Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Staci Stallings {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about Staci...

A stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, #1 Best Selling Christian author, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure!

How to connect with Staci...

Purchase Deep in the Heart [here]

Author Interview | Staci Stallings

You and Writing

Who is one of your favorite authors and why?
...I don’t read much fiction at all—only for friends who want me to read theirs. For myself, I read nonfiction—Christian psychology is my favorite genre. I want to read something that will lift me up and give me understanding to be able to help others. So my favorite authors are people like Jeff VanVonderen, Steve McVey, and John Ortberg. All three show how grace living really works, that it’s not too good to be true and it’s where God truly wants us to live. Then I take those lessons and translate them into the stories God writes through me.

Share a writing-related milestone with us?
...In April 2012, I put my book “Deep in the Heart” on Amazon Free and had 47,000 people download the book in 2 days. It hit and stayed at the #1 spot on the Free list for 36 hours and then went on to be the #1 Best Seller in Christian Romance and Christian fiction for a month after that. I have to say that was a pretty cool experience!
How do you balance your time between writing and other actives? Any helpful tips, tricks, or suggestions?
...I don’t. I don’t even try. If I did, it would literally make me insane. Right now, I own or co-own three businesses. I do the bookkeeping for all three. I have three kids, a husband, and a house to keep. I volunteer at my kids’ two different schools. I teach Sunday School. I have two very large, very active extended families—so birthday parties, anniversaries, etc. I have two very active writer’s groups online that I’m the founder of. I have 25 books published and another 20 waiting to be. I have 3 blogs that I manage or co-manage. I do major promotions for other Christian authors…

...Now saying “I” in all of these is very deceiving because “I” don’t really DO any of them. God does them. I’m just along for the ride! He is the best scheduling secretary EVER. Each morning I wake up and the day is in His hands. He gives me step-by-step throughout the day of what to do next. I have a list to remember everything, but He orders my steps through that list. What gets done was in His plan. What doesn’t is either for tomorrow to do or not something He wants done right now. Not only am I sane, but I am very much at peace even though if you look at my list, you would think that would be completely impossible!

Your Writing

Tell us a little bit about your book, Deep in the Heart.
...This is one of my favorites and not only because it’s hit #1. “Deep in the Heart” is the story of how to live love. Maggie literally comes from nothing. She’s got two dollars, a broken down car, and shoes that aren’t even hers. But she’s also got one thing that’s holding her together in the very midst of what should be hopelessness—FAITH. She trusts God for the next step. She believes His promises. And even when things look bleak, she trusts that He knows how this is all going to work out. That inspires me in my own life.

What was one trial you faced when writing it? One success? ...Honestly, I shouldn’t even have written it when I did. You know that list of to-do’s above? Well, add to that list serving on team for a major retreat. Thirteen weeks of meetings and additional tasks that I don’t normally have, not to even mention being the director of the plays for Vacation Bible School that year—and VBS ran almost simultaneously with the retreat. And I wrote a whole book in the midst of that? How?! I truly don’t know. So the trial was writing it at that time, and the success was writing it at that time.

Who is your favorite character and why?
...Maggie and Keith (the guy she falls for) are both wonderful for the different things they can teach. Maggie for just being love even when she gets knocked down and dragged through the emotional mud, and Keith for how miserable we can let ourselves get when we listen to the world instead of to our hearts and God. Different lessons but both very important.

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...That no matter where you are, no matter what life is throwing at you or has thrown at you, if you hold onto God, love, and forgiveness, things can and will always get better.


If you could go anywhere in the world for one month (for free) where would it be and why? ...Give me my laptop charged, an Internet connection so I can look stuff up if I need to, warmth, food, and shelter, and I really wouldn’t care. I have thought about going to a hotel for a weekend and just hibernating to write and get some of these stories out of my head and my heart and onto the ether. In fact, you know what? The last three Spring Breaks have been the best vacations ever, and I didn’t even go anywhere. My husband took my three kids skiing (I can’t go to the mountains because of altitude sickness). So I was here, at my house, alone, with nowhere to go and nowhere to be for five days straight. On the first day I got enough Chinese food for the week and several movies. Then I sat and watched back-to-back-to-back movies for three days. Then I started writing and wrote 80 pages. Then my family came back, and it was 7 months before I wrote another word on a novel. *shrug* You’ve got to learn to be content where God puts you!

Thanks for the chance to get to meet you all! God bless!

Thank you so much for returning to Thinking Thoughts Staci!  I loved hearing your perspective on balancing out your busy schedule with writing - what a great reminder that it's the Lord who truly directs our path. I also love how you are so content to write anywhere! I often dream wistfully about vacationing in Europe in a cottage and writing for a month *sigh*. It sounds really great, but in reality I'd probably get more done here at home under deadlines for other things ;) 

Thanks again for this interview and to my readers, make sure to check out Deep in the Heart - it's on sale on Amazon for .99 cents today!!

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