An Interview with Author Leon Stevens

Leon Stevens is an author, composer, guitarist, songwriter, and an artist with a Bachelor of Music and Education. He published his first book of poetry: Lines by Leon – Poems, Prose, and Pictures in January 2020, a book of original classical guitar compositions, and a short story collection of science fiction/post-apocalyptic tales called The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

Q: Can you describe Lines by Leon in 20 words or less?

That’s like writing Haiku, counting each syllable on your fingers…Oops, now I just wasted 10 words. I think the best description is from a quote that I wrote that should have made it on to the back cover (slightly pared down to fit the required length):  “Words to encourage you, to make you laugh, and to invite you to reflect. Each chapter revealing a different observation.”

Q: What inspired you to write this book?

I began to write songs and song lyrics to get through a tough time in my life, and this led me to write more poetry. I finally decided that my writing was something that others could relate to or at least find entertaining. There are some deep topics, but many of the poems have humorous elements to them.

Q: Where did the inspiration come from for the sketches in the book?

I took up sketching at the same time as I was writing. Some of the illustrations came from memories of places I had been, some from just starting to draw to see where it goes, and others from the Inktober challenges where you are given a word each day to draw.

Q: Do you have a favorite piece in the book?

I can’t say that I do. Each work had a purpose and served it well.

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Q: What do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I read somewhere that writers write the words that non-writers cannot. I like to think that I have put into words something that another may be thinking or dealing with, or a different way of looking at an experience-both good and bad. Ultimately, I want people to smile and laugh. One reader wrote:

“I have loved reading this book. It has given me what I needed the most. It is a very charming book!”

This, to me, is a success in my writing endeavor.

Q: What kind of feedback are you receiving on the book?

It has been out for a year, and so far, all the reviews have been positive. I know that my writing is not going to appeal to everyone, but I think that everyone that has read it so far has found something that they have enjoyed. I’ll quote another reader:

 “I thought the pieces in this collection were mostly okay. I’ve read much better, but there are much worse collections out there.”

Well, I’m glad I’m not the worst. I think that is another success, isn’t it?

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Q: Can you tell me more about your other book, The Knot at the End of the Rope?

It is a collection of science fiction and post-apocalyptic short stories, with a few poems thrown in. I tried to write without dwelling on technology, which can sometimes overshadow a good story. When I read science fiction, if someone travels faster than light, it doesn’t matter how. As long as it gets them to where they need to be to move the story forward.

Q: What drew you to writing science fiction?

My father used to make up science fiction stories at night for me, which fostered my enjoyment of the genre. After discovering my love for writing, it was a natural fit to expand my writing.

Q: What’s on your current reading list?

I want to read more of  Ernest Cline. I thoroughly enjoyed Ready Player One.

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Q: What’s your next writing project?

I always joke that my stories come to a natural conclusion sooner rather than later, so that is why I gravitate toward short stories. But I joined NoNoWrMo (National Novel Writing Month) as an incentive to write longer, so I took one of my short stories and continued it. I didn’t make the 50000-word goal (not even close), but I’m still writing it, and it’s getting close to a novella length.

Q: Where can readers connect with you (website, social media, etc)?

I’m the most active blogging on www.linesbyleon.wordpress.com, which will soon be

my main website: www.linesbyleon.com, but I do have Twitter (@linesbyleon) and Instagram (@lines_by_leon) on which I post once or twice a week. I also put out a weekly newsletter to keep my readers up to date and entertained between projects.

Q: Any closing remarks?

Thank you for this opportunity! I hope that you and your readers have enjoyed getting to know me, and I hope that they will enjoy my writing. I do have free sample eBooks available so new readers can get an idea of my writing style.

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