Interview with Stephannie Beman

Published 2018-04-06.
What are you working on next?
I’m working on writing book #2, The Dark God, and book #3, The Iron Queen, and editing book #1, The Warrior’s Rebellion, from Children of Khaos: The Rebellion Trilogy. And I'm hoping to start the Sara Greenway Trilogy which will be a YA Series that I'm writing with my daughter later in 2018.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first book I can remember reading as a child was “The Little Witch and the Riddle” by Bruce Degen, about a witch and a ogre who have to solve a riddle in order to open a book of magic. It was a book about friendship and one I still own to this day. But as a child, I decided that I wanted to dabble in magic and be a witch. It planted the seed of curiosity about all the paranormal and supernatural stuff. That one book started me on the path to being a reader and later a writer of fantasy, science fiction that is light on the science side, and urban fantasy.
Do you have stories that sound good in concept but suck when you write them? Will they ever be published?
At last count I have 20 stories started and 18 abandoned and alone in my filing cabinet. This doesn’t include the numerous snippets of story ideas that languish in my digital filing cabinet waiting for their moment in the spotlight.

I find that most failed stories happen when there is a spark of an idea but no planned ending to write toward. Without a goal they don’t work. Some of those story fragments will end up in other work, others will never see the light of day. I’ve cannibalizing bits and pieces in future work.

The largest of note is The Raven King. The story is a monstrosity that was nearly 400 pages which I went through and cut out all the melodrama and concepts that could have been cool once but that did nothing for the story. It comes down to figuring out the problem with the piece and cut out everything that made it a mess until the basic plot was a sound one.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?

I love figuring out who my characters are, what they look like, what they want, what I’m going to make them do, and the world they live in. I like outlining the story, but not to death. I’m not going to be drawing detailed maps are fill out pages of unless information about my characters. As long as I know where to start, where they are going to be mid-story, what the climax should be, and how it all turns out, that’s enough planning for me.

The first draft can be scary, especially at the beginning, but it’s still fun. It’s the later work, like editing, revising, and proofing that are my least favorite things. It’s necessary for a good book, but very tedious. It gets to the point I almost hate my books and never want to read them again.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The short answer is that half way through my second novel (2008) I started to study the publishing industry and I was wary of what I was reading about the changes in traditional publishing world. Then I read an article about being a professional writer and all the things that I would need to do to “make it”. The one point that drove home that this wasn't the path for me was deadlines and the importance of meeting them once you sign a contract, and I tried to imagine meeting those deadlines with my 1 and 18 month old children, my responsibilities on the Ranch, and helping to aging grandparents across the street from me.

The thought of the stress level plus the idea of crank out book after book so that I wouldn’t be forgotten, wasn’t worth it to me. The enjoyment of writing is in writing and sharing the stories I have clamoring around in my head. I didn’t want an editor to tell me what I had to change in my book to meet the current trends. I didn’t want the pressure of writing what the industry believes sells rather than what I enjoy.

If it wasn’t for another Indie author mentioning self-publishing I probably would have a cabinet of unpublished manuscripts that no one would get to see. The idea of self-publishing my books made sense to me. For my lifestyle, it still makes sense to me 10 years later. I would rather write a book I would enjoy reading and hope that someone else does too, then write something I don’t like just because someone thinks it will sell.
How do you approach cover design?
Great covers, or even a decent one, take time. I start with going through stock-photography sites looking for the best images to fit the concept of the book I'm designing for. Once I license that picture from a reputable website, I may begin the process of removing unneeded parts in the picture, such as people from a background that doesn't work to one that does. Then I spend time blending, painting, fading, and manipulating the image until it works for the genre I'm writing. After that, I work on the Typography that compliments the genre and the images that I'm using.

I am a firm believer that cover design should be simple, eye-catching, and evoke an emotional reaction that draws the reader in not chase them away with something too busy or poorly created. Sometimes I succeed, other times not so much. :D
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Not a single damn one. So I stopped trying to market my books and focused instead on writing the next book.

Wow! Now that I said that, I guess that is the most effective marketing technique for me. Writing the next book and the next book and the next book...
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend time with my family. I might do some work on the ranch, which some parts of the year is a full-time job unto itself. I might read or design a book cover, or creating something handmade while watching TV. I've occasionally been caught daydreaming.
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Books by This Author

Death's Lover
Series: Children of Khaos: The Originals. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 84,310. Language: English. Published: August 7, 2014 . Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal » General
Lilith’s ability to see a person’s death has attracted the attention of the warlord, Adman, and seals her fate. He will do anything, kill anyone, to possess her talent. And the only one standing between him and Lilith is Death himself. Thanatos will break every ancient law, and even a few newer ones, to save her, and in the end it might cost them both their lives.
My Lord Hades
Series: Children of Khaos: The Originals. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 107,990. Language: English. Published: June 25, 2010 . Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal » General
(4.80 from 5 reviews)
Betrayed by the Gods he once served, battle-weary Hades promised to never allow another god power over him, but he didn’t plan on the Fates intertwining his future with the stunning woman dancing in the moonlight, or the rise of his Phlegethon nature that demands he claim her as his own.