Seth Harwood is the author of five crime novels, two story collections, and a novella. He received his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has gone on to achieve acclaim for his short stories and crime fiction. Audio versions of his novels and stories have been downloaded over one million times.
I spoke to Seth about his experience as an independent writer—particularly his successful crime fiction and his foray into podcasting and serialized fiction on Patreon—and how aspiring fiction authors should plant their feet if they want to succeed in the ever-changing book industry.
Ray Sylvester: What drew you to writing crime fiction in the first place?
Seth Harwood: For a long time I wrote exclusively short stories. That was the form that moved me. So I worked only on stories, read only stories. Then, after graduate school, I kept getting the advice that editors, agents, publishers only wanted novels. So I dutifully started work on a literary novel or two. But I wasn’t as excited; I didn’t have the love for and influence of literary novels as I did the stories of writers like Raymond Carver, Junot Diaz, Richard Ford, Ernest Hemingway.