Last year, I posted a Call to Writers, asking my fellow author bloggers to allow me to interview them for guest-spots on my blog. (If you are interested in participating, please contact me.) I asked everyone thirty-five questions. Some were basic, and others were multi-part inquiries, and I asked them to answer only what they wanted to or what was applicable. My friend and fellow-blogger, Stephanie Weiford, had some very captivating responses which I’m sure will interest you, as well. (Between her pet chinchilla and her answer to question #3, I’m already hooked on her writing!) After you read her interview, please be sure to hop on over to her blog and follow her for a regular dose of her charm. And now, heeere’s Stephanie…
1. Please tell us your name (or pen name) and a little bit about yourself:
Hello! My name is Stephanie Weiford, I’m excited to be featured here with you! I’m a lover of the arts, literature being the obvious and theater being a close second. Living in the mountains helps to keep my head in the clouds, but mostly I reside inside my own imagination. In the little free time I have from writing, I enjoy cooking from scratch, reading in the bath tub, avoiding the dishes, and spoiling my pet chinchilla.
2. Please provide the link to your blog (and website, Facebook fan page, Twitter, etc.):
Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/Stephanie-Weiford/e/B00OQRUAVW/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
3. How many books have you written?
In my head – a million
In reality – a dozen or so
Published – one
4. Has any of your work been published yet? If so, please share the link(s) to purchase it:
Yes! ‘Golden Heart’ is book one in the Heaven’s Chosen series!
You can find it on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OQPA76C
Or order a signed paperback on my website here: http://stephanieweiford.wordpress.com/heavens-chosen-book-series/
5. If you have been published, did you self-publish or use traditional publishing? Why?
I decided to self-publish. Sharing my writing with the masses (so to speak) was a scary thing I decided to do, it’s all very public and failure is also very public, self-publishing for me let me remain in control, and that helps ease the nerves a bit. Plus, its WAY more cost friendly then some of these ‘traditional publishers’ would have you believe.
6. How old were you when you started writing? When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I was pretty young. I think since I learned to read I started making up my own stories. I didn’t decide to be an author until recently. The idea had been there, I started out wanting to go into journalism, and then I developed a love a theater. But being an adult now, it feels good to get back to those childhood dreams. Being able to self-publish with KDP and CreateSpace just reminded me of my original love of writing.
7. What would you say motivates you to keep writing?
I love stories. Reality isn’t any fun most of the time, but a good book can take you on adventures that can only be dreamed of. Writing lets me have a unique part in that magic.
8. Who are some of your favorite authors? What are you currently reading (or what is the last book you read)?
Oh man, I have a lot! My all-time favorite would have to be Diana Gabaldon. I started reading the Outlander books when I was maybe thirteen, sorta young for the mature stuff in them, but then again I was a mature kid. I have actually been rereading the series for the lead up to the TV show, I just finished ‘Fiery Cross’.
9. What is your preferred reading method? (i.e., Kindle, Nook, paperback, hardback, etc.) Why?
I enjoy reading paperbacks and my Kindle. I typically try out new books on my Kindle, and then if I fall in love with it I buy a copy for my bookshelf. There’s just something satisfying with looking at a full bookcase, and knowing the stories I really love are there, to keep or pass on forever.
10. Do you “always read” or do you take breaks between reading books?
I take unwanted breaks. Something my schedule is just so full I can’t find the time to read as much as I would like. Writing and the day job take up a lot of my time. I’m normally always in the process of reading a book, it just varies on how long it may take me to finish it!
11. How many books would you say you read in a year? How many at any one time?
I won’t start a new book without finishing one I’m on, it’s kind of an OCD thing with me! I’m not sure what my normal rate is a year, but I’m setting a goal of 100 books in 2015!
ABOUT YOUR CURRENT BOOK::
12. What is the title of your current work in progress of the most recent manuscript you’ve completed?
I just completed ‘Golden Heart’ and am currently working on Book Two for the Heaven’s Chosen Series. I also have an almost completed draft for another work that has been a pet project of mine, as well as the starting concepts for a more mature romance. So lots of new things coming next year!
13. What is your novel’s genre? What makes yours different than other books in the same genre?
“Golden Heart” is a fantasy romance story. I think it stands out because in this first book you get to meet all the important characters and join them as they start out on their adventure. The romance is second to the story, it’s a developing love. In a lot of new books today the romance seems rushed, in ‘Golden Heart’ you get to take the time and enjoy the sparks the characters feel.
14. Tell us a little bit about your story.
In ‘Golden Heart’ you meet all the characters; Marleah Craft is something of a free spirit having been brought up by her unconventional mother. She has joined a band of rebels living in the forest and taken the number 2 leadership spot beneath Trent, in hopes of overthrowing the tyrant ruler who took up as Lord of Locklynn when the heavenly appointed Dashiell family was murdered.
Drake, finds himself lost in the woods and ties to rescue Marleah, who rescues him instead. They begin to feel the sparks of attraction when everything she believed about who she is gets turned upside down by an Angel; she makes a new friend in a brothel, and gets torn apart from Drake while being forced into an engagement with his brother.
ABOUT HOW YOU WRITE::
15. How often do you write?
I try to write every day, and for the most part keep to a schedule. Life sometimes happens, and but I always try to make up any writing time I miss.
16. Approximately how many words do you write at each sitting?
I try to write at least a chapter a day, so around 2,500-3,000 words. This is just for the first draft, as I revise chapters can grow in length.
17. Do you do your own editing or send it to someone else?
I try to review and revise it as many times as I can, but there is no replacing a good editor and I have a great one! Big shout out to Samantha! You Rock!
18. What is your method of writing? (i.e., Do you write the entire manuscript, then go back and make changes? Do you plan chapters as you go along or write the story then go back and add chapters? Do you re-read as you go along or after you are done with the first draft?)
All of the above! I write mostly straight though, but if inspiration hits for a scene I know is coming up, I’ll draft it out so I don’t lose it.
19. How long (or how detailed) are the notes you take before you start writing?
I keep a notebook handy for each one of my books, they get crammed with notes, scenes, directions, random bits of scribbled paper… all in all I would describe it as a disjointed mess of details.
20. Do you have any “must haves” to help you write? (i.e., a full cup of coffee, a view of the ocean, etc.)
Not so much, however, I work best at night when it’s quite and I can be alone with my imagination.
21. Does your real life ever get neglected because of your writing? If so, how do you feel about that?
It’s more of the other way around! I still work a day job, and especially over the holidays, it can really take a toll on when and how much I can write. The notebooks are handy for that, so when that idea sneaks up, I can jot it down for later.
Thank you, Stephanie, for allowing me to interview you. I hope everyone else has enjoyed learning about you and your work as much as I have.