Interview with Stacey D. Atkinson

Published 2013-12-04.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
When I was young, I wrote a story about a young knight and a poor servant girl embroiled in some kind of dragon war that loomed throughout the land. At the time, I had stumbled upon the fantasy genre, probably because of my older sister and movies like the Dark Crystal, and it influenced what I wrote about.
What is your writing process?
I would be lying if I said I wrote every day. I wish I could, but so many things get in the way of that. A system that seems to work for me is to try and write for at least 4-5 hours every other day. And of course, there is always the binge writing just before I'm due to ship off a section to my editor.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember reading the Walt Disney classic The Rescuers and it lingered with me day and night. I loved animals so much that I actually believed there was a mouse-led rescue society out there helping little orphaned children who were forced into slave labor. I felt so bad for the little girl, Penny, who had to go into the cave to find the diamond. Seriously, Walt Disney was into some dark stuff!
How do you approach cover design?
I went to my local Chapters bookstore and I stared at the best-sellers shelf for about half an hour, studying the books and seeing which ones jumped out at me. I repeated this process about five more times over the next few months while I was finishing up my book, and it helped me get a sense of the imagery and colors I wanted on the cover. Then I contacted the graphic designer that had designed some of my favorite books covers, and to my luck, she did freelance work and agreed to work with me. Her rate was on the high end, but 100% worth it. A book is judged by its cover after all.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read business books, since I think it's important to learn about marketing, communications, finance, etc. when you're a self-published author. I also try to read bestsellers so I can figure out their popular appeal and learn what makes a book great. Then sometimes I sneak in Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as a treat!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I created a business card that has my book cover and website on the front side and a Smashwords coupon code for my book on the other side. I use the cards as a bookmark in the paperback version of my book and I also hand out the cards when I'm at events.
Describe your desk
Wireless printer; laptop hooked to wireless keyboard and a 21-inch LCD monitor propped up on the Atlas of the World; research papers and scribblers filled with jotted notes; English and French dictionaries, a thesaurus, and a bunch of editing books; a handmade wooden crate filled with pens, pencils, and scissors; a lucky elephant figurine with its trunk pointed up to hold my hairbands; a red IKEA timer to remind me to step away from the desk and stretch; an original Aboriginal print of a Thunderbird; and lots of paperclips...
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the country in a big old farmhouse at the end of the road. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time by myself so writing stories, songwriting and playing guitar became a source of expression and a way to pass the time.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing really cheesy poems and songs around grade three or four, so that would have made me about 10.
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Books by This Author

Letters from Labrador
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 54,270. Language: Canadian English. Published: May 7, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Biographical
At twenty-five, Patricia moved from Britain to Canada to work in northern Labrador as a midwife. How does one live an extraordinary life only to forget it?
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 72,490. Language: Canadian English. Published: July 26, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Coming of age, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
(4.00 from 1 review)
Odette Leblanc is promoted to night-shift supervisor at the local convenience store, but at the age of twenty-three, she already feels like her life has become a predictable routine. That is, until she meets a mysterious doryman and his cat on the beach, followed by an unexpected run-in with an American sailor. Each man will undeniably change the course of her life forever.