Author Spotlight #7 – Steve Wilhelm

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Steve Wilhelm is a freelance writer, author, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Telecommunications. Steve has enjoyed writing journals and short stories since his early childhood days in rural Idaho. His passions include movies, writing, social media, photography, and the outdoors. He currently lives in the Boise area. You can find him on Facebook at:
https://www.facebook.com/stevedubb – message him if you have any questions or anything, he loves to interact with any and all readers!


What inspired you to be an author?

~~~ I don’t know that there was anything in particular that inspired me, per se. When I got sober twelve years ago, I found I had load of extra time on my hands. I applied to the TV show Big Brother and in my star-struck eyes, I figured if I ever became famous, I thought it might be appropriate to write my autobiography. I felt it would be prudent for me to put my own history out there, my own dirt, rather than have people try to dig around and find crap about me. Then after that was done, I thought maybe I could get into writing fiction. And thus it began!


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What genre do you write?

~~~ I have written the one autobiography, and then I wrote a time-travel romance series followed by an action-suspense, romance. Now I’m involved with another author, Nicole Strycharz, with a collaboration of a contemporary romance. So I guess the recurring theme of my works is romance. Who knew? I remember way back when, I was always dabbling with different things in writing, my mom suggested I write a romance. But a steamy one, like the Harlequin Romances. She told me they are popular and that those authors seem to be very successful. I never went through with that at the time.


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Daniel Allen has it all: a beautiful wife and daughter, a successful career, a nice house. He wants for nothing, really, until a missing piece of his life from twenty-five years ago is revealed. As unanswered questions loom, Daniel is given the opportunity to return to his past. On a journey of rediscovery, will Daniel find what he’s looking for? Can he change the course of his destiny, or will he forever alter what was meant to be?

Daniel Allen is a good man with a good family; happy, successful and blessed. A past love is revealed . . . what happened to her? Daniel is given the opportunity to go back and find out. There are rules — there are consequences for breaking them. Is the grass truly greener? Daniel finds that the costs of changes are very high. Journey with Daniel on his quest for resolution to his mistakes. Will he get Another Time or Another Chance for happiness?


