Interview with Lacey Weatherford

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I do! Haha. I was nine years old and wrote a four "chapter" mystery story called The Diamond Caper. It took up all of two pieces of lined paper. LOL! I gave it to my mom and told her I wanted to be a writer. She read the story and smiled, and then told me I could be whatever I wanted. I found the story safely preserved in my mom's possessions, as I went through her belongings after she died several years ago. I couldn't believe she had kept it for 30 years! Everything I had ever written was in that box, from award winning essays, handmade cards, love notes, letters, poems, amd other short stories. She kept them all. I recently visited with a woman who is a psychic. She told me she felt my mom was the one who loved my writing and was pushing me in that direction. After finding that box with my "firsts" in them, I agree. That box is more precious than gold to me now. (Thanks for believing in me Mom!)
What is your writing process?
I actually get asked this question a lot, and now that I have been at this for several years I don't really see that I have a definitive answer. You see, I am very visual and audio inspired. So instead of necessarily dropping lines of a story, I'm cultivating a whole picture in my head, just like a movie, with action and motion. As with any creative project, they are all different. So I find I tend to approach my stories in the same manner. Depending on what kind of story it is, I will be researching widely different things. I try to experience certain things the characters might, if I'm able to go to the area I'm writing about. Sometimes I dream it all up in my head first. Sometimes I simply pick a beginning, middle, and end point, and then let the characters evolve each chapter as they see fit. I know that sounds crazy...but the characters really do control the story. I always listen to that because it is usually a change for the better. In the end, for me, my process is "just keep writing, the rest will all work out." #GoWithTheFlowProcess
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I had books read to me as a baby. So I know there are many of those little golden book type stories I had. I do remember having a big beautiful volume of Walt Disney's Cinderella. Cinderella was one of my mom's favorites as well, so she read it to me often.
When I was five, my mom started dating my soon to be step father. He would get down on the floor and color with me and read me stories. I loved it! One day I told him I would read Cinderella to him. He didn't believe me because I hadn't started school yet. So I climbed on his lap and read this slightly lengthy story to him. At the very end he started laughed and I turned and looked at him. He said, "That was a really good job, but I don't think you were reading."
"Why not?" I replied.
He pointed to a word on the very last page. "You said a completely different word right here. Do you know what it is?"
I sadly shook my hand and he laughed again. "Man!" he exclaimed. "I can't believe you memorized that whole book! That's impressive!"
I got a lot of books after that, and I did learn to read. By age 8 I was into Nancy Drew, and classic stories Like Tom Sawyer and Little Women. I was hooked for life!
How do you approach cover design?
I lucked out in this department as I had already been studying graphic design weel before my first book. My first covers were designed by publishers I was with, and I didn't always have the final say. Once I took over my rights and started my own publishing company, then I started hiring graphic artists for a few, simply because I'd never done book covers. After lots of practice things all started clicking for me so I do all of mine, except for the two prior series I hired a graphic artists for, and I've designed for a few other authors here and there if my schedule permitted.
When it comes to deciding the cover everything has to be considered, from what appeals to certain genres, and what kind of feel you want to have, even down to how it catches the eye and makes it travel around it. For instance, I once designed a goreous cover that people were raving over for an upcoming release. However, as I neared the end of writing I realized the story had changed and it was a little too "tough" for a sweet, beautiful cover. So following my instinct, I changed the cover to a hot guy with abs, with a girl's hands on his chest and in his pocket.
People were disappointed with the change, but I asked them to trust the decision and read the story. Once they had read it, every single person responded that I was right to change the cover. That book is Allure, by the way. And it EXPLODED when it released. So when it comes to designing covers, it's kind of like a puzzle. Keep moving things around until you get that "click" of when it finally falls into place. Man, I love the sound of that click! :)
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Oh, this is hard. Let's see:
1. Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain: Why? I was young like Tom when I read that book and I loved it! Being a small town country girl myself, I could kind of relate to some of the lifestyle...white washing fences, having to do chores, going to the school house, having a schoolyard crush, picnics, getting chased by Injun Joe...okay, maybe not that last one. Hahaha. We didn't have any Native Americans in our area, but the hills were scattered with ancient pottery shards that are now protected. Does that count? It was a lot of hard work, but the community was close knit, and had fun customs. My town was like that. We didn't have Jackson Island, BUT my last name was Jackson and a DNA test of my blood just revealed I'm 18% Native American...how can I miss all those syncronicities? Haha

2. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott: Why? I got this book the same time I got Tom Sawyer. I read both of these books until they literally fell apart. I love historical stories, and I love Little Women. I believe between my sister and myself we own all versions of the movies that have been done of it. Just a great story full of all kind of emotion.

