Author Interview #19, with action/adventure and YA paranormal romance author, Stacey Wallace Benefiel!
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Hi Stacey! Describe yourself in 5 words:
Dorky, funny, gutsy, loyal, pale.
Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):
Zellie Wells’ life is changing. Her relationship with Avery is growing stronger every day, but their parents are still giving them ultimatums and trying to keep them apart. Her newly discovered powers have all but disappeared. Benjamin, another young Retroact, is back and has brought with him a painful shared vision and a troubled past. While working together to figure out what the vision means, Zellie discovers that Benjamin is a worthy friend and mentor. If only he could keep his hands off of her – if only she wanted him to…
“Ouch!” I let go of Claire and dropped my books. Clutching my head, a vision crackled and sparked behind my eyes, short-circuiting my ability to concentrate on what I was seeing. The pain was excruciating. Wait, why was there pain? I fell to my knees on the ground.
Claire knelt beside me. “What’s wrong? Should I go get the nurse?” She pulled at my hands. “Look at me! What can I do?”
I clutched my head tighter, squeezing my eyes closed. I felt extremely hot. I could see Claire in my mind, coming in and out of focus. I couldn’t tell where she was or what was happening. “Just…hold on. Don’t get the nurse…I’m trying to…you’re in here…”
“Hush,” she whispered, “people are looking at us.”
The halls became congested as other students stopped to stare. Only a few said anything.
“Is she okay?”
“She doesn’t look so good.”
“I didn’t think she could get any paler.”
Claire hovered over me, blocking me from view. “Come on,” she coaxed, “try and stand up. Let’s go to the girl’s room.”
I shook my head. “Wait. The pain’s going away a little. I can see…you…and Benjamin?”
“Am I kicking his ass?”
I managed a weak smile. “No, just talking. Actually, you both look happy…and you’re both in…formal wear? That can’t be right. Benjamin’s too old to go to prom.” I opened my eyes enough to see and stood up. The vision was over. My head throbbed a little, but the pain was gone for the most part.
Share an excerpt of your favorite author’s work (10-100 words):
This is from TRUCK by Katherine Dunn:
Cecilia, Vince’s little sister, bought four paperbacks and my transistor radio when I told her about running away to the Mission Mountains. She swore not to tell. Holy hair. Probably won’t. She goes hiking a lot. Says she’s got boots I can borrow. She’s a lot taller. Five six maybe. But her feet are the same size as mine. Look at the boots tomorrow. Get her money.
Comment on the writing versus publication process, in your experience:
The writing is more enjoyable. Easier. I’m not super comfortable with marketing myself. I’m too silly to be professional all the time. Learning how to format and do layout has surprised me, though. I like it and feel a sense of accomplishment when I’m done. The indie writing community has been really supportive and I’ve made good friends whose opinions I can rely on. Trying to break into traditional publishing was a drag and I’m glad I don’t have to want that anymore.
What is your definition of “good writing”?
If the story is engaging and doesn’t get bogged down in describing every little thing, then I think it is good writing. I’d also like to come out and say that I don’t give a shit about typos. I don’t love having them in my work and I try very hard to catch them so haterz can’t hate on me, but they never pull me out of a story. I’ve got a mom multi-tasking mind, I can note them and enjoy a story at the same time.
Please share your #1 tip for writers:
Keep writing. I’m not a write everyday kind of writer, but I have consistently written for more than half of my life. Being discouraged and thinking you suck is all part of it. Just write your way out of the doubt.
* “Glimmer” will be available on 1 November 2010.
Much thanks to Ms. Benefiel for the chat!