Two novels written by local Bloomington author Steve Schatz have reached the semifinals in the Screencraft Cinematic Book Competition.
This competition looks for great stories with the potential to be adapted into movies. The contest is also is guaranteeing a signing partner for at least one entrant.
Steve Schatz, a New Mexico native and an Indiana University alumnus, says he did not ever see himself actually pursuing a career in writing or even just living in Indiana.
Before a career in writing, Schatz taught comedy traffic school, which teaches traffic rules through comics, and ran workshops on writing all over the country. He was also previously on the staff at the University of Hartford and the University of Massachusetts before coming to Bloomington to pursue his doctorate in instructional and information systems at IU.
The first book currently in the semifinals is titled “Adima Rising.” Schatz described the novel as a young adult fantasy set in the Southwest.
The idea for this novel began as a small idea during quarantine that Schatz hoped to finish in a month. While it actually took him fourteen months, he was still pleased with the finished product.
The second book, “Seashell Virgin,” is the third book in the “Nacho Mama’s Patio Cafe” series. This book is aimed at adult readers. The plot follows a group of friends trying to save the only gay bar in their small college town in Southern Indiana.
He says that some of the places he writes about in “Seashell Virgin” exist in real life. The mansion in the novel is based on a real mansion in Bloomington.
When reflecting on his career in writing, Schatz said he enjoys writing for himself and his own enjoyment.
“It’s an enormous amount of work to write a book, and it has to please me,” Schatz said, “I think about the audience as I want my book to be moving, I want them to feel something.”
He said having this motivation to write for yourself, rather than sell as many bestsellers as possible, makes it easier when going through the struggle of publication.
“If I’m successful as an author, people will change,” Schatz said.
Schatz’s books, “Adima Rising” and “Seashell Virgin,” as well as the rest of the “Nacho Mama’s Patio Cafe” books are available in print, ebook, and audiobook.
“I’m writing books to make an impression,” Schatz said. “I haven’t sold a lot of books, but the people who have read them are moved — they laugh, they cry — it makes a difference.”