Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Charles E Yallowitz: The IAN Interview

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.

IAN: Please tell us about your latest book.

My latest book is the 10th volume of my Legends of Windemere epic fantasy series, which sees that the heroes have been forced to split up.  The story focuses on Timoran Wrath, an honorable and wise barbarian who has been a constant source of stability for his friends.  To continue their journey, the champions must travel to Timoran’s homeland of Stonehelm and gain entry into the Snow Tiger Tribe’s holy land.  There’s just one big problem:

Timoran is an exile and returning home means he must stand trial for his sins that could lead to his execution.   Unwilling to do more harm to his people, he is ready to accept judgement and die for his crimes, which puts the champion prophecy at risk.  Lucky for Timoran, Luke, Nyx, and Dariana have their suspicions that something is not right in Stonehelm and refuse to let their friend die without a fight.

If this delay is not bad enough, the chaos elf army is on the march and the only way for them to return home is if their leader can claim Nyx’s head and raze Stonehelm to the ground.

IAN: Is Tribe of the Snow Tiger published in print, e-book or both?

Charles E. Yallowitz:  E-Book

IAN: Where can we go to buy Tribe of the Snow Tiger?

Charles E. Yallowitz: Amazon.com

IAN: Do you use an outline or do you just wing the first draft?

Charles E. Yallowitz:  I’m a big planner when it comes to my stories because I want to make sure I lead up to certain plot and character evolution points.  So, I make outlines that break the chapters down into sections and use character bios to know where I want to go with them.  Do any of these plans stay intact when I start writing?  Not really, which means there is a ‘winging’ aspect of the first draft that makes sure the story flows naturally.

IAN: Do you have a specific writing style?

Charles E. Yallowitz:  Yes and it’s Present Tense Third Person.  *ducks barrage of rotting vegetables* It isn’t really a common or popular style, but it’s what I feel most comfortable writing in.  This came about in high school because I was always switching tenses in my stories.  A teacher sat me down to help me realize where I was going wrong and break the habits.  This involved choosing one tense to stick with and I happened to pick Present Tense, which nobody told me was odd until I published my first book in 2013.  Honestly, this works best for my stories because I see them as visual scenes in my head.  This is why I use a lot of action and dialogue, especially since flashbacks and info dumps don’t work very well in Present Tense.

IAN: What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your books?

Charles E. Yallowitz:  Be even better if they’re excited for the next volume.  I write to entertain and draw out the proper emotions for the scenes.  So, I’m happy if a reader laughs at the jokes, tears up at the sad parts, and is on the edge of their seat during the action.  For me, one of the best things to hear from a reader is who their favorite character is or if a scene really stuck with them.

IAN: How much of the series is realistic?

Charles E. Yallowitz:  I write fantasy, so there is a lot of magic and monsters along with flashy fight scenes.  The realism comes about from how the characters react to events.  For example, I have no problem having a character cry when something makes them sad instead of them remaining the ‘stoic hero’.  Beyond that, the story is realistic within the rules of the world.  Writing fantasy requires that you make some basic laws and stick to them because consistency is key to world building.

IAN: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Charles E. Yallowitz:  Fellow indie authors and bloggers.  Starting a blog was the best thing I did for my writing because it helped me connect with people in the same situation.  Unlike family and friends, these are people that have a full understanding of what I’m trying to do.

IAN: Do you see writing as a career?

Charles E. Yallowitz:  If you’re asking if I’m a full-time author then yes.  Beyond that, it’s a rather complicated answer because ‘career’ sounds very sterile to me.  Writing is a path that I take a sense of accomplishment from and enjoy every day.  I guess I would say it’s the dream job more than a career.  Again, this is because the word has typically been used in a rather dull, just-earn-a-paycheck towards me by those that consider writing nothing more than a hobby.

