Interview with author and blogger Steve Costello

Steve Costello is an author and fledgling blogger although he had over five thousand engaged followers when he sent up a motivational blog back in 2000. His passions are many but in particular he loves to use fictional writing to introduce matters relating to human beings and their spiritual nature. We interviewed Steve recently.

How relevant are your personal experiences (such as of sleeping in bomb shelters and the travels/stays in Germany, Greece, Turkey, UK, the Netherlands, Devon, France) on the unearthing of a long-hidden secret in your book 'Beyond the Pyre'?

My personal experiences are all a part of my life path and they have led me to believe strongly in humanity and the absolute love that resides in all of us.

Sleeping in a bomb shelter was a frightening experience that felt very personal at the time until I realised that I was a lucky one; I had the luxury of a shelter and others like me did not. Those thoughts began to hurt.

I met several groups of people ‘The News’ would describe as coming from both sides of the conflict. We all shared love and hope, we all had families who we loved, we all hoped for peace. None of us were concerned with politics; we saw that as a warning flag that could bring harm, fear and division.
Wherever I have travelled I have seen the same; poverty and corruption exploited by fear. Lies told by politicians and secrets held to achieve their own agendas also creating division and fear of other albeit innocent groups, a minority of whom chose to defend themselves in ways that only exacerbate negativity.

Perhaps The Secret in Beyond The Pyre was placed there to highlight how the threat of something terrible might come about by exposing a “closely guarded secret.” Alternatively, it may be there to say, “go ahead, expose that secret and show the world that the stories are hearsay.” Whatever it does, it creates an “us and them” and denies the universal love that exists between us.

How long did you take to conceptualize the story for 'Beyond the Pyre'?

Many aspects of the story have always been with me and fermenting until I put fingers to the keyboard in December 2014. Writing and editing was complete by March 2016. Although I found a publisher quickly, the process took fourteen months to publication.

Who inspires you on the character of 'Catharine' and the woman who looks exactly like Catharine?

I have a sign close to my desk, “Warning, writer at work. Innocent bystanders may be written into the story.” All of my characters are developed from people I know, have met or have seen in passing. Often I just know that a person or part of them has to form a character. Although they are unaware, Catharine is a mixture of two women I know. The woman who looks exactly like Catharine is another aspect of the same personality.

Which part of the writing process challenges you the most?

I love the writing process. It’s the most natural thing to do. Of course it has its challenges but I believe in Positive, Dynamic Solutions. There is always a way to overcome a challenge.

How did you imagine the setting in your book 'Horando - Going Home'? If this book has been chosen to be made into a film/movie, where and which two locations (scenes) would you choose to shoot for the trailers?

If Beyond The Pyre or Horando – Going Home were selected by a film-maker I would be thrilled. There are three settings in Horando. One of these is the place where the children who feature in the story live. Their home consists of locations on the Greek island of Rhodes, and The Yorkshire Dales in The UK. The other two locations are purely fantasy although if pressed, I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that some areas would be places I have visited on my travels. In the early part of the story, four children and a small herd of horses are pursued through a cave from their world on earth to Horando. Maybe tricky to film but this would be a very atmospheric and thrilling trailer. For the final scene of Horando, I would choose The Pic de Bugarach, the highest summit in the Corbières mountains in the French Midi. Bugarach has an uninhibited 360° view which would give complete security for the finale that needs to take place. Despite the magic, I am only aware of one character that can fly. With a cloudy sunset this would be a perfect trailer and it would be a considerable way into the movie before any viewer realised where the trailer came from.

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