Meet Stephen Zimmer Author of the Dark Sun Dawn Trilogy

 Author Stephen Zimmer is an award-winning author and filmmaker based out of Lexington Kentucky. His works include the Rayden Valkyrie novels (Sword and Sorcery), the Rising Dawn Saga (Cross Genre), the Fires in Eden Series (Epic Fantasy), the Hellscapes short story collections (Horror), the Chronicles of Ave short story collections (Fantasy), and the Harvey and Solomon Tales (Steampunk).

Stephen’s visual work includes the feature film Shadows Light, shorts films such as The Sirens and Swordbearer, and the forthcoming Rayden Valkyrie: Saga of a Lionheart TV Pilot.

Stephen is a proud Kentucky Colonel who also enjoys the realms of music, martial arts, good bourbons, and spending time with family.


Book 2 of the Dark Sun Dawn Trilogy, Published by Seventh Star Press (May 25, 2017)


Stephen Zimmer talks about Thunder Horizon:



What was the most challenging part about writing Thunder Horizon?

The most challenging thing about writing Thunder Horizon was being sure that the pace accelerated and the scale increased significantly from Heart of a Lion.  Heart of a Lion has lots of action and a steady pace, but my vision for a trilogy is to see that each book escalates toward a grand finale in book three.

I set the bar high for myself in Heart of a Lion, so increasing the pace and scale in Thunder Horizon would seem like a daunting task, but it turned out to be a natural outgrowth of everything set in place in the first book.  In that sense, having a natural flow into an increased pace and scale, I had an ideal situation when writing the second book.


Who is your favorite character in this book and why? 

Not only is Rayden Valkyrie my favorite character in this book, but she is my favorite character to write.  The reason is because she is such a fusion of inner and outer strength. She is a great warrior, but all the trials and battles she has been through have not seen her lose her compassion or heart toward others.

Rayden is a true independent person.  She does not compromise the things she stands for, and she is willing to stand alone when she is set on doing something she believes to be the right thing.  Despite enduring great tragedy, and witnessing countless horrors and tragedies in her travels and adventures, the light within her has not been dulled.  It shines bright in times of darkness and is a beacon for others.


Some authors plan ahead, making a plot outline of how they intend for the story to unfold and some will allow their muse to take over, writing the story as it is revealed to them. What writing method did you use for Thunder Horizon?

I’ve always said that I am a hybrid between the plotter and the pantser.  I find it important to have a core outline in place, so I know the direction and destination of the story as I write it. However, I have found it very valuable to have flexibility along the way for new characters, subplots, or other elements that might arise in the process of writing.

Because of this, I do have a basic plot outline, but I do not put so much detail into it that I have no room for new things that may arise along the way.  Different approaches work for different writers, but this one fits me very well and has resulted in some great developments in the writing process while avoiding finding myself in a corner, or stuck on the main plot line.


What would you say to entice a reader who isn’t familiar with the genre to read your book?

My work is about people, and their strength and potential when they embrace paths of self-determination and self-empowerment.  Those kinds of things are not dependent upon any genre, and the characters such as Rayden Valkyrie in my books can be of comfort and inspiration to readers.


If you could sum up Thunder Horizon in just two sentences, what would you say?

Thunder Horizon is a book about courage and standing your ground against odds that appear insurmountable to most.  It is a book about the importance of staying true to your convictions, taking risks, and living with honor, even if traveling that road is much more difficult than taking an easier route of avoiding conflicts and compromising yourself.


You can find out more about Stephen Zimmer and his work at:

Book 1 of the Dark Sun Dawn Trilogy published by Seventh Star Press, LLC (January 21, 2015)

Discover New Authors August 2017

Meet June Ahern, author City of Redemption

Published May 8, 2012,


What was your inspiration for writing City of Redemption?


It started out as a screenplay for a Scottish actress who I met in Los Angeles when I put on a stage read for my first novel, “The Skye in June.” She loved a character in that story and wanted to present the book to her agent, however after some talk we agreed it wasn’t for her. She asked if I would write another film role for her. I did but with delays and as time went by she moved on to other projects. Rather than me shelving it, I went on to write the story as a book where I developed the characters and the storyline more so. I also redid the screenplay, which received interests but no commitments.



Who is your favorite character in this book and why?


Mason Decatur Perry, a gay hairdresser and commune family member is the best friend a girl could ever wish to have as Liz, the protagonist, learns. With humor, he finds the best in difficult situations, reminding Liz even the worst haircut eventually grows out. The two become more than friends after sharing a hookah and family history. When all seems hopeless for Liz, loyal Mason becomes part of a dangerous plot to expose a traitor and protect the family. His advice to her to be like the spy Mata Hari gives her hope that she can redeem herself from past sins. As the plot heats up and Liz’s situation becomes dire he shows more courage than one would imagine from this Southern gentleman.



Who is your least favorite character in this book and why?


There are two: Chad, the undercover cop because he’s creepy, however I have to say hands down it is devilishly handsome and devious Ricky Martinez, another commune member. He’s the bad boy women fall for with regrets. Cocky Ricky gets away with manipulating and bulling those he can, especially Mason. Why, you might wonder? Ricky’s the candy man – the connection and that includes Black Panther Bobby. His only concern is what’s good for Ricky. Oh, he does irk my sensibilities!



Some authors plan ahead, making a plot outline of how they intend for the story to unfold and some will allow their muse to take over, writing the story as it is revealed to them. What writing method did you use for The City of Redemption?


Both. The writing takes off like a runaway horse as my muse inspires my creative spirit. To reign the words into a reasonable story and keep on track with facts i.e. dates, character development, and plot, I write an outline. With logistics in place I return my writing spirit back to my muse.



How is City of Redemption different from other books in its genre?


“City of Redemption” is a thriller that takes place mostly in San Francisco during 1967 and that exposes the dark underbelly of the Summer of Love. However, it’s also a noir love story. Liz’s lies result in the heartbreaking murder of her young son and abandonment by her husband. Later in the story, her spying causes more than the take down of a snitch, it leads to more tragic deaths. Can Liz redeem herself in the city of groovy, free love people when flower power ignites into fire power?


Find out more about June Ahern by going to these sites: