Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Book Talk with Steve Dunn Hanson, author of 'Sealed Up'

I've lived in places that grew me . . . from a small Idaho farm town, a run-down neighborhood in St. Louis, and a middle-class southern California community, to Sydney, Australia, and Bucharest, Romania. My experiences are as varied as the places I've lived. I have a hopper full of "reality" including being a volunteer jail chaplain and flying with a U.S. presidential candidate in his small plane when an engine conked out. And all of this is fodder for my writing.

My latest book is the action/adventure/suspense novel, Sealed Up.

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UCLA anthropologist Nathan Hill, in a funk since his young wife’s death, learns of staggering millennia-old chronicles sealed up somewhere in a Mesoamerica cliff. This bombshell rocks him out
of his gloom, and he leads a clandestine expedition to uncover them. What are they? Who put them there? No one knows. But, self-absorbed televangelist Brother Luke, who funds the expedition, thinks he does. If he’s right, his power-hunger will have off-the-charts gratification.
Striking Audra Chang joins Nathan in his pursuit and brings her own shocking secret. As they struggle through a literal jungle of puzzles and dead ends, she finds herself falling in love with Nathan. Her secret, though, may make that a non-starter.
When a shaman with a thirst for human sacrifice, and a murderous Mexican drug lord with a mysterious connection to Brother Luke emerge, the expedition appears doomed. Yet Nathan is convinced that fate—or something—demands these inscrutable chronicles be unearthed.
And if they are . . . what shattering disruption will they unleash?
Intricately layered and remarkably researched, this enthralling suspense-driven and thought provoking tour de force begs a startling question: Could it happen?



Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

I maintain a webpage (stevedunnhanson.com) where I blog and post poetry and scenic photographs I’ve taken. I’m a volunteer in my church, and I love being with my family. Traveling is on my agenda too.

When did you start writing?

While I had magazine articles published in the late 1970’s, early 1980’s, my first book wasn’t published until 1987. Over the years three more of my books were published, but with my busy schedule, putting the time in to get a book to the point where it was publishable was problematic. But that didn’t stop ideas for books formulating in my mind. Now that I am retired, those ideas are coming to life—hence, Sealed Up!

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

Hmm. Good question. I think I’d say when I discovered that I actually had a talent to write in a way that people wanted to read me and were affected meaningfully by what I wrote.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

I’d stay right where I am. I have a quiet, comfortable office in my home and am surrounded by pine trees, deer, wild turkeys, and a supportive wife. For me this is idyllic for writing. I’ve been to many countries and have even lived in Australia and Romania. I’m using all of those experiences in my writing now.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

Read (I’m a voracious reader), and work on my family history.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

I’m writing the sequel to Sealed Up, and it will literally be all over the map—primarily Washington DC and Chicago in the US, Mexico City, and Jerusalem.

Back to your present book, Sealed Up, how did you publish it?

It is self-published and to begin with was exclusive with Amazon (eBook). It also comes in a trade paperback, and I will be having an audio version produced the first part of 2017.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

I’ve called upon experiences I have had and things I have learned in my previous travels. For example, there are scenes that take place in Guatemala and Mexico, southern California, Texas, and even in Romania. I’ve been to all of these places. Google, of course, is what really makes research possible these days.

Why was writing Sealed Up so important to you?

Sealed Up is fiction in the way things are portrayed as happening. The conclusion, however, I am virtually certain will happen in one way or another. Perhaps I have felt in that sense that my book is prescient, and it has been important for me to put this in print.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

They just come. Call it inspiration or revelation or intuition or whatever. All I know is that the ideas are often not related to anything I’ve thought of before, at least directly. They just pop into my mind. Why do they come? Maybe because I’m willing to listen when they come and then do something about them. So, they keep coming.

Any final words?

Thanks for the interview. Your questions really got me thinking. I even learned some things about myself. J

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