Steps is a well-written science fiction novel you won’t want to put down. Following the Peacemaker family through their battle of survival will keep you on the edge of your seat as you wait to see what obstacle is next.
Society is falling to a ravaging virus, and the Peacemaker family is stranded in the mountains of Arkansas. Forced to band with a group of deserted soldiers, they battle to survive starvation, apocalyptic cataclysms, and a growing number of dangerously infected wanderers.
As their dwindling number struggles against ever-increasing odds, they realize they are not alone in the wilderness. A large creature is present in the hills, at first seen only as a fleeting shadow.
Now the family not only faces impending death from the unstoppable virus, they must also deal with the mysterious giant, whose footprints signify that he knows where they are.
Paperback: 218 Pages
Genre: Speculative Fiction
Publisher: WiDo Publishing (May 21, 2015)
Twitter hashtag: # StepsTrant
Steps is available as an e-book and paperback at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Book Giveaway Contest:
To win a copy of Steps please enter using the Rafflecopter form at the bottom of this post. The giveaway contest closes this Friday, July 10th at 12:00 AM EST. We will announce the winner the same day in the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!
About the Author:
Eric W. Trant is a published author of several short stories and the novels Wink and Steps from WiDo Publishing. He lives in Dallas, Texas, with his wife, two teenagers, a toddler, and an angel baby watching over them all. See more of Eric's work at:
-----Interview by Crystal J. Otto
WOW: First of all, thank you so much for touring with us again! It’s exciting to work with you again and I enjoyed arranging the tour for Steps as much as your first tour for Wink! You are an inspiration.
And speaking of inspiration, how or what inspired you to write and how have you been instrumental in encouraging others?
Eric: My biggest inspiration was my mother. She was a librarian and an English teacher with a love of reading that can be considered obsessive. Along with reading, my family on my mother's side is full of story-tellers, poets, songwriters and dreamers. So I suppose I come by it naturally. It's genetics.
As for encouraging others, I involve my children and wife in my stories. I encourage my daughter's artistic drawing, and she has a novel she will not let me read. My son is a drummer (I was a drummer, too), and has a passion for writing that may turn into something. My wife just likes to hear stories.
In general, I encourage people to live their life in such a way that they have a good story at the end. That's what it is about, in my opinion. You'd better have something good to say when that great granddaughter plops up onto your knee.
WOW: I certainly hope your daughter lets you read her novel sometime soon so you can help her with publishing. How exciting!
As we work on our writing and help others along, some of us turn to book clubs and writers groups. What is your take on them?
Eric: I interact socially with writers online, but not much in person. Nothing personal, I'm just not a tremendously social person. As for clubs and groups, I believe they can be used for good or for evil.
Be cautious of the advice you take. For instance, I ride a motorcycle. Lots of people give advice on how to ride, owing to having ridden for forty years or some such. Some of the advice starts out like this: Now listen here, sonny, I've been in seventeen wrecks, pins in both legs and half my right arm is metal. Let me tell you son, I know how to ride a motorcycle!
Well, no, you don't. You should have learned how not to wreck after that second or third trip to the hospital. I really don't want to take riding advice from someone who is full of pins and metal limbs, even if they have been riding for forty years.
So what I tell my kids is what I'll say here: Find someone who is doing what you want to do, and model yourself after them. If you can find that someone in a writer's group, have at. Otherwise, try memoirs, joining their social site or blog, or researching their life in some other way. Don't take advice from the guy who has written seventeen novels, not one of which has been published, who says, Listen here, sonny, I know how to write a novel!
Well, no, you don't.
Be careful and choosy with those groups.
WOW: That sounds like great advice for any of us, and after all we have such limited time and we need to be choosy with how we spend it. How do you manage your time and make sure your writing doesn’t get neglected? Do you have some advice for those of us who struggle with time management and our writing?
Eric: As a business owner, husband, and father of a toddler and two teenagers, I can say that time management is a crucial and critical skill that I constantly struggle with. The two biggest factors I have discovered are these: 1) How bad do you want it? 2) Does your family support it?
Pick your it. It may be weight loss. It may be a new career. It may be further collegiate study, a working blog, a novel, a short story, a memoir, a song, a particular picture you want to paint or digitally create. Whatever it is, you have to want it, and your family has to support it.
For me, my family supports my health goals, and so they support the time I sacrifice working out. In my part, I work out at home, and keep workouts generally short, such that I can meet my goals without sacrificing all my family time.
The same is true for writing. My wife and family respect my writing time (it is when I am wearing my writing hat), and in return, I agree not to spend all my free time writing. I also agree to prioritize, such that a doctor's appointment with my son comes before the writing, but the writing may displace a particular chore I was trying to avoid anyway, such as drilling in a concrete screw for my wife (which is a pain).
In the end, it is about balancing something you truly desire, against your family's support. Balance them both, respect them both, and set clear priorities. Sometimes writing will simply have to wait, but don't wait forever.
