Interview: B. Michael Stevens

Hello World. We are starting a new feature, interviews with Superversive authors. Some questions will be serious, some frivolous, to make the whole experience full of fun.

Hi! I’m B. Michael Stevens. I am one of the ‘Superversives’ as we call ourselves. I’ve had the honor and pleasure to be asked some questions by the very awesome L.Jagi Lamplighter Wright. So let’s get to know each other a bit better, shall we?


What does “superversive” mean to you?
To me, Superversive is a return to the tales of old. A return to the times when stories were meant to be a roadmap for life. This is ‘right’ and that is ‘wrong’. Mythology is the voice of a people, and i suppose, that is still the case, which, when one considers the violent, overly-sexual, grimdark, subversive, and degenerate nature of so much popular culture, is quite the sad statement. Superverisve is a movement. An attempt to steer the ship back on track. If the stories we tell are the compass, the guiding star, for the next generation, then let those tales be of triumphant, wholesome nature.

In what way is your work “superversive?”
Well, despite that fact that my novels are rife with violence and grit, they are, ultimately, about good overcoming evil. About love besting hate. People fighting for something larger than themselves. Sacrifice, and meaning. Still, at least one reader/fan has dubbed me ‘The Bad Boy of Superversive’, a moniker I am 100% okay with.

Tell us about your story/series:
No Gods, No Masters is a bloody mess. But it’s a FUN bloody mess. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic future full of alien invasives and rampant magic, called strange. In the first installment of the series, The Goddess Gambit, we meet Jon 310-257, a super-soldier in the human military bent on reclaiming and purifying the planet. His lofty dreams get a mite complicated however, when he encounters one of the esoterrorists that, as he has been taught, is an enemy of the people. She turns out to be a goddess (from the title) and she sucks him into a great quest, derailing the life he expected and setting off a great chain of adventurous events. I tell people that it’s Final Fantasy X meets Robotech. 🙂

What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
Well, while there are countless better and more prolific writers than myself, I’d be willing to bet that there are few who work as hard as I do, lol. Now before anyone gets triggered by that statement, allow me to explain. I work in the oilfield as an 24/7 ‘on-call’ service technician to the drilling rigs, on and offshore. From the north slope of Alaska to Sub-Saharan Africa and everywhere in between. I typically work around 100 to 140 hours a week. That’s my day job. I write my stories every chance i get, lunch break, a few minutes of down time here, a few minutes of downtime there. And when I do get a ‘day-off’ from work, I lock myself in my study and work on my latest WIP from 9 to 5. I’ll get enough sleep when I die.
I set word count goals every day– Roughly 3 pages at a minimum per day if work is slammed, 6 to 12 pages if it’s not, double that for a day off.

Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
I sure can. This is a rough draft scene from what will eventually become the third book in my NoGods, NoMasters series.

Jon felt gooseflesh ripple up and down his arms and back. Something familiar tugged at his mind, like a reoccurring dream that is too bizarre to remember or make any sense of.

“You okay?” Jon heard Carbine’s voice echo in the back of his skull.

“Huh?” Jon shook his head. Just like that night under the stars. What is it with me?

“You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

Jon now tore his eyes away from the hall that disappeared into the depths of the living ship and looked at Carbine. He saw concern there; over to Maya, concern there also.

“It’s alright,” Maya answered for him. “Let’s go. The Anvil awaits.”

Ratt needed no further invitation and took off at nearly a run, his excitement and anticipation obvious. Carbine reflexively shot a hand out and gripped the young genius’s arm as he passed.

“Slow your roll there, egghead. Maya says it’s safe, but it’s been a long time. Better let the grown-ups go first.” Carbine nodded at Lucy, who drew her BFG, cradled it in both hands and took left front. Ratt sighed and fell in behind Carbine as he took right. Maya reached over to Jon, squeezed his hand, and together they fell in line last.

As they stepped into the body of the ship, Jon noticed the rise in the ambient temperature and a funny smell in the air. Maya must have seen the face he made, for she announced, “It’s just stale air. The ship has been sealed ever since the Storm.” Jon nodded his understanding.