3. Anne of Green Gables, by LM Montgomery: Why? LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE. Hardcord love. I saw the movies first, then read the books and little spinoff stories. I own them all and excited to hear new movies are coming. Ms. Montgomery makes the sights, sounds, and smells com alive in her world. You can see everything so vividly. And her character are true and real, but hilarious in all their quirks at the same time. I just love everything about this series, passionately!

4. Let's see, something more modern, Ah, yes, The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. Why? This answer is very easy. Only two words. JACE WAYLAND...isveryhot! Dang it! I just couldn't keep that last part in! Hahahahahahaha. Seriously though, I love everything about this series except perhaps some of the "gooier" creatures in it. I loved the movie as well, and the tv series is really awesome and coming into its own. JACE WAYLAND. ;)

5. For five, I'm going to step out of the box and pick a work of nonfiction. Troublemaker, by Leah Remini. Why? As a person who was going through something very similar, but with a different church, I admired her guts to stand up and say she felt like something wasn't right. Now don't get me wrong, I know next to nothing about Scientology, and if people want to be there, more power to them. But as individuals we are responsible to ourselves as well, and if your intuition say something is wrong, you need to listen. It is SCARY to walk away from something you've done and been taught about your whole life. It is scary to know that people are going to attack you, sometimes very viciously. Her story was much more "brutal" than mine, but I felt and understood her pain and sorrow. That wasnt the life the felt right to her. So she left and found one that did. If we could all be so brave.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Hahaha! I have the Kindle App on my Macbook Pro, my iPad, and my iPhone. I also have a Kindle Paperwhite that I love. And I had a Kindle Fire, but my kids stole it from me. So Kindle is my choice on any device. I choose what I read depending on where I am and how I'm feeling. Blind....go with the iPad. Hands are tired...go for the phone. Going to be in daylight....paperwhite has got your back. On an airplane...read on my computer in between writing chapters for my next book. Hahaha. Yes, I'm a tech junkie.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Hands down easiest question I have ever been asked. One free ebook launched my career. I put it free around Christmas hoping I could maybe get a couple thousand downloads, but secretly hoping for somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 downloads. What I got was 150,000 downloads! I was FLOORED! Then all those people started coming back to buy the other four books in the series. Haha. I honestly went from making a couple hundred dollars a month to being listed as the 45 highest paid indie author in the world. Now granted, I was lucky enough to be caught up in the end of that first wave as ebooks were first becoming a "thing." Everyone got the new kindle for Christmas and they all wanted free books. I hit it just right. The industry has changed greatly since then, sadly, and while we arent hitting the same kind of astronomical numbers anymore, free still works, and I still consider it my very best tool in expanding my reach.
Describe your desk
I have a desk in my office, but I never use it. I have my kids do their schoolwork there. I'm a laptop girl. My computer IS my desk. I carry it all around when I'm writing. I like to be mobile. Haha.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the beautiful forests of the White Mountains of Arizona. Most people don't realize Arizona isn't all desert. In fact, the joke around the state is, "If we had an ocean, we'd have everything." My small town is nestle in the middle of two ski resort, though there is a third ski resort on Mount Lemon near Tucson as well. We are also home to a wonder of the world, the Grand Canyon, not mention canyons that housed ancient peoples, old west towns, and a dormant volcano.
Those are all wonderful, but I like the quiet things too. There are gorgeous fishing lakes, all around us in all direction, that are only a short drive away. There are bubbling springs, rivers, creeks, elk, deer, antelope, and even the occasional bear and mountain lion. Watching these things while the breeze sways the pine needles, making the trees whisper back and forth. It feel a little like what I imagine heaven to be.
As you can see, my love of nature is often reflected in my writing, though I'm no stranger to city living, either. They both have their pluses. I simply want my reader to be able to share my experience with me...to see what I see and smell what I smell, feel, what I feel, no matter where the story is set.
When did you first start writing?
