My name is Steve Madden (no relation to John or the shoe guy). I live in Richland, WA, and I’m recently divorced. I work full-time as a Paratransit Dispatcher full-time, which is a great job. I love what I do and the people I work with (and I’m not just writing that because they may possibly stumble across this page).
When she was two, my daughter was diagnosed with Autism. Learning how best to interact with her has been a turning point in our lives. One of the biggest challenges with Natalie is her speech delay, but she’s getting better about vocalizing what’s on her mind. I hope to some day be able to sit down and have a back and forth conversation with her. Until then, I take things one day at a time.
I’ve been writing for about as long as I can remember. One of my earliest recollections of school was writing a short story… I believe it was in third grade. It was supposed to be 3 pages long, consisting of a beginning, a middle and an end. The teacher gave me extra time to finish mine (even then, I was no good at hitting my deadlines) and the end result was an illustrated, twelve-page epic. Granted, it was about as horrible a story as anyone has ever written (the title, “Island of the Zukamakas” should be an indication) and even had an odd scene where a character died and a tongue came out of their dead body and tried to get away, but my teacher was very encouraging. Shortly after, I started on the sequel, but alas, it was never to see the light of day.
In high school, my mother’s book Everlastin’ was published, which was a huge deal in my life. For the first time, I saw writing as a viable path. Unfortunately, she ran into issues, from them forcing her to change the titles of her books to problems with her agent. As encouraging as her being published was, seeing her struggle after making it worked equally well to dissuade me from pursuing publishing.
Despite this resolution toward nothingness, I continued to write, finishing a fantasy book when I was fresh out of high school. I began attending the critique group my mother fronted and learned a great deal about the craft, even as I continued to work on new books. I started a few here and there, but nothing stuck. One day, I found myself with no new chapters to bring to group, so I went back to a book I’d shelved years before and printed out the three chapters I had prepared. The response I received was overwhelming, and I started working on Ascension in earnest, not stopping until it was finished more than a year later.
In the time since then, I’ve been in and out of the critique group (currently in) based on my job, and I’ve tried a few different venues to get my work out to the public. One was Authonomy, which was instrumental in giving me the boost in self-confidence I needed to make the next logical step for me: self-publishing.
I tried my hand at traditional publishing before, attempting to secure an agent, but my heart wasn’t in it. Self-publishing provided the best of all worlds. I’m able to produce the work I want based on my own standards. I’m responsible for marketing (which I’m horrible at, but if you’ve read my blog, you know that already) and it’s on my shoulders whether I’m successful or not. As far as I’m concerned, every book I get into someone’s hands, whether they buy it or get it for free, makes me successful.
This is a culmination of a lifetime of dreams for me. I can’t express how humbled and grateful I am to everyone who supports indie authors.
S.L. Madden 2013