once again welcomes as our guest NY Times and International best-selling author of 17 thrillers Steve Alten.

Steve is best known for his MEG series, about Megalodon, a 70-foot, 100,000-pound prehistoric cousin to the great white shark. After 20 years of development hell, the movie, The MEG, will debut in theaters on August 10, 2018—a $150 million global release by Warner Bros., directed by Jon Turtletaub (National Treasure) and starring Jason Statham, Ruby Rose, Jessica McNamee, Rainn Wilson, and a star-studded international cast.

Steve has recently authored a laugh-out-loud edgy romantic comedy called Dog Training The American Male. Originally the paperback was published under Steve's comedic pen name, L.A. Knight and the just-released ebook is under Steve Alten.

Norm: Good day Steve and thanks once again for participating in our interview. 

What has been your greatest challenge (professionally) that you’ve overcome in getting to where you’re at today?

Steve: I've had so many. It took me two years to write The SHELL GAME, a political thriller that pulled no punches in reporting the truth about 9-11. No mainstream publisher would buy it. I finally found a Mormon house that loved it. Despite having never published fiction or having a book in Barnes & Noble, the book hit the NY Times best-seller list - and garnered some serious threats as well as 4 am phone calls to my home.

Norm: What did you find most useful in learning to write?

My manager taught me that writing is like preparing a fish to cook - you chop of the head and tail and start with the meat in the middle.

Norm:  What was least useful or most destructive?

Steve: After my first movie deal for MEG, the studio head asked me to write a treatment for a remake of JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH. They really liked it and I was invited to fly to L.A. for a weekend get-together with Kathleen Kennedy, the producer, as well as other writers.  My manager and attorney did not want me to go, so I passed. I always regret that.

Norm: What advice can you give aspiring writers that you wished you had received, or that you wished you would have listened to?

Steve: I advise new writers to write what they love reading, not what they know, then do the research.

Norm: What do you consider to be your greatest success (or successes) so far in your career?

Steve: The MEG MOVIE, set to be released on August 10, 2018. The triumph is just as much Belle Avery's -- she made it happen after two bad experiences at other studios.

Norm: How did you become involved with the subject or theme of Dog Training The American Male and could you tell our readers a little about the book?

Steve: The story is a rom-com about Nancy Beach, a relationship guru and radio talk show host whose ratings and relationships are in the toilet - until she realizes the dog training techniques used on her boyfriend's dog will work on her boyfriend.

I came up with the concept for DOG TRAINING THE AMERICAN MALE after a bad argument with my wife. I couldn’t understand how my simple innocent statement had become so misunderstood. It’s like I was playing checkers and my wife was playing 3-dimensional chess. Then, in the middle of our argument, the wife yells at my dog... and the dog obeys her command! How is it that the dog gets it but I’m completely befuddled? 

So I started to think about it. The dog understood commands because it was trained. And I realized that men and dogs have a lot in common, beginning with the fact that we’re both simple creatures AND WE LIKE IT THAT WAY.

Norm: How did you come up with the title?

Steve: It seemed high concept.

Norm: How did the writing of this romantic comedy differ from some of your other writings?

Steve: It's different in that my goal is to get the reader to laugh... a lot. At the same time, you need to do it within the framework of a story and characters who develop.

Norm: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them? As a follow up, what do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book?

Steve: Of my seventeen books, this one has received the greatest reviews... and yet no one knows about it. So my first goal is to change that. As for readers - I just want them to have a few hours of fun and escape from the stresses of life.

Norm: What was the most difficult  part of writing this book and what did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Steve: To be honest, I enjoyed every part of it. I needed to write something lite having just lost my father to cancer.

Norm: How did you go about creating the character of Nancy Beach in your novel?

Steve: Nancy is frustrated -- she had such high expectations for her life and every step seems to be the wrong one. She is forced to reinvent herself.

Norm: Did you know the end of your book at the beginning?

Steve: I never start a book unless I know the ending.

 Norm: What is the most favorite part of your book and why?

Steve: There is a scene with a Yoko Ono sex doll that Jacob tosses in the trash but gets caught in the dog's chain and ends up... well, it looks like this naked woman was hit by a car and the neighbors are out and the cops arrive....

Norm: Where can our readers find out more about you and Dog Training the American Male?

Steve: MY WEBSITE and the ebook is sold at amazon under DOG TRAINING THE AMERICAN MALE - Steve Alten

Norm: What is next for Steve Alten?

Steve: I am finishing MEG: GENERATIONS, then on to SHARKMAN-2.

Norm: Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors