Stephen’s Writing Credentials
Stephen has written five books and over 100 magazine articles for a variety of magazines. He has interviewed more than 350 people for his work as an author, magazine writer, and award-winning podcaster.
As a contributing editor for Space and Time Magazine, he has also been a regular contributor for Robot Magazine, Humanity Plus Magazine, Grim Couture Magazine, and Port Iris magazine; and he spent three years as a columnist and contributing editor for Jim Baen’s Universe Magazine.
His nonfiction books include A Brief History of Predicting the Future as well as Indistinguishable from Magic: Predictions of Revolutionary Future Science. His novels include Bones Burnt Black, Plague at Redhook and Skinbrain.
He has spoken to over 150 audiences at the many conventions to which he has been invited.
Since 2005, he has produced over 400 episodes of his weekly podcast, The Future And You, which explores, through interviews, panel discussions, and commentary, all the ways the future will be different from today.
He is also an essayist, artist, game designer, and is on the advisory board of The Lifeboat Foundation.
Stephen’s Interviewing Credentials
In the 2010 movie The Ghostwriter, the actor, Pierce Brosnan (playing a former British Prime Minister) asked Ewan McGregor (playing his ghostwriter) how the ghostwriting process works. Ewan McGregor explained it very simply, “I interview you. I turn your answers into prose. Here and there I’ll add linking passages, imitating your voice.”
For those books in which the client will be the main source of its content (memoirs, autobiographies and about half of all nonfiction books, such as business and self-help), that is an accurate, if highly condensed, summary of the process. It also points out three of a ghostwriter’s most vital skills: interviewing, writing, and imitating the client’s “voice” in the form of word choice and sentence structure typed onto a page.
The first skill is interviewing.
Stephen won a Parsec Award in 2006 for the quality of his interviews.
Interviews are used at the beginning of the process to learn exactly what the client would like the book to contain; as well as its tone, voice, layout, organization, and emphasis.
For some books, all the information the finished book will contain exists only inside the mind of the client. In these cases long interviews, spread over days or weeks, totaling twenty hours or more, are used to capture that information so that it can be transformed into the client’s book. Exploring the content of a mind to find the golden nuggets is a specialized skill. If done poorly, the book will suffer; but if done well, the quality will show through.
For other books, however, only part of the information will be from the mind of the client. The rest will be provided by researching many outside sources. In these cases, interviews may total as little as three to five hours and focus as much on collecting the client’s knowledge as letting the ghostwriter know what topics to research, and what to emphasize about the information that will be gathered.
Thanks to Stephen’s years of experience in conducting interviews, he has developed the skills needed to make this a comfortable and conversational experience.
Here is a partial list of the more than 350 people Stephen has interviewed. (No list will ever be made public of those people for whom Stephen has ghostwritten.)
Senator John McCain - 2008 presidential candidate
Lisa Loring - actress ("Wednesday" in the 1960s TV series The Addams Family)
Ken Weatherwax - actor ("Pugsley" in the 1960s TV series The Addams Family)
Jordan Marder - actor (American History X, Virtuosity, L.A. Confidential, and Clive Barker's Lord of Illusions; as well as The Drew Carey Show, JAG, The Equalizer, and The X-Files)
Erin Gray – actress (“Kate Summers” in the sitcom Silver Spoons and “Colonel Wilma Deering” in the TV series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century)
Betsy Palmer - actress (“Mrs. Voorhees” in the 1980 horror film Friday the 13th)
Michael Berryman - actor (37 films and 15 TV shows; the star of Wes Craven's original version of the horror film The Hills Have Eyes)
Bodie Olmos - actor (TV series Battlestar Galactica)
Gary Jones - actor (Stargate SG-1)
Aria Giovanni - actress and model
Robin Curtis - actress (“Lt. Saavik” in the movies Star Trek III and Star Trek IV)
Lydia Cornell - actress (Ted Knight's daughter, “Sara Rush,” on the sitcom Too Close for Comfort)
Aimee Sweet - actress and model
Grant Baciocco - comedian, comedy writer, and co-creator of The Radio Adventures of Doctor Floyd
Shannon Presley - on-air radio personality at WBVR, "The Beaver."
