About Stephen B King

OK, I admit it: I was asked (at age fifteen) to find a job and leave school, or I would be expelled. Why is this relevant? Because, all these years later, I’m trying to tell stories and write books, and I’m not well versed in the intricacies of good grammar, word choice, sentence structure etc. Case in point?

When I submitted Forever Night to a wonderful Senior Editor, Sarah Smeaton, with a London Publishing house, she said: “I love what you’re doing with this story, but your tenses are all wrong. You need sections of this to be in ‘past perfect tense.’”

I had no idea what she was talking about. Still feeling dumb, I had to ask her for examples to understand what she was referring to. Are there more than three tenses: past, present, and future? Well, yes, there is, apparently. Thankfully, that lovely woman, to whom I will be forever indebted, explained what I needed to do. So off I went and did a complete re-write, the first of many, and she was so impressed the book was contracted for publication.

Sadly, I parted company with Sarah and that publisher after Forever Night was released, and these days, I am thrilled to be with my wonderful NY publisher, The Wild Rose Press. Since Forever Night, I have written and published seventeen novels, and TWRP has published most of them. I’ve been blessed to work my fantastic editor, Melanie Billings, who is not only extremely knowledgeable in all the areas I’m not, but she is a wonderful woman and a dear friend. I have learned so much from Melanie, and I believe my storytelling is all the better for her helping guide me.

Nowadays, I live in Perth, Western Australia, and generally write about it. All my characters are imagined, not real, as are the specific locations, cafes, clubs, restaurants, and bars I use. if you meet me, and catch me looking at you oddly, the question you have to ask yourself is: am I imagining you as a protagonist, antagonist, or victim.

You may be wondering, why I’ve gone into such detail? Well I was fifteen, living in the UK, and it was 1970 when I was kicked out of school for non-attendance, or as we used to call it ‘playing hooky.’ Need I say more? Flower power, hippies, Vietnam war protests, the birth control pill had been released for women, drugs were freely available and, most importantly for me, the music was incredible! That era we called ‘The Underground’, the Americans called it ‘The British Invasion’ and it was a phenomenal time. To a lot of people the words; Sex Drugs and Rock and Roll might be a cliché, but for me it was a way of life, I haven’t done drugs in many, many years, but it was an almost mandatory rite of passage back in my day. This period of my life in no small way moulded me into who, and what I am today.

Who wanted to go to school when there were parties, youth clubs, and open air rock concerts in Hyde Park to hitchhike to? And festivals. Let’s not forget the festivals; held over several days, like The Isle of White Festival, where the late great Jimi Hendrix set fire to a guitar and caught the stage alight! Where The Who destroyed their instruments at the end of the set including Keith Moon’s drum kit, and, where there were so many more people outside the fences (Yes I was one of them) than inside so we pushed down the fences and walked in for free.

That was the era when song lyrics affected me so much I began to write poetry- mostly bad ones. But back then I did get quite a few poems published, so they weren’t all crap! That era was also when I started writing; I wrote two short stories and entered them in competitions, and Jesus; I won prizes for them. I was shocked (and delighted).

From there I met a guy, Barry who taught me how to play guitar, he had been in a rock band in Europe and had had records released and I aspired to be like him. All I wanted was to put my poems to music and so began my rock band era. I remember an old song “I gave it up for music, and the Free Electric Band” but in my case, after years of being a long haired rock-demi-God-guitarist and song writer, I gave it all up for love. I had two wonderful children with my first wife, Danielle and Tania, and Tania in particular, much later in life became someone who dramatically supported me in my quest to write, but that’s a story for another post. I relocated to Perth, that’s Australia, not Scotland, (if there is a God he lives here by choice) with my second wife, Jacqui, and had another three children, Jason, Stepfanie and Cherise. Since then, I’ve been in sale, sales management, or owned business relying on sales all of my adult life, that’s why I’m good with words. It’s also given me a chance to watch people and I think it’s helped me create some of my most memorable characters.

I’ve said, more than once, life is about the journey, and not the destination, and what a journey my life has been. We are the sum total of our experiences, and not what we eat, in my humble opinion, and when I start talking about my life to people – just before their eyes glaze over – they often say: “You should write a book about that.” So I have. Thrillers and crime genres have always fascinated me, and in particular, the dark world of serial killers. And while my life beginnings were in the ‘Make love not war’ sentiment, I love a good, un-put-downable, thriller. You know, the kind you just want to read one more chapter of at three in the morning before bed, but you have to be up at six to go to work. Have I succeeded in creating stories that can take people to that place? Boy I hope so.

Drop me an email, and let me know if I have.