I’m pleased to have as my guest today, Stacy Juba, author of romance, mystery and contemporary fiction. Stacy loves to write stories about Characters at a Crossroads: individuals who are finding themselves and getting on the right life path after overcoming obstacles.
Stacy’s goals are to entertain readers of all ages as well as inspire them. She has made numerous bestseller lists including GalleyCat’s Barnes & Noble Bestsellers and GalleyCat’s Mystery and Thriller Bestsellers. Stacy has written about reality TV contestants targeted by a killer, an obit writer investigating a cold case, teen psychics who control minds, twin high school hockey stars battling on the ice, and teddy bears learning to raise the U.S. flag. She has had a book ranked as #5 in the Nook Store and #30 on the Amazon Kindle Paid List. Stacy also offers a beta reading/editing service for writers. Watch for her upcoming romantic comedy Fooling Around With Cinderella.
What do you write?
I write about characters at a crossroads, or at a fork in the road in their lives. Whether the book is for adults or kids, regardless of the genre, that is the theme running through each of my stories.
What genre do you favor?
I favor mystery/romantic suspense and chick lit/clean romance. I’ve also written young adult and children’s books, but the mystery and chick lit come the most naturally to me and those are my favorite genres to read also.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I was in fifth grade! I was already writing my own series, a mystery series about an amateur sleuth named Cathy Summers. I was introverted and writing was a way for me to express myself. I started submitting to magazines when I was abouot 14 or 15, and wrote my first novel (Face-Off, which was published when I was a teenager) at 16 in high school study hall.
Are you published?
Yes, my titles include:
Adults: Twenty-Five Years Ago Today and Sink or Swim, as well as the upcoming Fooling Around With Cinderella (Book 1 of the Storybook Valley series). Editor of 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror: 52 Authors Look Back.) Free short story – Laundry Day
Young adult: Dark Before Dawn and Face-Off
Children’s: The Flag Keeper; The Teddy Bear Town Children’s Bundle
Where can you be found on social media?
Website or blog: http://stacyjuba.com/blog/
What do you think is the best way to publish these days?
I don’t know if there is a best way, as there are advantages and disadvantages to both traditional and self publishing. It’s a matter of which route feels like the best fit for you. I’ve been published by a large NY publisher, a small press, and I’ve self-published most recently, and right now for me I like self publishing. I’m an entrepreneur and I like being able to have control of all the decisions revolving around my book.
What are your favorite genres to read? Why?
I enjoy cozy mysteries and romantic suspense as I have always liked trying to figure out a puzzle. I also enjoy chick lit and romantic comedy when I’m in the mood for reading something light.
Do your characters talk to you?
Yes, my characters definitely talk to me. Sometimes I’ll be writing and they’ll say or do something that wasn’t in the outline,. Then I need to analyze why they did that to make sure that I am making their characterization consistent and believable. Sometimes I might need to flesh out their character a bit more to make these new qualities I’ve discovered blend into the book.
How do you approach starting a new book?
I start with an idea, like a newspaper obit writer who stumbles across an unsolved murder on the microfilm, and then I start brainstorming a lead character that would fit in with this premise. Then I’ll start thinking of a love interest (for an adult book) and other supporting characters, and finally I’ll create a scene-by-scene plot outline. I think in terms of a three-act structure, with conflicts and plot points happening in certain sections of the book.
What is your writing process?
I’ll either write on my computer or on my Alphasmart word processor when I’m on the go. I’ll refer to my outline so I know what scene I’m working on that day. I shoot for at least 15 minutes of writing each day. I prefer a couple hours, but if I’m short on time, 15 minutes is better than nothing.
What are the best writing books or blogs you’ve ever read?
I recently read Mary Buckham’s Writing Active Setting books and found them very helpful. Those were the best books I’ve seen on writing setting and description.
What was your best date ever?
When my future husband took me to New York City to see the Broadway play Titanic on my 23rd birthday. We spent the day sightseeing around New York and going to the Statue of Liberty.
Navy SEAL or cowboy?
Cowboy. (In fact there is a cowboy in my book Sink or Swim!)
Chocolate or chips?
Chocolate…no, chips! Depends on my mood, but I guess I lean toward chocolate.
Fancy restaurant or picnic?
When obit writer and aspiring reporter Kris Langley investigates the 25-year-old unsolved murder of Diana Ferguson, a young artist obsessed with Greek mythology, not only does she fall in love with Diana’s nephew, but she must also fight to stay off the obituary page herself. Get in on the secret – join thousands of readers in discovering who killed Diana Ferguson.
Barnes & Noble: http://ow.ly/Be5L8
The office manager buzzed her over the phone intercom. “Kris, there’s a young man at the counter for you. He seems upset.”
Upset? Had she ruined an obituary? Kris had caught a typo on the obit page last night before the paper went to press. The first paragraph had read “He was the wife of.” Thank God, she’d spotted it. Her error would’ve devastated the poor family. What if she’d missed another one?
Pulse quickening, she excused herself and walked through the maze of desks to the main office.
A man in his late twenties stood at the counter, arms crossed over his black leather bomber jacket. Dark hair feathered to the nape of his neck in soft waves. His smooth molded cheekbones and the cleft in his chin had hardened to stone. Kris’s heart speeded up, partly from the anger rolling off him, partly from his rugged attractiveness.
“Hello, I’m Kris. Can I help you?”
“I’m Eric Soares. I want to talk to you.”
“Soares? Are you Cheryl’s son?”
“Yeah, and I have a problem with this newspaper.”
Out of the corner of her eye, Kris saw Bruce rummaging in a supply cabinet, listening. Front office personnel stole glances over their computer screens.
“Let’s discuss this in the conference room,” she said.
Eric gave her a cool nod. He followed her down the corridor and Kris struggled to recall her meeting with Cheryl and Irene. They’d parted on good terms. Hadn’t they?
She sat behind the long oval table used for weekly news staff meetings. Gold award plaques for editorial and advertising excellence hung on the walls and a white erasable board showed assignments for the upcoming Presidents’ Day automobile supplement. Eric chose the plush swivel chair opposite Kris.
Kris breathed in and out a couple of times. She wished he weren’t so damn good- looking. His sexiness unhinged her, brought fire to her cheeks. Maybe he wouldn’t notice, or would attribute it to nerves.
“You’ve convinced my grandmother that Diana’s killer will finally get what he deserves,” Eric said. “She talks about it all the time. I think you were irresponsible to stir up the past.”
“I never promised her success.”
“She’s raised her hopes pretty high.”
Kris clasped her moist hands on her lap, avoiding his smoldering green eyes. “I understand your concerns, but don’t you want your aunt’s murderer punished?”
“It’s impossible. Eventually, you’ll give up and move on to the next exclusive. Where does that leave my grandmother?”
“I realize this is a longshot, but it’s worth a try. If I don’t have any luck, I’ll help Irene through it. I care about her.”
“You care about breaking a big story.”
Thank you for joining me on Meet The Author, Stacy Juba. Stacy would love to answer any questions you may have for her.