Stevie Collier - Fantasy with a Wacky Sense of Humor
Stevie Collier is a bestselling Fantasy author unlike you've ever read before (whether that's good or bad he doesn't know). He writes books that are true to himself... which means they're eccentric and weird. Most people describe his work as Unique, Odd, Hilarious, Bizarre, Wacky, Action Packed... and different... kind of like the author himself! As our Author of the Day, Collier tells us everything about his book, The Jigsaw Blade.
Please give us a short introduction to what The Jigsaw Blade is about.
In the freezing land of Shimoshimo, Finn's dreams become reality then ultimately his nightmares. He obsesses over those who have acquired the magical swords called Bizarre Blades and wishes with all his might that he too may one day be called Champion.
If only he knew what dangerous and life-threatening responsibilities come with the Blades. People will betray you, people will seduce you, and they will most certainly kill you to get their hands on the awesome power that is a Bizarre Blade.
In a world teeming with vicious meat-eating dinosaurs and plants that would puff poisonous gas into traveler's faces, Finn accidentally stumbles upon and binds with a Blade with a horrible attitude. Jigsaw.
What inspired you to write about a guy who always dreamt of communing with a magical sword?
Great question! I had just finished up the first series I ever wrote but felt slightly empty inside. I’d felt as though I’d written a series for someone else besides myself. I wanted to write a book that I would purchase if I walked into a Barnes and Noble! Something… unique… odd… strange… and, well, bizarre! My brother is currently working to get his PhD in Paleontology and suggested I write about dinosaurs. WHY NOT?!? But! I had to add the element of Magical Swords as I always loved the idea of different Blades having its own unique ability. However, whether the ability is actually useful the wielder will never know until he communes with it :D
Tell us more about Finn Featherstone. What makes him tick?
Finn Featherstone, in our world, would be considered a geek, a dweeb, a nerd, a dork… kind of like how I was in high school! He loves being a painter but always wished he could have been something more. He marvels over a Champion named Bryce Smolder who is this gigantic beefy man with biceps that could crush a person’s skull! Finn, on the other hand, is on the shorter side, very pale skinned, long green curly hair, and no muscle whatsoever. However! Finn has what many people in this freezing cold world don’t have and that is a big heart. Sadly, this is what makes him look weak and is a big reason as to why he is so detested.
Your book is set in a world teeming with meat-eating dinosaurs and toxic plants. Why did you pick this setting as the backdrop for your book?
It was almost like cheating to be honest with you. My brother is getting his PhD in Paleontology and has a toy dinosaur collection worth over $10,000 which has taken 24 years to obtain. He knows everything about dinosaurs, from their eating habits, to how much they weighed, how they bred, and even sometimes how they pooped! He’s a walking dino-clopedia I’m super cereal.
How do your books differ from regular, run of the mill fantasy books?
This is the first series that I have opened the flood gates that is Stevie Collier. I’ve always felt… different or perhaps even strange when compared to my fellow human beings and can sometimes be embarrassing in public to be around. I talk to most people (I could talk to a wall… and probably have at some point) and am always making jokes and am never very serious. This series is riddled with my sense of humor (which can certainly lean towards the dark/crude side) and I am loving the feedback I have been getting! I always thought I was funny but my dad always told me that if you think you’re funny… then you’re probably not lol.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
A lot of people do not know that I speak French at a very advanced level (Not fluent, but close)! I started learning it in high school to pick up girls but… one week later and I fell in love with the language and forgot all about the chicks (well… not entirely lol). Now, I study Japanese and will be attending college courses for it in the fall. I can read the onyomi and kunyomi readings of over 500 kanji and can read and write in Hiragana and Katana.
I’m also a certified personal trainer and have a degree in both business and French. I have surfed waves in Costa Rica, Hawaii, and all up and down the Pacific Coast highway. However, my greatest skill is riding on a longboard as my white Siberian husky named Spartacus pulls me for two miles down the streets of my home town :D
Did your dog, Spartacus, inspire any of the animals in The Jigsaw Blade?
Wow, what an amazing question! Spartacus is my best friend and is my writing partner! When I get tired, I let him take over… however, the writing does tend to veer off towards talking about treats and chasing the pesky raccoons that dig in our trash…
If I could describe Spartacus in five words it would be: sassy, loner, energetic, wolf-like, loveable (after he’s went on his three walkies of the day and is slightly tired). This is how I would also describe Finn’s companion Obsidian which is a black feathered microraptor. I don’t want to give away too much though… you’re gonna have to read to find out more about this loveable yet saucy dino!
This is the first book in the Bizarre Blades sword and sorcery fantasy series. Did you plan from the start to make this into a series? How do the other books in the series tie in with this one?
I certainly did. From the very start I knew this would be a five book series and, due to its recent success (which I am extremely grateful for) I am already preparing for a new series in the exact same world! As the books go on the stakes for Finn and his friends get worse and worse. As the writer, I’m constantly in a state of stress and anxiety as even I don’t know what’s going to happen! I don’t outline so ever day is a mystery as to what the outcome will be.
Your book contains a lot of wacky humor and plenty of silly characters. Why did you write it this way?
Wack and silly is how many people would describe me. Believe it or not, but my writing was highly stifled in the private schools I attended. I was sent to detention (and the priest’s office) on three separate occasions for my short stories (apparently strangling orphans with their own innards was too dark of a theme for fifth grade… who knew???) I grew up with a younger brother close to my age and we were always known as the class clowns and the pranksters. Sometimes I feel we can be a little… annoying but we do it all out of love :D Think of the Weasley twins from Harry Potter!
In which way is The Jigsaw Blade a coming-of-age story?
The whole theme of the book is watching Finn grow as a Champion. He communes with an incredibly rude and moody Blade which only makes his trials that much harder. We watch Finn as he makes his first kill and learn how he copes with death and other horrible things. I’ve tried to make it as realistic as possible, having even dived into the psychological reactions as to what a character might feel when they experience a certain situation. For example: when you almost drown you don’t just hop back on your feet and continue on with your day… NO! It’s traumatizing! You see a lot of this in my series :P The book is hilarious but also very brutal.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
I am a procrastinator and a very good one too. In order to get myself to write my 5,000 words a day I have to treat myself kind of like a dog when he barks on command lol. So, for every 1,000 words I will let myself play on the internet or get on my PS4 for thirty minutes or I’ll go for a walk. Something like that. However, after my 5,000 words are done ask anyone and they will tell you that I am a walking zombie. I do not outline whatsoever which means each chapter is just as new to me as it is to the reader when they read it. If I outlined books I feel like it would only take away the surprise!
What are you working on right now?
I am writing the final book in the series which is currently called The Forsaken Blade (each book features a new Blade. BUT! Don’t worry, there are tons of unique Bizarre Blades in each book). I am also editing book 4 which is The Blood Blade.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
You HAVE to come join my group the Collier’s Conquerors(https://www.facebook.com/groups/colliersconquerors/). This is a fantastic group of hilarious people who all share a strange sense of humor. If you like memes and slightly edgy humor then you gotta come hang out! Wanna watch me live? You can do that too! Every Thursday I host a podcast on Youtube called the Fantasy Fiends Podcast with my best friend and fellow bestselling author Andy Peloquin. You can find that here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8KnIEoUDWRJkAhJ16CN5Dw