INTERVIEW ~ Search for Complete by Stephen G. Hardy #Interview #BlogTour #Excerpt

✨ Interview ✨

Welcome! Tell us a little about yourself and your writing goals.

I am 60 years young, been with my husband for 20 years, married for 17. We have two boys that we adopted when they were 6 & 7, they are not 20 & 22. I started out my working career as a fashion designer, which I did for 20 years before becoming a stay at home dad. Currently I live in Phoenix and enjoy the theatre and other cultural events.  I began writing 4 years ago and love it. Search for Complete is my debut novel but I have 4 others in the works. My goal is to make enough money to supplement my retirement income.

Congratulations on your new release. Please tell us a little bit about it. What’s your favorite aspect or part of the story? Do you have a favorite character? Who/Why?

Thank you! Search for Complete is the first in what I plan to be 3 books. Written from 2 POVs, Christopher and Laura, the story is about a beautiful young man whom everyone desires but is asexual, though attracted to both men and women. He is searching for something, much in the way many people search for a soulmate, their life partner. In his search, he uses his talent of observation, empathy and other traits to helps others find their mates, kind of a Dolly Levi. Christopher is by far my favorite character and a joy to write. He is intelligent, prosaic, kind, and caring. What I like the most about this story are the conversations that occur, conversations that are catalysts for change.

What was your inspiration for your latest story?

The idea for this story came about from a conversation over brunch. My husband and I have very dear friends who are a straight couple. The wife and I are especially close. While we ate, the husband commented on how similar I am to his wife and that there are times when he is talking with me that he feels he is talking to his wife. That got me thinking about a story where a man possessed enough of the female essence that he would be the perfect husband for any woman and the perfect wife for any man, if sex were removed from the equation.

Are you a planner or a pantser? How much do you know about your story before you start writing? How often does your plan change? Why does this work best for you?

In my daily life I am a planner, but when it comes to writing I am more of a panster. I may have a general idea where I want the story to go, but I allow the storyline to change freely based on the dialogue and action. In Search for Complete, there were many times when I thought something would happen, and then I would write a dialogue and realize, no, it can’t happen that way as it wants to go this way. It is almost organic how my story comes to be written. The characters take over and as their personalities develop, they tell me what they want to do or have happen. In addition. When I wrote the first draft it was in third person. later drafts experimented with first person, three POVs first person before I ended with a first person 2 POV structure.

Do you schedule a certain amount of time for writing each day/week, or do you just work it in when you can? Would you like to change this, or does your current method work well for you?

Every Sunday I look at my calendar for the week to see what I have going on. I do my best writing mid-morning, so if I find that time is taken up, I usually don’t write that day, unless I have a specific idea I want to write down. Another thing I do is schedule a writing retreat. I will go away for a long weekend, renting an Airbnb within a two hour drive of home and write without distraction all day for as long as I want. I usually do this when I am either working on a first draft or when editing the first draft.

What was the most difficult part of writing this book? Why?

The first draft of this book was 160 thousand words long. It is now 82 thousand. Cutting out scenes was the hardest part. On the plus side, I had enough material to start the second book in the series.

How do you develop a story idea? Do you always use the same method? Specifically, which do you develop first in your story building, the characters or the plot?

Generally it is the plot that comes first, or rather, a specific scene. I will write the scene and then see if there is enough there to build a whole novel around. With Search for Complete, Christopher came first, practically fully formed. Then I built a story around him with the other characters needing to be fleshed out when I required them in a scene.

What are your favorite genres when it comes to your own pleasure reading? Do you prefer to read ebooks or print?

I read a lot of Victorian novels in my earlier years as well as the mysteries from writers of the Golden Age of Mystery writing. Historical fiction is a genre I enjoy if done well and the events are accurate as I have studied history since I was nine. I am a stickler for fact. Edward Rutherford who wrote Sarum and London is a good example of how to write good historical fiction. I would say I love reading a book, but space demands means I generally stick to ebooks.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

It can do both with one following the other alternately. When I find myself exhausted from writing, lying on the floor with some inspirational music playing, allows my mind to settle and the story to reform the way it needs to be.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

My cats when it is close to meal time.

If you could tell your younger writing-self anything, what would it be?

Don’t fret that you can’t write anything right now. It will happen eventually when you have something that is begging to be written,

What is the best money you ever spent as an author?

If you mean money spent on my writing, then hands down it was paying for a cover artist for my novel.

What are your short-term and long-term writing goals?

Short-term is getting the sequel published at the end of 2023 or start of 2024. Long-term is to finish a prequel to Pride and Prejudice call Mr. Darcy that I have been working on for a year now, off and on, and another novel about a gay teenager who is on the spectrum going to college and wanting to find someone who will love him inspire of his autism.

What did you edit out of this book?

A Christmas scene at Laura’s family. But it with minor changes, it went into the sequel.

How do you select the names of your characters?

I picture the character in my head and think what name they look like, though sometimes when I am developing a new character, something in their mannerism makes me think of a name or reminds me of someone whose mannerism are similar so their name becomes connected to that manner or personality.

What were your goals for this book? Did you achieve them?

My goal was to find an agent to represent my book so, no, the goal wasn’t achieved. But in deciding to self-publish, the goal was met and soon than expected.

Do you put together a playlist and/or soundtrack for your books (or for particular scenes from your books)?

This is an interesting question. When I write I usually listen to music and play songs that fit the mood of the scene I am writing, much like a film score does.

What were you like in high school?

I was very Introverted. The tall skinny kid with glasses. Bookish, well-behaved, teacher’s pet. I am quite the opposite today, though still tall and slim.

What are the three best things about you?

My empathy, my loyalty, and kindness.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Chocolate Mint

If you could time-travel, where would you go?

Paris in the 1890’s

Tell us about the best vacation you’ve ever taken?

