders who would love to see her dead, her future is likely to be short: her command faces their ultimate test to prove their right to survive.
When the odds are impossible, sometimes the only thing to do is play the game …
About the Author
Born in Gibraltar and raised on a yacht around the coasts of the Atlantic, I’m an author, martial artist, and introvert. In between the necessary making of money to allow the writing of more books, I can usually be found stowing away on a spaceship, halfway to the further galaxy.
Science-fiction and urban fantasy are my favourite genres to write in. I grew up on a rich diet of Anne McCaffrey, Tolkien, Dorothy Dunnett, and Jack Higgins, and finally started to write my own books aged fourteen. I can’t point the finger at any one book or author that set me in my current direction, but I blame my tendency to write characters who favour drastically practical solutions on some mix of those. If I can toss in a bit of gender- and genre-bending, so much the better. Status quo is boring.