Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Author Interview - S.C. Green

The Speculative Fiction Showcase interviews S.C. Green, author of The Sunken, book 1 of The Engine Ward, which comes out September 12 and is available for pre-order now.

These days, most writers are glued to their laptops, tablets, and/or ereaders. A few still swear by print books and typewriters, the question is: Do you move at all?

Haha, I have a day job where I'm also a writer, so I'm pretty much glued to a computer. I do, however, live on a lifestyle block (what you might call a smallholding or homestead) and so I'm always outside, doing chores, moving sheep, etc. I also lift weights and like to run or walk in nature, which keeps me pretty fit.

Apple or PC?

Apple all the way.

Do you use Scrivener or Word?

Word. I keep hearing about Scrivener, though, so might give it a try. I also use an app called Omnwriter that has a minimal interface and plays you relaxing music. It's great if you keep getting distracted.

Do you have any pets? Do they influence your writing?

Hahaha, oh boy! We have two cats; Levi, the old girl, 17 and a total drama queen. And Socrates, our new tonkinese kitten, who is a bundle of mischief. Currently his thing is taking all our socks down off the clothesline and hiding them throughout the house. We also have chickens and sheep on our block. The cats sit with me all the time when I'm at my desk and have been known to type in a few sentences themselves here and there.

Would you rather see your stories on the big screen or the little screen?

I've never thought about it before, but probably the big screen. It would be really cool to see the world of the Engine Ward brought to life by an imaginative director like Peter Jackson or Del Toro. In my head, Benedict Cumberbatch is Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Mmmmm, Benedict Cumberbatch ...

Are you hooked on any science fiction or fantasy shows? If so, which one(s)?

We actually don't watch much TV. We have a TV, but it's not plugged in - it's just for watching movies. I love, love, love Stargate, Star Trek, and Castle.

Do you own copies of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings DVDs? The extended version? Do you ever watch them?

I'm a New Zealander - it would practically be a national crime not to love the films. We've got copies of all of them, and we watch them once every couple of years. My husband and I are huge Tolkien fans.

Have you seen the first two parts of the The Hobbit? Are you planning to see the final installment?

Yes! We always go to see it in the first week at this cute little old-fashioned cinema in the city. Both times we've taken a huge group of friends in opening week and, because everyone else in the world goes to the fancy new cinemas, we have the WHOLE cinema to ourselves. Like our own private screening. For the opening. So that's what we'll be doing again this year. I am really curious to see the third installment - not sure there's enough content left in the book to last for a third film, so we shall see ...

You're a Steampunk writer. So which film or TV show do you think gets Steampunk right?

I loved Steamboy, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and the two Sherlock Holmes films (British Sherlock is WAAAY better, but those films were fun. There is a movie called "9" which might not be strictly steampunk, but I think it gets the mood down really well.

Are you a Luddite? Or do you prefer to be on the bleeding edge of technology?

I am hopeless. I can't work my cellphone. I forget to send emails. I can't work the DVD player. Hopeless. This is why I use Apple.

I know how to type and make Spotify play songs, and that's about it.

Are you--or have you ever been--a gamer?

Not really. I have an unhealthy addiction to this online flash game called Third World Farmer. At one time I was 16th in the world at it. I also used to play a bit of Diablo II, but I've never really got into games.

I hear you're a huge metal fan. So did you ever make it to the Wacken festival?

Been twice and going back in 2016. Saw my favorite band, Blind Guardian, perform there in 2011, that was amazing. Wacken is pretty special, and very different from anything we have here in NZ. We've been to lots of other European metal festivals as well. We love to travel, and travelling also means we get to see amazing shows that wouldn't be able to happen in NZ :)

What kind of foods do you eat? Are you a health-food-nut or is it strictly junk?

I live on a lifestyle block. We raise our own lamb to eat, chickens for eggs, etc. All our neighbours grow lots of food, and we always swap the surplus. I don't eat much processed food and I hate, hate, hate fast food. I do do a lot of baking, though, so I probably wouldn't call my diet super-healthy. I have a weakness for chocolate, especially a NZ brand called Whitakkers.

Do you cook? What is your best/favorite/most popular recipe?

I cook a pretty amazing lasagne, slow-cooked lamb, roast potatoes, tagines, etc. I also do a bit of preserving. My favorite hobby is home-brewing. I am honey-mead, and fruit wines. The mead in particular is something special.

Do you have a garden? Have you ever grown your own food?

We actually don't have a garden yet! We've spent all our money building our house so we haven't started building the garden! I am itching to start it - this summer it's all on!

Have you ever been to Starbucks or another coffee shop?

I actually don't drink coffee. I hate spending money when I don't have to so I try to avoid going out for lunch, coffee, etc, although sometimes it's unavoidable for business meetings.

Coffee or Tea or Water? Espresso, Drip, Instant, or French Press? Bag or Looseleaf? Bottled, Filtered, Tap or Rainwater?

Water. Rainwater (from our tanks). Mmmm. Or mead.

Do you wear socks?
Hahaha, I certainly do! I actually run a little business, with a friend of mine, where we sell awesome funky socks - 

What are you wearing right now?

Black legwarmers from The Asockalypse, raven leggings from Black Milk Clothing, a black slip, an Amon Amarth t-shirt, and a jumper I stole from my husband. 

How often do you wash your hair?

I never wash my hair. I am a dirty hippie. I let the natural oils wash it for me. I also never cut it, though I'm thinking about getting that done soon as the ends are looking a bit scraggly.

Do you recycle?

NZ isn't the best at recycling - we recycle plastic and glass bottles, but they all just get crushed and made into concrete or soylent green or something. I put all my food scraps on the compost heap of give them to the chickens, so that's something.

Do you do Yoga? Meditation? or Deep Breathing? Does it help you cope?

I lift heavy shit. (powerlifting). And I walk. A lot. I'm legally blind, so I can't drive, so if I want to get somewhere, I have to walk. Next year I am walking to the top of Macchu Picchu in Peru - that's probably the most walking I'll ever do!

On a scale of 1-10, how eccentric are you?

I think I'm kind of boring. The way people stare at me kind of oddly in the office, my guess is I'm up around 

What’s your astrological sign?


Do you consider yourself a slave to the muse?

Writing is a compulsion for me. If I'm not doing it, I'm thinking about it. So in that sense, probably yes. But I never have to sit around waiting for inspiration - I just get in and do it. I feel often as if the stories are already written, I'm not inventing them so much as teasing the truth out of the universe.

Steff lives in an off-grid house on a slice of rural paradise near Auckland, New Zealand, with her cantankerous drummer husband, their two cats, and their medieval sword collection. The first CD she ever brought was Metallica's 'Ride the Lightning', and she's been a card-carrying member of the black-t-shirt brigade ever since.
Steff writes about metal music, her books, living off-grid, and her adventures with home-brewing on her blog She writes humorous fantasy under the name Steff Metal, and dark, dystopian fantasy under S. C. Green. Her latest novel, The Sunken, explores an alternative Georgian London where dinosaurs still survive.
Stay up to date with Steff's books by signing up to her newsletter at, or like her Facebook page at

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