For those interested here's a breakdown of the short stories by their authors (with my rating of each next to the titles):
Author and Finisher of Our Flesh 4/5
Temples Rising 3.5/5
Lion Heart 4/5
Land of Shadow 3.5/5
For the River is Wide and the Gods are Hungry 4/5
Now, without further ado, I give you three of Seventh Star Press' authors, Steven Shrewsbury, Stephen Zimmer and Michael West:
SFG: “For the River is Wide and the Gods are Hungry,” has a very Harlan Ellison feel to it. Was that intentional?
SFG: “Author and Finisher of Our Flesh,” and “Insurmountable,” are the two Gorias La Gaul short stories that have been released in the first wave of the Seventh Star Short Stories. Because La Gaul has such a vast history, does it matter in which order these two shorts are read?
SZ: I always listen to music when I'm writing, which is one of the main elements in my routine/setup, in addition to having a dedicated place in the house where I do my writing, and writing alone. The music helps me create that bubble that helps block off the outside world, and get me into the right zone every day.
SFG: “Goodnight,” your second short story from your TALES FROM HARMONY series, is an emotionally charged, hair raising story. After re-reading it several times, one thing stood out in my mind, and that was the old adage: “Write what you know.” Does this saying have any relativity to your story “Goodnight?”
SFG: With the release of your next Gorias La Gaul novel coming out sometime this year, is there anything you could tell readers about it?
SFG: Yetis, giant flesh absorbing monsters, beholders, and dragons are just a few of the creatures that readers will experience when reading your stuff. With the antediluvian world that you have created within the mythos of THRALL and soon to be released OVERKILL, would it be safe to assume that Gorias La Gaul has seen and fought just about everything that stalks his world?
SS: You haven’t even seen the Cytaurs in OVERKILL yet…but he’s been through the ringer. In this time, everything was a different, I reckon, so Gorias has a long history to explore. He’s a fun character and at times the twists surprise me.
SFG: How does writing large novels compare to short stories? Which do you prefer more?
SZ: I love the novel format because it gives me the room to develop a number of threads, and weave together a more complex plot. As far as the process goes, novels and short stories are very different entities, and readers expectations can be quite different as well. Readers will give you a little more room pace-wise to develop a novel-length story, whereas an author really has to connect very rapidly in short fiction. Both still require the creation of compelling characters and good story concepts, but in short stories you do not have the time to thoroughly flesh a world out, or gradually develop a character like you do in a novel.
SFG: Is there anything that you gentlemen would like to add?
MW: I would like to thank Seventh Star Press for giving its authors this sandbox to play in. It's a lot of fun for us as writers to be able to continue to explore our various worlds and characters outside the confines of the novels; it gives faithful readers a way to stay connected to the series, and new readers a way to discover us. People are much more willing to take a chance on something unfamiliar if it costs less than a cup of coffee to try.
SS: Nab the eBook shorts and prepare for OVERKILL, a hard hitting work any action lover will enjoy. Be on the look out for me on the road this year at a Con or if my truck breaks down…
SFG: Thanks so much gentlemen, for taking time out of your busy lives and writing schedules to sit down and have a chat! I thoroughly enjoyed each and every short story that's been released through Seventh Star Press' e-book line thus far, and I can't wait to see what else you all have up your sleeves!
SZ: Thank you Rodney! And thank you to everyone who has read this interview. Great to be here, and don't worry, there's a ton up my sleeves. Both series are fertile ground for a huge number of short stories in the long run, and I will be developing my steampunk characters, Harvey and Solomon, in further adventures, and also making some forays into horror very soon. Going to be a busy year! :)
Update: This contest is no longer open. Thanks go to those that submitted their information for some great reads!