The Thursday Throng Interview and Giveaway with Steven Harz, author of Songs You Can’t Dance To.

This week I’d like to introduce you all to Steven Harz who anthology of stories and poetry, Stories You Can’t Dance To, is featured in the review. When I visited his website I found the following quotes at the top of his About Me page: “If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story” – Orson Welles “Or where you begin it” – Steven Harz. Having read the stories and poems I believe this sums him up wonderfully.

One lucky commenter will also win a PDF copy of Songs You Can’t Dance To. All you need to do is leave a comment for Steven at the end of this post.

Songs You Can't Dance ToThe Review

Although I love a good novel, I often find that short stories and poetry are easier to read when you are living a busy life. Being able to dip and out of a complete ‘chapter’ and knowing the whole by the time you finish is a very satisfying experience. Steven covers a huge range of situations that complete the human experience; from love to anger, sadness to happiness they are all covered. Many of the stories had me reflecting on my own life, what I’ve done and how I’ve come to be where I am now. He is a great storyteller and this book is well worth reading.

Steven HarzThe Interview

What is one thing that no-one would usually know about you?

If there is one thing that people find interesting – or perhaps odd – is that I am a combination poet/writer and football coach and a fiery one at that).  When I first published my book I got a lot of raised eyebrows and quizzical looks from my football ‘family’!  Conversely, when readers learn that I coach football they are equally surprised.

What did the best review you ever had say about you and your work? 

It has been very rewarding to read some of the reviews for “Songs you can’t dance to.” Things like “must read” and that it was comforting to read, but if I had to select one review it would be, “From angst, to hope and passion, Harz pulls the reader outside their current realm,” as this sums up exactly what I set out to accomplish.

Are the names of your characters important to you?

I write both poetry and short fiction, and in all honesty, in my fictional stories I don’t give my characters names.  For one, I think it allows the reader to connect more with the character – or so I’ve been told.  Also, when you are writing a 1500- word story, as opposed to a novel, character names are less important – I am trying to convey a feeling instead of tell the complete story of a character.

How did you choose a title for your book?

I firmly believe that you can, in fact, judge a book by its cover – and research supports this.  On top of that, I believe that you absolutely can judge a book by its title.  I put a lot of thought into “Songs you can’t dance to,” and actually came up with the title before I wrote the poem of that name.  To me, it exemplifies the tone of what I contained within.

Have you ever written naked?

Ha – no, I have never written naked, unless you count getting a good idea in the shower and hurrying out to write it down before it’s forgotten!

How do you remain sane while working?

I write to remain sane.  The process is cathartic in and of itself and keeps me sane in relation to the other aspects of my life.  Writing time is peaceful and allows me to co into a comfortable cocoon.

Are you jealous of other writers?

Of course!  I think we all are to some degree.  I recently had someone comment on a poem that will be contained in my next book saying, “have you experienced that moment where you read something…and then kick yourself because you didn’t think of it first? That’s how I felt when I read this!” I could certainly relate.  I am proud of my work but am very jealous of the gits that other have.  That said, I try to turn jealousy into inspiration – let them help me to become better.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Inspiration comes in many packages.  It can be something your kids have done, something you witness in public, conversations you overhear at a coffee shop, or the work of other writers – I am currently reading a lot of work by slam poets, specifically Shane Koyczan and Sierra DeMulder.  I always have a pad and pen with me because you never know when inspiration will find you!

What was the most important thing you learned at school?

While I was in high school I had a world class teacher named Kurt Bittle.  Aside from being an accomplished artist he was the best teacher I ever had.  He didn’t necessarily follow the rules, but instead worked from logic and common sense and wouldn’t it be great if all teachers did this?  I have incorporated this into my life as well; he was a great modeller of this behaviour.  Kurt also unknowingly taught me to be a better parent.  I was raised by a wonderful mother who believed you treated everyone equally, but Kurt treated us fairly, or how you deserved to be treated. I use this every day with my kids and with the players I coach.  Kurt recently passed away after a battle with cancer and I dedicated “Songs you can’t dance to” to him.

What is the book that you wished you had written?

There are so many books that I’d wished I’d written, and if it’s alright I will take a little poetic license and list two.  The first would be “A Prayer for Owen Meany” by John Irving.  Aside from containing the best, in my opinion, opening sentence in literary history, it is a beautiful story about friendship, love, loss, and hope.  The next would be “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safran Foer.  Like the main character of the book, I was impacted by 9/11 so the underlying story appealed to me, on top of this it is one of the few books that made me cry upon completion.


How to Win a Copy of Songs You Can’t Dance To

To be in with a chance of winning your own ebook copy of Songs You Can’t Dance To by Stephen,  all you need to do is leave a comment for him at the end of this blog post. At the end of next month or in early June I’ll pick a winner and let them know they’ll get the ebook.


Where can you find out more about Steven Harz and buy his book?

Steven’s own website can be found here: He can be found on Twitter with the handle @stevenswriting and on his Facebook page. You can also find a Facebook page for the book here:

If you can’t wait for the giveaway you can find ‘Songs You Can’t Dance To’ on Amazon in the UK and on Amazon in the US, and on Goodreads too.


Why ‘The Thursday Throng’?

These posts are called The Thursday Throng in honour of the throng that waits eagerly outside the book store when a new author is doing a book signing event or appearance. On this website it takes the form of a ‘Meet the Author‘ online event with some information about our author’s latest book and an interview. If you would like to take part in the Thursday Throng then why not visit Thursday Throng Author Interview Guidelines to find out more.

If you would like to see all the Authors who have been featured on The Thursday Throng you can click here:

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  1. I couldn’t wait for the give away I had to get a copy. Don’t know when I’ll read it but it will be soon. His passion on writing is inspiring. I love his honesty of envying other writers but continues to write. Which could only mean I will probably be a bit envious too. Need I say that will further inpress me. Good interview.

  2. The interview is so frank and nice to read. Rushing out of shower to write down ideas sounded very familiar to me!. I used to write poems back when I was in school. Reminded me of that 🙂