Stephen’s Interviews


Interview with Triangle Media’s Suzanne Lynn on the Give My Books Wings Triangle Spotlight Show in Central Florida, WQBQ 1410, March 15, 2021. This led to my receiving a Literary Titans Silver Award for The Irish Clans: Book One: Searchers.
Interview with Spotlight Network’s Logan Crawford, Emmy award winning broadcaster-anchor-host and renowned actor on August 29, 2023. Aired on September 5, 2023 Spotlight Roku channel.


Interview with Beth Ruyak of Capital Public Radio, Sacramento on September 13, 2019.
To hear Stephen’s interview with Beth, click here.
Interview on Carlo Pietro Sanfilippo’s “It’s the Journey” podcast #41 Stephen Finlay Archer — Lifelong Learner on September 21, 2021.
To hear Stephen’s interview with Carlo, click here.

Newspaper Interviews

Scott Thomas Anderson is a journalist for the Sacramento News & Review and author of the critically acclaimed sociological novels Shadow People and The Cutting Four Piece. His articles illuminate Stephen’s motivation for, and literary journey in writing The Irish Clans novel series.

Sacramento News & Review Article — September 14, 2017

Of clans and culture: Aerospace engineer turned writer of Irish tales sees warnings ahead.

Stephen Finlay Archer spent nearly four decades launching satellites into space, building a global network of light-speed radio waves that eventually lit the internet’s Promethean spark. But the aerospace engineer has had a lot of time to look back on those achievements, including what instantaneous thought-transmission has done to reading habits, writing skills and societal intelligence. Now he’s looking to the literary gods for absolution—by reaching into the past. . .

For the complete article, click here.

Sierra Lodestar — September 15, 2017

Writer seeks family and learns of Irish clans.

Dublin historian Eamon Casey can tell the tale behind every grand pub in Ireland’s capital, from the flower-studded Brazen Head near the River Liffey to the clamoring Long Hall on South Great George’s Street. Yet Casey can also tell you another bit of craic – an English term borrowed by the Scots then returned to English and used extensively in Ireland for gossip, entertainment, a good time – that you probably wouldn’t guess: It’s that one of the most meticulously accurate writers of historic fiction on the Emerald Isle isn’t based in Dublin, but rather in the California Gold Country.

Stephen Archer, who lives in Angels Camp, has been on a long, literary odyssey to explore the lives of his Belfast ancestors through storytelling. It’s a mission involving three research trips across the Irish countryside, as well as consulting experts like Casey. Archer is now publishing a five-part series of adventure novels called the Irish Clans. On Saturday, Sept. 30, he’ll talk about his journey through writing the first two books at Hein & Co. Bookstore in Jackson.

Archer moved to the Mother Lode in 2014 after working nearly four decades as an aerospace engineer. A man of restless energy, retirement wasn’t a good fit. He began researching the background of his grandfather, Samuel Stevenson Finlay, who’d immigrated from Northern Ireland to Canada in 1909. Finlay was a successful artist whose work dominated the Evening Telegram newspaper. He later taught at Toronto’s Central Technical Institute.

In retracing Finlay’s footsteps, Archer began to imagine the role that two of Ireland’s last clans – the MacCarthys and the O’Donnells – could have played behind the scenes during the nation’s war for independence against the United Kingdom in 1916.

That was the genesis of Archer’s book series. For the retired engineer, it has been a chance to use action and intrigue to illuminate the complicated and little-known history of the clans themselves.

“They were a warmongering entity, but by the same token, they had the Brehon laws, which gave equality to women long before the rest of the world did,” Archer notes. “There was something about the way the clans operated that was romantic and resonates for me. And the reality is, when the British finally subjugated the clans, they really were oppressors, from 1602 up to the revolution.”

Archer’s research trips have taken him to Donegal in the north of Ireland, Cork on its rugged west coast and, of course, he’s spent time in what was once the British Empire’s “Second City,” the bustling little metropolis of Dublin. The Temple Bar in Dublin’s historic district is a key setting in Archer’s stories. Working with Casey, Archer made sure all historic allusions in his books tied to this famous Irish watering hole were completely accurate. Archer may be a creative writer these days, but the mind of a NASA satellite designer is still fully evident in his attention to detail.

Archer is the first to admit that doing research inside Ireland’s fire-glowing pubs and along its rolling, emerald hillsides is more enjoyable than most of the research he did during his former career.

“The people are so friendly,” he observed. “They’re gregarious, outgoing people. They have a positive outlook on life, even though they’ve come through hard times. It’s hard not to like them; and it’s also hard not to love the country.”

Archer’s research paid off when he found a publisher willing to commit to the five-part Irish Clan series. Mazanita Writers Press, based in Angels Camp, brought out the first novel, “Searchers,” in 2016. The Bibliophile Book Blog called the debut a well-written and “captivating” take on historic fiction.

Now, Manzanita is publishing Archer’s second book in the series, “Entente.” In the follow-up to “Searchers,” Archer’s characters find themselves navigating the shadowy relationship between Irish rebels and German intelligence during World War I.

Archer will discuss “Searchers” and “Entente” at his Hein & Co. appearance on Sept. 30. The talk will happen in Baker Street West, a setting that has a special meaning for Archer when it comes to writing.

“When I heard what Hein & Co. was doing with Baker Street, I thought, ‘What a wonderful idea,’” Archer said. “I was always enthralled with the Sherlock Homes stories and Arthur Conan Doyle. That was a literary influence on me. I liked the technical complexities of his stories and how they weave together with the clues.”

Seeing the miniature universe that Doyle drew around London in his fiction remains a point of inspiration for Archer. As a writer, he’s still swimming midway through the sea of his own five-part saga. Archer says he’s continuing to learn about managing historic facts, ongoing plot points and prime character arcs, all while weaving together a greater narrative. For him, the challenge is worth it, especially if it teaches people about a pivotal moment in Irish history.

“The revolution was such a critical point for them,” Archer reflected. “During the Industrial Age, a lot of the Irish had ended up on work houses and the British were continuing to oppress them. This was a period of them breaking free, and it was a moment that they began to really re-establish the Gaelic way of life. It was important for me to write about it.”

Given that 39 million people in the U.S. have Irish roots, Archer’s clan series offers a welcome doorway for anyone to start imagining that chaotic and tragic past so unbreakably tied to the American experience.