Stephen Hayes lives and writes in Melbourne, Australia. Having been born partially blind in 1986 and lost his limited vision in 2000, he started writing stories at the age of eight, winning the Harold Dickinson Memorial Australian Literary Competition for a short story about a haunted house at the age of eleven. He completed his first novella in Braille at fourteen and by sixteen, had completed the first draft of ‘The Seventh Sorcerer’.
Since 2002, Stephen has allowed his imagination to run wild with The Magic Crystals saga; sometimes pushing boundaries that today’s somewhat moral society deem to sweep under the carpet. Although classified as fantasy genre due mainly to the prominent magic component, Stephen’s writing also includes a good balance of drama, mystery, romance, humour, and he isn’t afraid to address controversial moral issues.
His latest books are The Seventh Sorcerer and Rock Haulter from The Magic Crystals Series.
Visit his website at www.themagiccrystals.com.
The Magic Crystals is a story of the greatest power in the world, a power so supreme that it can control most aspects of life. Amazing if used for good, terribly dangerous if in the wrong hands, the question throughout is exactly how this power should be used.
Should it be wielded to its fullest extent to benefit all of humankind, or tamed in order to protect others from it?
Follow a group of teenagers from out in the bush as they are forced to mature rapidly as the world they always knew unravels around them. Watch as romance blossoms and is then tested by circumstance; listen as the youngsters resort to ridiculous humour in the face of danger just to find something to smile about; and above all, enjoy an intense and somewhat controversial tale of how human society can become so horribly unstuck simply due to mankind’s own insidious nature in the face of power.
Purchase your copy of The Seventh Sorcerer:
Purchase your copy of Rock Haulter:
Would you call yourself a born writer?
I would call myself naturally artistic, creative and imaginative, and writing is my preferred outlet for expressing those characteristics of my personality. I’m not sure if that answers the question properly but it’s as close as I think I can get.
What was your inspiration for The Magic Crystals?
The story is simply too complicated to have been inspired by a single idea. Instead, certain aspects of the plot, certain characters and certain themes were each inspired by separate ideas. The inspiration for the main idea of first book can be traced back to the games I played with my sister as a child, games that included a lot of magic but only a certain handful of people who could use it. That’s why there are only half a dozen magical people in my books (until the Seventh Sorcerer is discovered, of course), and also the reason why I wanted the source of the magic to be transferred from one person to another. It was with that that I was able to explore the concept of power, and what it can do to people.
What themes do you like to explore in your writing?
Well, power is the main theme of the story, as I just said, but I also enjoy exploring social relationships and moral dilemmas. I can get quite reflective and philosophical in my writing sometimes. I guess all of those things come back to the human mind, so if you want to generalize, I guess you could say that human psychology would be my favorite theme.
How long did it take you to complete the novel?
The Seventh Sorcerer only took about seven months, but it has been edited so much since then that only about sixty percent of the original draft remains in the published book, and all of those edits happened over a period of about nine years. Rock Haulter took about two-and-a-half years, because I was so busy in high school while I was writing it (plus I had a major writer’s block about halfway through). Overall, The Magic Crystals project has been going since December 2002, and it’s now 2013, so you do the math.
Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.
Well, if I may quote myself from another interview: “I’m pretty disciplined at being undisciplined.” Sadly, I’m terrible at sticking to a routine, perhaps because if I sit down to write and the ideas just don’t come, I don’t see the point in continuing to try. I figure, if it’s a drag for me to write, it’ll be a drag for others to read. So I tend to write when the urge hits me, and that system works best for me.
What did you find most challenging about writing this book?
Well, being blind, probably the greatest challenge I have in writing is describing something visual in a way that sighted readers will be able to imagine the same way I do. Early on, I was unaware until it was pointed out to me that I wasn’t describing visual elements of my story nearly enough; I have worked on that since, and believe I have improved. I guess it will be up to my readers to make up their own minds on that, but I try to look at it in a positive light: They can use their own imaginations to fill in the blanks.
What do you love most about being an author?
Doing something I love doing. It’s probably a boring answer, but the fact that I can spend so much of my time doing something that I enjoy, instead of being forced to while endless hours away just to get by, makes it totally worth it. If you’re don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you’re wasting your time.
Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?
I originally tried to get the attention of a traditional publisher, but I couldn’t even get an agent to take any interest in my work, let alone a publisher. It didn’t take me long to choose the self-publishing route. Rather than sending letters and hoping for the best, I can instead get out there and make stuff happen, and I find that proactive approach quite appealing. Even though it requires more work and money to get going, I’m very happy with the decision.
Where can we find you on the web?
My website is the best place to find me: www.themagiccrystals.com. It has the most information about me, the books and links to follow me on various social media platforms.