Kelly Lockhart - former radio DJ in Atlanta, Key Largo, and Chattanooga; and award-winning writer
Linda Tran - actress and model
Hattie Hayridge - actress and stand-up comedian (“Computer” in the British TV series Red Dwarf)
Jerry Rector - actor (Star Trek, NYPD Blue, and Sliders)
Business Executives & Professionals
Dr. Ben Goertzel - AI scientist, author, futurist, CEO of Novamente, and Director of Research at the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Dr. Peter Norvig - AI scientist, textbook author, and Director of Research at Google
David Pascal - marketing consultant specializing in “social marketing”
John Buckman - CEO of the recording label Magnatune
John R. Douglas - editor at scifipedia (a division of the SciFi Channel) and World Fantasy Convention board member since the 1980s
Dr. Young-sook Park 박영숙 - South Korean diplomat, chair of the United Nation's Millennium Project in South Korea, and President of the South Korean Foster Care Association
David Orban - futurist, speaker, writer, and business executive
Rudi Hoffman - cryonics insurance provider and cryonics financial planner
Paul Fischer - IT professional
Robert Hooker - IT professional and consultant
Julie Grimaldi - president of Police Futurists International
Dr. Giulio Prisco - futurist, scientist, corporate consultant, and former Executive Director of the World Transhumanist Association
Stefano Vaj - author, futurist, transhumanism activist, and lawyer based in Milan, Italy
Brian Wang - futurist, writer, and speaker
Philippe Van Nedervelde - spokesperson for the Lifeboat Foundation and Executive Director for the Foresight Nanotech Institute in Europe
Michael Anissimov - futurist, transhumanism activist, and board member of the World Transhumanist Association
George Dvorsky - outspoken activist for futurism and transhumanism, and executive editor of Betterhumans
Mike Treder - executive director of CRN: The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Thomas Gideon - digital media rights activist and host of The Command Line podcast
Ricki Dean - School Nutrition Manager of Columbia County Georgia, USA
Lionel Vogt - transhumanist and futurist, best known for his TV appearances with his battling robots
Scientists & Academics
Dr. Travis S. Taylor - scientist with NASA and DOD, author and discoverer of two exoplanets
Dr. Nick Bostrom - Oxford professor, author, philosopher, and co-founder of the World Transhumanist Association
Les Johnson - author, lecturer, and NASA executive
Dr. Adrian Bowyer - professor of engineering and inventor of the RepRap machine, a 3D printer
Chris Phoenix - author, scientist, co-founder and Director of Research for Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
Dr. David Pearce - author, professor, activist, philosopher, and co-founder of the World Transhumanist Association
Nathan P. Butler - author and professional educator
Dr. Aubrey de Grey - medical gerontologist working to promote medical longevity
Dr. Grover Swartslander - physicist and professor
Dr. Greg Matloff - astronomer, author, and professor
Dr. Bob Boan - author and scientist working with DOD and NASA
Richard H. Green - artist for Walt Disney Studios (Who Framed Roger Rabbit & Beauty and the Beast)
Cheralyn Lambeth - Muppet creator and costumer from Jim Henson Productions
David Mattingly - award-winning painter, illustrator, and book cover artist
Scott Stewart - artist of children’s books, comics, and coloring books
Steve Bennett - artist of manga, anime, and webcomics
S.L. Gallant - commercial and comic book artist
Kurt Miller - book cover artist
Sam Flegal - artist
David Cherry - book cover artist
Mike and Paul Beilazyc - artists, costumers, and entrepreneurs
Editors & Agents
Lucienne Diver - literary agent in New York
Peter Stampfel - submissions editor at DAW Books and musician
Hildy Silverman - publisher of Space and Time Magazine, and contributing editor of Achieving Families Magazine
Tom Atwood - editor-in-chief of Robot Magazine
R. U. Sirius - editor-in-chief of H+ magazine
Paula Goodlett - managing editor of Jim Baen's Universe Magazine
Tony V. Baughman - reporter for The Aiken Standard newspaper
Walt Boyes - marketing director of Jim Baen's Universe Magazine
Bruce Gehweiler - publisher at Marietta Publishing