IAN: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Charles E. Yallowitz:  I loved writing and telling stories when I as 7, but my skills in other subjects were falling.  So, I always had a mild interest in telling stories that was kept to daydreaming and a few school projects until I turned 15.  My desire to be a zoologist died when I realized I would have to work with blood.  Around this time, I read a fantasy series called ‘The Books of Lost Swords’ by Fred Saberhagen.  Something about the world and how it came to life in my head made me want to do the same thing.  I spent a lot of my free time in high school designing my first fantasy world and the stories that would go along with them.  This ended up becoming Pre-Cataclysm Windemere instead of the main world.

IAN: Do you have to travel much concerning your books?

Charles E. Yallowitz:  Only in my head.  Being a fantasy author, I don’t have any places to go to since the stories don’t take place on Earth.  Yet, I do try to make the environments realistic and work off my own experiences from the few trips I’ve taken.

IAN: Who designed the covers?

Charles E. Yallowitz:  Jason Pedersen who is a tattoo artist out of Arizona.  He’s been doing the Legends of Windemere covers since the beginning.

IAN: What was the hardest part of writing your books?

Charles E. Yallowitz:  Since this is the 10th volume, the hardest part is to keep the characters evolving and make sure there is consistency with the previous books.  I have to keep a lot of notes to avoid creating any incongruities in Windemere, which readers seem to pick out really quickly.  This can be a reused monster that looks and acts differently with no explanation, characters forgetting previous learned information, location descriptions not matching up, and a lot of other traps that I would fall into if I simply wrote without thinking of what came beforehand.  Recently, I began going through the new outlines and making a file of any information that I would need to include from previous volumes.  This really helps with the monsters and locations.

IAN: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Charles E. Yallowitz:  Have fun with your stories and listen to your gut.  If you feel like something isn’t going to work for the book then step back and think.  You might only have a partial idea that will evolve with a little more focus.  This goes for promoting your book too.  It’s good to step out of your comfort zone, but you need to make sure the promo is right for you.  People can tell when an author is uncomfortable, but might not mistake discomfort for not having faith in the product.

IAN: Tell us about your next book or a work in progress. Is it a sequel or a stand-alone?

Well, I just finished a paranormal thriller that I’m going to post bit by bit on my blog in October.  Not really my genre, so I’m not confident enough to publish it.  Still, it makes for a fun series to do for a month.  Beyond that, I’m editing Legends of Windemere: Charms of the Feykin, which will be the 11th volume of the series.  This covers what happened to the other group of champions, who were left on a cliffhanger in the last book.  Those who survive Tribe of the Snow Tiger must go on a rescue mission to the southern jungles, but they are going to be surprised by what they find.  Their friends will not be the same people they remember and a new enemy will come closer to tearing the entire group apart than any other adversary.  One of my favorite parts about this story is that it brings closure and focus to many of the relationships that have been brewing for a while.

Steven Gossington: The IAN Interview

Steven Gossington is an emergency room physician (medical school - Baylor College of Medicine; residency - Georgetown University Hospital) with over 30 years of patient care experience. For 11 years, he was an academic professor in emergency medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City, and he published 20 book chapters and medical articles of original research. His enjoyment of mystery and suspense fiction and his love of writing led to his first novel Fractured Eden, a psychological suspense story in which he draws upon his extensive experience with mentally ill emergency room patients. He can be contacted at StevenGossington.com.

IAN: Please tell us about your latest book.

S. Gossington: In Fractured Eden, a doctor loses everything and attempts to reconstruct his career in a town filled with addiction and mental illness. Dr. Aaron Rovsing, Family Practice Physician, is fired from his medical practice in Connecticut because of alleged incompetence. After he flees from that nightmare and starts over in a strange town in East Texas, Aaron discovers that things are not as they first appear, and soon he must combat the deranged and addicted minds of the townspeople, some of whom test the doctor’s own sanity. Events take an even deadlier turn when he finds himself the next chosen victim of a serial killer who plans to add the doctor to his collection of notable skeletons. Aaron is aided by unlikely allies, who are themselves afflicted with mental illness or, in some cases, don’t even seem real. In this town of insanity and with a serial killer waiting to strike, how can Aaron, who is ill-equipped to deal with these bizarre challenges, manage to stay sane . . . and alive?

IAN: Is Fractured Eden published in print, e-book or both?

