Stacy-Deanne: “Everlasting” is a Latino, modernized style Romeo and Juliet for the new generation. Two intelligent, goal-oriented Latino teens fall in love not realizing that their relatives belong to rival gangs. They fight to be together while not only risking their lives, but also the loyalty to their families.
“Melody” is a mystery, thriller and suspense novel. A young Latino woman fights to prove to her sister that her new boyfriend is dangerous while trying to protect her best friend from being raped by a serial killer who’s been targeting black women.
BAB: No two authors seem to take the same route to publication, but almost every author has an interesting story about their journey. Care to share yours?
Stacy-Deanne: I’m one of the “rare” authors that sold my books to a major publisher TWICE without an agent. I’d gained a platform after releasing the compilation biography book “Divas of the New Millennium” and that opened the door for my fiction. In 2006 I finished “Everlasting” and began the agent search. A friend that was currently published with Simon and Schuster told me that they were on the look out for Latino novels. I submitted mine to them (without an agent) and scored a contract. In 2007, “Everlasting” was released. That same year I sold S&S “Melody” and it was released June 2008. I’m living proof that authors CAN sell to big houses without agents sometimes, but I do not recommend it. I’ve learned that going the unagented route, especially with big houses is not the smartest thing to do. I now have an agent, have moved on from my previous pub, and am embarking on a new stomping ground and new publishing opportunities.
Note to aspiring writers: Get an agent no matter the situation! If you get a publishing contract first, then get an agent to handle the deal for you. Do not go at it alone. You need an agent to look out for you. Trust me.
BAB: How did you get the idea for your novel?
Stacy-Deanne: LOL! All of my novels just begin with a hint of something coming from all directions. There is never one single idea. My stories have come to me in many different ways.
BAB: Do you have another book in the works?
Stacy-Deanne: I have TONS of books in the works. Not only do I have many unpublished novels I hope to get published, but I also have new ones I begin all the time as well as three completed novels my agent and I are working on. I’m always writing a book. I write-full time, am not married and do not have kids so there’s no excuse for me not to20write. Also, I love it!
BAB: How did you get the inspiration for characters?
Stacy-Deanne: Honestly it all comes from my head with characters. I get plot ideas from various sources of course, but the characters come from me solely. They develop naturally as I write. They take shape just by me writing the story and they begin to create themselves instead of me creating them. I don’t believe writers create characters. I believe we present them with the opportunity to show themselves to readers if written well.
BAB: Who is your favorite character? Why?
Stacy-Deanne: I love villains because I love mysteries and thrillers. I’ve written many bad-guy characters but my favorite so far is Keith Taylor from “Melody”. Keith spends his time making Melody’s life miserable and seems to love it in the process. Even though Melody’s the main character, Keith moves the story because at the base of Melody’s plot is Keith. Without Keith there wouldn’t be a story.
BAB: When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
Stacy-Deanne: In 1997 I got my first computer at nineteen years old. I began writing stories immediately. It simply became my calling and opened something inside of me I’d never felt before. People always said I was a born writer but I never realized it until then. It wasn’t a career choice from the beginning but I’ve always had a very active, almost unrealistic imagination. I love to be in my own world.
BAB: In writing your books, what was your most surprising discovery?
Stacy-Deanne: With actual writing, it surprised me how a story can go in so many different directions than what an author intended it to. But that’s the great thing about being a novelist. Fiction is unpredictable.
As far as the business side of writing, I realized that published authors have more challenges than unpublished writers do. In many ways it’s harder once you’ve crossed that line. When you’re unpublished you deal with the idea of rejection. After publication you deal with the idea of acceptance and all the people who you have to satisfy. It’s no longer just you. It’s a whole new ballgame. Any published writer can agree with that. There’s pros and cons to being published like there is to being unpublished. I am glad to be published to get that respect and have fans, but it’s not all peaches and cream all the time.
BAB: What’s your writing routine? Do you write in the mornings, nights, daily, or when the mood strikes you?
Stacy-Deanne: I write any time I want but my favorite time to write is in the wee hours when it’s quiet.
BAB: What experience did you have with your publisher? Good? Bad?
Stacy-Deanne: (Chuckling). That’s a great question but I make it a policy not to discuss my business experiences in public. That’s not too smart. All I’ll say is that every publisher I’ve had has presented me with a different experience that I’ve learned from. I’ve learned from my last publishing experience and as I continue writing I am sure I will learn from many more. I’m looking forward to change though and am very excited for what the future holds and will embrace its rewards.
BAB: If you had to pick one author as your favorite, who would it be?
Stacy-Deanne: Kay Hooper is my favorite hands down. She rocks!
BAB: Finally, thank you for taking part in this interview. Before you go, what message would you like to send to your fans?
Stacy-Deanne: Don’t go anywhere because I’m coming back with a new one soon and thanks for the support!
Publisher: Strebor Books
Hardcover: 368 pages