What is your favorite book that you have written? Why?

~~~ Besides Fragile Hearts, my favorite book I’ve written has to be Another Time – Another Chance. It allowed me to relive my past, to experience things that there was no way I ever would in real life. The scene where Daniel comes down to breakfast after he has gone back to the past was brilliant and still brings a lump to my throat. I can’t say much more than that without giving out spoilers. I’ve been told I’m the best at spoilers. So, I’ve been working on that. The book is special to me. It was really the first work of fiction I put out and though there are two sequels after that, it still is my favorite. I love Daniel.


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My name is Daniel Allen. My wife Lizzie and I have been married for almost twenty years; we are both very successful in our careers. We have a beautiful daughter, Megan, who has just started her first year at a University on the East Coast. We live in a nice house in a nice neighborhood and really we want for nothing. I love my wife and daughter. There’s no question about that; never has been. Not really.

Chapter One


         It was a hot and muggy afternoon in the basement and I wished I brought more than the one bottle of cold beer down with me. I surveyed the stacks of unlabeled boxes on the numerous shelves along both sides of the cramped room with dismay. It was going to be a much more daunting task than I originally anticipated, but the thought of how surprised and delighted Lizzie would be when she found I had transferred the many years of photos we had onto DVDs would make the effort well worth it. It was a project she had talked about doing herself for years, but never quite found the time.

       Lizzie had gone to see Megan in New York for Parents’ Week at NYU, leaving me to myself for the next seven days. I couldn’t go, due to a very important account presentation I was working on.

       “The deal is supposed to be closing next week,” I told Lizzie. “It should go smoothly, and it means a great deal of money to the company . . . to us as well.”

       “I’m sure we would be very comfortable in our lives either way,” Lizzie replied.

       “And I’m sure Megan will be fine without me. I know as long as you are there, she won’t even notice that her old man isn’t.”

“That’s not true, Daniel!”

       “You know Megan loves you more than me.” I winked and then she smiled and blew me a kiss.

“She loves you just fine, trust me,” Lizzie said.

“And what about you,” I started, with a wolfish grin. “Will you miss me?”

“You better hope so,” Lizzie said with her own devilish smile. “And you better hope your daughter doesn’t take me to any fraternity parties. They probably haven’t changed that much since we were in college.”

Even though I knew Lizzie was having fun, her comment did make me think twice about staying at home. “Maybe I should go with you after all . . . what do you think?”

“Stay home and earn the bacon, my hero. You know my menu is off limits to anyone but you.”

I grinned to myself and got back to the project at hand.

I started stacking boxes against the one clear wall in the room. I found old clothes in the first, which I figured I could donate to goodwill and piled them into one stack. Another couple of boxes contained a lot of Megan’s old toys, and nostalgia washed over me as I went through them. How quickly time passed, I thought. My little girl was now all grown up and attending college on the other side of the country.

       I laughed at all the “As seen on TV” exercise equipment Lizzie and I had purchased through the years but used only a handful of times before something newer and better grabbed our attention. Eventually we tallied up all the money we spent on those “gimmicks,” as we called them, and figured it was better if we just joined a gym.

       I came across my extensive collection of vinyl records and singles and wondered if I should keep them or take them to a dealer. Maybe I could donate them to the church or library. Or maybe I could make some quick cash if I auctioned them off on eBay. I decided to keep them instead. I finally pulled out the box with the photos; our wedding album nestled atop two other albums. It really was such a beautiful wedding and Lizzie had never looked more stunning. The first vacation we had taken was the honeymoon cruise to Alaska; then two years later to Orlando, where we did the whole Disneyworld and Universal Studios thing. Nothing really fancy by any means, but we had some really good times. Since then, there had been no other big trips, just little weekend getaways, as work began to take over our lives.

      The next box took me back even further than Megan’s childhood. Withered paperbacks and dusty trophies mingled with concert T-shirts and wall posters from my teen years. Resting at the bottom of the box, I found my old high school letterman’s jacket, and though it still seemed to be in great shape, it smelled like it should after having been in the box for over two decades.

       Underneath the jacket I found my senior yearbook. I couldn’t remember the last time I had seen it, but then I couldn’t remember the last time I had seen any of my old things. I wondered if my jacket would still fit after all these years, so I set the yearbook down and tried it on. It was a very snug fit. I smiled and shook my head. I certainly was not in the same physical shape as I was back then. I was glad Lizzie wasn’t there to see me. She would have made some comment about us not even using the gym membership as regularly as we should be.

      As I struggled to remove the ill-fitted jacket, I knocked the yearbook off the box, scattering envelopes across the floor. I wondered what they were and tossed the jacket casually back into the box. I picked up the envelopes and sat down.

      Each one had the name “Danny” handwritten across the front, and I instantly remembered who they were from: Jules.

      Jules had been my high school sweetheart. We had completely adored each other, and had no desire to see anyone else. I read the first card and the letter that was inside, and remembered how much we had cared for each other.

Happy memories flooded back to me.


I have always loved a good time travel story. Steve Wilhelm did not disappoint me with this one. ~ Larry L Deibert ~ Amazon


Are you a full-time author or do you have a day job?

~~~ As much as I’d love to write full time, unfortunately I have to maintain a day job. It’s a good job, that helps to pay the bills. And I have time to write on my breaks or at lunch time. So, to me, it’s a win-win situation, though I look forward to the day that I can become the FULL-TIME author!! Then it will be time for celebration!!


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What is your current project?

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~~~ So, now my current project is the collaboration with Nicole, and it’s strictly a contemporary romance. No paranormal, no murders, no car chases, just a character-based romance. And, quite honestly, I think it’s the best thing I’ve done. Of course, teamed up with Nicole, how could that NOT be the case? It’s been a dream working with her. And the book? It’s going to be epic!! It’s so real and fantastic, how is it NOT going to take off!!