S. Gossington: Fractured Eden is available in paperback and e-book formats.

IAN: Where can we go to buy Fractured Eden?

S. Gossington: Amazon.com  and BarnesandNoble.com

IAN: Did you use an outline or did you just wing the first draft?

S. Gossington: I did not use an outline. I started with my main character getting into a world of trouble and then having to deal with his sudden change of fortune. The story seemed to unfold as my protagonist met and interacted with other characters (allies and enemies) and as he reacted to various challenges and obstacles along his journey.

IAN: How long did it take to write the book?

S. Gossington: It took one year for me to complete the first draft and another six months for the revision process, which I completed with the help and advice of two literary experts: a developmental editor and a copy editor.

IAN: How did you come up with the title?

S. Gossington: As the story developed, some of the characters took on paranormal (angelic or demonic) characteristics, and an underlying theme emerged in a “good vs. evil” battle. The setting for the story is a small town in southeast Texas next to the Big Thicket - a strange forest possessed of a spooky history. The Big Thicket is an evil place (the serial killer roamed in there) but had the potential, if good defeated evil, to become a beautiful place - like the Garden of Eden. When the doctor first arrived, he found the town to be troubled, fractured - thus the title Fractured Eden.

IAN: What do you hope your readers come away with after reading Fractured Eden?

S. Gossington: No matter how dire the situation and no matter the eventual outcome, an ember of hope exists in everyone - hope that can elevate you above your circumstances and make you the hero of your own story.

IAN: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

S. Gossington: The mentally ill characters and the ER encounters in the story are based on patients that I have examined and treated in the past.

IAN: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

S. Gossington: My first writing was medically related: book chapters and medical journal articles. I discovered that I enjoyed the craft of writing, even more so if someone else enjoyed reading what I wrote!

IAN: What was the hardest part of writing Fractured Eden?

S. Gossington: The most difficult step was the revision process, which included applying fiction-writing techniques, such as “tension on every page” and “cut out the boring stuff,” and assuring that every sentence - every word - is what I wanted to say.

IAN: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

S. Gossington: I’ve been attempting to write fiction for years - I’ve read instructional books about writing and I’ve attended numerous workshops. I think what finally got me to the next level (at least, I think I’m at that next level!) was working with quality editors who gave me specific advice pertinent to my needs and to my particular style of writing.

IAN: Tell us about your next book or a work in progress. Is it a sequel or a stand-alone?

S. Gossington: My next book, to be published in winter 2016-17, is a murder mystery, which I plan to develop into a series.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Sarah Stuart: The IAN Interview

I have a lot of interests and I’ve been very lucky to be able to follow them. Theatre, music, travel, history, and wildlife conservation probably seem an odd mix, but they do come together in the one thing I love most: writing. I was thrilled when my first two novels, Dangerous Liaisons and Illicit Passion, received five star ratings from Reader’s Favorite. Dangerous Liaisons was also a romance finalist in the Independent Authors Network Competition 2015.

IAN: Please tell us about your latest book.

S. Stuart: Illicit Passion: An Erotic Romance Saga is the second book in the Royal Command trilogy, but it’s written to be read as a standalone. Lisette Marsh, a Broadway superstar, is approached by a man from her past who blackmails her with the threat to reveal that she bore a child of incest. Sixteen years later she escapes him and flies to Paris, where she joins her father, and ex-lover, for a concert tour of Europe, and he, with the help of the whole family, puts into action an audacious plan to set her free. Their daughter, Harriet, finds out the truth and vows vengeance on all who conspired to register her birth as the twin of the man she loves but cannot marry. Readers’ Favorite reviewer, Janelle Fila said: “Author Sarah Stuart handles the serious nature of the theme well and readers will love the soap opera quality of this story. The characters are larger than life, beautiful, glamorous and glitzy, but have their demons and secrets. Getting to know those secrets and peeling back the layers that lie beneath the superstar glamour is the fun of the story, and readers will really appreciate this incredible journey.”

IAN: Is your book published in print, e-book or both?

S. Stuart: Both

IAN: Where can we go to buy Illicit Passion?

