Interview with Stephanie Dagg

What's the story behind your latest book?
I've just published two books on the same day, so a quick word about each. 'Total Immersion: Ten Years in France' picks up where its prequel 'Heads Above Water: Staying Afloat in France' left off. It shares with you the fun, faux pas and frustrations of the expat experience in France whilst running a business, bringing up children and generally grappling with life in a foreign language.
The other book is cosy mystery 'Haircuts, Hens and Homicide', my first foray into this genre. There’s excitement, humour and lots of ruffled feathers as lively heroine Megan investigates fowl-related foul play in rural France, helped but mainly hindered by the people she comes across.
How do you approach cover design?
I love this part of self-publishing. I've commissioned a couple of my covers, but usually I hunt for a good image on Dreamstime and then match it with suitable typography. It's important to reflect the content of the book without giving too much away, as well as looking sleek and being eye-catching.
What are you working on next?
I'm writing another cosy with a mature heroine. That should be ready in a few months and I think will be called 'Hate Bale'. I'm thinking about the next in the series to follow 'Haircuts, Hens and Homicide', most likely 'Perms, Pigeons and Poisonings', and the last in the memoir trilogy. That will be called 'Dry Feet'.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I started out as a traditionally published author with two publishing houses in Ireland. Going indie meant I could publish other stories I'd written that didn't quite fit their lists. These days I really enjoy doing everything myself.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
We have a very large smallholding so that keeps up busy, and we also run a carp fishing business. My hobbies are cycling, gardening and geocaching, knitting, sewing and reading. I'm a bit of a crazy bird lady and have a wide variety of poultry and also a growing menagerie of exotic birds.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
From Twitter, Facebook, author newsletters, keeping up with new publications on Smashwords and generally keeping an ear and eye open.
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything and everything, but I have a preference for cosy mysteries and non-fiction.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has made it so easy to distribute to the many markets out there. I've been overwhelmed at the number of downloads there have been of my books, way over 110,000!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My Kindle. I don't know how I ever managed without one now. Ebooks are a fantastic invention.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Writing! My writing slot is the first hour in the morning, from 6 to 7 before general family and business duties call for attention. If I don't get up then it's hard to fit that important creative hour into the day.
Published 2018-03-04.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Anna Partridge in a Pear Tree
Price: Free! Words: 11,950. Language: English. Published: December 14, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Holiday » Christmas, Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome
(5.00)
Anna Partridge is house-sitting for family friends in a very cold cottage in the middle of snowy France. She’ll be there for a fortnight over Christmas. It’s all rather quiet and unexciting until, on Boxing Day, a pheasant gets tangled in the pear tree in the garden. Anna can’t possibly leave it there but her rescue attempt goes wrong, leaving her the stuck one.
Total Immersion: Ten Years in France
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 80,170. Language: British English. Published: February 17, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » By region, Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
Total Immersion shares with you the fun, faux pas and frustrations of the expat experience in rural France whilst running a business, bringing up children and generally grappling with life in a foreign language. It's the sequel to 'Heads Above Water: Staying Afloat in France'.
Haircuts, Hens and Homicide
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 111,000. Language: British English. Published: February 17, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy
Megan finds mayhem when she arrives in France to bury her Gran and sort out her affairs. She expected difficult encounters with civil servants and red tape but not with wandering chickens and a dead body. Together with her unlikely allies, the elderly and grumpy Alphonse and his canine equivalent, Megan becomes involved in investigating fowl-related foul play in sleepy rural France.
Heads Above Water: Staying Afloat in France
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 74,990. Language: English. Published: November 10, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Essays & Travelogues
Heads Above Water is the lively account of our first years as expats in France. With three kids aged 5, 12 and 14 we arrived full of excitement from Ireland ready to get to grips with living in our new country. The plan was to run a gite and carp fishery but somehow we got sidetracked into llama trekking too. Follow our adventures in tackling schools, bureaucracy, the weather and Frenchness!
A Girl Called Deirdre Duck
Price: Free! Words: 2,320. Language: English. Published: January 15, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Entertainment
(5.00)
Deirdre's surname is Duck, and she hates it! Everyone teases her at school, and even her dad calls her his little duckling. It's awful! Then one day she rescues a duckling which is all tangled up in fishing line, and this is the day that changes her life. With help from her new feathered friends, she hatches a plan and starts to enjoy being Deirdre Duck
Flint Dog
Price: Free! Words: 15,490. Language: English. Published: January 14, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Entertainment
(4.00)
Welcome to the Stone Age! Flint Dog is the story of a ten-year-old boy, Youngest. He has just two dreams — the first is to be a Hunter like his big brother and his father, and his second is to have a dog of his own. He has many adventures on the way to do with caves, a mammoth and a menhir. Flint Dog has been carefully researched. It brings to life a period in history that's often neglected.
Stanley and the Football Sock
Price: Free! Words: 3,640. Language: English. Published: January 12, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction
(5.00)
Stanley Thomas Ian Nigel Kevin Smith, otherwise known as STINKS, is in trouble. Big trouble. He's lost his football sock. And if he doesn't get it back, Mum won't let him go to football practice. So he goes on a hunt which involves friends, conkers, bullies, head masters, cows, rats and dinosaurs. And does he get his sock back? You'll have to read the story and find out for yourself!
