It makes sense that Australian author Steve Gee writes crime thrillers. He has almost thirty years experience in criminal investigations, including law enforcement. So, when the creative bug bit, he opted to write ‘whodunit’ stories with a strong focus on the investigation to solve the plot. Currently, Steve has eleven books in the mystery/thriller genre, all published on Inkitt. His novel The Coastal Killings earned him second place in Inkitt’s Midsummer Mystery writing contest, and five of his stories are now available on GALATEA. I’m pleased to feature Steve on today’s Inkitt Author Spotlight.
Welcome, Steve. First off, congratulations on your award-winning story, and on your publishing contract with GALATEA! I know that Inkitt is actively looking to expand its reader base and genre offerings. On a platform that’s featured a lot of romance, you’re writing thrillers. Are you excited about being part of this change?
It is exciting to be offered the opportunity to share my crime thriller stories to hopefully encourage readers to try the mystery/thriller genre for the first time, or maybe even help to attract crime thriller readers to the platform.
When did you officially start writing?
I first started writing in 2012, after I had an idea for a story line, which I mostly developed in my mind, until I decided to have a go at putting pen to paper. My motivation was simply a strong desire to try my hand at writing a story. I had an idea for a story line, so I decided to see where it went. I have written a further ten stories since then, with my most recent story completed in July 2021.
Can you tell us where the idea for that first book came from?
The idea for my first story started as a concept I had about a cop who started receiving coded messages, warning him about pending murders. It was something that I developed over time, but only in my mind. I had visualized most scenes like a movie by the time I decided to try my hand at writing the story.
To give readers a satisfying experience, it’s so important to nail the ending, especially with mysteries and thrillers. Did you have the ending in mind for The Cryptic Killer when you began writing, or did it surprise you?
I am a ‘seat of the pants’ writer, rather than someone who creates and follows a strict writing plan. This means I create a basic idea of the story line/plot, any twists I want to weave into it and the eventual ending. The rest is created on the fly.
Once I start writing I immerse myself into the story and let it take me on the journey, as if I was experiencing it first-hand. Consequently, my stories guide me. By the time I arrived at the ending to my first story, the twist was nothing like I had initially planned.
Every author knows there’s a difference between the art of writing and the industry of publishing. Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?
I tried my hand at submitting some of my earlier manuscripts to various publishing houses, without any success. In fact, most publishers failed to even acknowledge my submissions. The lack of acknowledgement or feedback certainly challenges one’s confidence.
It sure does! But you didn’t give up.
After my fourth story, I decided to engage a professional editor to provide advice and feedback on one of my stories, as a sample. The feedback I received further helped me develop my writing style, and also gave me an understanding of industry expectations.
How did you find the Inkitt platform, and what about Inkitt made you want to publish your stories here?
I located Inkitt from a Google Search. Rather than simply lodging my stories on a story platform, I liked the interactive concept where readers of my stories are able to provide feedback and/or criticisms, or even provide a review. All comments are welcomed and assist me as I continue to learn and develop as a writer. I also love how the platform allows me to interact and connect with readers who follow me through my profile wall.
I like to ask experienced authors if they’ve ever hit a writer’s block. I think it helps newcomers realize that storytelling isn’t always easy, and they aren’t alone if they get stuck. So, if you’ve hit the dreaded block, how did you move past it?
I have been fortunate because writer’s block is not something I have struggled with to this point. When I am working on a story I often find my mind moving faster than my fingers can type. That being said, there are times when I do hit a stage in the story where my inspiration stalls. But when this occurs, it is often because I have been away from writing the story for a while due to work, or other priorities.
I find once I simply immerse myself back into the story and re-visit where I am heading with the story line and how I want to get there, my inspiration returns and flows from there. My mind is always working on ways to seamlessly weave in another twist, or some other incident to keep the reader wondering.
Tell your readers and fans a few interesting things about you that they won’t read in your bio.
I’ve been happily married for 37 years. We have two sons, ages 29 & 25. Prior to attempting story writing, I was heavily involved in coaching basketball at both domestic and representative level. I am a sports fanatic and enjoy watching elite level sports, particularly but not limited to basketball, Australian rules football, and lawn bowls.
Thank you so much, Steve! We look forward to experiencing your stories on GALATEA.
Keep reading for an overview of Steve’s titles, and a teaser from What Comes Around Goes Around, currently published on Inkitt.
The Cryptic Killer: New York Homicide Lieutenant Jack Head received a mysterious coded letter in the post, the 3rd of its type. He has 48 hours to break the cipher, or just like the previous two letters, there will be a third murder victim on his conscience.
The Coastal Killings (Available on GALATEA!): An elusive killer is targeting young single women who live alone. The clean crime scenes suggest the killer had strong knowledge of crime scene forensics; someone like a cop.
The Mentor (Available on GALATEA!): Detective Luke Fox had four troublesome unsolved murders and a boss riding him for results, when he met an old retired cop with advice that could change his life forever. But should he take it?
Judge, Jury & Executioner (Available on GALATEA!): When the local Court kept releasing violent offenders back into the community rather than jailing them, someone in the south-east Australian town decided to issue a more suitable penalty- death.
This Little Piggy: Unsuspectedly plunged into a tumultuous world of crime and injustice by his own doing, middle-aged business man Terry Hunter must fight or perish.
A Dish Best Served Cold (Available on GALATEA!): Ryan and Jenny Cook decided to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary by spending a second honeymoon on the Cayman Islands. It became a long journey filled with extreme fear, violence and murder and one that could cost Ryan his life.
Crisis of Identity: Kade Miller traversed the continent from west to east to holiday on Queensland’s sunny Gold Coast and found himself a person of interest in a 25-year-old cold case investigation.
Emily’s List (Available on GALATEA!): Emily Davis experienced a run of disturbing nightmares. She learned of possible reasons that not only challenged some of her beliefs, but caused her to pursue a course of action that would ultimately change her life forever, if it didn’t kill her first.
Harsh Consequences: While on his way home from work, Mitch Dunne called into his parents’ home. It was a life-changing decision that thrusting him into a violent world. He didn’t want to be there. He didn’t belong there, but he couldn’t get out. He had two choices-fight back or die.
The Right Man for the Job: Three years on from the Cryptic Killer case, New York City Homicide Detective Lieutenant Jack Head experienced Deja Vu when he started receiving strange coded emails, linked to his latest murder investigation. Only this time round, not even the police were safe from this latest killer’s cross hairs.
What Goes Around Comes Around: NYC businessman David Bower travels to Hong Kong for urgent family reasons and is unwittingly thrust into a world of murder and violence, where his own demise could be lurking around the very next corner.
A few days on and David grew satisfied with himself after coming to terms with Miles’ holiday departure.
Everything that he could control in his life was in order. He had just sent his eldest son on an overseas holiday, as reward for his academic achievements in graduating Summa Cum Laude from Harvard Medical School.
Benjamin, his 2nd born commenced his third year of a Law Degree at Yale, his preferred choice of University, and Felicity, his youngest, had been accepted into her preferred University – Columbia next year.
Life was good, he contentedly thought to himself. But was it?
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