Interview with Stacie Simpson

Published 2013-08-29.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
My father was in the military so I've lived in several states including Texas, Hawaii, and Michigan as well as two foreign countries; Germany and Italy. Coming from a military family taught me that there is always something new and different over the horizon. That “something” might not always be what you expected to find, or what you wanted to find, but in the end it’s what you make of your surroundings that’s important. I think that attitude was very evident in my first book Releasing the Dragon when Serafina wakes up to discover she’s mated to the Dragon King. At one point she feels like curling up in bed alone but decides that wouldn’t make the situation any better, so instead she faces her new reality head on and makes the most of it.
When did you first start writing?
I always enjoyed writing assignments when I was in school but I never really thought about writing for any other reason. Then early in 2011 my life took a dramatic turn that I like to think of as starting a new book, rather than a new chapter. The beginning of that book was very dark and during that time I actually wrote quite a few poems. Even though the poems were more about expressing my emotional turmoil Max, the man I share my life with, loved each and every one of them and encouraged me to continue writing. Then in June of 2012 I was inspired by one of my favorite authors, Ilona Andrews, while browsing her website. I liked the idea of a husband and wife writing team and I asked Max if he wanted to write a book with me. He said he’d give it a shot but in the end I wound up doing all the writing. Max was however a good sounding board for my ideas and we always enjoy discussing my characters and storylines together.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
When I originally started writing my first book, Releasing the Dragon I was just looking for something fun for me and Max to do together. I love vampires and all things supernatural and he loves super heroes and comic book characters. I thought together we might come up with some unique and interesting ideas. Eventually I started wondering if anyone would actually want to read what I was writing and I started looking into publishing the book. Very early in my research I discovered the possibility of self-publishing and never even considered sending my book to a traditional publisher. I just wanted to write a book and put it out there so people could enjoy it. With self-publishing my book was published within days after I finished writing it, whereas it might have taken years or possibly might have never been published if I tried the traditional route. Besides, at heart I’m a little bit of a control freak so self-publishing seemed like my best option.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love those moments when I’m writing a story and all of a sudden the characters do something that was completely unplanned and somehow ties in with a seemingly unimportant event or detail from earlier in the story.
I remember loving that aspect of the Harry Potter books when I read them years ago. When I came to the end of that series I was impressed with how many little things I overlooked throughout the story that actually had a profound impact on the eventual outcome. I was awed by JK Rowling and her ability to hide key details in a way that readers would subconsciously take note of them but wouldn’t really think about them until it was time to bring everything together at the end. Now I am still awed by her writing abilities but I wonder if she planned all those little twists and turns, or was she surprised like I often am to find she was putting a puzzle together without even realizing it.
What do your fans mean to you?
The concept of “my fans” is still so mind-boggling to me. Of course I love my books and my characters or I wouldn’t have published them for the world to see. And sure my friends and family tell me they love the books, but I could chalk that up to their being my friends and family. But when I think about all the positive feedback I’ve gotten from people I’ve never even met I am blown away. I never imagined so many people could not only be interested in something I wrote, but actually love it and be eager to read more. I remember the first review that was written about Releasing the Dragon on Goodreads. When I read it the only thought in my mind was “Wow!” Once I recovered from the shock I thought about how invested I can get in the books I read and the characters in those stories, and I realized I wasn’t only writing for myself anymore. Knowing there are people who truly enjoy reading my books is immensely gratifying and the reason I strive to be a better writer every day.
What types of books do you like to read?
Mostly I like to read series because one book is never enough, and most of what I read could be classified as paranormal romances or urban fantasies. Some of my favorites include the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews, the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward, the Midnight Breed series by Lara Adrian, the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost, the Vampire Academy series and the Bloodlines series by Richelle Meade, the Morganville Vampire series by Rachel Caine, The Hollows by Kim Harrison, and the Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh.
What is your writing process?
