Bookpleasures.com welcomes as our guest, Steve Clark author of Justice Is for the Lonely: A Kristen Kerry Novel.
Steve has practiced medical law for over thirty years. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and listed in Best Lawyers in America.
Steve was an English and history major at the University of Oklahoma, where he also earned his law degree. “I’ve always been a voracious reader and lover of books that I buy faster then I can read them.” The author has attended the Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference in Marin County and taken writing classes at the University of Central Oklahoma and Rose State College.
Norm: Good day Steve and thanks for participating in our interview.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Steve: I have always loved to read. I bought my first hardback for my library when I was 18. Now I have 2500 volumes. I tried writing to impress a girlfriend who was very well read. Didn’t work. She dumped me.
Norm: Why did you think so many lawyers are drawn to writing novels?
Steve: We see life everyday – the tragedies mainly. Some of the true stories we encounter are stranger than any fiction.
Norm: Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?
Steve: Part-time. Probably doesn’t adversely affect the writing but does impair lawyering. That’s okay because writing is more fun.
Norm: What helps you focus when you write?
Steve: Since Kristen’s story is often tragic, sometimes I play sad music to get in the mood. Greensleves or Scarborough Fair work well.
Norm: How did you decide you were ready to write Justice Is for the Lonely: A Kristen Kerry Novel?
Steve: I had remarried. My life was stable and I could take some classes, do seminars and focus.
Norm: Was writing the book improvisational or did you have a set plan?
Steve: In all the Kristen books-four so far, I start by putting her in a nasty fix and let her fight her way out. Sometimes she surprises even me.
Norm: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Steve: Sentence structure. On the 4th or 5th rewrite I focus on each sentence - tedious!
Norm: Which character was the easiest to write? Most difficult?
Steve: Stern – There are lots of self-absorbed lawyers, but having him change and make it believable is harder. Villains are also easy. Writing in the women’s point of view is hardest.
Norm: How and why did you decide to blend dual plots in your novel?
Steve: While working the malpractice case plot I saw a movie about a parole interview and thought – what if the parolee fell in love with the interviewer?
Norm: What purpose do you believe your story serves and what matters to you about the story?
Steve: I wanted to show four people as adults, struggling with different childhood problems and how each either overcomes or succumbs. Also, I wanted to give people a glimpse into nasty malpractice litigation.
Norm: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Steve: I learned a great deal about adult children of alcoholics – a sad, but fascinating syndrome. I also learned Hemingway was right – all first drafts are crap.
Norm: How much of the book is realistic and are any of the character based on people you have known?
Steve: The trial and deposition scenes are as realistic as can be done in the space available. Characters may be based on a compilation of people, but there is no “one” specific person.
Norm: Where can our readers find out more about you and Justice Is for the Lonely: A Kristen Kerry Novel?
Steve: On my AUTHOR WEBSITE
Norm: What is next for Steve Clark?
Steve: Kristen’s sequel, Justice Is for the Deserving, will be out this summer.
Norm: As this interview draws to a close what one question would you have liked me to ask you? Please share your answer.
Steve: Question: Do Stern and Kristen live happily ever after?
Answer: For a while.