The best vacation was the first over-seas trip my husband I and took to Paris and Florence. We stayed with a friend of his in the Marais District, the weather was perfect every day and we wandered all over Paris visiting museums, and cafés and boating rides on the Seine. Then we took a train to Florence where we continued strolling the city and eating fabulous food and gelato every evening as we joined the locals strolling at ten pm.

 Where would you most like to go on a future vacation?

Granada Spain to see the Alhambra.

Winter, Spring, Summer, or Autumn (or Wet vs. Dry Season)?

Depends where I live but in general I prefer Autumn.

Search for Complete
by Stephen G. Hardy

Cover Artist: Ryan Mulford
Release Date: June 4, 2023
Genres: LGBTQ+ fiction, Not a romance per se
Tropes: Speculative fiction inspired by a Greek Myth
Themes: Interpersonal relationships, sexuality, and gender norms
Heat Rating: 1 flame
Length: Novel / 81,320 Words / 350 Pages

Search for Complete is the first in a series of at least 3 books and does not end on a cliffhanger.


“Why do I get the feeling that Christopher is the type of man that would make the perfect husband for any woman and, at the same time, the perfect wife for any man?” Laura says shortly after Christopher begins his new job at the TV station. Laura’s statement would turn out to hold more truth than she could imagine. No one who meets Christopher, especially not Laura, as well as David, a gay man he meets at a party, understands what it is about him that draws them to him. They also don’t realize that Christopher is searching for something, a search complicated by their desires for him.


I began to question accepting Laura’s invitation when I heard the noise coming from the backyard as we approached the house. I disliked crowds, and it sounded like an immense crowd was on the other side of the gate.

People were everywhere—seated on lounge chairs scattered around the patio or at the rectangular dining table or milling about in various groups—talking loudly over the blaring music. Laura’s voice broke through the noise.

“I don’t see Peter anywhere. He might be inside. Shall we find him?”

“By all means. I would feel uncomfortable attending his party without meeting him.”

I followed Laura into the house. As we passed through the living room, my eyes fell on a few framed photos of a handsome couple on the wall.

In the kitchen, a solitary male figure was removing a tray of croissants from the oven.

“Hello, Peter.”

As he turned around, I recognized Peter as one of the men in the photos. Tall and slender, with dark hair and a mustache waxed into handlebars, there was a dapperness to him that I found pleasing.

“Hey, Laura. Lovely to see you!”

After setting the hot tray down, Peter hugged her.

“Peter, I want you to meet Christopher. He just moved here from Seattle and works with me at the station.”

“How do you do, Peter?“

Having grown used to the reaction my presence caused, I smiled patiently as Peter, unable to speak right away, shook my offered hand.

“I hope you do not mind my crashing your party. Laura assured me that you would not object to her bringing me.”

“No, of course, I don’t mind.”

The words tumbled out one on top of the other.

“Is there anything we can do to assist you?”

“No, I have it all under control, thanks. Please help yourself to the food and drinks out on the patio.”

“We will. Thanks,” Laura said, taking my arm and steering me back through the living room.

“Peter is very nice,” I commented as we stepped through the doors and headed towards the drinks table. “Can I make you something?”

“A mimosa, thanks. Yes, Peter’s a sweetie.”

We stood sipping our drinks as I scanned the crowd of mostly men, a mix of young and old, before Laura took me around, introducing me to the people she knew.

I instinctively searched their eyes for the essence of another while ignoring Laura’s scrutinizing gaze.

Laura needed to use the bathroom, so she left me standing under the large Ficus tree where we had sought shade from the sun. Within minutes of her departure, I was surrounded by a large group of people vying for my attention. Carrying on multiple conversations was challenging, but I did my best to make each person feel they had my full attention.

He caught my attention on the periphery of my vision: tall and well-built, resembling the small statue of the god Mars that sat on the table in Joseph’s shop. Our eyes met, and I felt my heart skip a beat, seeing something flash in his eyes. Smiling hopefully, I extended my hand to him.

“Hello, my name is Christopher Dunn.”

As he shook my hand, I took the opportunity to search his golden-brown eyes. My initial hope turned to disappointment, for while something was there, it was not another’s essence. Though disappointed, I was intrigued.


He slurred the two names into one in his haste to get the words out.

As I gazed into his eyes, the feeling of a purpose to our meeting appeared—first Laura and now David.

“It is a pleasure to meet you, David Martelli,” I said, saying his name distinctly.

David blushed attractively, causing a twinge in my heart.

“Can I get you a drink?”

He looked so crestfallen when I held up my cup that I was tempted to down my drink and ask him for another.

“Oh, you have one.”

“I do, but I appreciate you asking.”

I gave him a smile to back up my words. It was apparent that David was struggling to find something to say, the frustration evident in his handsome features. I wanted to get him away from the people surrounding us and talk to him alone, but I did not see how I could do so without offending everyone else.

Conscious of the eyes watching us, David blushed again and backed away.

For some reason, I knew that this behavior was out of character for him. Watching him walk away, I hoped we would meet again as I wanted to discover what I saw in his eyes.

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Available in Kindle Unlimited

About the Author

Stephen Hardy was born in the San Francisco Bay Area but grew up in the Pacific Northwest. His career as a fashion designer took him back to San Francisco before he headed to New York City, where he met his husband of twenty years. Tiring of the hectic pace of the fashion industry, Stephen gave up his career to become a stay-at-home dad for his and his husband’s two adopted sons and a quiet life in Connecticut. Now residing in Phoenix, Arizona, and with the kids grown, Stephen returned to university, where he rediscovered his love for writing. His focus is on contemporary fiction, examining social issues regarding gender, sexuality, and relationships. Search for Complete is his first novel, and a sequel is expected in early 2024.

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