Literary Birthday – 31 January – Steven Amsterdam

Happy Birthday, Steven Amsterdam, born 31 January 1966.

Seven Quotes

  1. A story is built on characters and reasons.
  2. Being with a small publisher has been huge. They bat for me for everything.
  3. Fiction demands structures and recognisable shapes. Big surprises only draw attention to the writer’s hand.
  4. I want people to think about the powers they would wish for and the powers they really need. More than that, I want people to think about the many sides there are to every family.
  5. Putting it all together, I actually made an Excel spreadsheet. Which doesn’t sound like the muse at work, but it was a really good way to focus. I had to keep track of who was how old and how relationships had changed. So on one axis there was each character’s name… There was a way to look at each character’s relationship to each other character, by the year the story was taking place. So I at least knew the chronology.
  6. I’d like to think that a story is going to describe a shift.
  7. I’ve ended up writing the first chapter relatively late in the process. Which I have to recommend if you’re writing a book, because it takes a lot of pressure off of starting a book.

Steven Amsterdam is an American writer who lives in Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of Things We Didn’t See Coming.

by Amanda Patterson

Are you interested in more authors’ birthdays? Please click here: Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 31st January 2014