How do you decide on character names and plots?

~~~ Character names can be tricky. You don’t necessarily want to use a name just because of it’s uniqueness or it’s normalcy. Names need to fit the character. So, I try to come up with a name the character will be comfortable with. Sometimes I use the names of friends, more of an homage to our friendship. Sometimes I’ll use the names of people I do not like, or who have wronged me in the past. That serves a purpose for me, because then I know they will or can be expendable. I have been known to kill characters. Ask Nicole. She’ll tell you ALL about that.

What is your latest book and what was the inspiration for it?

~~~ The latest book is Fragile Hearts, the collaboration with Nicole Strycharz I have mentioned previously. The inspiration came about after discovering her books and reading them and finding out that I actually enjoyed reading romances. She has a wonderfully unique way of bringing her stories and characters to life. Then, in June of 2017, I had the opportunity to travel to Virginia on vacation and I made it a point to meet her. What a blessing and a life-changer for me! Nicole has since read all of my books and she tells me she loves them and how wonderful of an author I am. I told her that’s like Stephen King telling me how good I am! We spent a lot of time together, talking about life and everything. I asked her if she would ever consider writing a book with me and then we started tossing together ideas and plots. Over the next year, those ideas gelled into a wonderful book that I am so stinking proud to be a part of!


Fragile Hearts was a very fast read and well worth my time. I highly recommend it ! ~ Shari Coltharp ~ Amazon


What were you like as a child? Did you like to write then?

~~~ I was always a little more outgoing than some. I think up until the sixth grade, that is. But in junior high, I was really into acting. Eighth and ninth grades I acted in all the plays the theater department put on. After I moved to high school, I became quite a bit more reserved, and I didn’t like being in front of groups. I don’t know what happened, but I still have a little phobia of being in front of crowds. I’m working on this, because as a signing author, I need to be outgoing and able to meet and greet and talk to people I don’t know!

What is your favorite book? Why?

~~~ My favorite book that I can remember was . . . well, two of them. The Stand and Salem’s Lot, both by Stephen King. He was the author that really started my interest in the horror, mystery genre. Both books are fascinating and both of them I feel stand the test of time.

Do you ever use a pseudonym? Why or why not?

~~~ I do not use a pseudonym. I have no issues with them at all. I just never have had the wherewithal to use one. That’s not to say I never will. In fact, the main character in the Tales of Nick series is an author. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to write a book as Nick Ambrose. I think it would be a hell of a lot of fun!

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Great book. It is well written and riveting. Once I started reading it I couldn’t stop! I had to know what would happen next and how it would end. It keeps you hooked and wondering what comes next! It’s well worth the time to read it-you’ll really enjoy it! ~ Sheila Peterson ~ Amazon (The Tales of Nick: The Seduction of Sera)


Do you have a writing routine?

~~~ There is no set-in-stone routine I use, other than when I start to plot a story, I usually will write up an outline of one kind or another. Just so I have a better idea of where I am going. But even then, there are sub-plots and characters that suddenly pop up out of nowhere. That’s okay. I like surprises. Since the collaboration, I’ve started to change up how I do things. Nicole has taught me a lot about the writing process which I will be forever grateful for. The importance of fleshing out characters BEFORE writing the book is key. I had never thought about that aspect before. But she has shown me how it works!

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Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

~~~ My advice for aspiring authors is to WRITE!! WRITE!! WRITE!! It’s been said before, but I do believe it. Write like no one in the world will ever read it. Get it out on paper or in the computer. Then when you’re done, you can go back through it and edit and make changes. But I think too many people, myself included, try and write perfection from the start. You can’t do that. There’s bound to be things, plots, characters and the like that will change after you go back over things. My early books are results of rushing. I was so intent on getting something out there, that what ended up happening is a poorer quality book was released. But that’s okay. You can’t learn if you don’t experience it. One other notion I subscribe to is this. Each day is going to go by, whether or not you write a page, twenty pages or nothing at all. So, make the best of each day. WRITE, WRITE, WRITE!!!!


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Contact:

Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/stevedubb

Website — https://stevemutt1.wixsite.com/stevewilhelm

Twitter — https://twitter.com/stevehwilhelm


 

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