The ‘ribs’ in the hallway gave the place an almost insectoid, segmented look and the soft, incandescent lights would come on one segment at a time as they walked along. Jon watched Ratt examine his surroundings like the scientist he was, possibly trying to find the source of the glow, but it never became apparent. The material that made the four walls simply began to glow whenever the party got near. At one point Jon looked back over his shoulder and watched as the segments behind them quietly returned to darkness. The effect only added to the mysterious and slightly creepy atmosphere of the place.

“Do you hear that?” Lucy asked once, after having only gone a short way in. The hall, if one could call it that, began to curve slightly to the right in a long, slow arc, and reduced the range of their visibility even more than the limited light. Jon strained to listen but heard nothing more than a touch of tinnitus. It did not surprise him that he couldn’t hear as well as the woman who had top-of-the-line sensors, scopes and mics. Wait. That?

“The hum?” Jon asked. He could barely hear a low, deep thrumming that pulsed in slow waves.

“Yes,” Lucy said. “That.” She and Carbine continued walking, pointing the way with the barrels of their guns as if they were Republic soldiers breaching a known Harvester nest.

“That is normal. It’s all okay, guys. That hum is just the ship,” Maya explained. “The closest thing I could liken it to would be… breathing.”

“The ship is breathing?” Ratt virtually buzzed with curiosity.

“Well, no. But it’s close.”

“Oh.”

“And you don’t need your guns!” Maya added.

“Humor us. Please,” Carbine said, his eyes never once leaving the way ahead over his rifle’s iron sights.

Another few minutes passed in eidolic silence and then the hollow bone-like hall came to an abrupt stop, opening up into a four-way intersection. The corners where all the planes met were smooth and flowing, adding to the organic look of the place. Not a right angle could be found anywhere.

 

Have you ever considered invading a foreign country?  If so, which one and why?
Yes. France and or Germany. Maybe both. To save them from themselves, of course. 😉

Do you actually LIKE what you do, or is it a way to pass the interminable hours until you shed this mortal coil?
Haha. I do. While, I would prefer to travel more, write more, and work less, I really can’t complain. I’ve worked a lot harder for a lot less than my current gig. It affords me and my family a good life.

 If you had a chance to co-write with any author, current or from the past, who would it be?”
Richard Fox, hands down. I am a huge fan of his Emberverse and have a neat little idea for a story that would make a cool stand-alone spinoff for it.

 A little about yourself (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).
Oilfield worker. Catholic. Knight of Columbus. Dropped out of college when my son was born (was studying Linguistic Anthropology and putting that GI Bill– yeah, I’m army– to good use)
Lived most of my life in Alaska, traveled the world, worked in West Africa for several years. Been married for 22 years. Currently an Texan import.

What inspired you to write your first book?
It was a promise to my son.

 To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I do, and I have. The research for NoGods came from a combination of traveling for work to Colorado, way back in 2008-2010, and taking a vacation for the sake of specific research for the books in 2016 to Mexico and Belize.
We are blessed with the ability to travel at least once a year, it’s a passion of mine. Our last two trips were to Rome and Jerusalem, which have helped inspire my next big project after NoGods, a piece of Hard-Sci-Fi/Christian Fic, titled “The Hour of our Death”, which will essentially be the retelling of the life and works of Saint Augustine of Hippo, set in a Transhumanist Apocalypse.

Who designed the covers?
Matt Margolis and Kirk DuPounce

 Do you have any hobbies?
To many! Reading, writing! cigars! Whiskey! Home-brewing! Shooting! Swordfighting! Medieval Martial arts! Chinese boxing! Hiking! Traveling! Anime! Church! Choir! Cooking! and more!

What do you want written on your head stone?
Just sleeping.

Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I sure do, thanks for asking. It’s:
bmichaelstevens.com

Where can your fans find you and follow??
See above!

See The Goddess Gambit on Amazon