Author Chris Steadman gave a talk in APSU’s Woodward Library Tuesday, March 19 from 6-7 p.m. Steadman has released six books and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

Most people don’t enjoy sitting around writing books in their free time, and even fewer of those that do ever make that next leap to actually become an author. Chris Steadman is not most people.

This past Tuesday from 6-7 p.m., Austin Peay State University students were welcomed to a book talk in Room 232 of the Woodward Library on campus. Here, students were able to meet and get to know Steadman, who was the event’s featured speaker and is the author of six self-published works.

Steadman’s journey as a writer started a long time ago. Growing up, Chris and his brother would come up with stories to keep themselves entertained and those stories would be played out as they played with their toys. His brother is still involved with the creative process today, being a huge part of his journey with publishing his first book, Time to Scrap.

Steadman said, “My brother, he’s like my partner in crime even though we butt heads a lot… But he’s like my Yang.”

Some of the stories that they came up with growing up have leaked into his published works, too. Steadman emphasized the aspect of community and family in his journey so far, citing his mom, cousin, and high school community as some of his bigger inspirations and supporters.

But not everyone in his life always had faith in Steadman. He mentioned an instance from his freshman year of high school when he was reading one of his favorite books, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. He recalled a teacher questioning if he was capable of reading and understanding it. Of course, Steadman was, and that book is one that he said encouraged his own writing.

But Steadman didn’t let people like that knock him down. During the pandemic, Steadman decided to take action and publish his first book. It was quickly well received by the family and community that means so much to him. More than that, it garnered the attention of various news outlets and his favorite author, the aforementioned Angie Thomas, who praised it.

Steadman said, “I didn’t even really promote it and everybody was like ‘I heard you got a book’… and it really resonated… It was something that they could relate to. It doesn’t feel like they’re reading a schoolbook or a textbook.”

Now, four years later, Steadman has spoken to local schools and some as far out as Washington, as well as launched Steadman Entertainment and released six books. He says there are ten more already in the pipeline.

While he has received offers and contracts for more traditional publishing, Steadman chooses to remain self-published through Amazon because he got to keep all of the rights to his work that way.

“That’s very important to me. I’m like really attached to the characters and the world,” Steadman said, “I like owning my stuff, my work. I’d rather it, you know, if it blows up then I’ll profit off of it. If it don’t, then it’s okay. But if it does blow up and I don’t own it, and they change everything… It’s a mess.”

As far as what’s next for these characters and the world Steadman has created, he has a lot more books planned, as well as an open mind to other media forms to expand into. He also likes the idea of building a sort of community with likeminded individuals through Steadman Entertainment. What that and the rest of the future will look like is uncertain, but one thing is for sure: Steadman isn’t stopping anytime soon.