I basically just make it up as I go. I’ve never been very good at making outlines. When I was in school and had to turn one in for an assignment I usually wrote the entire paper then went back and made the outline based on what I’d written. That’s completely backwards, I know, but I just have a hard time making a map before I set out on a journey. That is another reason I’m not sure traditional publishing would ever be for me. Sometimes my approach means I have to go back and do a lot of rearranging and rewriting when things don’t work out, but in the end I think it works out for the best.
How do you approach cover design?
At this point in my life I don’t have the skills necessary to create stunning covers that would draw attention to my books. I’m sure I could take classes or watch hundreds of YouTube videos to learn which software to buy and how to use it, but that would take time away from my writing. Therefore, I hire Fiona Jayde Media to create the covers for my books. I tell Fiona the basic elements I would like to see on the covers and she magically combines them with her own ideas to create dazzling covers.
How do I come up with the key elements I want to see on the covers? I think about the stories.
With Releasing the Dragon the key elements of the story were the passionate romance between the couple, the castle that represents the Myths and Legends Casino Resort, and of course the dragon with a fiery background.
For the Destined for Time cover I searched all over the internet for the right couple and finally found the one we went with on Shutterstock. The embrace and the kiss they’re sharing had just the right emotion even if the couple didn’t quite match the description of the characters in the book. The blue color scheme and the water droplets represent an important element of that story as does the clock with the hint of the Myths and Legends castle barely showing behind it.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I read on my iPad or my iPhone using either the Kindle app or the Bluefire app.
Describe your desk
Desk? I do all my writing on my iPad using the Pages app. Eventually I have to sit down at a computer for editing since the Pages app only checks spelling and not grammar, but that comes at the end of the book. I write wherever inspiration strikes - on my lunch hour at work, waiting in line at the movies, siting on the couch while Max watches TV - with an iPad my options are almost limitless. When I sit down to edit and format my writing, I sit at an old kitchen table where my computer sits behind a 32" TV. It's usually pretty dusty since it's not used that often and dusting is my least favorite chore.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Books by This Author

A Grizzly Awakening
Series: Myths and Legends. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 103,300. Language: English. Published: September 2, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Erotica » Paranormal
(5.00 from 1 review)
An erotic romance with a paranormal twist... A seductive female. A reluctant fighter. A world at the brink of war. When Scarlett sets her sights on Noah, he finds himself reluctantly drawn to her and the supernatural world in which she lives. As their passion escalates, danger surrounds them while enemies conspire to steal their fate.
Myths and Legends, Books 1-3
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 300,150. Language: English. Published: July 26, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Erotica » Paranormal
Welcome to the Myths and Legends Casino Resort, where dreams and nightmares come to life, and nothing is outside the realm of possibilities. Releasing the Dragon: Two souls destined to be one. Destined for Time: One night of forbidden passion will never be forgotten - or forgiven. Tempting Magic: When a twist of fate blurs the line between friends and lovers, passion sets their world ablaze.
Tempting Magic
Series: Myths and Legends, Book 3. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 100,810. Language: English. Published: April 11, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Erotic
(5.00 from 1 review)
Myths and Legends, Book Three - An erotic romance with a paranormal twist... When a twist of fate blurs the line between friends and lovers, passion sets their world ablaze as Solomon and Renee discover the true meaning of ecstasy. Join the gang from Myths and Legends as they travel to Supernova for a week-long supernatural sporting event.
Destined for Time
Series: Myths and Legends, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 102,340. Language: English. Published: August 12, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Erotic
(5.00 from 1 review)
Myths and Legends, Book Two - An erotic romance with a paranormal twist... One night of forbidden passion will never be forgotten - or forgiven. When a moment of desperation leads to unforgettable passion Rook and Angela trigger a chain of events that threaten to destroy everything they hold dear, including each other.
Releasing the Dragon
Series: Myths and Legends, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 115,280. Language: English. Published: May 18, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Erotic
(5.00 from 4 reviews)
Myths and Legends, Book One - An erotic romance with a paranormal twist... Two souls destined to be one. An old enemy enraged. Will his love for her be enough to save her? When Dragon and Serafina come together their passion ignites and she is drawn into his world where myths and legends are very real and danger lurks around every corner.