WOW: I could use an entire class on time management, but you seem to do it so well. Thanks for the great pointers!
Who is your favorite author?
Eric: Hands down, Ray Bradbury. It's been a while since I read through his stuff, but I have his full collection. I almost feel like I should capitalize pronoun references to Him, like that. His writing sweeps you away against your will, and is written in a cinematographic manner. You feel you are watching the story, rather than reading it. And he was truly human. Read his thoughts on writing in Zen in the Art of Writing, which should be required reading for anyone plunging into the art of writing.
In writing this, I paused and read some of his stuff. It is amazing how quickly I feel both humbled and encouraged. Humbled, because I know I cannot write like that. Encouraged, because his opinion is that anyone can. You just have to get past the foothills.
WOW: You’ve certainly gotten past the foothills Eric! Other authors can sometimes be our best inspiration. What is the first book you remember reading?
Eric: Where the Red Fern Grows. I read it in third grade. I had to go to the high school library to check it out. My mom was a fifth-grade teacher, and we always went to the library after school while she graded papers. It was a small school. The high school, junior high, and elementary were all in the same building. I don't recall how I came across the book, but I figure the librarian (I can see her face, but not her name...) recommended it. My brother read it, too. He was in second grade. Old Dan and Little Ann live on with us.
WOW: Boy, does that bring back memories; it’s been a long time. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Eric: Birth. I remember in kindergarten telling everyone I wanted to be a brain surgeon, a scuba diver, and a writer. I still never have scuba dived, though I did try for several years to enter medical school. I have a degree in Chemical Engineering, but the GPA suffered a little getting there. It's not bad, it just was not med-school worthy. I always wrote, though, and for my high school graduation gift, my aunt bought me a Brother word processor. Man, it was cool. I could type up and proof-read a whole page on this little green screen, insert a piece of paper, hit the Go! button, and it would slam out the page fully typed. The first story I submitted was to Playboy. Of course, it was not published, but I always thought that was a cool twist.
WOW: Playboy and you admit it? You’re a riot Eric! As for your Brother word processor, I still have mine and it saved me from having to use the computer lab during college (yes, I went to college when there was no such thing as WIFI and I didn’t even have a cell phone).
Changing the subject… Who has been most supportive during your writing journey?
Eric: My family. Without your family's support, you cannot proceed, at least not easily. You need balance, of course, but they respect and encourage my time spent writing stories, and are patient with me as I pitch out ideas to gauge their response. To celebrate my writing victories, we generally go out for a family dinner or plan a family vacation.
WOW: It’s awesome how your family is so involved and you celebrate together. On the flip side of that, how do you cope with rejection and what advice can you give to others who will undoubtedly be faced with a bad review or an unpublished novel?
Eric: Ah, rejection! I love rejection. Learn to embrace the suck. If you cannot get over being rejected, you are destined to fail. No overnight success occurred overnight, nor did it occur without copious rejections. You will be laughed at, ridiculed, shunned, and humiliated. That is simply part of the process of weeding out the weak and the timid. Think of it as the training that military special units go through, such as the Army Rangers, Navy SEALs, or any U.S. Marine (who were the original SEALs). They endure a brutal and rigorous bootcamp, followed by more brutality as they move deeper into the program. Only the strong survive.
I won't say writing is as hard as the stuff they endure, but I will say you should use them as inspiration. If they can withstand their training, their humiliation and suffering, surely you can take a couple of rejection letters. I mean, really, it's not like you have to run ten miles carrying a sixty-pound pack while someone is yelling how terrible you are.
Furthermore, celebrate your rejections. Expect the reject, and you will be all the more surprised when someone actually accepts and reads your work.
WOW: ‘Expect the Reject’ – it has quite the ring. Thank you for this great advice. What advice do you wish someone would have given you back in high school?
Eric: It doesn't matter. I would have ignored it.
I do wish I had read and studied the art of writing sooner. I made a study of it many years ago, and that study helped tremendously. Most writers believe you can simply start pecking and hope for the best. That is not true. Study the art. Read books on how to craft dialogue, create a plot, and maintain movement within a scene. Re-write books you loved to read. I personally re-wrote much of Bradbury's work, along with several Stephen King novels. I need to revisit this study, because it has been a while, and those skills need to be honed.
So my advice, which would have been ignored, would have been: Read up on writing, and copy some authors.
WOW: Speaking of high school, if you are anything like me it’s the songs you remember most. If you had to choose a song to go along with Steps, what would it be?
Eric: I actually listened to a song called "He's Frank" by Iggy Pop, over and over when I wrote Steps. I do this with songs. I find one that jives, and I use it to entrance me while I write. It put me in the mood. I have a short story about Frank that I will turn into a novel soon. That one is percolating...
WOW: What does it look like when you write? Are you an office guy with a computer, a coffee shop dude with a notebook, etc...? Hot cocoa, tea, or coffee? Give us a sneak peak into the eb and flow of your trade.
