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Steve Szmyt at Discover Local Authors day 

Where: Gibson’s Bookstore, 45 S. Main St., Concord 
When: Wednesday, Jan. 24, 7 p.m.
More info: gibsonsbookstore.com, stevenszmyt.com




War of the werewolves
Steve Szmyt presents debut fantasy novel

01/18/18
By Angie Sykeny asykeny@hippopress.com



 On a cold winter night in 2003 Steve Szmyt’s wife awoke to find him hunched over a computer, typing away at what would be the inspiration for his first book, The Kingdom. He had had a short but vivid dream about a werewolf and, upon waking, felt the immediate need to write it down. Once he started typing, however, it became more than just logging the dream; it started taking shape as a story. 

“I went to work the next day, came home, and went right back to it,” said Szmyt, who lives in Portsmouth. “The process kind of took over after that, and I was just a passenger along for the ride. The ideas kept coming, and I kept typing.” 
The Kingdom is a fantasy-science fiction novel about a secret society of werewolves known as The Kingdom, living among humans in positions of wealth and power. For years, smaller clans of werewolves have sought to overthrow The Kingdom. The story centers on Anne, a graduate student at the top of her class, who is called on by a professor to collaborate on a history book about what she believes to be a group of people living with the delusion that they are werewolves. As she moves forward with the project, weird things begin to happen, suggesting that werewolves may be more than fiction. Anne ultimately finds herself caught in the crossfires of the werewolves’ plot to take down The Kingdom once and for all. 
Szmyt will present the book at the Discover Local Authors day at Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord on Wednesday, Jan. 24. He will be joined by Jeffrey L. Diamond, author of the murder-mystery thriller series Live to Air and Live to Tape, and Maresha Donna Ducharme, author of the spiritual living book The Way Home To Love: A Guide To Peace In Turbulent Times. 
The focus of The Kingdom, Szmyt said, is not the werewolves, but the main character Ann’s journey and evolution. 
“If you’re not into werewolves, don’t think this story isn’t for you,” he said. “The story is really about this young woman who starts as a straight-laced student but grows up rather quickly as she finds out more and realizes this fight that she’s gotten into.” 
The book is filled with plot twists and chapter-ending cliffhangers, making it a “fast read” that’s hard to put down, Szmyt said. 
“No one seems to know [the twists] are coming. Things that you think might happen or could happen end up going in a completely different direction,” he said. “ I wrote it that way so that you always want to know more and want to keep reading at the end of every chapter.” 
Szmyt finished writing The Kingdom by 2004 and started pitching it to publishers on his own. With no success, he put it on the shelf and forgot about it until 2015, when he met a publicist through a friend. The publicist agreed to help him get the book published, and after another six months of editing and writing new chapters, Szmyt had it polished enough to be accepted by a publisher. It was officially released last spring. 
“Initially, when I read it after years of not looking at it, I thought, I’m glad it didn’t get published at first,” he said. “It wasn’t as ready as I thought it was, but I’ve gotten it to a place now that I’m really proud of.” 
The ending of The Kingdom “leaves things a little up in the air,” Szmyt said, but at the urging of his readers and publicist to give the story more resolution, he has started work on a sequel, which he hopes to have published by the end of this year. 





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