A Conversation With Author, Steve Gordy
I personally know many of the featured authors, as is the case with today's guest, Steve Gordy. I met Steve when he and I served on the Board of Directors for South Carolina Writers' Workshop in 2010. Since then, I've participated in several writing conferences and workshops with him. He mentions several of his works below, and I'm intrigued by his current works in progress.
Steve Gordy has been an apprentice writer since 2003. He's been active since then in the South Carolina Writers Association where he currently serves as Treasurer. He's published three books, all of which are listed on his Amazon Author Page. Steve and his wife Ruth have lived in Aiken since 1988. They're both retired and are now "living the dream" with frequent trips to destinations far and near.
What are you working on?I currently have two books in progress: a nonfiction work tentatively titled Meredith's Song, a tribute about the life of USC Aiken basketball star Meredith Legg Stapleton (1987-2014). She battled uveal melanoma from the time she graduated from college until it took her life in February, 2014. Her deep faith, positive spirit, and the example she set for others in her work and friendships have inspired hundreds who knew her.
I'm also working on a second novel with the working title Watermelon Man. It's set in a small town much like the one in which I grew up. A reporter who spent his boyhood in the town returns after retirement intent on learning the truth about why a school friend committed suicide as a young man. In the process, he jeopardizes his own life and uncovers secrets that tear the town apart.
How does your book differ from others in its genre?
My recently published novel, Faith, Hope, and Dr. Vangelis, cuts across genres. For the most part, it's mainstream, but it could also be considered paranormal or speculative, since some pivotal moments occur in dreamscapes or supernatural visitations. The plot revolves around the quest of an elderly hospice physician whose search for inner peace requires a reckoning with his own past. He also finds that he has a final challenge: to prepare the four-year-old son of a young woman dying of cancer to inherit the healing powers which are the doctor's legacy to him.
Unlike many real-life stories of healing, there is no happy ending. Kirkus Reviews says, "the book generates a strong sense of empathy . . . this tale offers a nuanced look at death." It also puts a new twist on the adage, "Physician, heal thyself."
Why do you write what you do?
The anthology, Nights of Horseplay, was the work of a group of local authors who drew their inspiration from the horse statues that adorn downtown Aiken. We started from the premise that these statues come to life at night and engage in fanciful adventures. Each of us took a slightly different spin on what the statues might do, with some tales that are whimsical, some more serious.
My second book combines some stories I'd written at different times and combines them into a collection. Most of these had already been published in other anthologies. The inspirations for the stories in Tangled Woods and Dark Waters came from news stories or were written to suit the theme in a call for submissions. This collection also includes a novella, "A Dirge for Maxwell," which was inspired by a rail derailment which destroyed a textile mill in Graniteville in 2005.
How does your writing process work?
My writing process varies from book to book, depending on the inspiration. Many of the tales in my first two books were written in response to specific thematic suggestions. In those cases, it was relatively easy to sit down with pen and pad and dash off a first draft.
For my first novel, I had to do a lot of research on cancer and how it affects people's lives. The basic outline of the story was something I was able to write down in a couple of sittings. I bought a course on DVD titled "What Science Knows about Cancer." From this, I learned the details I was able to put into the book.