Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Medicine Man I: The Chief of All Time - An Interview with S.R. Howen

Shannon Running Deer is American Indian by blood, he has forsaken his people's ancient ways to embrace the "modern" world as a wealthy, highly successful trauma surgeon.

His comfortable existence begins to unravel when, seemingly by chance, Shannon finds himself gradually drawn into the past. Pursued by an ancient evil, he knows he can change the future, if he can survive the past.

S.R. Howen's MEDICINE MAN is a distinctive and atmospheric novel full of spirituality, mystical time travel, passion, and suspense.

An Interview with S.R. Howen

What is your favorite non-writing pastime?
I like to garden and spend time outdoors, camping, or just sitting under e trees.  Peaceful and away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?
Writing everyday, even when I wasn’t in the “mood.”  I used to think I had to be in the zone to write, had to feel it.  Too many things get in the way of that thought process.  Writing is a business, while it is a creative endeavor, and I love the process, I had to train myself to sit down and do it every day. I work toward goals, then once I no longer needed to be in the mood, I set time limits on my writing sessions. 

If you had to sum it up Medicine Man I: The Chief of All Time in 30 or less words, what would you say?
Dr. Shane Running Deer, is an accomplished trauma surgeon. Raised on the reservation, and thought to be destined to live as a Medicine Man for the tribe, Shane's life takes turns away from traditional beliefs in favor of hard science . . . until he must return to those ways to save himself and his people.

Without giving it all away, please tell us a little something about how Shannon Running Deer is going to get through their biggest challenge.
Running Deer’s greatest challenge through out the entire book is himself.  Facing his past, the future, and the things that stand in the way of him getting what he wants.  When faced with his greatest foe, he must overcome is personal doubts, physical challenges, and survive alone with only the skills he learned a long time in his past to survive.

What has been your greatest challenge in writing Medicine Man I: The Chief of All Time?
Research.  Not that finding information is hard, but I wanted I to be a balance of contemporary and traditional, but didn’t want to include anything that wasn’t already public knowledge, so every time I came up with something I wanted to include I needed to research to make sure it fit with what was already out there.  

What message do you hope readers take away from the book?
I don’t know that I set out to tell a story with a specific message bt as the story grew it became bout reconciling one’s past with the present and how that affects the future.  We are all products of our past, whether we like it or not, and the only way to move forward is to accept that—we are what our past made us.

Do you have to be alone or have quiet to write?
I create y own alone space.  Every story I write has a soundtrack, music that speaks  me while I write.  So I wear sound dampening ear buds, a don’t hear a thing other than the music.  Family members startle me quite often by touching my shoulder to get my attention I get so immersed in the world of the story. I also don’t look at the screen while I write. 

As a multi-genre author, how do you juggle going back and forth between the different genres? Do you have a preferred genre?
Oddly when I start writing I don’t know what genre the book will be in.  I start with a scene and just write, and discover what genre it is as I go.  Does the main character get on a horse, or into a space ship?  Does he whip out a magic spell and transform a mouse into a sports car?  As to my favorite genre, I like to read mystery, but prefer to write fantasy.

Do you have plans for a new book?  Is this book part of a series?
I  have completed book tow of the Medicine Man series and am editing it now.  I have a general idea of where I want to go with book three but have not completed it yet.

What has been your greatest pleasure or personal success as an author?  
I love reviews.  Even the ones that are not a 5.  Any time I get a review I know I touched someone deep enough to prompt them to speak out about what they read.

If you could meet any writer, dead or alive, who would it be? What would you want to know?
Edgar Allen Poe  I have a dark side to most of my writing, but people see me as very upbeat and positive so I’d like to know if he was as tortured as his work makes him out to be.

What was the last book that made you cry?
Anne Rice’s Violin  The book struck me for some reason and made me want to cry.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?
Fantasy and time travel appeal to me because you can go anywhere anytime and create anything fantastical that you want.  Dragons can be real, flying cars zoom around the sky, or sabertooth tigers bed down with the hero . . .no limits to where and when you can go.

What is one trait you despise in people that you tend to give your villains/protagonists?
Dishonesty.  I have a real issue with lies.  Not the little white lies (sure that dress looks great!)  But lies that hurt people and deceptions that wound.  So often my villains personify his trait in new and creative ways.

S. R. will be awarding a $10 Wild Child Publishing GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

An Excerpt
The child blinked her large eyes. Not green now. Not glowing. He’d been cursed on every hunt. Others landed fat deer, numerous quail, fat rabbits and even the old men came upon a lost buffalo bull. He came home with a thin half-starved squirrel, if luck favored him at all.

His wife cowered in the snow; her silent sobs made her shoulders shake. Her fault. How else could this have happened? She never wanted the others in their home. The mid-wife had never come to see them, and his wife never went into the village center. She always stayed out here, away from everyone else.

He knew what he had to do. He couldn’t lose what little he had. When he started towards the circle of lodges and the bright central fire of the meeting circle, his wife scrambled to her feet and started to follow him, making noises that echoed in his head, but didn’t form words. She became an annoying insect swarm of sound, and he smacked that sound away, taking step after step through the blowing snow. He’d leave the child. He couldn’t kill it. No, that would only make whatever evil had spawned it angrier. If he took his wife and his belongings and left, the blizzard would hide them, no one would even miss them if they ever realized they were there to start with.

And the evil grasped in his hand would be someone else’s problem.

Meet the Author
For more than 12 years, S.R. Howen has been an editor at Wild Child Publishing and Freya’s Bower. She also runs workshops on how to craft a winning synopsis and query letter.  Over the last few months S.R. Howen has been working on Medicne Man 2: Raven, as well as a second Forge book for Freya's Bower under the pen name Shaunna Wolf.  She is also working on an epic fantasy series of books, and a Erotic Romance set in the 1980’s.  Under her pen name Vic Ross she is working on a SciFi humor series.

A former military brat, then military spouse, and a traditional naturalist, S.R. Howen currently lives in Texas, with a dozen cats (three of them the non-domestic sort) two squirrles, one raccoon, one dog, and her daughter. She works with wilf life rehab and rescue as well as running a cat shelter and rescue. For more info on her and her works please visit her web site or her Facebook page.


  1. Great story. I really enjoyed the interview.

  2. New author for me but I will definitely be checking out the books. :)

  3. cky15: I sure liked your interview. It sure gives me a look in what you think of your writing and the book. I am going to find this book to read. I want to see what happens. Very Interesting!


  4. Thank you everyone for your comments and for stopping by.