S. Stuart: viewbook.at/ILLICITPASSION  Is a link that takes potential readers to the Amazon purchase site in their own country, where there is a choice of eBook or print.

IAN: What inspired you to write the Royal Command trilogy?

S. Stuart: Actually, it’s who not what. I’ve been involved with show business for many years but the idea for the first book, Dangerous Liaisons, which underpins the trilogy, was a chance meeting with an international superstar of stage and screen. He told me a very personal story about how long partings affect a marriage, especially when children are involved. It started me wondering “what if” and Lizzie and Michael’s tempestuous love story developed from that.

IAN: Do you use an outline or do you just wing the first draft?

S. Stuart: I start with a rough idea of what is going to happen, and I do a lot of research. Once the characters begin to “live” they take over and I think that shows: a number of reviewers describe my books as character-driven. I’m not sure if the readers realise just how character-driven; once they’re grounded, their actions and reactions turn the plot upside-down and inside-out.

IAN: Do you have a specific writing style?
S. Stuart: I use the third person so that I can show the story from more than one point of view. I use four in Illicit Passion: Michael, Lisette, James and Harriet. The ones I use in a specific chapter have their own section and I open it by using their name: after that, only other characters involved in the scene are named, frequently, to ensure it’s clear who is speaking, or doing something.

IAN: What book are you reading now?

S. Stuart: Til Death Us Do Part by Jan Sikes. I read the first three books in the series and bought this one the day it was published.

IAN: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in Illicit Passion?

S. Stuart: No. I’m happy with Illicit Passion. I made several changes to Dangerous Liaisons, to ground all three books more. Writing novels is a learning curve, even though I had published short stories and articles previously.

IAN: Do you have to travel much concerning your books?

S. Stuart: I travel around the UK; the family settings in all my books to date are London and Scotland, including those associated with the historical thread back to Margaret Tudor, James IV of Scotland’s queen. Otherwise I use places I’ve already visited, as I did for Michael and Lisette’s concert tour of Europe in Illicit Passion. I like to absorb the atmosphere and picture the lives of the people who live, or have lived, in a country or city; my husband is the photographer and leaflet collector.

IAN: Do you have any advice for other writers?

S. Stuart: Employ a professional editor/proofreader. I prefer the freedom of self-publishing but authors are so close to their own work they read what they expect to see.

IAN: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

S. Stuart: The message behind incest, the central theme in the Royal Command trilogy, is that we should be slower to condemn and more prepared to forgive. It isn’t right, even between consenting adults, and I don’t glamorize or condone it; I show the shame and heartache it causes.

IAN: Tell us about your next book or a work in progress. Is it a sequel or a stand-alone?

S. Stuart: Dynasty of Deceit will be the final book in the Royal Command trilogy: like the others, it will be a standalone. I plotted it over the winter and I was writing the first draft throughout a discussion about Illicit Passion on Goodreads in April. Readers’ comments and questions told me which characters interested them most, and why, and that was very useful information. In a family saga it’s inevitable that older characters will die and new ones either marry into the family or be born. Michael remains eternally popular, but there were many questions about Harriet, Kit, and little-known young Greta. All of them feature in Dynasty of Deceit. 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Novus: The Cresecren Chronicles Book 1 by Crystal Marcos is on SALE!

NOVUS (The Cresecren Chronicles, Book 1) has recently received two book awards and a revamped cover! To celebrate the eBook will be on SALE for $1.99 from 4/30/2016- 5/15/2016

~"Official Selection" Winner in the E-Book Young Adult category, 2015 New Apple Book Awards!~

~Winner Best Books in the Young Adult category, 2016 Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards!~

Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite- 5 STARS

Novus by Crystal Marcos is one of those gems that make you care about the characters within the story, and while you definitely want to know what happens to them, you can't help but also not want to get to the end of the book. It's the kind of book whose characters you miss when you finish the book.


Ideal for Hunger Games and Divergent fans, Crystal Marcos delivers Novus, a riveting novel set in a dystopian future of action-adventure, suspense, and romance. Intriguing characters and a gripping storyline keep the reader turning page after page.

