Interview with Stacy Juba

Describe your desk
My desk is a large oak and black desk that I bought at Staples. It has my daily planner open in front of the keyboard, my latest manuscript pages, my flash drive, and assorted storage containers for paper clips, pens, etc. I also have the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People card deck in a special holder and every few days I will choose another card to inspire me.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote my first story, The Curse of the White Witch, in third grade. By fifth grade, I was writing my own mystery series, the Cathy Summers mysteries, about an 18-year-old amateur detective. I wrote my first novel, Face-Off, at age 16 and it was published during my freshman year in college. I have always loved to write and have always been an avid reader. I was always introverted and writing was a way for me to express myself.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy is when a reader or a reviewer says that they loved my book and they couldn't put it down. I love being able to provide readers with an escape from their day-to-day stress. It's also rewarding when I finish writing a book and it's ready to be published. When I start writing a book, it's like beginning a jigsaw puzzle as I try to piece my ideas together into a storyline. It is very rewarding to finally finish assembling that puzzle.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I enjoy doing Zumba, yoga, reading romance and mystery novels, and playing with jigsaw puzzle apps on my tablet. I also enjoy playing Just Dance games on Wii and doing Tai Chi.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I subscribe to several daily newsletters and browse the listings each day. Most of the e-books that I download come from those newsletters. I also love reading books written by authors that I've met on Twitter or in various writing communities.
What is your writing process?
I first do a lot of brainstorming about my main character. I fill out a character chart, answering questions to help me flesh out her personality and background. I determine what her character arc is and how she needs to change and grow by the end of the book. Then I'll start brainstorming about the supporting characters and which ones will provide her with conflict. Finally I will do an outline that gives an overview of the plot. I stick to the outline for the most part but often I will make tweaks to it as the story evolves. Sometimes I'll unexpectedly go off in a direction that's not in the outline and that's okay. I like it when my characters start telling me what to do. I write quite a bit on my Alphasmart Neo, a portable word processor without Internet distractions. Then I transfer the files to my computer. I'll do some editing as I go along and will do another big edit at the end, once I've gotten some feedback from beta readers.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember reading a Bobbsey Twins mystery and getting a strange tingle of excitement as I was reading it. I had never read a mystery before and this was my first introduction to series fiction. I felt as if I had stumbled onto something special. Once I finished, I went to the town library and school library and checked out more Bobbsey Twins books, and once I finished those, I discovered the Happy Hollisters, Nancy Drew, an the Hardy Boys. I started writing mysteries in fifth grade so these books had a tremendous influence on me.
What do you read for pleasure?
I enjoy reading romantic suspense, cozy mysteries, sweet romance, and romantic comedy novels. I also sometimes read inspiring and motivational non-fiction books.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
The most effective techniques have been paid advertising campaigns on popular e-book sites, blogging and being a participant of the Triberr blogging community, Twitter, and networking with other authors. I also offer a couple of free books through Smashwords and on my web site, which have helped readers to discover my books.
What are you working on next?
My latest projects are Fooling Around With Cinderella, a romantic comedy about a reluctant theme park Cinderella; some spin-off short stories featuring supporting characters from the Cinderella book; and the sequel to my young adult hockey novel Face-Off.
Published 2013-11-21.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Young Ladies of Mystery Boxed Set
By
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 180,530. Language: English. Published: August 11, 2012. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Features the adult mystery/romantic suspense novels Twenty-Five Years Ago Today and Sink or Swim, and the young adult psychic thriller Dark Before Dawn, in one download. Solve a cold case with aspiring reporter Kris Langley; discover the downside of fame with former reality show contestant Cassidy Novak; and meet teenage psychic Dawn Christian, who discovers that ESP spells D-A-N-G-E-R.
25 Years in the Rearview Mirror: 52 Authors Look Back
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Price: Free! Words: 30,090. Language: English. Published: August 5, 2012. Category: Essay » Literature
Inspired by Stacy Juba's bestselling novel Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, this collection of poignant and uplifting essays is the perfect book to enjoy over your morning coffee. Read about school days, quirky jobs, romance, raising a family, hard times, the writing journey, and much more in these slice of life vignettes from 52 writers. Reflect upon the small defining moments that shape your life.
Teddy Bear Town Children's Bundle (Three Complete Picture Books)
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Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 3,910. Language: English. Published: July 13, 2012. Category: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals
Three complete picture books, featuring whimsical illustrations of teddy bears. Your children can learn about the U.S. flag code in the The Flag Keeper, discover how a determined bear overcomes her fear of loud noises in Victoria Rose and the Big Bad Noise, and watch young Jenny take the first steps toward independence in Sticker Shoes. For ages 3-8. All in one bargain-priced download.
Dark Before Dawn
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Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 56,910. Language: English. Published: September 23, 2011. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Thriller and Suspense
When teen psychic Dawn Christian learns her new fortuneteller friends may be tied to freak “accidents” in town, she has an important choice to make – continue developing the talent that makes her special or challenge the only people who have ever accepted her.
Face-Off (Book One)
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Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 29,150. Language: English. Published: September 7, 2011. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Family
Head-to-Head, Skate-to-Skate, It's Winner Takes All! When Brad's twin brother, T.J., the apple of their father's eye, transfers from his fancy prep school and into Brad's public school, Brad must contend with T.J.'s growing popularity as the school's new star hockey player. Re-issue of the hockey classic!
Laundry Day (Short Mystery Story)
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Price: Free! Words: 9,150. Language: English. Published: April 30, 2011. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories
A short story by mystery author Stacy Juba. When Gregg accidentally discovers his neighbor's lingerie collection drip-drying in her shower, he stares in fascination at a scene that looks like laundry day at the whorehouse. After his neighbor is found dead - strangled with her own fishnet stocking - the next victim might even be closer to home. Approximately 2900 words, plus bonus excerpts.
The Flag Keeper
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Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 2,120. Language: English. Published: March 25, 2011. Category: Fiction » Children’s books » Holidays
Elizabeth may be a little bear, but she treats the American flag with big respect. After Dad leaves for a trip, Elizabeth pledges to raise the flag all by herself and create her own Independence Day. This illustrated picture book teaches children about U.S. flag etiquette through a fiction story, flag facts, activity idea, and discussion questions.
Sink or Swim
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 68,800. Language: English. Published: December 15, 2010. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Cassidy Novak has gained fame for starring on the reality show Sink or Swim. Not only does she lose and have to walk the plank, but after returning home, Cassidy discovers she is being stalked. As her former competitors get knocked off one-by-one, Cassidy refuses to play by the stalker's bizarre rules. When the stalker forces a showdown, Cassidy must walk the plank again - this time for her life.
Twenty-Five Years Ago Today
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Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 69,000. Language: English. Published: June 26, 2010. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
For 25 years, Diana Ferguson’s killer has gotten away with murder. When editorial assistant Kris Langley investigates the cold case of the artistic young cocktail waitress who was obsessed with Greek mythology, she must fight to stay off the obituary page herself. Finding out the truth about that long ago night may shatter Kris’s present, costing her love, her career, and ultimately her life.