A little bit about Stephanie...
Stephanie co-authors with her husband, Don, a Viet Nam veteran and career architect. She is an army brat who lived in many countries around the world and loved it. She learned to speak four foreign languages—but forgot all of them, alas, with lack of use. She met her husband at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where she majored in English/Literature. She and Don live in Indianapolis, IN, and in retirement enjoy writing novels together.
Connect with Stephaine...
FB author page: www.facebook.com/4u2read
Get to know Stephanie
You and Writing
My husband and I co-author our books (two so far), and—can you believe it?—we’re still happily married! Yes, it is a challenge sometimes, as Don primarily writes the plot, and when it’s my turn to come aboard (my focus is character development and theme), I often have suggestions he finds hard to take. I mean, this is his baby, and I’m talking radical surgery on the sweet little monster. Ha! But we talk it out until we’re in agreement, and then I do all the writing and he critiques it. That part is great fun for both of us.
In Forgotten, Don and I found the heroine’s memory loss intriguing. What would it be like to emerge from a coma and discover you remember nothing of your life? How would it feel to realize your family and coworkers are privy to all sorts of information about you that you have no idea about? In Forgotten, Eve Eriksson is, in essence, “born” with a thirty-four-year-old female body, a ten-year career whose skills she’s lost, and a history bearing consequences she can’t understand. What? She has an enemy who wants her dead? And a fiancé languishing in prison because she’s the only witness to his innocence? Mega ouch!
Want to write a novel? A really good one?
In college, my major was English/Literature. So, I was fully equipped to write novels, right? Ugh, to my dismay, far from it! It took Don and me ten years to write a publishable novel. Our journey is a roller coaster of ups and downs and sharp learning curves, but I’ve come away with some good basic advice for aspiring authors. First of all, learn, learn, learn (no matter how good you are). Don and I went to writing conferences (our vacations), read lots of craft books, and paid for online writing classes (like those offered by WriterUniv.com) where the instructors give assignments and immediate feedback. Focus on learning; invest in it, and it will pay off!
Secondly, get someone else’s eyes onto your manuscript. Join a critique group and learn from other authors’ input. Eventually, I was able to move from a group situation to one critique partner who became my mentor. I credit my progress in writing to the skills she taught me right smack in my own manuscript. And finally, save your pennies (okay, at least a thousand dollars) and pay a professional editor to rake your book over the coals. SO worth it!
Story is king, and skillful writing is its crown. That’s where you need to invest yourself. Don’t assume you’re good. Assume you need to get better. (tweet this) And then, with your story well-written and validated by those with greater expertise than yours, you’re ready for all the busy work that comes with publishing it!
My favorite genre to read is mystery/suspense/thriller. I like fast-paced books, ones that present the reader with a mental challenge. I’m also into dystopians because I like the scenario of a future society and its challenges. Sadly, I haven’t found many dystopian novels I like.
I belong to a book club, which vastly expands what I read, so currently, I’m reading The Nightingale. Wow! It has over 32,500 reviews on Amazon, with a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars!
My favorite green food (in honor of St. Patrick’s Day) is asparagus. Or—going healthy—mint chocolate chip ice cream. And green M&Ms.
Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Emilie. And a big hug to all you readers out there!
Emilie here: Great interview Stephanie! So happy to have you here and love your advice about writing! Enter the giveaway below folks and don't forget about Don & Stephanie's first book Stranded.
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