Thriller and Contemporary Fiction
Stevie Z Fischer writes about the dynamics of people, nature, and power in small-town New England. Her first novel, River Rules, looks at how everyday heroes can be forged as lives are changed by forces seemingly beyond our control. Stevie’s focus on the bonds of friendship, love of nature, and refusal to be marginalized shines through in River Rules.
Growing up in New York City, Stevie was more comfortable on the subway than in nature. After studying Russian and French in college, Stevie got an MBA and worked in international banking. Professional and business writing became her forte; in fact, she teaches it at several universities. However, the move to Connecticut for her husband’s job was difficult. Kids and self-reinvention followed, but nothing has been so transformational as parenting, paying attention, getting a high-energy dog and teaching college writing.
Stevie’s dog, Penny, and her students provided the creative sparks for River Rules. Penny thrived on long walks along the Connecticut River. Through Penny, Stevie met dog lovers and kind-hearted people who shared their love and fears for nature in New England. Combined with ten years of teaching college writing to students with big dreams and challenging lives, Stevie is honored to add her voice to the fight for environmental and social justice. Visit her website at https:// www.steviezfischer.com
Biggest literary influencers:
Zadie Smith, Kate Atkinson, Donna Tartt, Tom Stoppard
Last book read:
The Witch Elm by Tana French
The book that changed your life:
“Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” by Tom Stoppard.
I have read every one of Tom Stoppard’s plays, but “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” was my first encounter with this brilliant absurdist writer. I love how he uses nonlinear storytelling and shifts in perspective to expose seemingly random connections between characters that transcend time and space. He combines wit, humor and pathos into this big existentialist dramedy that is intimately intertwined with Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” With almost nothing that unfolds making sense, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern find themselves in situations way beyond their control, forcing them to wrestle with identity, sanity and death.
Your favorite literary character:
One of my favorite literary characters is Harry Bosch, the hero of Michael Connolly’s suspense series. Harry, a murder detective in LA, is a richly drawn and flawed guy who’s had a tough life. He drinks too much, he’s seen too much and he has a strong moral compass. He tries his best to be a great dad and loyal friend but sometimes the job gets in the way. Harry despises bureaucratic BS and corruption. He pisses off powerful people and doesn’t care. You want him on your side.
Currently working on:
The sequel to River Rules.
Words to live by:
Take a chance; give a chance. Have courage.
Advice to new and aspiring authors:
Believe in the worth of what you are creating. Don’t strive for perfection or listen to the doubters. Make time for revision and feedback but don’t feel constrained by other people’s expectations of what a writer is. You are a writer.
Articles / Reviews:
“I very much enjoyed Stevie’s writing in ‘River Rules’ and her unflinching descriptions of the characters and their experiences. They feel like real people with real flaws and relatable problems. Her use of dialogue is superb and really made the book come alive. In the fictitious Connecticut River town of Bridgeville, all the good and bad aspects of small-town life come alive in the novel. It is compelling and feels like it could be a movie, in fact, due to the screenplay-aspect of the dialogue and the germane descriptions that make a river town come alive on the page.”
–Dede Cummings, publisher, Green Writers Press
River Rules, the debut novel from Stevie Z Fischer, takes an in depth look at small town living, highlighting the beauty and the liabilities along the way. This suspenseful tale teaches readers about how connections, on both a personal and corporate level, can make a difference in ones environment. She makes a plea for conservation over greed, taking chances on those who may be marginalized in our society, and choosing humanity, always. Fischer’s story compels one to do make the right choice, the humane choice, always.
–L.M. Pampuro (Goodreads) rated it (5 stars)
“I enjoy the characters (and there were many–I had to have a list next to me while reading to keep them straight.) The ins and out of the story and how each person intertwined with each other kept this story flowing. After chapter one I couldn’t put down River Rules. I hope there’s another book with these characters because I want to see one person get what they deserve (no spoilers here) It’s a thought provoking story on how greed and corporations affect our daily lives.”
–Marian (Goodreads) rated it (5 stars)