Today's guest is AK Stein. She's the author of several books and has a short story published in Strange Portals, which is now available for free on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords.
Welcome, Anna. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Sure. I am a retired life insurance agent and Bell Telephone operator. I am also a writer of many books since I was in the 3rd grade. I love to write. I have 15 books now published over on Amazon’s Kindle. I write under the name AK Stein in honor of my great grandmother.
I love animals, mostly horses, fish and dogs. When I was in high school, I had 9 aquariums going at the same time. All manner of fresh water fishes. I don’t know how my parents stood all that around the house. Mom would go around and just stare in at the fish. They do say watching fish is very calming. Maybe that’s what she liked.
I also had 3 Quarter horses, full bred. Loved riding them. That breed is the most laid back of them all, in my opinion. I’m pretty much the laid back type and so I got along with them very well.
Dogs, I’ve had most of my adult life. All not purebreds. Loved every one of them.
The rest of my story is in the following answers.
When did you begin writing?
I began writing when I was in the third grade. I went to a Catholic elementary school called St Anne’s in New Castle, IN. The classes were taught by nuns. The nuns had set up a room to be like the public library so they could teach us how to use a library and I became enthralled with all the books. I read everything they had in there. Especially the books that were about animals and science fiction. It was then I began daydreaming about stories of my own. Only at that time I didn’t quite understand I was supposed to pay attention to my teachers while in class. I would stare out the windows, instead, and daydream my stories. Got in trouble for doing that but I did love what I was coming up with. Loved every minute of that.
Can you tell us about your story in the anthology, Strange Portals? What inspired you to write it?
My story in the anthology is called ‘The Hole’. It’s from a dream I had. One of my favorite authors is Mark Twain ( Samuel Clemens) I love his books “Huckleberry Finn’ and ‘Tom Sawyer’. So my manner of writing ‘The Hole’ was inspired by his manner of writing. But that story came from a weird dream I had one night, from which I woke up laughing. I couldn’t help it. And I never did figure out from where that dream came. Weird.
Please tell us about your other published work
I have 15 books published now on Amazon’s Kindle. Most are fantasy romance novels, but I am working on a collection of children’s books called ‘The Zeke Mayhill series’. I write under the name of AK Stein in honor of my great grandmother. My dad’s mom’s mom. I was named after her. I knew her for a short period of my early life before she died. She was a sweet lady. My fantasy romance books are the Full Moon series. It’s about a young lady, not a werewolf, who comes in contact accidentally with werewolves and falls in love with one of them. It’s a series of 6 books but I have now put them all together in one book called ‘The Full Moon Collection,’ also over at Kindle. It’s a rip roaring romance. I had a whole lot of fun writing it.
My anthology story is in a book with another story called ‘The Bull’. They’re 2 scary stories I also titled ‘Two Scary Stories.’ I had fun writing those, too.
The only non fiction book I wrote is titled, ‘Interview With the Ascended Masters.’ I put it together after a series of interviews with a spiritual medium named Calleen Wilder. She has the book on her website http://calleenwilder.com and on Amazon Kindle. It’s a collection of answers to spiritual questions I had written down for years. I had 62 pages of them. Questions like ‘Why are we here’ and ‘Who really built the pyramids?’ I also asked about Mary Magdalene.
The reason I went with her is because my then sister-in-law had a reading done by her when my brother died. My sister-in-law was a nonbeliever in this sort of thing and I was, too, but her friend talked her into it. And the answers Calleen gave her blew away our disbelief. My sister-in-law called me right after her meeting, crying her eyes out while telling me about all the personal things Calleen told her that she shouldn’t have known. Things that were only between my sister-in-law and my brother. And then when I went to see Calleen, she identified the watch I brought as used to belong to my grandmother. It did. My father gave it to me when my grandmother died. Now how could Calleen know that?
Now Calleen will tell you herself that no psychic is 100% right 100% of the time. But some of the things she said would happen have, like England’s Stonehenge. She said a second such structure would be found on the other side of our planet. And one day, several years after we published the book, one woman who had bought it emailed Calleen and told her she saw a documentary on TV that said geologists had dug up another such structure in Figi, which is almost directly on the opposite side from England.
I don’t know very much about psychic abilitites, but Calleen simply blows my doubts away. I guess there are some people who can actually do that.
What projects are you currently working on?
I’m working on 3 books now. One is the 4th book in the Zeke Mayhill series I’m titling ‘Ezekiel Mayhill and the Crystal of Leadership.’ A bunch of crystals will be found in this book, but whether or not they get back to the palace Diamondorn is another matter. This book is going to be packed with action.
Another book is a vampire romance in which our heroine falls in love with the vampire king but she doesn’t know he’s a vampire. And he doesn’t want to tell her for fear she’ll reject him for what he is. But he has to protect her because there is a faction within his kingdom who want to overthrow him. And they will kill her to get that done. This book’s title right now is ‘Moone’.
The 3rd book is about a dragon king ruling the creatures of the under world of Earth. They are all manner of magical beings who are suddenly producing shifter babies. This was planned a long time ago by the ancient Anasazi, but these beings don’t know what their plan was. But the shifter males cannot produce children with the non shifter females and so they are looking toward the humans living above ground. This is where the romance begins. The king is reluctant to do this, but he gets caught up in romance when a young human woman is brought down into his world. The struggle begins. I haven’t titled this book yet.
Do you have a book recommendation to share with us?
I have. Michael R. Hicks wrote 2 series that I absolutely love. One is the ‘In Her Name’ series. The other is the “Harvester’. I’m telling you, Hollywood needs to contact him. Can get these on Amazon’s Kindle.
Another author is Glen Soucy. His ‘Blood Tithe’ series. OMGoodness! Hollywood needs to contact him, too. He is crazy good. Can get his books on Kindle, also.
What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?
Oh this is an area I would love to get across to all writers. I have read many wonderful stories, loved the plotline and the characters. HOWEVER. . .those stories had so many typo’s and misspelled words and incorrect grammar and punctuation that they became aggravating. Kept jerking me right out of their stories. No reader wants to experience that. And I feel sure that, if the authors had read over what they had written, they would have found those mistakes and corrected them.
Now I am not saying I am without mistakes, myself. I have made mistakes, one being I misspelled the word ‘lightning.’ I actually thought there for a while it was spelled ‘lightening.’ How dumb was that? I have corrected that, though, and republished those books.
Making mistakes is natural, but you have to read over what you have written so you can catch them. I don’t believe a good many writers today do that. And one thing about it, it could be the reason why so many very good writers don’t make the best seller list more than once., if they do at all. There could easily be so many more favorite authors out there if they would just take the time to give their readers their very best. Their readers deserve that. Rant over. :)
That's great advice. Where can readers go to connect with you on social media or to buy your books?
To find my books over at Amazon Kindle
My websites where you can find my books listed with their buying links:
Magical Writing is where I have my children’s books, which includes the Zeke Mayhill series.
My Facebook page is under Anna K Stein.
My Twitter page is under AuntieHugs.
About AK Stein:
I began my writing career as a 3rd grader. No kidding. Fell in love with the stories I read and so I started daydreaming. Made my teachers crazy because I much rather stared out the classroom window than listen to them. I mean I was IN LOVE with writing. My grades suffered in elementary school because I hadn’t yet learned to prioritize. But I got that cleared up by high school and so my grades improved. Considerably.
I wrote stories about animals at first. Mostly about horses. And mostly short stories that I was able to complete. I tried writing full length novels when I was still in elementary school but I was never able to finish them. I ran into roadblocks I couldn’t get over. But that was because I hadn’t learned yet how to research. Or that I was even supposed to research. I had always thought stories were things made up completely inside your brain because that was how the stories I read seemed to be. So easy to read. So then I went through a time when I thought I just wasn’t good enough to write stories. At least any that would be published anyway. But I kept writing because I couldn’t get stories out of my head until I wrote them down. And then I was able to breathe. Until the next story idea crept in.
But my writing urge is why I was an English major in high school and in college. I wanted to know exactly how I should write sentences and know exactly what words to use. And how to spell them correctly. Now I’m not saying I retained the knowledge of what each sentence type is called or what each type of word is called, either. What I have done, however, is retain the knowledge of how to write. And when I finished with all that education, I then found myself needing to come up with story ideas.
It wasn’t long when they started coming. And I mean entering my brain like a thunderstorm. Many thunderstorms. I have enough story ideas written down and some even outlined now to last me the rest of my life.
But I need to write them well. So I have been buying books on how to write and even have taken some online courses. You can never stop honing your craft.
So. . .30+ years ago, I wrote some books. Complete novels this time. Finished them, even. But recently I got them out to read again to see what I had and thought ‘There’s no way in this God’s universe am I going to let people read this crap.’ I mean. . .ohmygod!. Great story ideas, but the writing. . .ohmygod! And after all that education, too. So I edited. And edited. And thanked God I now had some decent writing information rolling around in my head to even be able to edit. I mean, my sentences were correct, I did retain that much learning, and my words were spelled correctly, but the writing was so stiff, so egghead, that it would have bored any reader within the first page. Probably the first paragraph. I needed to rewrite them so they wouldn’t be boring. And the result is now the books I have completed, which I have listed on my websites, http://www.goldframeromance.com And http://www.magicalwriting.com And more will be coming.
I write in the genres of fantasy and romance. Love those two. So I will be filling up my websites with all my books. Enjoy.