Making the reader question? On The Spot with author Steven Nedeau


Hannah Donahue

The arts have always been in author Steven M. Nedeau’s life. On top of being an actor and a dance teacher in high school, he says he took all the art classes he could. As a senior, art school seemed like a guarantee. A guarantee, that is, until a severe car accident that broke his neck his senior year adjusted his course. 

[Text Wrapping Break]Unable to attend college while recovering, Nedeau started working for a bank, where his aptitude for computers became apparent. Though the spark to create and a love of the arts never left him, he became proficient in programming and computer sciences. Nedeau graduated from University of New Hampshire’s Manchester campus with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology where he attended part-time as he worked. But upon graduation, Nedeau was faced with more free-time than his studies had allowed.  

“All that time, the artistic things I wanted to do were in the background,” said Nedeau. “But I had to make a living. When I graduated, I said, well, now it’s time for me.”  

Nedeau got to work, writing at night after his wife had gone to bed and stealing away on vacations to write for two or three hours at a time. On a cruise he took last year, he says he wrote every day. His process initially involved going into his work’s conference rooms after hours and using the white boards to plot out the chapters, though he migrated to notebooks after changing jobs. This process led up to the publication of his first novel “The Soulweb” in 2017.   

[Text Wrapping Break]“It was my first book. I had spent twenty years thinking of the story and I took a little more to get it done,” Nedeau said, who spent another year and a half editing “The Soulweb” after writing it. “You put so much of yourself into a book. The first book especially had a lot of personal stories built into the characters because I had been pent up for so long that I really just pushed it into them.”  

His first novel was a fantasy book, a genre he says he has loved since he first saw the cartoon version of “The Hobbit” when he was 12 years old but another genre takes priority in his heart – science fiction. His newest novel, “Memory Reborn” is a science fiction novel. He currently plans to alternate between the genres, with his next release being the sequel to his first novel, though he isn’t sure if the third book in the trilogy will be next or if it will be another science fiction novel. [Text Wrapping Break][Text Wrapping Break]“People are telling me to pick one and stick with it, which if you only love one thing is easy.” said Nadeau. “If you love a couple of different things, well, that’s harder.” 

Both novels that he has published were self-published, though he says that was mostly because he was getting impatient. His first book was self-published because he simply wanted something with his name on it out there. While he didn’t hear back from his queries on his first novel, “Memory Reborn” fared more favorably, almost getting picked up by one agent who ultimately dropped it because of their concern on similarities to another piece they’d bought and another publishing house approaching him with a deal, which he ultimately pulled back from. [Text Wrapping Break] 

“The first book still had a lot of learning to do. Memory Reborn though, the reviews are saying it is like a movie.” said Nedeau. “When people ask what it’s like to publish a book, the only thing I can say is that I talk in pictures a lot. I think in pictures, I talk in pictures. I had a picture of Wile E. Coyote sitting on a rocket and lighting a fuse and that’s how it feels to publish a book because I’m going off with this rocket whatever happens, happens.” 

Novels are not the only things he has written. His website offers a selection of short stories that are free to access. One short story is based off of his friend’s Roomba that he says stopped working because of the dirt on its censor. His friend picked the Roomba off of a garbage heap and cleaned it up, giving the robot a new life. Another one, “Marla’s Message” was inspired by a podcast-sponsored twitter game, called PromptPieces, where a group of writers collect a list of prompts submitted through twitter and use the majority of the prompts within their story.  

With his stories, Nedeau wants to leave readers wondering. “I like stories that don’t necessarily finish where you think they’re going to finish. “Memory Reborn” ends here but I want the reader to wonder where we are going now. I want them to be able to build out in their own head what the next sections of the story will be, what the next chapter would be if there was another one. When I write what I want, some endings are way too this is the end and it doesn’t leave you wondering or questioning. I love things that make you question.” 

For aspiring writers, Nedeau gives this advice, “I will say the Twitter community for writing is really awesome. I’ve met so many amazing people through it, I can’t even begin. Everybody gives something a little bit different. Writing is a lonely thing. In order for you to get any work done, you have to be alone. So, being able to reach out and make connections with people who are experiencing the same thing is so valuable. It feels like being at home versus being lost. Reach out and enjoy the community. There’s people out there that do what you do, find them and talk to them. We all have imposter syndrome, am I a writer? Am I good enough to do this?  We all have those questions and the only way to answer them is to write and talk to others.”  

Nedeau’s second novel “Memory Reborn” was published September 22 after a publishing mishap pushed its release up from its original December release. “Memory Reborn” is available both physically and digitally from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 

Photo courtesy of Steven Nedeau.