I was born and raised in Northwest Georgia. I took up guitar at the age of ten and played my first show with a band when I was twenty-one. I have always had a strong passion for all kinds of music, but Rock and Roll is where my heart is and what I enjoy playing the most.
As for writing, I started at the age of thirteen, really. I had it in my mind that I was going to write Halloween III. This was before John Carpenter released Season of the Witch. Of course, that was a child’s fantasy, but it was enough to light a spark in my mind that would later start my writing for real. My first stories started hitting the paper in 2001, when I woke from the worst nightmare of my life; or maybe it was the best.
Quickly, tell us about your upcoming releases?
I am currently working on my second book, which I hope to release before 2015. That is just a goal, however. If its completion doesn’t make it by that time, I do plan to release it soon after. Nothing is written in stone yet, but as of now, the new book will be much like Nightly Visits; several novellas, and the title, as of now is, “12 to 6.”
Do you have any specific inspiring incident that turned you out as an author?
A nightmare back in 2001 started the fire for me. I woke in a cold sweat, eyes darting around the room. I knew that if I went back to sleep the dream would disappear, probably never to resurface again. Instead of allowing that to happen, I got up and wrote it all down while it was still vivid in my mind. That dream inspired the first story in Nightly Visits. That story is called Glasswalker.
Who designed your cover art? How did you choose the image?
I designed it. I wanted something colorful, yet dark; a cover with an element of beauty, yet dangerous and mysterious. I wanted something that referred to the nightmare that started the whole idea of the book. The blood red sunset was an instant winner with me as well as the title, Nightly Visits. It is referring to the nightmares.
Do you outline your work before you write?
To an extent I do, but never completely. I have a foundation to start with, but I leave the gate open and let my characters lead the way as I write.
My characters are very real and very alive in my head. I usually feed them a plot and sit back and watch them create the story. It was said in one of Nightly Visits’ reviews, “The author is great at not giving away anything too soon.” This is because sometimes the stories surprise me.
How do you like spending your leisure hours?
I find relaxation in writing. I also love music. Playing an acoustic guitar outside in the sun or under the porch when it’s raining is a great way to melt away.
Which genre is far more appealing to you as a reader?
I lean toward the Horror genre more than any other, but that’s not all that I enjoy. In fact, my favorite book I’ve read at this point of my life is by Stephen King, but it’s not a Horror novel. The book is called, “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.” It’s a survival story about a nine year old girl who is lost in the forest. I really love that book!
What inspires you to write? Is there any level of similarity with the events or characters in your book and in reality?
Dreams and my off-the-wall imagination is my inspiration to writing. As far as similarity with events and characters in real life, lots! All of my characters are based on people that I know, or have known at some point in my life. Many of the events that happen in my stories have really happened in my life as well. Glasswalker is 75% true story. The horror parts are made up, thank goodness.
Which is your current read?
At this moment I am about halfway through Stephen King’s Dr. Sleep. Can you tell I am a King fan?
What, in your opinion is the toughest part while carving your book?
For me personally, staying on top of the writing while life’s challenges are going on all around is the toughest part. I am easily distracted, which is to say that if my mood is a little off, I don’t continue the story until I am fixed. But given time, all the king’s horses and little green men will eventually put me back together again.
Share a word of advice with our readers and authors, if any?
Never let anyone talk you out of following your dream. There are a lot of skeptical people that think, if it’s sounds too good to be true then it probably is. They will try to make you feel stupid for chasing rainbows. Wipe that attitude from your head. If you want to write a book, then get started and do it. You don’t know if your book will be a best seller or not until it’s out there. The only way you will know for sure that it will not make it is if you don’t try.
Share one of your favorites from your music band collection, if any?
OH WOW! That’s like trying to pick a favorite ant from a mound. I love literally thousands of artists! Naming only one, I have to say Alice Cooper. His sound changes from one album to the next. He is so versatile that I don’t think I could ever get bored listening to him.
If you’re a foodie, tell us about your favorite dish?
Call me an unhealthy eater, but I am not a vegetarian. One of my very favorite meals of all time is home cooked fried chicken and white gravy. But I also love all kinds of sea food, steak and ribs on and on. Desserts are great too, but when I drive past a pasture of cattle on side of the road, the cows all move to the far side away from me.
List any giveaways or surprises in mere future?
To be honest, I have been so focused on the writing of my second book the thought hasn’t really crossed my mind. But keep your eyes peeled. I’m a spur of the moment kind of guy, so that could change.
Where can we find your books?
Nearly every online store has Nightly Visits: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million… just to name a few.
We would love to reach out to you, please share your social media active platform
At this moment I haven’t got a website. I plan to have one in the very near future. But for now, feel free to contact or friend me at either of my two Facebook pages. Here are the links.https://www.facebook.com/stephen.helmes.5
Take your pick!
Finally, Thank you for reading my conversation with Euphonos 🙂 – Stephen.