R. D. STEVENS grew up in Kent, England, with an overactive imagination and a love of big questions. After going to university to study Philosophy, he escaped the UK and travelled the world for two years. On his return, he worked in the charity sector, before training as a philosophy teacher and completing his MA.
Outside of writing, after spending fifteen years in secondary school teaching, he currently works at King's College University, delivers philosophy seminars to Sixth Formers, and loves to read books, play the guitar, and talk about existentialism (with anyone who'll listen). He lives in London with his family and FOMO-suffering dog.
His award-winning YA debut, 'The Journal', was released by Vulpine Press in August '22, and 'The Freeze', his sophomore novel, was released in Jan '23. He has also had a number of short stories published in various destinations. He was shortlisted for the Olga Sinclair Prize 2023, longlisted for the Aurora National Short Fiction Prize 2023, and has won awards for his novels, including the Literary Titan Gold Book Award for ‘The Freeze’, and the Chill With a Book Reader’s Award for ‘The Journal’.
In 2023, he released a new podcast ‘Perspectives on Pages’ which he co-hosts with fellow small press author Benjamin Roesch, and involves chats with a range of writers, bookstagrammers and more. He is also an active book reviewer and works in collaboration with notforvanity.com as a guest reviewer of their indie author content.
His latest novel - 'Ezra and the Great Bin Jah Meen' - is being published by Deep Hearts and is slated for release in December 2024.
Follow me on X and Instagram @rdstevensauthor to keep up to date with all the latest things!
I wanted to share a little about the journey my debut novel, and I, went on to get to publication...
4 years before, after going through the trauma that is querying publishers and agents, I was left with a lot of rejections, some lovely specific feedback from a couple of agents telling me how much they liked my writing, but no actual offers. So, I decided to put some savings down and fund publication of a few copies myself in the hope that the novel might get noticed. I put in the hard graft - I went to the local markets, sent it off to reviewers, contacted bloggers and submitted to online competitions etc. and managed to get some good reviews, sell a modest nearly 1000 copies (ebook & paperback), win a couple of awards and really enjoy the experience. The indie author community is a brilliant one - really supportive and encouraging - and I have made some great, super-talented author friends along the way. I also started to regularly buy other indie authors' books and post about reading them, as well as writing reviews of them online, in order to try and contribute my own little piece to the community.
After a few years, I had about 3 other WIPs on the go and had finished another novel, almost reaching a point where I was ready to move on from The Journal (and bracing myself for a second stab at querying) when I was contacted by a commissioning editor. I couldn't believe it initially, but soon enough I had signed a contract with my publisher.
The rest, as they say, is history, but I wanted to give this story to help remind and encourage anyone who is writing right now that there is a lot to be gained from going for it as an indie author (and if you write in any way, then you are an author, don't let anyone tell you otherwise) and it can be a really rewarding experience. There are many different paths towards publication. And if you are looking for a more traditional publishing route, then keep plugging away, keep working, keep persevering, and keep holding out for that little bit of luck because you never know who might end up reading your work and loving it.