1. BACKSTORY: When and why did you start writing? How old were you? In which genres did you begin writing?
A: The first thing I ever wrote was an adult crime/drama originally titled “Esoité’s Revenge”, but has since been renamed to “Left But Not Forgotten”. I began writing it in 2004 when I was 14, and continued working on it over the course of the next 10 years.
2. PROTAGONIST: What was your first main character like? How has your tastes/muses changed since then?
A: My first protagonist, Esoité, was not the typical main character. He was a Hispanic thug/drug dealer who got sent to prison. The story picked up after his escape from prison and he goes on a killing spree. Since then, my tastes haven’t really changed. I am still drawn to darker and more aggressive characters, though not all of them are deranged serial killers.
3. ANTAGONIST: What’s the worst writing advice or feedback you ever received? What was your first rejection or confidence-breaking experience like?
A: The worst advice I have received is that I don’t need to edit, it’s just a rip off. And I haven’t really had a confidence-breaking experience. I’m pretty chill and not concerned about others’ perception of me or my craft.
4. SUPERPOWER: What part of writing or the writing process do you feel is your greatest strength (emotion, showing [vs. telling], drafting, revising, character flaws, etc.)?
A: World building 100%.
5. KRYPTONITE: What part of writing or the writing process do you feel is your weakest?
A: Writing emotions is by far my most difficult.
6. TRAINING MONTAGE: What strengths or weaknesses changed over the years? Additionally, what have you done over the years to better your craft?
A: I think I’ve gotten better at writing 3D characters into my story. And I've had put a lot of practice into working on different aspects of my writing.
7. WEAPON OF CHOICE: What programs have you used over your writing journey? What is your favorite right now and why?
A: I normally use Microsoft Word for my writing, while cross saving it on Google Drive, so that I can access it even when I’m not by my computer.
8. TRUSTED SIDEKICK: Every Batman has his Robin. What is your favorite companion to cuddle or consume while writing? Has this changed over the years? If so, does this also differ from day time to night time?
A: I always have to have something beside me to sip on. Usually just water, but at times I will drink sweet tea.
9. ZERO TO HERO: When you first began this journey, what level of success did you imagine for yourself? Is where you’re currently at on your writing journey heading for the destination? If not, how has your dream evolved over the years?
A: When I first started this journey, I never in a million years would have considered that I would be a published author. I was, still am, and will always write for the fun of it. And if success happens to find me, then bring it on.
10. REMEMBER MY NAME: Fame! What authors helped you realize your interest or passion for writing? What books helped shape your writing style, genre of choice, or tastes?
A: This one is hard. I would say that I’m a fan of Stephen King, though his style is nothing like mine, or the genre that I write. I truly believe that my interest in writing just came from within, as the same for style, genre, and tastes.
11. MARVEL VS DC: Comparison is dangerous. How has comparing your author journey to others’ dismantled or helped your own? Any advice to overcome this?
A: I don't necessarily compare myself to other authors, but seeing the success that they have, motivates me to do the best I can with my own work.
12. THE OBLIGATORY LOVE INTEREST: Looking back on your earliest projects, what genres have you grown to love or hate to write?
A: I've really fallen in love with writing high fantasy worlds.
13. ARCHNEMESIS: What are the most common excuses you’ve given to yourself or outside forces you’ve overcome that prevent/prevented you from writing your story or crush your confidence?
A: I need to work on something that will actually pay the bills
14. SUPERHERO NAME: When you began, did you consider using a pen name? If you’re using a pen name now, why did you decide to use one? If not, why did you use your real name?
A: Not when I began writing. I just assumed I would use D.L. Stewart, which is what I am going by. But for future books that are not fantasy, I will use a pen name to help keep the genres separated.