Interview – Stevie Kopas, author of The Breadwinner trilogy
Self-Publisher’s Showcase: Today we are joined by Stevie Kopas, author of The Breadwinner and its sequel, out today, Haven. Welcome to the Showcase, Stevie. For any of our readers that haven’t come across your work previously, can you take a moment to tell us all a little about yourself?
SK: I’m a pretty average gal. I drink a lot of coffee, play a lot of video games, I write books and I love horror and apocalyptic fiction, whether it be movies, games, books, etc. I’m from New Jersey and live in sunny Florida!
SPS: What are your perfect writing conditions, and how often do you write?
SK: Perfect writing conditions would be me, my laptop and a cup of coffee. Depending on the time of day that I’m writing that coffee may or may not turn into wine. I work a full time job and write for a website as well, so I write for myself as often as I can!
SPS: Can you put your finger on the moment where you decided that you wanted to publish your work?
SK: Absolutely, when I originally wrote “The Breadwinner” it was a short story and enough people read that short story and kept asking me the same question: “Why aren’t you turning this into a book?” And I didn’t have a good answer, so I went ahead and decided to self publish.
SPS: Why do you think it is that you have decided to write the novels that you have, and do you see yourself ever writing in other genres?
SK: I enjoy the post apocalyptic genre very much, and I decided to just go with what I know. I’m not big into romance so I can’t see myself ever delving into that territory. I think I have a comfort zone with horror and I’d love to write about aliens one day too so that may be my next venture once I wrap up the trilogy.
SPS: So, tell us about The Breadwinner?
SK: I like to call The Breadwinner a post apocalyptic survival adventure. It’s broken up into three parts and each part follows a different main character. Part 1 follows Samson, an attorney who is trying to keep himself and his family safe after the zombie apocalypse suddenly overcomes the world. Part 2 brings you into the life of Veronica, a high school athlete who is trapped in a city overrun by the dead and follows her and her brother Isaac as they make their way to safety. Part 3 introduces more characters and weaves the two other stories together and creates the adventure itself.
SPS: How much of the novel covers the initial ‘ending of the world’?
SK: The timeline of the story jumps around in a way that you’re able to experience not only the effects of the world once it has already seen the onslaught of the dead, but also what it was like in the early days before things really went to hell. It’s a nice peek into the world’s end, enough to satisfy the curious appetites of readers who want to experience the downfall right alongside the survivors.
SPS: Can you tell us about the characters Sam and Veronica?
SK: Samson is a wealthy man in his late 30’s, he has the typical trophy wife that comes with fortune and two beautiful children. He lives in an upscale part of town and his life up until this point has been pretty easy going. Veronica is the opposite of Samson, she’s a feisty teenager from the city and her father struggles to barely make ends meet for her and her brother. But to both Sam and Veronica, family is a very important element.
SPS: What sort of decisions are they forced to make?
SK: The decisions that nobody ever wants to have to make. There are instances in which the manipulation of others is crucial to survival and the capability to let go of the person you used to be in the old world depends on how badly you want to live. What wouldn’t a person put themselves through in order to maintain some type of normalcy? There is a lot of grasping at straws but there is always hope, and our characters find hope in different ways.
SPS: Are there any other characters we should be on the lookout for?
SK: The other characters that play important parts in the story are Samson’s wife Moira, Ben, an ex military man, and brothers Andrew and Clyde.
SPS: Before we move on to your new release, can you tell us about the cover to The Breadwinner came about?
SK: The setting of the story takes you from the city, into the woods, and finally to the water. I wanted the horror element of the blood splatter to be present in the title but I also wanted the city shown in contrast to the trees because where our survivors are at all times is important to the storyline.
SPS: The second book in the series Haven came out today, what can we expect from the latest instalment?
SK: Haven picks up where Book 1 leaves off. It is the continuing adventure of our survivors but also introduces new characters and takes us to a brand new area that breathes a completely different life into everything. Haven is also broken up into three parts just as The Breadwinner was and as a creature of habit, branches off into different storylines and then wraps everything up neatly…or I should say disastrously…for the conclusion of Haven in Part 3.
SPS: Do we see the introduction of any new characters of interest?
SK: Yes, there are several new characters that are introduced in Haven including Gary, a businessman from the UK, best friends and roommates Michelle and Lulu and a few other new faces.
SPS: Did you find the writing, editing, publishing process any easier second time around?
SK: I definitely did. I started from Part 2 and worked my way around the story that way, taking more notes as I went, and I edited between writing each part that way I didn’t swamp myself when I was finished with everything.
SPS: Did you find the pacing is different for the second book with less time needed to build an introduction to events?
SK: The pacing is very manic in the way that things probably would be in a post apocalyptic scenario. You have very normal, everyday people who are still struggling to come to terms with everything being torn apart while attempting to find safety and regain some sense of normalcy. Each character deserves their own dedicated development as well as the character interactions and relationships being built up and respectively torn apart in the way that this sort of world would treat a person.
SPS: What can we expect next from the pen/keyboard of Stevie Kopas, part 3 or something completely different?
SK: Book 3 is definitely next. Like I stated earlier, I do write reviews and other things on the side so there’s always that, but speaking to The Breadwinner Trilogy, everyone can expect that the story will come to a close with the third book. I don’t have a release date or a title yet, but all these things are in the works and I’m no less excited about the third book, whether it has a name or not.
SPS: Was the Self-Published/Indie-Published route always your preferred route for your work?
SK: I never knew much about self publishing route until I researched it myself and realized it was a completely different avenue in which I was the sole person controlling everything. It made me feel comfortable knowing that thousands of authors are independent these days and I really wanted to make sure I was the one doing things for myself.
SPS: Has the experience so far been all that you thought it would be.
SK: I really didn’t know what to expect to be honest! But so far so good, there are a lot of great people involved in the indie author and book scene and I’ve made a couple of new friends and met a lot of inspiring, dedicated people. It’s been a great experience.
SPS: If you could give one piece of advice for someone looking to get into writing, what would it be?
SK: Pick up a pen and do it. Open your laptop and do it.
SPS: Before we bring this interview to a close, it’s your chance to name-drop. Anyone who you feel is deserving of more recognition at present or someone whose writing you have recently enjoyed? Now is your chance to spread the word…
SK: I mentioned earlier that I have met some great people. One of those people is The Bookie Monster, Shana Festa, she is a writer and a reviewer and helps out indie authors tremendously! If you’re a writer or reviewer I would definitely check her out. My cover artist and friend Evan Lerman has been a great help and he knows I appreciate it, and if anyone is looking for cover art, definitely hit him up!
SPS: Thank you for joining us today Stevie, and all the best for the future.
SK: Thank you for giving me this opportunity, and it’s been my pleasure!
SPS: For more information on Stevie and her novels, please do visit her Author page here.