Romantic Suspense Author Stacy Juba
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I knew I wanted to be a writer in fifth grade. I was writing a lot of stories at that time, and my teachers were giving me a great deal of encouragement with my writing talent. I was very introverted, and they were delighted to see that I was expressing myself so vividly through fiction. I published my first novel at 18, and loved getting fan mail and seeing my book in bookstores. I've been working as a writer ever since.
How long does it take you to write a book?
That has varied at different periods in my life. It used to take about a year, before I was married and had a family. Now it takes me a couple years as I'm juggling so many other tasks.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Probably that my handwriting is so messy. When I worked as a reporter, my interview sources would get very curious when they peered at the scrawled words in my notebook. I was asked repeatedly whether I used shorthand, but it's just my natural handwriting. If I'm signing my name, my handwriting is neat, but if I'm taking notes during an interview or am writing a story in longhand, I write fast to get it all down before I lose it.
What do you think is the best way of publishing a book these days?
At this point, I'm more interested in self-publishing through sites such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo than in submitting my work to traditional publishers. I know I can make money on my books quickly, and I can immediately get them into the hands of readers. My feelings may change as the industry evolves, but that's where I'm at right now. If authors do this, though, they need to make sure their book is professional. It needs to be-well-edited and polished, with a professional cover, and the author needs to be a good marketer with a website, social networking platform, and insight into how to market ebooks.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Ideas just pop into my head, and if I can't stop thinking about it and the idea excites me, then I'll start developing it into a book. Twenty-Five Years Ago Today was inspired by my days working as a newspaper obit writer and editorial assistant. For Sink or Swim, I was intrigued by the popularity of reality TV shows and wanted to explore what might happen after an ordinary person returns to her normal life once the reality show ends. Dark Before Dawn was inspired by my interest in psychics and the metaphysical. I'll often need to do research to flesh out the idea. For example, I might interview a police detective for a mystery novel.
When did you write your first book?
I wrote my first book, a young adult novel called Face-Off, when I was 16 years old. I scribbled in a notebook in high school study halls and typed it at home on an electric typewriter. I entered it in a contest for teenage writers and it won a publishing contract when I was 18. Recently, I've re-issued it as an ebook and published a new paperback edition, so it's amazing to be finding new readers for a book I wrote as a teenager.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I like to spend time with my family, do Tai Chi, and read. I love to read!
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
So far, I've published four novels, a children's picture book, and a children's e-book collection. They're all special to me in different ways, but Dark Before Dawn is the book that I relate to the most, as I remember those awkward teenage days and trying to find the right path in life. Twenty-Five Years Ago Today is special to me as it was my first adult novel.
Can you tell me and your readers something about your main characters?
In most of my books, my characters are strong, determined young women trying to find themselves and get on the right path. Kris in Twenty-Five Years Ago Today is an aspiring reporter haunted by guilt, and she needs to find the strength to leave the past behind. Cassidy from Sink or Swim is a personal trainer who wants to start her own chain of fitness centers, but she has a lot of emotional baggage to leave behind if she wants to make the best decisions for her future. In Dark Before Dawn, the main character of Dawn is a teenage psychic whose mother wants her to hide her abilities. Dawn needs to find the courage to be herself and stop trying to please others.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I hear from them a lot on my Facebook page and on Twitter. They usually let me know they were surprised by an ending or that they just finished one book and are getting ready to read another one. It's fun to hear from readers.
What do you think makes a good story?
I think a good story needs compelling characters, with strengths and weaknesses just like real people. It also needs conflict so that we can root for the character to get what he/she wants. The character needs hurdles to overcome, as that suspense keeps readers turning the pages.
What are your favorite book genres in writing and reading? Why?
I love reading mystery, romantic suspense and romantic comedy, and those are my favorite genres to write in also. Reading is an escape for me. I like reading books that are playful and fun, and that's the audience I have in mind when I write.
Who are you favorite authors to read?
I've been discovering so many new authors on my Kindle lately. Juli Alexander, Gemma Halliday, and Juliette Sobanet are the authors whose books I've devoured lately. When I find an author whose story keeps me turning the pages, then I seek out other books that they have written.
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