Being a teenager is hard enough. And what if your life's path is predetermined? On top of that, you aren't even Human?

Cayden was given life as a Cresecren. He expected to live out his days with the dysfunctional Human family he was assigned to serve. One fateful night, however, landed him in Gavaron, the home of maimed, elderly, or defiant Cresecren.

Beyond its borders is the Den, an area much more dangerous than he ever imagined. Now seventeen, Cayden unwittingly becomes involved in a conspiracy and is one of a handful of survivors fleeing a deadly attack. They set off on a perilous journey in search of refuge and the truth. Along the way, Cayden begins to comprehend the difference between fully living and merely surviving, while trying to balance his emotions and a forbidden love.  

Purchase Links

Barnes and Noble


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Author Bio
Award-winning author Crystal Marcos has been a storyteller her entire life. As the oldest of five children, she had to do a lot of entertaining. She lives on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State with her husband, daughter Kaylee, and infant son Jaxon. Crystal is the author of BELLYACHE: A Delicious Tale and HEADACHE: The Hair-Raising Sequel to BELLYACHE. Novus, her third book and first Young Adult novel, is Book One of The Cresecren Chronicles.

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Monday, April 25, 2016

S.P.M Barrett-The IAN Interview

Hello! So my name is Sam and I write under the pen name S.P.M Barrett. I am an Irish citizen and I have been soaked by more showers of rain then I have seen sunshine! Aside from the obvious fact that I am an author (I know, I am a little shocked too!) I have a few other passions, ranging from dodgeball, dancing and ketchup. I absolutely love to taste new types of ketchup and yes, it’s as delicate an art as tasting wine. I love animals and wanted to be a vet but had decided to become a comparative physiologist instead and now I write Sci-fi and fantasy. A bit of a jump I know but I think that you’ll enjoy the story I have to say.

So Underbelly was born almost completely of procrastination. I had my exams in third year of college and I really did not want to study. I felt this uncontrollable urge to create and craft and I tried to quell it by writing a bit of poetry but it wasn’t enough. Then I remembered that one time my English teacher had tried to get me to publish a short story that I had written for an exam and I had refused to, I decided to use the story as a skeleton. So Underbelly was born. It was so much more than the short story I had originally wrote; the Dynomamian Empire rose from my mind and conquered Islandari and it is into this unstable world that Merissa is born into and the warring factions savaging for control. Beautiful conflict, and I was somewhat inspired by a quote by one of my favourite authors “darkness does not always equate to evil, just as light does not always bring good.” P.Cast. Merissa soon finds out that not everyone in the Underbelly is not as straight forward as it seems.

At this moment in time, it is only available as an e-book on Amazon, however I am working on other media options. It will be in paperback form in July 2016 but until then it is only available as an e-book.

Link here: Amazon.co.uk

I’m very excited to be working on the next book Surface, the next in the Turf Wars series. It feels amazing to be looking at a blank screen and pages again and feeling like I could go anywhere with it (obviously I have a rough idea where I’m going but why not take the scenic route and meet and see interesting things and people?).

IAN: You’ve mentioned that you have a background in science and as a Sci-fi author, does this feed into how realistic your book is?

S.P.M Barrett: That’s actually a good point and it raises an idea that I’ve come away with from doing my course. As a fantasy author too, one might expect me to believe in magic however as I have a strong science background, I no longer believe in magic, just unexplained science. While for others this may be a buzzkill, for me it means that I have to think of logical reasons as to how something has happened. I think that it’s incredibly tempting for fantasy, and Sci-fi authors to an extent, to just wave a wand around and just fix the problem. But as I introduced new elements of the story to Underbelly, I had to really think each of them through and make them as watertight as possible. I wanted people to believe the story was possible. 

IAN: Interesting, since you’ve put this much thought into the mechanics of the book, would I be right in presuming that you have a specific message for readers?

