Today we’re chatting with Steven Peters, author of the speculative fiction novel, 59 Glass Bridges, debuting on April 1!
Please describe what your story is about.
59 Glass Bridges follows a man’s attempts to escape a maze with all the logical sense of an M.C. Escher painting. As he wanders, he remembers his childhood, especially the beloved grandmother who raised him. But the maze isn’t kind to would-be travelers and he soon learns that he’s not the only one stalking these halls.
Share a teaser sentence or two from your novel.
“It’s all right to be afraid,” my grandmother told me. “It’s smart to be afraid. Because, you see, I forgot to tell you that there is one real monster in any maze. Only one creature that can find its way around. I forgot to warn you about the minotaur.”
What do you want people to know about your book?
59 Glass Bridges is a story about loss and grief. It’s a story about self-discovery. It’s a story about faith and finding strength in unexpected places. And it’s also a story about a maze which may or may not house a monster.
What did you learn about yourself while writing this novel?
I’m an odd duck when it comes to grief. I cried at my grandparent’s funeral, of course, but I didn’t realize how much it impacted me until I realized 59 Glass Bridges was mostly about grief.
What was your timeline from drafting to publication?
I set pen to paper on the manuscript that would one day become 59 Glass Bridges 5 years ago. This project began as my Master’s thesis at the University of Calgary.
What is your favorite part of writing (drafting characters, making up scenes, plotting, developing emotional turning points, etc). Why?
To me, writing is always an exploration of character. Characters invent their own stories as they wander through the world. Sometimes where they wind up even surprises me.
Briefly, where did the idea for your book come from?
59 Glass Bridges is a chimera. It was born from pieces of texts I love, like Dante’s Inferno, the city I grew up in (Calgary, Alberta has fifty-nine +15 skyway bridges), and my own memory.
When do you do your best thinking about your work in progress?
My inspiration strikes hottest when I’m reading work I love. In the case of 59 Glass Bridges, my inspiration came from two unexpected sources—Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland and Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy.
Share something people may be surprised to know about you?
My passion for writing extends to role playing games. Every week, I act as Dungeon Master to an intrepid group of adventurers.
What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever gotten?
“Just keep writing,” probably. I’ve heard this from my mentor, Suzette Mayr, my editor, Kit Dobson, and my partner, Emily Chin. Without her encouragement, there’s no way I ever would have finished this book.
After 59 Glass Bridges is published and Warner Bros. buys the movie rights and I buy a vacation home in the Virgin Islands? I don’t know… I guess I’ll start working on the next book.
How would you describe the setting of your novel?
In truth, 59 Glass Bridges’ maze is its central character. It is shaped by the protagonist’s memories and often works to stymie his forward momentum. From turgid rivers to endless hallways to forests of thorns, the world within my novel is alive—and often sinister.
Steven Peters – 59 GLASS BRIDGES
I don’t remember how I got here. These halls are unfamiliar. These clothes certainly aren’t mine. And why does every turn seem to land me right back where I started? Am I lost?
I do remember my Grandmother. I remember her fingers buried in soil in the garden, her paintings on the stoop, and the truly terrible moonshine she brewed on the front porch. I suppose that’s not important now.
What’s important is that I find a way out. Stay calm. The sound of someone following—that’s my imagination. Of course, there is no monster in this maze.