Learn about the author, the creator, the storyteller
My name is Steven Bentsen. I was born and raised in the Midwestern United States, specifically in the twin cities Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. While I have three older brothers, I was raised more as an only child. Seems reasonable when you arrive ten years after your closest brother. Surprise! I lived in hand-me-downs and leftover toys. Although I didn’t always have the newest diversions, I had an abundance of inspiration.

Being chronically sick as a child impacted my attendance and perspective of school, especially during the formative years when reading was being taught. When I returned, my eyes needed corrective lenses and my mind couldn’t solve the puzzle of language. I was put in remedial reading class, which reengineered my thought process. Words became tools for me, I memorized them and used them for comprehension, but there was no inherent creative connection to my young mind. A book’s story didn’t initially play out in my imagination. I’ll never read quickly, but I can’t live without stories.

Religious rituals and extra theological studies were part of my youth, yet I gradually realized I was more attuned to the spiritual. The difference being personal philosophy versus established interpretation. Similarly, I hated public education, for there was no room for me as an individual. I now love to learn, but on my own terms. I enjoy deep conversations that stray into the metaphysical, but not with those that have closed their minds before we begin. Tolerance, understanding, empathy, and love have proven to be their own rewards.

Amid school and working in foodservice, I tried my hand at writing my first novel. Imagination and creativity always came easily to me, no matter the struggles or losses I lived through. The fantasy-scape of my mind was a boon.

I see myself as a storyteller more specifically than an author. The medium of my stories may change over time, if I am presented with the opportunity, but the heart and soul of my art will remain. I’ve always felt a multiverse living within my perception; I call this fantasy existence “The 13 Realms of Eternity.” 13RoE is more than a collection of stories I desire to tell, it’s a place I wish to invite others to visit and dwell within, if they so desire. The foundation of the multiverse took me a lifetime to brainstorm and years to put onto paper, but it now stands as a rough yet functional role-playing game system.

Each character in my stories is an individual; they live, breathe, and speak through me, emerging onto the pages of my work at their own discretion. I know much of what I desire any given story to hold, but the characters that are created and unleashed into 13RoE have plans and motivations of their own. I hope my creations entertain and amuse. I long for them to share their perspectives and experiences, for them to bring love and joy to others, as they have for me.