Author Interview- Steven Schindler
I’d like to thank Steven for sitting down with me for this interview.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Born and raised in the Bronx, Steven Schindler is an award-winning novelist and television writer/producer. After graduating from Hunter College with a degree in Film and Theatre, Schindler soon found himself acting in some of New York’s off-off Broadway productions. Bartering a deal at a prominent acting school to videotape classes in exchange for acting lessons, he discovered he enjoyed life more from behind the camera than in front of it. Enrolling in a video documentary class was the first step in a career that has spanned more than twenty years in television as a writer, producer and director in news, sports, reality, documentary, entertainment and magazine programming. Awards include four Chicago Emmy Awards and Best Fiction at the DIY/Indie Book Awards for From the Block. His first two novels, Sewer Balls and From the Block, were artfully gritty portrayals of the neighborhood characters who hung out on the stoops, playgrounds, rooftops and barstools during the crazy days of the Bronx in the sixties and seventies. From Here To Reality (Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books) received praise from the NY Post, Jay Leno, and Roger L. Simon (The Big Fix, Down and Out in Beverly Hills)
On the Bluffs is a thrilling love story wrapped in a dysfunctional family mystery that begins in Washington, D.C. and winds up in a rundown mansion on the bluffs of Cape Cod. The Last Sewer Ball is Schindler’s fifth novel.
He is married and currently lives in Los Angeles.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Having lived in Washington DC, Chicago, and Los Angeles as a television professional, whenever I started telling people stories about growing up in the Bronx, they would say “You should write a book.” So I did.
What inspired you to write The Last Sewer Ball?
Most authors, whether great or not so great, usually begin with a semi-autobiographical novel. After writing my first novel, “Sewer Balls” in 1998 I tried to become more expansive in my work. With each subsequent novel (From the Block, From Here to Reality, and On the Bluffs) I got farther away from the neighborhood and began to develop new characters, plots, situations, and themes. With my return to the neighborhood in The Last Sewer Ball, I hope to revisit some of those early memories with a different perspective and utilizing all the skills I have developed over the course of writing four more novels. And hopefully enrich my work with more life experience.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I’d like readers to think back to a time when friends and family were shaping us in ways that we didn’t even realize were happening, so we can perhaps appreciate and forgive others and ourselves for what transpired in our lives. And know that even in the worst of times, there were valuable lessons that were learned.
Give us an insight into your main character. What do they do that is special?
Being in middle-age, I often wonder what happened to special people in my life. Some are dead, living or maybe half dead, but what if we had the courage to confront our worst fears and actually venture out to find the missing clues to how others traveled on their journeys and how we got to where we are. In a time when superficial connections are the norm with facebook etc. person to person contact is becoming more rare. These characters have the courage to confront those demons from long ago.
What are your current projects?
I work full time in television marketing for a major network. I’m also trying to market “The Last Sewer Ball” and develop several new ideas for a non-fiction work.
Why do you write?
To quote Bob Dylan in a song, “I’ve got a head full of ideas that are drivin’ me insane.”
What is the hardest thing about writing?
I keep a post-it above my computer screen which reads “The first rule of writing is to put the seat of your pants to the seat of your chair.”
What is the easiest thing about writing?
Do you ever experience writers block?
Yes. It’s not fun.
What is your favorite go to recipe?
Stevie’s Seafood Pasta with Marina Sauce. Click HERE to view recipe.
I want to thank Steven again for taking the time to sit down and answer these questions for us. Look for the review of The Last Sewer Ball in the coming weeks. To learn more about Steven and his books Click HERE.