Behind a new website for Northern Nevada authors is, fittingly, a Nevada love story.
“I was doing some ghost hunting, and he was in Vegas for a writers conference and came up there to kind of check Goldfield out,” recalled Sharon Provost. “I recognized him because I had read one of his books, and we were both on the Goldfield High School tour, and I started talking to him, and the rest is history.”
Sharon, a longtime resident of Carson City, met Stephen H. Provost in November 2021.
“We were just married last month,” Stephen said Friday. “We got married up in Virginia City at the St. Mary’s Art Center up there.”
The couple joined the Appeal for an interview at La Posada Real in north Carson. In May, with Sharon’s help, Stephen launched ACES of Northern Nevada, or the Authors’ Collective e-Shop. The site is a digital hub for local authors to showcase their written work, promote upcoming events and foster literary community. There is no shopping cart on the site, and Stephen, a prolific author himself, doesn’t make any money off the site.
“I thought, well, what if I were to start something online and just enlist people who are from around here — authors who are from around here — to help them get exposure and connect with readers who would find their works interesting,” Stephen said.
Currently, ACES has 30 Northern Nevada authors: https://www.acesofnorthernnevada.com/.
Homepage of ACES of Northern Nevada.
“It’s a portal,” Stephen said. “People have been really receptive to it. It’s designed to direct traffic to their websites.”
Stephen grew up in Fresno, Calif. He’s worked as a journalist, a news editor and has authored 50 books, from regional histories to speculative fiction. He’s written about California and Nevada towns, including Carson City, and historic highways. He said his bestseller is “America’s Loneliest Road” about Highway 50 running through central Nevada.
“Since I’m in Nevada, I’m enjoying writing about Nevada,” he said.
Relocating to Carson City to be with Sharon, Stephen has enjoyed the Silver State’s ghost towns, western histories and wide-open spaces.
“California is a bit congested,” he said. “I like the fact that you got a little more elbow room out there.”
Sharon, who works at Timberline Animal Hospital, has also been working on her own short fiction. She helps her husband with historical research but also acts as publicist of sorts for ACES, connecting writers in the region. In fact, the couple is working on an anthology for ACES authors, to be released under Stephen’s own publishing imprint, Dragon Crown Books.
“We’re trying to get it out for Christmas,” Sharon said.
Throughout his writing career, Stephen has self-published and has been traditionally published through a publishing house. ACES is open to both self-published authors and traditionally published authors. Stephen said the only qualification is writers reside in Northern Nevada or write about Northern Nevada. He hopes the site provides what often seems missing from the publishing industry, a sense of community.
“I’ve never connected with a community that is this involved and this mutually supportive of one another,” he said of Northern Nevada writers.
Stephen explained ACES isn’t meant to compete with brick-and-mortar bookstores in the region but rather to boost them. The site has a whole section devoted to local booksellers.
“My whole vision is to get as many outlets for authors to connect with readers as possible,” he said.
When asked what he loves about writing, Stephen said it’s how he communicates with people.
“I’m an introvert, and I’m kind of a hermit. I don’t go out and do a lot of social things, so this is my way of connecting with the world,” he said.
He hopes ACES not only builds community but helps protect and nourish local history and culture.
“We’re in this really immediate type of culture, where something goes viral and then it’s gone,” he said. “Everything is pop culture, and I can’t keep up with it all. People get to be my age (59), and they kind of tend to look backward a little bit more, and I want to keep that stuff alive. Writing helps me do that. Writing helps authors do that.”