Wednesday, September 25, 2013

2013 Debut Author Bash: Steven dos Santos and Giveaway

I had the chance to interview Steven dos Santos for the Debut Author Bash which is hosted by YAReads.  Here are the questions I asked, and his answers.

YA Reads Debut Author Bash Interview Questions for Steven dos Santos

1. What made you decide that you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve loved to write ever since I was in second grade and wrote my first “book,” The Enchanted Prince. During my school years, I was very passionate about creating stories and even wrote scripts which I acted out and recorded with friends. There’s always been a part of me that wanted to be a film maker, and writing novels is a way of sharing that “movie-in-my-head” with readers where anything I can dream of winds up on the page, without the restraints of a studio budget to hamper the creative process.

2. Where did you get your inspiration for The Culling?

The idea for THE CULLING actually has its roots in childhood, where I used to imagine the scenario of having to choose which one of my relatives I would save if I could only choose one. Yes, I know, I was a strange kid ;-) Since then, stories with moral dilemmas have always fascinated me, and THE CULLING is a combination of this theme, with my love for science-fiction.

3. Do you have any other shelved manuscripts that you wrote before The Culling?

Actually yes, I do! The first novel I wrote was called Darius Devine and the Necromancer’s Curse, a middle grade fantasy about a young boy determined to do anything to bring back his beloved mother from the dead. This was a very emotional experience for me because I lost my own mother after I started writing the book.

The next novel I wrote was called Dagger, a Young Adult, paranormal/espionage story about a gay teenager who moonlights as a secret agent that combats supernatural terrorism.

4. How long did it take you to write your first draft of The Culling?

My first draft of THE CULLING took about a year and a half and clocked in at 130K words. The final edited version ended up around 90K words, so a lot got left on the cutting room floor.

5. Do you have a favorite of the Recruits?

Hmmm. That’s a really tough question! I really feel for all of them and the predicament they’re in. That being said, I do have a soft spot for Lucian, because on top of having to endure the horrors of The Culling, he’s also dealing with betrayal from someone he loved and trusted, as well as potentially finding true love that may end before it’s had a chance to thrive.


6. How do you feel when you kill off one of your characters?  I felt sad when some of the Recruits died as a reader, so I feel like it would be even harder to write their deaths.

This was the most emotionally draining aspect of the novel for me. I felt like I knew all these characters so well, and I hated having them suffer and ultimately dying. Many times I found myself depressed because it was like losing a close friend/loved one, as though a part of me had been “culled.”

7. Are you able to give any non-spoilery hints about what will be going on in The Sowing?

Without giving away too much, I would say that in THE SOWING, readers will find out a lot more about how the world in THE CULLING came to be the way it is. And remember those creepy Fleshers? Let’s just say, you haven’t seen the last of them! ;-) THE SOWING will be released on March 8, 2014.

Thanks Steven for sharing all your advice. You can find Steven at:

 dos Santos, Steven Head Shot 50 percent.jpg  

The Books:

Steven dos Santos is giving away three signed copies of The Culling.  If you like in the US or Canada, you can enter.  To enter, leave a comment saying that you want to enter and give your email address.  This contest ends the second week of October.



  1. I'd love to enter. Thanks for the chance. @tammygeo on Twitter

  2. I'd like to enter

  3. Thanks for the interview! :-) Not sure if the pics of the Book Covers are working. They don't seem to be showing up.

    1. Hmm. That's strange. On my computer, they're showing up, so I'm not sure how it is on other people's computers.

    2. I've tried using Google Chrome and Internet Explorer and they're not showing up for some reason :-(

    3. I just went on Google Chrome, and you're right, they don't show up there. I'm not sure why. They work on Mozilla Firefox.

  4. This book looks so awesomely creepy! And I have seen so many incredible reviews for it around the blogosphere and Goodreads since the book released. Now I definitely need to get my hands on it if the sequel releases in March. I do have one question - Will this be a trilogy or an even longer series? Or just a 2 book series? Thanks for the fantastic interview and giveaway! My fingers are crossed!!!!

    Email - centerstagegirly AT yahoo DOT com

    And I am a new GFC follower here too :)

  5. Nice interview.

    Please enter me.
    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  6. I would love to be entered to win.

  7. I'd like to enter!

  8. I don't know if the contest is over yet, but would love to win a copy. It sounds like a great book. Crbrunelle(at)gmail(dot)com