S.P.M Barrett: Aside from, please enjoy the story! I am a big advocate for mental health awareness and in all of my works, I tend to tackle a particular facet of the stigmas that surround mental health. In Underbelly, it was all about forgiveness and learning to trust again. While I believe that there are some unforgivable acts and that distrust forms naturally, holding that kind of baggage is just so corrosive to our mental health and as a species we tend to generalise. So if we are hurt enough, we learn not to trust anyone and I decided to explore this as an undercurrent theme in Underbelly.

IAN: So do you see writing as a career?

S.P.M Barrett: Absolutely, I am actually working in Eason and sons and this is the main book shop in Ireland. So I can see the business side of it and there is certainly a career to be made out of it. It’s hard, it’s gruelling and it’s full of doubt. But that is what makes it rewarding! Even if in the end and no one likes my writing at least I can hang up my pen saying that at least I tried.

IAN: Since the road to becoming an author is so difficult, if you could have a writing mentor, who would you have?

S.P.M Barrett: J.K Rowling. Without a doubt. I don’t think I would even use her as a writing mentor, she seems to be such a genuinely lovely person that I would love to be on friendly terms with her. Sure it might even be nice to have deep meaningful conversations about life and beyond in the wee hours of the morning. And if some of her genius does rub off of me, I’ll not complain!

IAN: You’ve already touched on this, but what exactly inspired you to write Underbelly?

S.P.M Barrett: So as I’ve already said Underbelly was essentially a procrastination project. At the time I had just discovered Wattpad, a free publishing website where you could just post up a story and others could read it for free, vote and comment on it. So I did that. I threw up a chapter every day for 19 days, with no editing. It went all around of the world, it was read by nearly 900 people in 6 of the 7 continents and I got huge support for it and it convinced me that maybe this story was worth publishing. But the real push came when a mole on my left hand started changing colour and bleeding and for several days I thought that I had melanoma. I remember standing in the shower thinking that I had cancer and thinking that I was going to die, it was singularly the most terrifying thought I ever had. But I was thankfully given the all clear and I had the mole removed as a precaution but in those weeks I knew that I wanted to do and that was to tell people stories and to share my insights into this crazy thing we call life.

IAN: Oh wow, that must have been intense. Did you have much support outside of your family?

S.P.M Barrett: Oh yes, I have a wonderful partner John who was my rock. He’s not much of a reader though! But he soldiered through all of my drafts of Underbelly and I think that nearly says more, when someone does something that they don’t like when they know that it’s important to you, you know he’s a keeper! I had also a great support in the form of my friends and even at work, my colleagues were always supporting me with my ups and downs. I have also recently made contact with the only Sci-fi and fantasy magazine in Ireland, Albedo and I’m hoping that they become an even greater help than they have already. I also had a kickstarter project to raise funds for my book trailer for Underbelly and that has made a great community that is so supportive.

IAN: Ok I just a couple of more questions before we wrap up, as I am sure that you’re aware writing is hard, but what did you find particularly difficult about writing and what advice would you give to other novice writers?

S.P.M Barrett: I think for me, the actual difficult part of writing, are the nitty gritty details. I always excited to write the interesting parts but the dry parts that were necessary to advance plot can sometimes be a little boring and I struggled to capture the magic within myself to power through it. There was one part where I spent weeks going through it to get it right because it was so detailed and it was like chipping away at marble, a sliver of stone here, a chunk there. Eventually it was there but my mind was a little fatigued! I think this feeds into the advice that I would give to new writers, keep at it. Write what you want to write, free speech exists for a reason. Everyone has a story to tell and it’s up to you whether or not you get to tell it.    

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Stacy Juba-The IAN Interview

Stacy Juba got engaged at Epcot Theme Park and spent part of her honeymoon at Disneyland Paris, where she ate a burger, went on fast rides, and threw up on the train ride to the hotel. In addition to working on her new Storybook Valley chick lit/sweet romance series, Stacy has written books about ice hockey, teen psychics, U.S. flag etiquette for kids, and determined women sleuths. She has had a novel ranked as #5 in the Nook Store and #30 on the Amazon Kindle Paid List. Stacy is also the founder of the Glass Slipper Sisters, a group of authors with Cinderella-themed romance novels. When she’s not visiting theme parks with her family, (avoiding rides that spin and exotic hamburgers) or writing about them, Stacy helps authors to strengthen their manuscripts through her Crossroads Editing Service.

