Author Spotlight Interview: Stephane Desienne

What inspired you to write your first book? Definitely, when I read Asimov’s Foundation trilogy. Soon after ending the book, I said to myself : I wish I could write a story like this. But I was young, 15 or 16. Later, I discovered Dan Simmons’s Hyperion saga. I remember me in front of a blank a sheet of paper to start a plot line… The result was bad, but the most important was: I really got caught by the writing’ syndrome.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? You’ll find on the Toxic series concerns about the end of a civilization or brutal capitalism, but food is an universal principle. So: Eat or being eaten, that is the fundamental question.

What books have most influenced your life most? Stephen King frightened me when I was young. But I couldn’t stop reading his books. Then I discovered the masters of science-fiction and they shaped my mind. AC Clarke, Stephen King, Dan Simmons, Asimov… The idea of future always fascinated me and attracted me. The understanding of complex interactions also.

What book are you reading now? I am reading Silo Origins (from Hugh Howey) and The Zombie Survival Guide (Max Brooks)

What are your current projects? The translation of Toxic episodes 4, 5 and 6 in collaboration with my translator. My new series EXIL is scheduled to publication by March this year, in French. I work on the Toxic series season 2 and on a other Zombie series called Zoulag.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? When I was growing up, I read a lot. Especially science-fiction, of course. Indeed, reading is a key that led me to the writing. It took me a long time to realize I may be able to write a story. Even more to think about being published one day.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? Time management. Writing period confronts with family, kids, work and sometimes, it is just not easy. Especially when inspiration strikes, at any time, any place…

Do you have any advice for other writers? Write, write, write. Anywhere, anytime. Don’t let inspiration go away, just catch it and put it on the paper or the screen.

Do you ever experience writer’s block? Yes, of course. I guess each author have experienced it once. It’s part of the process of writing. Some authors consider it as a nightmare, may be it is more like a kind of respiration.

What is one random thing about you? I quit smoking. 4 years ago, from one day to the next. BUT : I shall never quit chocolate.

What is your preferred medium of writing? I write on my computer, because it is more practical and easier. I use paper as main medium but I write a lot on Evernote too. I like to work on an easy-to-use environment that doesn’t that restrains creativity.

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? I can’t tell one as I’m not a marketing guy. By the way, I am at the beginning of my writer’s life, so, I guess I have time to make some… 😉

What is your favorite motivational phrase? Let’s kill baby seals. After my ritual morning coffee.

What is your favorite positive saying? Over the clouds, sun alway shines.

What is your favorite book and why? I really love many ! Hyperion (like I said) , Dune, 2001 a space odyssey, 1984, Fahrenheit 451, Spin… But, “A Fire Upon the Deep” remains my favorite. It is an incredible combination between story and ideas. It’s one of the best space operas ever created. It has very nice ideas and very good characters and wrapped around with high adventure. More positive than Hyperion. A must read.

What is your favorite quote? There are no problems, only solutions. 

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? Hyperion. Because, this story and the way is has been written let my speechless the first time I read it. ( Yes, I read this story more than one time). It is a modern science fiction series. I mean the author revived the Space-op genre. A dark novel but brilliant.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?


Facebook: Twitter:

Amazon Author Page:


Where are you from? Orléans, in France. Around one hundred miles south from Paris.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Lifestyle, mood, write everyday. It happens that I don’t have the drive or my mood is not synchronized (try to write something funny when you’re sad…) with the story. Since I have children, I can’t write anything lately no matter what. So, I wake up early and I write soon after my coffee. It has been difficult to adapt myself to this new rhythm, but I now feel comfortable with.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I work as engineer in the field of genomics and biology. I do exercise. Exercise makes me physically fit. It puts me in the right frame of mind. I take care of my family, I drive kids at school, I like to watch TV series (The Walking Dead indeed !) and to read (of course !)

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? I have written 2 series, Toxic and Exil. (Zoulag is still being written) 2 novels ( 2 others are being written). By far, Toxic is still my preferred one because this story have a lot of potential. What does your writing process look like? Very organized. Writing a serie, over a long period of time, requires to be organized. The detailled synopsis is like a Bible. I write it first and then I start editing. For a novel, a smaller synopsis is enough. I also try to keep a kind “mantra” : never start a story if I don’t know ho to end it. Often easier said than done Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? No, I don’t have any strange habits…

How important are names to you in your books? It depends on the characters, main or sub. I also like to pick senders’ names from my spam folder on my mailbox. I carefully choose the one of the heroes.

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad? Reviews, good or bad do not belong to the authors. They are written to the others readers. That’s the purpose of the system. I read them, I don’t respond to them, bad or good. On the other hand, by the magic of social networks, readers send me messages on twitter, Facebook or Google+. These are places to interact with readers, to share things or thoughts. To answer to your last question : once published, it must be assumed that some things are beyond your control. 

Published by Courtney M. Wendleton

I'm an author with an associate's in psychology. Interested in a lot of different things, and love controversy. The more controversial the better, but that's not all I'm interested in. Can be a bit confusing at times, but that's normal!

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