Eric: I write in a cloffice. What is a cloffice? It is a closet-office. My house is full of children, and so I carved out a small quiet nook in my closet and built a desk (a.k.a. cut some plywood and mounted it to the wall with cleats). I do have a very comfortable chair, and a fan, and plenty of quietude. Really, those are all the things that matter. Chair, fan, quiet...
WOW: Adorable! As a mom with a busy house, I can totally relate to your CLOFFICE!
So what’s next for you?
Eric: Next for me is my next book. I have a firm belief that the best way to succeed is to publish more books. While I have not produced as fast as I would like, I hope the quality of work will show through, and over time I can accumulate enough of a backlog to generate enough income to justify writing full-time.
WOW: That’s great news and it means we will be doing this again soon, so there’s no need to say goodbye. Thank you for your inspiration and your humor Eric!
----------Blog Tour Dates
Monday, July 6 (today) @ The Muffin
Stop by for an interview and book giveaway!
Tuesday, July 7 @ Choices with Madeline Sharples
Eric Trant makes a book blog tour stop at Choices as he writes a guest post for Madeline Sharples. The guest post is titled: "Part-Time Authors: How a Second Career Improves Your Writing" and you won't want to miss his insight into this topic as well as an opportunity to learn about and participate in a giveaway for your own copy of Trant's latest best seller Steps!
Wednesday, July 8 @ Katherine Hajer
Eric Trant authors today's guest post at the blog of Katherine Hajer as he speaks on "Exploring the World: Why Writers ~ Must ~ Get Off the Couch". Learn more about this topic as well as Trant's latest novel Steps.
Friday, July 10 @ Ava Louise
Eric Trant stops at the blog of fellow author Ava Louise. Don't miss Eric's guest post titled: "Bigotry in Writing Part I: How Much is Too Much? " and learn more about Eric's latest novel Steps.
Monday, July 13 @ Renee’s Pages
Here's a guest post we can all sink our teeth into (or not)..."Workout Fun: A Simple Trick to Spice Up Your Workout Routine" by Eric Trant. Eric visits the blog of WOW!'s own Renee Roberson as he shares his thoughts on workouts and his latest novel Steps. This is a blog stop you won't want to miss!
Tuesday, July 14th @ All Things Audry
Eric Trant offers reader of All Things Audry an insightful guest post titled: "OCD: How This Super Power Can Be Used for Good or Evil." Find out more about this and Trant's latest best seller Steps.
Wednesday, July 15 @ MC Simon
Join author MC Simon as she review the latest novel by Eric Trant. Learn more about Steps and find our for yourself why Eric Trant is a top selling author.
Thursday, July 16 @ I’d So Rather be Reading
Eric Trant stops at the I'd So Rather be Reading blog. Don't miss Eric's guest post titled: "Bigotry in Writing Part II: How Realistic are your Bigots?" and learn more about Eric's latest novel Steps.
Saturday, July 18 @ Hott Books
Don't miss the awesome topic of "Editing 101: Why I Never Argue with My Editor (or My Publisher)" by Eric Trant as he stops by Hott Books as part of his WOW! book blog tour. Hear from Eric and find out more about his latest novel Steps.
Monday, July 20 @ Create Write Now
Today's guest author at Create Write Now with Mari McCarthy is none other than Eric Trant. Find out more about Eric, his latest book Steps, and his guest topic today which is "Killing the Dream: Five Sure Ways to Never, Ever Achieve Your Long-Term Goals."
Tuesday, July 21 @ Lisa Haselton
Lisa Haselton reviews "Steps" by Eric Trant and will be giving away a copy to one lucky reader!
Wednesday, July 22 @ Kathy Pooler
Eric Trant will wow readers as he writes a guest post for Kathleen Pooler at Memoir Writer's Journey. Don't miss today's post titled: ""Bad Reviews: Why You Must Read Them (and How to Survive)". Learn about this and Trant's latest novel Steps!
Thursday, July 23 @ Slay the Writer
Fellow author Trisha Slay reviews the latest novel by Eric Trant. Find out more about Trant and Steps and get in on the giveaway to win your own copy!
Friday, July 24 @ Bring on Lemons
Eric Trant authors today's guest blog post at Bring on Lemons (the blog of Crystal Otto) and the topic is: "The Grinder: A Simple MS Word Automation That Will Clean Up Your Manuscript."
Tuesday, July 28 @ Selling Books
Join Eric Trant with a guest post titled "City Lights: Why it is Important to Turn Them Off" as he visits Cathy Stucker's Selling Books blog.
Keep up with blog stops and giveaways in real time by following us on Twitter @WOWBlogTour.
Get Involved! If you have a website or blog and would like to host one of our touring authors or schedule a tour of your own, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enter to win a copy of Steps by Eric Trant! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. We will announce the winner in the Rafflecopter widget THIS Friday, July 10th!
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