IAN: Please tell us about your latest book.

S. Juba: My latest book is Fooling Around With Cinderella, the first in the Storybook Valley series. What happens when the glass slippers pinch Cinderella’s toes? When Jaine Andersen proposes a new marketing role to the local amusement park, general manager Dylan Callahan charms her into filling Cinderella’s glass slippers for the summer. Her reign transforms Jaine’s ordinary life into chaos that would bewilder a fairy godmother. Secretly dating her bad boy boss, running wedding errands for her ungrateful sisters, and defending herself from the park’s resident villain means Jaine needs lots more than a comfy pair of shoes to restore order in her kingdom.

IAN: Is Fooling Around With Cinderella published in print, e-book or both?

S. Juba: It is published in both print and e-book formats.

IAN: Where can we go to buy your book?


IAN: What inspired you to write the book?

S. Juba: I was inspired to write Fooling Around With Cinderella when I was at a fairy tale theme park with my family. We had just gone to visit Cinderella and suddenly I stopped short. This whole plotline popped into my head, about a reluctant theme park Cinderella trying to find her Prince Charming.

IAN: Did you use an outline or do you just wing the first draft?

S. Juba: I always use an outline, written on index cards and hanging on a bulletin board in my office. Sometimes I change things, but I always have a road map and keep my outline updated with the latest additions.

IAN: How did you come up with the title?

S. Juba: The title has a double meaning – “fooling around” in the romance sense, as there is a romance between Jaine and her boss Dylan. But the real reason is that Dylan, the general manager of the theme park, is having a tough time finding a reliable Cinderella to finish out the season. He had one go Goth, another get pregnant, and another quit, so he is tired of fooling around with Cinderella. 

IAN: What do you hope your readers come away with after reading Fooling Around With Cinderella?

S. Juba: I hope they will have laughed and found the book a temporary vacation from their daily stresses, and want to return to Storybook Valley for future books.

IAN: How much of the book is realistic?

S. Juba: Actually, more of it is realistic than you would think. I did hours of research, researching theme park management, watching job recruitment videos for theme park chains, and watching videos of former theme park employees and behind the scenes videos of former “princesses” and characters. I researched everything, down to how to do a princess wave. As a former journalist, I really strive to find authentic details to incorporate into my fiction so that readers learn something without knowing they are learning something.

IAN: What books have most influenced your life most?

S. Juba: I have also published several mystery novels, so I would have to say I was influenced by the juvenile mystery series I read growing up – Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden in particular. I started writing mysteries in fifth grade as I was so hooked on those series, and my love of reading mysteries led me to writing my own mysteries.

IAN: Do you see writing as a career?

S. Juba: Yes, I definitely see writing as my career, but there are ups and downs with being an author so most authors need to have another job also. I am fortunate to be a freelance editor, so that I am always keeping my editing skills sharp, and I also find it very rewarding to help other writers make their books as strong as possible. In the case of beginner writers, I find it rewarding to mentor them and help them to make their publishing dream come true.  I’ve also done freelance magazine writing and marketing writing, and am a former newspaper reporter, so I have always made my career as a writer. 

IAN: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

S. Juba: Stop by my website for some free books – you can download them on this page. http://stacyjuba.com/blog/short-stories/  Feel free to sign up for my newsletter http://stacyjuba.com/blog/newsletter-subscription/ and join the Glass Slipper Sisters Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/482493158588214 I always love to connect with readers!

IAN: Tell us about your next book or a work in progress. Is it a sequel or a stand-alone?

S. Juba: It is the next book in the Storybook Valley series, Prancing Around With Sleeping Beauty.  All the books in the series can be read as standalones, but they feature familiar settings such as the Storybook Valley theme park and have recurring characters. Jaine and Dylan, the leads of Fooling Around With Cinderella, will play a supporting role in Prancing Around With Sleeping Beauty. The protagonist is Dylan’s sister, Rory, a dance instructor whose real name is Aurora. (hence the Sleeping Beauty)