Meet Author Steven Ramirez
Steven is a successful writer who sold a movie to The Asylum and has written several awesome books. In today’s Interview, he shares some of the wisdom he has picked up on the path to success.
I’ve been writing since I was fifteen. I sold a screenplay to The Asylum—the guys responsible for all those nutty ‘Sharknado’ movies—and they turned it into a bloody crime thriller called ‘Killers,’ which I understand did very well in Asia. Since then, I’ve published a zombie trilogy, a short story collection, and a romantic comedy featuring a creepy doll named Mr. Shivers.
What have you learned from being successful?
I’m terrible at advice, but I’ll give it a shot. I live by the words of Commander Peter Quincy Taggart: “Never give up, never surrender.” Seriously.
Look if you’re passionate about something, then do it. Don’t listen to anyone who says you shouldn’t (unless, of course, it’s illegal). Or a neckbeard. Also, read everything you can. There are a lot of smart writers out there, and you should know what good writing looks like.
Is there a mistake you have made starting out that you wish you could change?
I could write a book on my mistakes, but here’s one. When I first wrote screenplays, I was as arrogant as hell. I thought I knew it all, when in fact I knew very little. I was pushy and thought everyone should read and promote my work. Fortunately, I got kicked in the teeth enough to snap me out of it. My point is, it’s okay to be passionate. But try not to be an ass about it.
What advice would you give someone starting out?
Read everything you can get your hands on in your genre. If, like me, you see yourself as a multi-genre author, then read widely. And not just the classics. Read new works by unknown authors, too. You need to learn the markets well so you can effectively satisfy reader demand for many years to come.
Professionally what are you most proud of?
I think it was making ‘Killers’ with The Asylum boys. Those guys rule. And they are nice to boot. Don’t tell them I said so, though. They’ll get all mushy.
Is there something you learned from the industry that you found surprising?
“If you build it, they will come” is crap. There is too much content out there, and you have to learn to market effectively. I’m still learning to do that.
If you could recommend a book to help people be more successful what would it be?
On Writing by Stephen King. Also, The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. That book will blow your mind.
Any upcoming projects you are working on?
I am about to publish the first book in a new paranormal series called Sarah Greene Mysteries. It’s called The Girl in the Mirror, and I can’t wait to get it out there.
Has Social Media Factored into your success? What does your social media strategy look like, any tips?
I think social media can be beneficial. For authors, it’s essential to have a Twitter account and Facebook page. Try to engage with your community so they can get to know you. To me, social media is one, endless conversation.
Any mistakes you see people routinely make with social media?
Spamming people with “buy my book” posts while offering nothing of real value.
Where can people connect with you online?
Author Website: http://www.stevenramirez.com/
Do have any apps, books or tips that you use to be more productive?
Grammarly for blog posts and such, and Vellum for producing eBooks.
How do you manage time?
What is the best advice you have received?
I’ll turn the question around and say the worst advice I ever got was, “Write what you know.” That kind of nonsense leads to madness.
Do you have any advice for people that may feel discouraged about reaching their goals? (life isn’t always fair or easy, what advice do you have for people that need some encouragement?)
Writing is a lonely business, so it’s easy to get discouraged. I would say that if you are not comfortable being holed up in a room somewhere banging out words, then maybe writing isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you do enjoy it but are not happy with your progress, then get a cat. Or a hedgehog. Wait, those are illegal, I think. Really, I have no idea what works.
Do you have anything you would like to promote or tell us about?
The Girl in the Mirror: A Sarah Greene Mystery. While renovating an old house with her ex-husband, Sarah Greene discovers a mirror that holds the spirit of a dead girl. Ignoring the danger, Sarah decides to investigate.
You can find more information here: https://stevenramirez.com/sarah-greene-mysteries/.
What is the one thing you wish everyone knew?
I like sleeping on my stomach. Unless I’ve had Indian food for dinner. Then, I’m a mess and end up binge-watching ‘Gilmore Girls.’
Anything I should ask that I have not?
I love it when people ask me what my favorite sport is. Because then, I get to look confused and adopt a “little foreign man” accent.
Thank you for interviewing with Your Money Geek!