After my 9 year old "debut" (snickers) I wrote a lot of things off and on through my teens, Those were mostly funny notes passed back and forth between classes, and then a few short romance stories getting girls with guys they like, poetry, that kind of thing. I was well into my twenties when I decided trying to write a fantasy adventure story. I just wanted to get it bound into a few copies to give to my younger siblings for Christmas (they were all significantly younger than me and still living at home). Technology wasn't great for me right then. We had a wordprocesser and I wrote some on it. Evenually a desktop was purchased and I wrote a little more, but I didnt finish the book until many years later when I got my first laptop, 14 years altogether. By that time my siblings were grown. I printed of a copy of the story and gave it my mother-in-law and one of my nieces for their opinion. I took a deep breath and hoped they liked it because I was never going to try writing a book again! Hahaha. Of course it was like two days later that I got the idea for The Trouble with Spells, book one in my Of Witches and Warlocks series. I honestly pushed the idea out of my head and told my brain to shut up. I was not writing another one. After about a week of that and still getting ideas, I finally decided I would just write the ideas down in case somewhere in the future i felt like doing something about it. Naturally, six weeks later the book was finished. One week after that, the second book was finished. Three weeks after that the third book was finished and I was starting on the fourth and outlining ideas for the fifth and final one in the series. My mother in law and neice LOVED this book, setting the other aside to read this one. They said I HAD to try and get it published. I sent out about 25 query letters and got answers from about 20. I signed with the very first one. (Don't EVER do that. Research everyone first. Trust me!) So on November 25, 2009 I got to hold my first published book in my hands. It was so exciting!!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I wanted creative control over my work. While technically I am a hybrid, since I am both traditionally and indie published, I wanted to be able to put my product out my way, not mention earning royalties as an indie author is MUCH higher pay than traditional sales. I did a lot of research in the busines...and I'm still learning more every single day. There is a lot to know, but it can really pay off in the long run. However, I worked straight 15-20 hour days for two years straight, trying to get things rolling before they took off. It worked, but only until my health crashed. I was simply taking on too much, between writing, marketing, signings, and events, my business was literally my life. So after a year of bad health and being unable to run the business, things had to be revamped. That revamp is still in progress, but I am smarter now and can control things better. Indie life is very rewarding, as long as you don't over do it. Would I take a traditional offer? It would have to be a big one. I like working for myself and my readers in my indie world. It's one of my joys in life!

Thanks for stopping by!
Published 2016-11-07.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Mr. Hollywood, Book 3
Series: Mr. Hollywood. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 36,120. Language: American English. Published: December 24, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Adult
Hollywood A-list hotshot, Zane McCartney, is careering out of control. Trying to get over the love of his life, he buries his pain in parties and substance abuse. The wild lifestyle catches up with him as a studio threatens to fire him if he doesn't agree to rehab. Zane has zero interest in going, until he discovers his long lost love is now working at the facility. Can he win her back?
Mr. Hollywood, Book 2
Series: Mr. Hollywood. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 28,030. Language: American English. Published: December 23, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Adult
Hollywood A-list hotshot, Zane McCartney, is careering out of control. Trying to get over the love of his life, he buries his pain in parties and substance abuse. The wild lifestyle catches up with him as a studio threatens to fire him if he doesn't agree to rehab. Zane has zero interest in going, until he discovers his long lost love is now working at the facility. Can he win her back?
Mr. Hollywood, Book 1
Series: Mr. Hollywood. Price: Free! Words: 32,280. Language: American English. Published: December 23, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Adult
Hollywood A-list hotshot, Zane McCartney, is careering out of control. Trying to get over the love of his life, he buries his pain in parties and substance abuse. The wild lifestyle catches up with him as a studio threatens to fire him if he doesn't agree to rehab. Zane has zero interest in going, until he discovers his long lost love is now working at the facility. Can he win her back?
Craft
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 73,640. Language: English. Published: October 23, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Time travel
Lost in a place they don't belong, Kenna, along with her family and friends fight to survive in a foreign existence. Things escalate between her, Jett and Seth as well, leaving them all in a tumultuous situation, a situation that will quickly teach them all to be careful who they trust.
Mr. Hollywood (The complete series)
Series: Mr. Hollywood. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 84,970. Language: English. Published: July 5, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Fame. Women. Money. Hollywood superstar, Z. McCartney, has everything he ever wanted . . . except for her, and nothing will stop him from getting what he wants.
Coven
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 85,010. Language: English. Published: April 12, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance
Born a witch. Sheltered to learn control. Now she's ready to have a "normal" life. Too bad things don't always go as planned.
Of Witches and Warlocks: The Complete Boxed Set
Price: $16.99 USD. Words: 473,230. Language: English. Published: October 5, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance
#1 Bestselling series across several platforms and lists, delve into the world of novice witch, Portia Mullins, and her uber sexy warlock boyfriend, Vance Mangum, as the two find themselves caught up in a world of magic, mystery, and mayhem. This box set contains the complete full-length set of books.
Smolder
Series: Crush, Book 4. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 69,160. Language: English. Published: October 12, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Russ knew true love existed—he’d seen it first hand—he simply didn’t believe it existed for him. And then she walked into his life. Russ didn’t know what had hit him . . . all he knew was that she made him burn.
Allure
Series: A Leathers Novel, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 69,880. Language: English. Published: July 6, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » General
Tattoo artist by day, exotic dancer by night, 22 year old Six has been fighting his attraction for the girl of his dreams. Why? She's the high society daughter of the Mayor. Oh, and she's only 17. But what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas...right? Not likely.
