Fall Ladies Night at Beehive Bookstore
October 6, 2012, 4 to 7 pmWe have lots of fun planned for our Fall Ladies night. We will have balloons with discounts and coupons for free stuff plus door prizes and a drawing for The Beginning of Better Days for those who RSVP to attend. Click here to RSVP. You do not need to RSVP to attend, but you do need to RSVP to be entered into the drawing
here to check out her website and here to go to her blog.
Beehive: How do you come up with ideas for books?
Stephanie: My first book grew out of a short story that I wrote for a high school creative writing class (the novel was totally different from that short story, but that story is where the process began). My second book emerged from an idea that had been percolating for a long time, but my other books started with a blank computer screen and brainstorming. I like to sit down at the computer, start a brainstorming file, and type out ideas and questions like "Who is the main character?" "What does she want?" And so on, jotting things down until an idea for a story finally starts to emerge. This is NOT a fast process--it can take me a long time to form that story idea. Once I have enough of an idea in mind, I'll write a very rough outline, and that's enough to get me started on the book. Over the course of working on that first draft, I'll return to my brainstorming file many times to work out what happens next, or to work through problems. I won't know the details of how the novel unfolds until I actually write it. Needless to say, my first drafts are a mess, since I'm finding the story as I write the story. My goal is to get that first draft written, no matter how messy it is. Then I can go back and revise, revise, and revise some more. I actually love revising, working with a manuscript to make it better.
Beehive: How do you do such a good job of keeping us guessing whodunit?
Stephanie: I think the key is to provide plausible red herring characters. The reader needs a choice of suspects to divert attention from the real villain--other characters who could have had a reason for committing the crime.
It's also a balancing act to reveal enough about the villain so that when the villain is revealed at the end, it's believable to the reader, but to not reveal so much that the reader nails the villain on page twenty.
Beehive: How do you manage writing around your family commitments?
Stephanie: When my children were young, their nap time was my golden writing time. No way was I going to clean the house during nap time (unless it was an emergency, like guests were coming over!). When I got the chance, I loved to sprint for the computer and write. Now that my kids are older, my writing time is more flexible. The challenge is both in being disciplined to use my time well, instead of frittering it away, and in putting my writing aside when it's time to focus on something else. I still struggle with both of those things.
Beehive: Do you think you will continue to focus on suspense or are you interested in exploring other genres?
Stephanie: My first book was a dystopian science fiction novel (The Believer). I'd enjoy doing some more sci fi, and I have a sci fi novel that I started and would like to get back to, as well as a sequel to The Believer that I'd like to revise.
Beehive: Are you working on another book yet?
Stephanie: I'm currently working on a short novel, or novella. This is for a project I'm doing with two other authors, Traci Abramson and Gregg Luke. We're each writing a suspense novella with the common theme of Halloween--other than that common theme, we're each writing whatever story we want. If our publisher likes the project, they stories will be published together. It's fun writing something shorter and more straightforward than my full-length novels!