An Interview With Author Steven Blush

Steven Blush is an American author, journalist, record collector and filmmaker who is best known for his book American Hardcore and the movie of the same name. Blush has written six books, is the founder of Seconds magazine and has written articles for many magazines. Two of his books have been made into movies. Steven has recently completed the forthcoming book WHEN ROCK MET DISCO: How The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, Kiss, Queen, Blondie and More Embraced The New Dance Craze and is writing a follow-up called WHEN ROCK MET REGGAE: How the Cultural Crossover of Bob

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Marley, The Clash, The Specials and More Changed the Face of Rock Music (both will be published by Backbeat Books).

 

How many books have you written that were published and how did you become a published author?

I have six books published. I was a magazine journalist and editor but I had no plans to become an author. Then I saw a PBS special on rock history that overlooked some of the most important music in my life. I wrote the book, which took off and is by far my biggest seller. From that I made a well-received doc film that ensured book sales to come. That book, originally released 20 years ago, came out in two editions and is now available in 7 languages. I’ve made a career off that book.

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Without burning any bridges, what are some of the best and worst experiences you've had with the book publishing business?

The best experience was getting my first books out. Those are still my favorite and most successful. My worst experience was writing a book for a certain major publisher that most everyone in this industry holds in esteem. I’ve thought about it, and I think every single selling point about bringing me in-house was untruthful. The editor did not back me on one decision, she spent more time dumping on me about her divorce than on my editorial concerns. That title should have been my great book, but every 

single force seemed aligned against me. I think my book was just some side deal by my late ex-agent, and I was the last to know. My negative publishing experiences have not overtaken my positive experiences, but it’s close…

What makes a good literary agent and what do you expect them to do for you?

A good agent advocates for, and speaks directly to, his writers. A good agent loves books, respects authors, and focuses on developing their literary stable. I happen to have a good agent now.

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Where do you see the book publishing business going in the future? Will there still be book stores? Will people buy fewer and fewer physical books?

I think the book business will follow the pattern of the record store business. After the shakeout of failed record stores, there was a huge rebirth in vinyl — a tangible, tactile product not delivered on one’s computer. Record Store Day reinvigorated record sales. The publishing industry needs its own version of Record Store Day, to get people excitedly back to brick-and-mortar. People still want to buy books — especially if someone tells them how great that book is!

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If you could change anything about the book business, what would it be?

If I could change anything, I would change the book business from top to bottom. I don’t even know where to start!

If you could impart any wisdom to would-be authors about getting their first book published, what would you tell them to try to                               help them?

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Never give up. Work until you can’t work anymore. Don’t listen to doubters. Write out of love and you will never fail!

Find out more about author Steven Blush at his website: https://stevenblush.com