Interview with Stella Coulson

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Leeds in Yorkshire, England, but I moved around a lot growing up. I lived in the North east as a kindergarten, In Bournemouth in Southern England as a Junior, back to Yorkshire pre-teens to Durham. The different environments gave me a more open outlook to the world, as I would be affluent one year and humble others. It gave me an appreciation for what little I had. Moving around always made me the new girl and therefor always the outsider. this gave me the perspective to view the world from from the outside my conventional peers. I often felt I could not relate to many of my age. I was a big reader and would oddly skip classes to read in the library because I felt I learned more there. I often felt like I had a universe in my head and would have to write out all the little worlds in my head.
When did you first start writing?
Very early; I could read and write before I attended school so would draw and write little stories and fall asleep thinking up little fairytales and places I wished I could go. i had a very active imagination and at four I would take bread and cookies into my wardrobe and try to get to Narnia. I was very much a dreamer as a child. I was very much a fan of classic literature from Railway Children to Peter Pan to Great Expectations, Three Musketeers, The Secret Garden to The Narnia Chronicles. I read Dracula in junior school I read my fist Vampire novel which was Bram Stoker's Dracula. I quickly became in love with Horror movies and every thing with Vampires.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
My novella was 1st published on a fantastic site called wattpad and the 1st chapters on facebook. Wattpad gave me my 1st readers. I'd upload every chapter I completed onto wattpad and the readers would follow the story as I wrote it. Once completed, I removed all but the early chapters, and published Whitby After Dark vol 1 as both a e book and a paperback. Social networks have been most valuable to the selling of my book. Use of facebook, Gothic networks have brought me readers through just merely mentioning the novella.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The 1st book was written as a cathartic experience to exorcise past traumas by putting it into a fantasy genre, therefor making it easier to talk about. The trauma is manifested in my fist book as a Demon. My next novella is the second in the Whitby After dark saga. It is a Vampire urban fantasy set where a hidden world exists within a English coastal Town. this one will take some of the characters into the world of the Fae, where they are on a rescue mission to rescue the Fae-Wolf Shifter Daniel.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I write for me, always have. I write for the enjoyment and fun of writing. Growing up I wrote a lot of fantasy, sci fi , Thrillers and poetry. I wrote about Fae and Shifters but didn't write my first non fan fiction Vampire story till Whitby After Dark. I read so much Vampire, paranormal fantasy Vampire movies, that it seemed curious that I hadn't written one in that genre. Thus began Whitby After dark. My Vampire urban fantasy Whitby After dark was first released on blogs, facebook and wattpad and was told by the reader to try self publishing. It always seemed expensive to contemplate but by chance I chance I came across various wonderful online publishing like Smashwords and lulu, and quickly saw that publishing wasn't a fantasy and could be a reality. It doesn't cost me anything to publish. The publisher takes a percentage of each book I sell and people can find my book now on Barnes and Noble and Nook. I have had so much fun writing my books.
What do your fans mean to you?
Without them there would be no Whitby After Dark. Makes it all worth it when one losing faith in oneself in darker times. It warms the heart for it to even be read, let alone bought. Doesn't harm the ego when someone says they love your book. I especially thank my best friends Paul and Iain who have supported me though dark times and encouraged me to write to help gwet though them.
Who are your favorite authors?
Jenna Black who writes the Morgan Kingsley Exorcist books. I l fell in love with her characters and her world. Laurell K Hamillton who's books I re read over and over from cover to cover. She writes supernatural men I wished really existed. She is a Queen of the Vampire urban paranormal romance genre. Anne Rice has been most influential in terms of imagination and keeping me addicted as a reader. I adore the Vampire Chronicles. By far my favorite modern Author is Terry Pratchett, who's wit and wonderful imagination is simply inspirational.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Having suffered from depression all my life - I confess it is difficult some days. But what keeps me going is my writing, my family and friends. It makes life wonderful and interesting journey.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I read a lot - From graphic novels, fantasy, sci fi, Thrillers to classic literature. I watch a huge amount of movies. I adore cinema. I adore classic movies in particular - The Man Who Came to Dinner, Night of The Hunter and Hitchcock's Rebecca. I grew up watching 80s fantasy films, so also love Princess Bride, Neverending Story and Labyrinth.
What is your writing process?
I write on a notepad, an actual one. I write in bed, the bus and even in a coffee shop. I write a basic outline, a character description a basic back story. I tend to bullet pint and brainstorm each story I write. This one differed into writing free form, from chapter to chapter. I began to research Vampire lore then filling notepads with information on the the world my Vampires lived in, their Court, abilities each may have and their vulnerabilities. I used legends as inspiration but set about making my own mythology to blend in with the real style world it was set.
What is the first story you ever wrote?
It was about a fantasy winged Unicorn who felt melancholy at being the only one of it's kind and by the end embracing her individuality and also true love. Though my style has changed over the years, I am still drawn towards the fantasy genre both as a reader and as a Author.
Published 2013-10-12.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.