Steve Wade is the author of The Christmas Market.
A prize nominee for the PEN/O’Henry Award, 2011, and a prize nominee for the Pushcart Prize, 2013, Steve Wade’s fiction has been published widely in print and online. His work has won awards and been placed in prestigious writing competitions, including being shortlisted in the Francis McManus Short Story Competition, 2013 (the story was recorded by a professional actor and Broadcast on RTE Radio One), shortlisted among five in the Wasafiri Short Story Prize 2011, a nomination for the Hennessy New Irish Writer Prize, and Second Place in the International Biscuit Publishing contest, 2009. His novel ‘On Hikers’ Hill’ was awarded First Prize in the UK abook2read Literary Competition, December 2010 – among the final judging panel was the British lyricist sir Tim Rice. His fiction has been published in over twenty-five print publications, including Crannog, Zenfri Publications, New Fables, Gem Street, Grey Sparrow, Fjords Arts and Literary Review, and Aesthetica Creative Works Annual.
Author Q & A
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind this story?
I still retain that sense of childhood wonder at Christmas time. And, as a writer, I enjoy getting lost in fantasy worlds based around the magic and myths connected with the season. I’m also drawn to festive ghost stories. And, as I am always looking for a different take on things, I got the idea of subverting the reader’s expectations and writing from the point of view of the ghost.
When did you start writing?
I have always been creative. As a boy and into my teens and early twenties, I spent hours every day drawing and painting. This background, I like to believe, has informed my writing. Concentrating on small details when sketching probably enabled me to become more observant. The first writing competition I ever entered I won. I was twenty-three, and the competition was the Telecho/Rank Xerox short story competition. Could be that this gave me false expectations about my own writing skills at that time. The subsequent years I spent studying two writers in college: George Bernard Shaw and Sam Shepherd. I compiled theses on the works of the two playwrights. It was compiling the works on Shaw and Shepherd that made me realise I could find greater expression through words than sketching and painting.
Do you have a favourite genre?
I am most content when writing literary fiction. I have written over 70 short stories and three novels. About 35 of the stories have been published in print. And one of my novels, ‘On Hikers’ Hill’ was awarded First Prize in the abbok2read.com manuscript competition. The final judge was the British Lyricist sir Tim Rice. The book was subsequently published as an e-book. But that company has since folded and all rights have reverted to me.
What’s your favourite book or short story?
Without question the book that has left the greatest impression on me is ‘The Road’ by Cormac MacCarthy. It is a work of staggering beauty, not only in the sublime language and writing style, but in the story about a father’s selfless love for his son. When I first reached the last full-stop on the last page in this novel, I turned right back to the start and began again. I had never done that with any book before.
Are you currently working on a full-length novel and looking for a publisher?
I have three novels that are completed. Two are literary fiction, and the other is a fantasy novel that combines anthropomorphism with Irish mythology. I also have a collection of short stories ready. I did, up until last year have a publisher who was working with me on these 22 stories. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, the project never came to fruition.
You can find out more about Steve at www.stephenwade.ie