Chased Dreams
Series: Chase Walker, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 68,740. Language: English. Published: May 25, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Coming of age
Dreams of the future, dreams of love and happiness, dreams of being able to move on and get past the heartache that still resides in his soul, Chase Walker believes things are finally starting to look up. But are they really?
Love
Series: Crush, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 75,040. Language: English. Published: April 14, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Threats. Stalking. Terrorization. Fear. How far will Dylan go to protect his LOVE?
Over the River and Through the Woods
Price: Free! Words: 25,540. Language: English. Published: December 15, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Short stories, Fiction » Holiday » Christmas
What happens when two exes, who can’t stand each other, end up stranded alone in a cabin on Christmas Eve? Sometimes what begins as a disaster can turn into a holiday miracle!
Suicide Notes
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 69,250. Language: English. Published: November 17, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » New adult
His sister's death brought them together. Now it's going to rip them apart. He want's her badly . . . but can he live with the lie he will have to tell to keep her?
Book of Shadows: Fire & Ice
Series: Book of Shadows, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 77,640. Language: English. Published: September 8, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance
He was on the run. Love wasn't an option, But Fate had a different plan. Magic abounds and sparks fly, when destiny brings Fire & Ice together.
Smitten
Series: Crush, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 79,080. Language: English. Published: June 22, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
It's hard to watch the one you love in the arms of another, but when gangs, stealing cars, and murder are involved, everything becomes fair game...
Faery Kissed
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 30,660. Language: English. Published: December 14, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
Bran has always wanted to try and see the Fae during Midsummer's Eve, when the Earth realm and Faery are blended. What he didn't count on was meeting a beautiful Fae princess who would turn his world completely upside down, wreaking havoc on both his life, his heart, and his future.
Finding Chase
Series: Chase Walker, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 60,590. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Scarred by tragedy. A grief so intense it burns. How to keep his vow when life no longer seems worth living... Can love come again? Finding Chase
Crush
Series: Crush, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 70,420. Language: English. Published: October 18, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance
(4.75)
He's the bad boy partier with a really BIG secret. She's the talented girl with BIG dreams for the future. Neither of them wants a relationship . . . But sometimes Fate has a different plan.
A Midsummer Night's Fling: Belinda Boring, Kamery Solomon, Lacey Weatherford
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 87,020. Language: English. Published: August 29, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - multi-author, Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
A collection of stories centering around the Midsummer Night celebrations and Fae. Each tale is filled with romance and fantasy ... prepare to swoon!
Chasing Nikki
Series: Chase Walker, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 65,800. Language: English. Published: February 27, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Social Issues
(4.43)
A broken heart. A troubled past. An unexpected romance that changes everything. Will love and trust be enough to overcome the ultimate test? Chasing Nikki
Of Witches and Warlocks: Possession of Souls
Series: Of Witches and Warlocks, Book 5. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 78,300. Language: English. Published: January 8, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
(5.00)
Fear. Longing. Bloodlust. Desperation. Ultimate Power. Who will survive? Of Witches and Warlocks: Possession of Souls
Of Witches and Warlocks: The Dark Rising
Series: Of Witches and Warlocks, Book 4. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 77,900. Language: English. Published: July 26, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
(5.00)
A richly romantic story surrounded by darkness and desperation, The Dark Rising is a gripping tale of magic and betrayal that will keep readers on the edge of their seat and leave them begging for more.
Of Witches and Warlocks: Blood of the White Witch
Series: Of Witches and Warlocks, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 82,760. Language: English. Published: March 9, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance
(4.71)
When love came knocking on the door of novice witch, Portia Mullins, in the form of handsome bad boy, Vance Mangum, she had no idea how quickly the attraction between them would escalate. Now she finds her relationship with Vance taken to a whole new level, in a way she had never dreamed possible at this point and time of her life, but things are not always as they appear.
Of Witches and Warlocks: The Demon Kiss
Series: Of Witches and Warlocks, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 79,350. Language: English. Published: March 9, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance
(4.80)
Can someone else's past come back to bite you? After being drained of nearly all the blood in her body, novice witch, Portia Mullins, wakes up to find that her warlock boyfriend, Vance Mangum, has fled in search of his demon father. Determined to keep him from facing the evil alone Portia follows after him, unknowingly setting herself on the path of a new adventure froth with evil and danger.
Of Witches and Warlocks: The Trouble with Spells
Series: Of Witches and Warlocks, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 79,620. Language: English. Published: March 8, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance
(4.47)
Portia Mullins had always lived the life of a normal teenager, up until her sixteenth birthday. She is then informed by her grandma that she is actually a witch who is a descendant of a long line of witches and warlocks. When she meets up with a warlock who becomes her boyfriend, she finds her life, and his, in precarious waters when they are hunted by an evil greater than they have ever known.