What’s your writing background?
I have a degree in professional writing. During my many incarnations as an educator, I’ve gone from writing curriculum for various types of classes including computer applications and adult basic education, to resume/ professional portfolio development, grant writing and standard operating/ implementation procedures for state funded programming such as professional development and youth programs. (But don’t let any of that fool you. I’m really a nice person.) So long as I can push a pen tip against a slip of paper or press a key on a keyboard, I am a happy girl.
When did you begin writing and what inspired you?
I started writing when I was very young. I walked into my mother’s den with the usual complaint all kids have about being bored. She handed me a slip of paper and a pen and the rest as they say is history. My first stories were terrible retellings of old television shows or movies. My mother was my first critic I remember her saying, “This is nice, Stephanie, but I want to read your stories.” I clutched my papers to my chest and told her they were mine. It is then that she gave me a piece of advice that has served me well in all my years as a writer: “Write your stories your way with your words. Let the rest fall away.”
How often do you write? And how do you manage to fit in writing among other commitments?
I write whenever I can. My best times to write are in the morning, but if I am entrenched in a really good place in a book, I can write all through the night. I often plan writer’s retreats for myself where I just close myself off from the world and just walk through the pages of my work in progress. I’ve lost entire weekends to writing and it was oh so worth it. Even on my worst day when my muse fell silent, the sheer act of pressing the keys or pushing a pen against a slip of paper was enough to keep me writing. Fitting writing among my other commitments was next to impossible in the beginning. For the longest time, I would set my writing aside. I can’t even say that I was procrastinating because I didn’t want to write. It was more a sense of I couldn’t give myself permission in the beginning. Now I carve out portion of my day, even if it’s during my lunch break where I go to my truck to write.
In which genre do you most enjoy writing?
I love writing romantic suspense – the sheer urgency of it all. There is very little room for pretence or a whole lot of small talk. Romantic suspense and thrillers in general are great for dropping you into the action and it rapidly becomes a keep up or you’ll get left behind scenario.
What draws you to write in that genre?
I love the concept of throwing the reader into the middle of the action and keeping them on the edge of their seats until the last page. If told well, and with that perfect blend of tension and romance, well, the stars seem to dance!
Can you tell me about your current project(s)?
Well, it’s another romantic thriller. I started playing that marvellous game of ‘What If’ and its twin, ‘What Happened Next?’ My female lead is an intellectual badass and I love her. She is a formidable force to be reckoned with… definitely time enough for the male lead, who is equally strong, but the two of them together is like gasoline on a fire. Gotta love it!
What are your writing plans for the future?
I’d love to try my hand at screenplays. I am a diehard fan of the British drama, Luther. One day I would love to convert one of my books into a screenplay and to have Idris Elba play one of the male leads my books. Hint… Are you listening Mr. Elba?
Where can people find out more about you?