Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Book Spotlight and Interview with Stacey Watts

Hello everyone, please welcome Stacey Watts to Sensuous Promos today as she shares with us a little bit about herself and her work.

Stacey, thank you for joining us today. I know the readers are eager to get to know you , so let’s get started.

When and why did you begin writing?
I think the obvious punch line to that question is of course Kingdergarten!  Thats where I learned to write the alphabet and my name!  I was not; however, a child writer.  I've always been a bit of a natural story-teller, with a flair for the dramatic (much more than a flair if you ask my husband), so letting my imagination go, and getting it down was the obvious next step.  It wasn't till I was in my late twenties that I started to begin writing seriously.

At what point did you first consider yourself a writer?
It was probably the first time I saw my own work in print.  Sure by that point I had two or three projects completed, but it was seeing my name on the front cover and the words not on a screen, but on physical paper that really got me excited about being a writer.  Since that first book, I've been writing as much as possible and have pushed out several works, including a couple of poetry books, and several novels that are ready to be published.  Arresting Desire, my latest book, was another personal milestone for me as a writer.

Do you have a specific writing style? In other words, are you a plotter or a planner?
As much as I would like to be a plotter, and plan out every move of my book, the truth is I write by the seat of my pants.  Only recently have I finally quit buying books on organization and character development, because as great as they are, they are not my cup of tea.  I tend to write my stories three or four times before I feel like its ready to go to the editor.  The first time I put the story on paper is a really rough draft.  Its usually only a third of its final length, and is gramatical nightmare.  After that I keep rewriting until I get all the details just right.

What books have most influenced your life most? 
Just a couple of months ago, I read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.  I had seen the movies countless times and never tackled the book.  I read it and loved it.  The dialogue between Jane and Mr. Rochester was electrifying. It appealed to me because of its Gothic flair to it.  The book was published in 1847 but it never felt like I was reading a stuffy old “Classic”.    All stories if you think about it, have many basic elements.  Great stories, like Jane Eyre can teach a young author like me is a lot about characters, dialogue and scenes.  I think we don’t sometimes read the classics enough, and really regret not reading it sooner.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Douglas Turner wrote this wonderful poetry book called E-mail Poet.  His work is great with lots of facets to it.  Poetry is one of those underappreciated genres.  His work speaks volumes to the reader.  I don’t usually get the chance to read a lot of new books, but I have a huge reading list on my e-reader.  Writing takes up quite a bit of time, and I try to read whenever I can.

Do you see writing as a career? Do you write full time? Or in addition to another job?
I am lucky to be a stay-at-home mom to an incredible eight year old son.  Between home-school and the usual house hold chores, I find time to write most days, sometimes as little as an hour at a time.  However, as a deadline approaches, the family picks up a lot of what I usually handle so I can go on a “writing binge.”  Its been great to have a supportive family that steps up when the time comes.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
As I mentioned earlier, Arresting Desire was a bit of a milestone for me.  It was the first book I wrote that was in the Romantic Suspense genre, and the more I wrote on it, the more I fell in love with the style.  The ability to have a strong female character who is on the search for her father's killer, and pairing that with a romantic liaison with a man who could be the man she's looking for in more ways than one.  How can anyone resist telling that story.  I know I couldn't.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I started out writing poetry. I like poetry, but was more drawn to writing romance stories.  I grew up on reading the old Harlequin novels when I was a teenager, and I think that stroked my curiosity into the romance genre.   As a very highly imaginative child, I made up stories quite a bit.  I think that is the one reason why I write books today.   

Do you have any advice to offer other writers?
Listen to your characters.  Let them tell their stories.  Then listen to the people that know what they are doing.  Editors, cover designers and publishers.  They can be the catalyst to put you on the map.  

Surround yourself with positive and supportive people.  That has helped me through lots of rejections.  I think starting out, one needs cheerleaders on the sidelines cheering you onto victory. Don’t take rejection too hard. 

Learn from your mistakes and know that you will make many. I do. Cry if you need too, then open up a new file on the computer and start again, show the world that you won’t give up. J

Where can our readers find you on the world wide web?

Personal Web

Cover of Arresting Desire by Stacey WattsAs a big city police officer, Ellie Davis has seen her fair share of crime, corruption and back-room dealings. Nothing, however, could prepare her for the day she came home to investigate the brutal homicide of her father in the line of duty. Davis begins a journey to uncover some of the town’s darkest secrets—secrets that threaten to destroy her memory of all that was good in Chapleton.

A high school flame arouses her passions, but he is somehow involved in the drama that seems to surround her family and some of the top levels of the local Police Department. A need to protect and a desire for passion soon drive her to the brink of destruction in Arresting Desire.

Glittery streams of moonlight shimmered in the Bravely River. It was the one and only river that ran through the town of Chapleton. The lights on the squad car flooded the warehouse district with a red and blue color. Ellie stood in utter disgust of the body lying in the pool of blood just mere inches from her.
When she’d moved back to her hometown after her father was callously murdered, she vowed to uncover the truth. Chapleton held some deep secrets. Here in the warehouse district alone in the last year there had been four more murders. She knew with each homicide they were all intertwined. Working tirelessly she tried to connect the dots.
Of course, all Ellie had to go on were rumors and speculation on what was going on in town. Rumor had it that Salvatore Cartolano and his group of drug runners were involved, as usual. This murder had their signature all over it. She looked around the scene to see if anything was out of place to suggest otherwise, but it was definitely their trademark.
Jotting down some of the most apparent details, she exhaled deeply when she heard the clicking of Chief Ray’s expensive rattlesnake boots on the pavement. It was a sound she’d recently become quite accustomed to, as he insisted being there for every murder investigation lately.
“Ellie, what do you have for me?” he asked gruffly, as he tilted a black cowboy hat back on his head.
“It looks to be a homicide. Male, early thirties, nine millimeter shot to the temple,” she answered solemnly. Ray looked over the body and placed the coroner’s sheet over the victim. He turned to Ellie shaking his head with a scowl.
“You and Denny are on this one. I’m going back to the station. Report to me when you’re finished here.” Turning silently, he began walking back to his pickup truck without another word.
“Well, that was quick. He didn’t stick around very long, did he?” Ellie raised her eyebrows in surprise.
“There was no press here. You know how Chief Ray loves to be in front of the cameras these days. A regular ham, that one.” Denny gave a mischievous grin making the wrinkles around his eyes dance.
“Denny, let’s bag this evidence. Thanks to my meddling mother, I have to go home soon. I have big plans tomorrow.” Ellie sulked in defeat.

“Yeah, I heard, princess. I will be on the front lines cheering you on.” He chuckled with amusement as he busied himself collecting the nearby evidence. When they completed the investigation for the evening, she headed home for the night. She would need a lot of strength for tomorrow, and wished she could just get it over with, putting the nightmare behind her.


Stacey Watts said...

Thanks to Sensuous Promotions for highlighting my work and interviewing me. I greatly appreciate it.

Stacey Watts

Townsend Mary said...

Great interview and a great book!

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