Guess who I got to interview?? STEPHANIE BROTHER the author of the Huge series. Very excited for this edition of Under the Covers. In it, Stephanie talks about how she started writing, her process and her upcoming projects.
Fiona Blake: What made you decide to take the plunge and start writing your first novel?
Stephanie Brother: Well, I've always enjoyed reading romance novels since I found my mom's secret stash when I was a teen! It was only when I found myself between jobs, that I thought I'd try to write something myself. I'd heard of other independent authors becoming successful through self publishing, and I liked the idea of putting something out there and seeing how it sold. I've found that I can write really quickly once I have an idea in mind. I love the whole process, from the germination of characters and plot, to the marketing and reader interaction. This really is my dream job.
Fiona: What writers inspire you?
Stephanie: I'm inspired by so many writers that it's hard to pick any one individual. I do a lot of reading to keep up with trends, and I miss being able to pick up a book and read for the sheer enjoyment. It's like a can't switch off my author brain anymore. I've always loved a little taboo in my romance, so I tend to look for something with an edge, and some characters that are going to stay in my head for a while after I've finished the story.
Fiona: How do you incorporate your life into your books?
Stephanie: This is a tough one to answer. Some books have more of me in them than others, I guess because I might identify with a character or situation in particular. Often, my characters will go through some kind of conflict or challenge that I might have experienced myself. Obviously, a lot of what I write is well outside of the realms of my own experience. In those cases, I try and read some 'real life' stories in magazines or news articles to get an idea of a persons feelings. Writing about something you know makes the emotional impact of that situation easier to articulate. It can be very cathartic to get things off your chest too. I like to think that my characters often carry little pieces of me, and if I can impart some of my feelings on life along the way, it makes for a more satisfying writing and reading experience.
Fiona: What is your writing process?
Stephanie: Gosh, this is a hard one to answer because every book is different. Sometimes I start with a character and weave the plot around them. Sometimes I start with the 'hook' for the story. Sometimes I have an idea for a title and cover and the rest of the book develops from that. I get ideas from everywhere, and it really depends of my mood as to how I actually write. I like coffee shops and often take my laptop and type while I drink way too much coffee. I work best first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Writing is great because it can totally fit around the rest of your life providing you have the focus and commitment to stick to your own self imposed deadlines.
Fiona: What is the best sentence you’ve ever published?
Stephanie: This one is impossible to answer! I have published so many books that it becomes hard to remember them all. My bestselling book to date is Huge X3. The first sentence in the description is 'Imagine getting the chance to live out your filthiest fantasies. Would you take it?' I guess that must have resonated with readers, because it got to number 14 on the Amazon Kindle Bestsellers List! I like to add a little humor into my stories. If it makes me giggle when I write it, I hope readers will giggle when they read it. I have a smutty sense of humor at the best of times and it often makes it into my books.
Fiona: What exciting projects do you have in the works?
Stephanie: I'm about to publish a sexy medical story called Forbidden Prescription. After that, I have two sports romance novels. Readers have been asking for Huge X4, so I have that marinating in my brain as well. I love hearing from readers and get lots of ideas and feedback that way, either via email, facebook or goodreads.