Exclusive Interview with
Steven A. Yagyagan
When did you start writing?
I took an interest in writing ever since I was around nine years old. I liked haiku poems and started writing them in the fourth grade. By thirteen, eighth grade, I really loved writing. I’d get lost in reading a book and then I’d write my own fiction and non fiction stories.
What makes writing your passion?
I love developing characters and a story. I create these characters and then I develop a story around them.
How long have you been writing?
I think I’ve been writing for forty-four years. Although, I published my first book around 2013 or so.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
I was like a kid in a candy store. It wasn’t a New York Tines Best Seller, but it was a project I saw from rough draft to final printing.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
I like characters who have experienced trauma and overcame them. I also like characters who are not normally presented in the mainstream world.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
What annoys me about pursuing a writing career is how long it takes to build your financial strength so you don’t have to work for someone else.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
I take breaks. I’ll listen to music, go for a walk or go to the ocean or bay to SUP, surf, boogie board or body surf. I’ll take my mind totally out of my project. It helps me clear my mind so that by the time I return to my writing, I find a breakthrough.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
I write from my soul. I write not so much to get anyone’s approval, but my own personal satisfaction. For me, I attribute it to loving a family member. I’d do anything to nurture and protect them. If you love someone or something so much, you’ll live and breathe it every day.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Just follow your passion and make it number one in your life.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
I don’t always read the reviews. When I do, I take any criticism as keys for improvement as much as accolades for a job well done. I look mainly for people who speak from the heart. My kid sister, Rose, is my greatest supporter. She never sugarcoats anything. That’s what I like!
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Joy. But, I’m never complacent nor egocentric. I’m always humble, thankful and looking for improvement.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
I have used my own personal trials and tribulations in my books. I always believe it can help others who may be struggling and looking for help.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
In Divine Mercy, I based the main character on me. In Mustache Rydes, “Boysan” is based on me.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
The book cover is very important because it helps a potential reader decide if they want to read a book. It’s like advertising, the first few seconds in a 30 second radio or television commercial can determine how many listeners and viewers decide to listen to or watch the rest of it.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I like connecting with readers. They can give you insight on your writing, your creativity and whether or not they can relate to your stories. I’m thankful for every one of them.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
I feel appreciated. I feel like I’ve connected with the readers.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
James Michener is my favorite author. His books inspired me to write because he is very descriptive of the setting and every character. The way he writes, I feel like I am “there.” I feel like I really know every character inside and out.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
I want to see my books make it to the New York Times Best Seller list. I’d like to see my books sell well around the world. Probably more importantly, I want my books to touch other people’s lives (life changing).
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
Yes. I always want to add one thing after the books are published
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
James Michener or Stephen King.