Animal Rescue Club
Price: Free! Words: 1,990. Language: English. Published: January 10, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals
(4.67)
Emma has started at a new school and wants to make friends. So when the twins announce that they have started an animal rescue club, she's determined to become a member. She begins to hunt for an animal to rescue, but that proves to be much harder than she ever imagined. Will she ever be a member of the Animal Rescue Club?
Best of Blog in France
Price: Free! Words: 58,940. Language: English. Published: November 15, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » By region
(5.00)
Five years ago in 2006 we left our large, brand new house in Co. Cork, which we’d built ourselves, for a two-hundred-year-old hovel in Creuse, France. Why, oh why? We wanted to change our lives and we've certainly done that. I began my blog detailing our experiences in 2009 and it's become very popular. Here's a selection of entries from its first two years arranged January to December.
The Smelliest Cheese in the World!
Price: Free! Words: 3,740. Language: English. Published: November 11, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction
(4.00)
Here's a very fun story for children about very smelly cheese. I wrote it after visiting a smelly cheese factory in France. That cheese was smelly, but the cheese is my story is far, far worse. Mr Smelleigh, the manufacturer, says it's the smelliest thing in the world. If it isn't, he'll eat his pet skunk. So he's in for trouble when Stanley and friends arrive for a guided tour of the factory ...
Witching Again!
Price: Free! Words: 6,520. Language: English. Published: October 30, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction
(5.00)
In this third story about Cackling Carol the witch, Big Roddy her dog and Broom, her witch's broom, of course, the three friends are reunited again. But along the way they run into trouble in the shape of Egbert, the wicked blue wizard. Carol is nearly out of magic. Can she save her faithful friends from Egbert's fury? Or will Broom have to stay a floor cloth and Big Roddy a toy dog for ever?
De-Witched!
Price: Free! Words: 4,830. Language: English. Published: October 28, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction
(5.00)
This is another story about Cackling Carol the witch, Big Roddy her dog and their best friend Broom. Well meaning social workers find Cackling Carol in her cold and dark witch's cavern and rehome her in a sparkling clean new flat in the town. Carol hates it and can't wait to leave, but slowly and surely she becomes - de-witched! Whatever will Broom and Big Roddy do?
Oh Santa!
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,290. Language: English. Published: October 27, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Holidays
(5.00)
Santa is still worn out after last Christmas, so his assistant Teddy Bear Jake decides it's time to get Santa into shape. But will Christmas be the same with a slimmer, super-fit Santa?
The Witch's Dog
Price: Free! Words: 3,560. Language: English. Published: October 7, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals
(4.60)
Cackling Carol must be the only witch in the world who hates cats! So she decides to get a dog instead. Together with her faithful and very clever Broom, she visits a dogs' home and finds Big Roddy, the biggest and shaggiest dog you could imagine. All Cackling Carol's witchy friends fall about laughing when they see him. But just who is it that saves them all from the wicked Wizard Egbert?
Escape the Volcano
Price: Free! Words: 16,950. Language: English. Published: September 23, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Fiction
(4.50)
Tom has always loved volcanoes. So this summer Mum takes him, his sister Anna and his best friend Kevin for a holiday close to a dormant one in France. They explore the area and make friends with a scientist studying a cave system nearby. Everything is peaceful and fun - until one morning the volcano comes to life again.
Oh Grandad!
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,330. Language: English. Published: September 16, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction
(5.00)
Ben is staying with Grandad. Grandad may be a senior citizen but that doesn't mean he's dull. Far from it! There's great excitement when he has a go on on Ben's scooter before he finds out where the brake is, and then gets in trouble at the amusement arcade. And Grandad comes to the rescue of the Firework Night party for the Cub Scouts and Brownies after vandals seem to have spoiled everything ...
Oh Gran!
Price: Free! Words: 4,740. Language: English. Published: September 12, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction
(4.80)
Gran has plenty of surprises up her sleeve when she comes to look after Emily for the weekend. For one thing, she rides a tiger-striped motorbike, and for another, she lives on burgers and muffins. And that's just the start ...
Beat the Hackers!
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 20,530. Language: English. Published: September 12, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction
(5.00)
Heather’s dad, Ray, is writing the ultimate anti-hacker program for computers. But a mysterious company called Domination PLC launches its own version, and for free. Ray is ruined. And things get worse. Heather and Ray are finally forced to go on the run to escape Domination. Ray is caught, so it's all up to Heather to save the world's computers ...
Oh Auntie!
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,370. Language: English. Published: July 24, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction
(5.00)
Mum and Dad are going away to a farming conference, so Auntie has come down from the city to look after Robyn and Paul. No one is looking forward to it. Auntie doesn't like dirty farms, and Robyn and Paul think Auntie is boring. But this time round, Auntie's visit is very exciting - for all sorts of reasons! A fun story for young, confident readers.