Hey Stacy-Deanne! I see you’ve been writing professionally since the age of nineteen! Please, tell us how you launched your fabulous writing career.
SD: Well I never intended to become a writer professionally to be honest. I always loved reading as a child and people told me I had special talent for writing stories when I was younger. It wasn’t until I got my first computer and began writing my very first story that I decided I wanted to try and become published. It was like a bolt of lightening hit because from the moment I started with that very first book, something awoke inside of me and I knew this was what I was put on earth to do.
CK: Where did you submit your first story?
SD: I submitted my very first story many places. It didn’t go anywhere. Then some years later after I’d written many other manuscripts, I flipped the script. I decided to write this music bio chronicling some of the late 90’s and early- 2000’s most popular black singers. It’s true that you never know what gets you in the door because that was my first book published. I submitted it to Amber Communications Group, Inc. formerly known as Amber Books. ACGI is the biggest independent publisher of self-help guides and biographies for black books and audiences. It was a wonderful experience and I am grateful for it but I knew it wouldn’t last because my heart was always with fiction.
CK: Do you write full time? If not, how do you fit writing into your busy schedule?
SD: Right now I am just writing. I still have a busy schedule because I treat it just like any other job. I am always working on something and I am very disciplined.
CK: Please, tell us, what are the pros and cons of being a published author?
SD: Wow. I could write a book on THIS. LOL. I’ll start with the positive side.
The pros for me is that my work is being read and appreciated. I can’t see an author wanting anymore than that. I admit I like the attention and prestige that comes with being published. I like how new writers look up to me for advice and I love helping if I can. What I like the most is that I am able to fulfill my dream of writing it and sharing with people all over the world. Being published makes you feel special and appreciative because you’ve gone through that struggle yourself of trying to become published, you finally do it and man it’s amazing. So many doors open up to you. You’re accepted into the crust of the industry. You meet wonderful people. You feel like a star sometimes. LOL.
As for cons, people don’t realize that there are as many cons to being published as unpublished.
The biggest con is criticism. People think they can say anything they want about an author or an author’s book yet the author has to always remain rigid and professional. It’s a mess in the industry if you hang around the wrong people. Your name can get dragged into drama. You have to deal with jealousy from other writers. Another thing is that once you’re published you aren’t just writing for yourself anymore. Whenever I write a story I always have a bunch of folks in my head wondering what they will think. I write with my agent in mind, my publisher, my audience, book reviewers, etc. Also the self-doubt sometimes can be very weird. You start to measure yourself by others’ perceptions of what you are. You also put pressure on yourself because you want each and every book to be good and to sell. Authors are not just writers these days. We’re promoters, business people and a ton of other things.
CK: You know, I totally feel you about people saying anything they want about an author and their work. We can take our lumps, and deal with constructive criticism, but there is a way for folks to get their point across; tastefully, without being mean spirited and hateful. Bashing an author, or their work is simply uncalled for.
With that said, won't you please do us the honor of providing a sneak peek of your most recent project, if possible?
SD: Oh you got it! Let me do a quick background on it. This is my fourth book and my first installment in the Bree & Steven crime/mystery and interracial series. Those who read my last novel, “Melody” remember these two as the detectives who appeared in the book. Well now they have their own series starting with “Giving Up the Ghost” which comes out 2011!
Albany Detective Brianna “Bree” Morris is having the year from hell. A sadistic admirer has been stalking her for months and now her friend Cheyenne Wilson has been beaten and left for dead.
With her ex-lover and faithful partner, Steven Kemp, Bree thrusts herself into the case. It’s not long before they believe two unrelated British men are connected to the attack. Michael is a womanizing artist with a ferocious appetite for rough sex. Simon is a wealthy free spirit looking for love in all the wrong places, but has one too many skeletons in his closet.
Bree struggles to determine fact from fiction when it comes to Michael and
Simon but her attempts are blurred by Michael's manipulation and her sexual attraction to Simon, who Steven’s convinced cannot be trusted.
Meanwhile the stalker does everything in his power to get close to Bree and his obsession evokes a spiral of violence.
Bree must trust her heart to find answers but her heart leads her to the most dangerous man of all.
CK: Wow, I must check out your books. Please, by all means, share one of your earlier novels with us.
No problem. My last novel, “Melody” is a mystery and crime thriller as well as interracial romance book. It’s about a young Latina woman (Melody) who is half-white. She fights to prove that her sister’s new boyfriend is not the charming man everyone thinks he is. Meanwhile there is a stalker in the city of Albany who is raping black women. Detectives Steven Kemp and Brianna Morris are thrust in the case. The book won two YGA Literary Awards for 2008. "Melody” is the perfect IR book because not only are the two sisters mixed, but they are both in interracial relationships and Brianna and Steven deal with their past romance as well.
CK: Whoa chica, cool!! Excellent story line you have there, and totally digging the cover. Now tell me, where do you see yourself two years from now?
SD: I don’t even try to guess these days, LOL. I used to have things planned out but as time goes on I realize that writing is not a career where you can plan out things. Of course I have goals of what I hope to accomplish and I am proud to say that so far I’ve accomplished at least one of those goals every year but I have no idea what will happen in two years. I can see myself writing for sure, but that’s about all that’s definite. I’ll never stop writing.
CK: What are your hobbies?
SD: I love surfing the net because I love researching and learning new things. I’m into photography, art, reading, music and movies.
CK: How do you unwind?
SD: I just try to relax, take in a good movie or book. Writing also helps me unwind and relieves stress. It’s therapeutic.
CK: Do you mold your characters strictly from imagination or from those you cross paths with in everyday life?
SD: Imagination. The folks I have come in contact with aren’t people I’d wanna base characters on. I am not the kind of writer who likes to base characters on folks I know.
CK: What methods of research do you utilize?
SD: The Internet. What else is needed these days? LOL.
CK: Well, there is the library, but the net is more convenient. LOL Where can you be found on the internet?
SD: Tons of places but lately I’ve been on Facebook a lot. I urge people to send me a friend request and I’ll add them! You can also find a display of icons that shows the Ning sites I am on at http://www.stacy-deanne.net. Of course you can Google to track me down too. I frequent general sites as well as writing sites especially those pertaining to interracial romance and interracial fiction.
CK: What advice can you pass on to new writers?
SD: The most important is be realistic. I’d also say make sure you really want to become published because it’s a lot of work. You’ll be doing something where no matter how good you are or how talented you might still never accomplish this goal. You should write first of all because you love it then if you wanna try to seek publication, research! I can’t stress this enough. You need to read everything you can about writing a publishable manuscript and about how publishing really works. After that you make your own decision about what path to publication you wanna take. Different strokes for different folks.
CK: Hear hear! Stacy, I want to thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us. It was awesome having you here today! I’m glad our paths crossed!
SD: I loved it, Charisma! Thanks for being so supportive. Before I go I’d like to throw some love to my new publisher, the award-winning Peace in the Storm. Don’t you love that title? PITS and its authors are doing great things and I urge folks to check out PITS’ talented authors and titles!
Last but not least you IR readers and fans, put “Giving Up the Ghost” on your 2011 wish list! It’s gonna be hot! Definitely add me at Facebook to get the latest info about the book and what I’m doing!
CK: Anytime! Best wishes to you in all you do!