You know that moment when you’ve seen covers by a certain author and loved them, then added them to your TBR because you need to read their books? That’s what happened with me and Stefanie. Her covers, designed by Elle Maxwell, are stunning and even though they say ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, we all do it. I added Stefanie’s books to my TBR and then not too long ago was added to an Instagram group (with a bunch of awesome fellow indies) where Stefanie was also hanging out and it felt like fate.
I just finished reading Under The Marble Sky, about a best-selling author who has been struggling a little with getting her next book out and goes on a writing retreat in the small town of Marble, Colorado. I always love reading about authors in romances, because it’s like seeing a portion of your life unraveling in front of your eyes. Stefanie also really brought the town of Marbel to life and made me want to visit it so badly! I cannot wait to pick up the rest of her books soon, especially her Moments of Us series—the second in the series, That Next Moment, releases August 2nd.
You can find the rest of Stefanie’s books on Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited right now!
BEING AN AUTHOR
Who or what inspired you to write?
I always wanted to be an author, but never had the confidence in myself to do it. I always loved telling stories and always—ALWAYS—had characters in my mind. It wasn’t until I met my mentor Jo Stringer, who helped me and encouraged me to self-publish. I started writing again and it felt so good. If it wasn’t for her I would have never published my first book.
What’s the best and worst part about being an indie author?
Best part is the people I’ve met and the friendships I’ve made. I love writing and the community of readers. They have shown the most support and are what makes it worth it! The worst part - is the imposter syndrome and self doubt I carry. I am my own worst critic and I often think my stories are not good enough or that I don’t deserve what I have accomplished.
Why did you choose to self-publish instead of going the traditional route?
I wanted to tell me stories and get them out in the world, I didn't want to have to wait on someone to tell me I was worth it.
When you’re not writing, what do you do to get the creative juices flowing?
I listen to music or do calligraphy. Music has inspired a lot of my books and I love to put pen to paper.
If you were to recommend books to me (in any genre), what would they be?
What are your top 5 tips or pieces of advice for aspiring authors?
JUST WRITE. If you have a story to tell don't let anything stand in your way—just write! Do not compare yourself to others—your journey is simply that YOURS. Be confident in your work because it shows if you don't. Find those people that support you and cheer you on—celebrate even the littlest wins!
ROMANCE AS A GENRE
Why did you choose romance as the genre to write in? What is your favorite thing about the genre?
I think I fell in love with love thanks to Evie and Rick O’Connel from The Mummy (haha)—I’m a hopeless romantic and want those warm and fuzzy feelings to fill every page, and every aspect. It makes me feel happy when my characters are finally together, when the chemistry sparks and when they feel whole. Everyone deserves their chance at love and I LOVE to see my characters get it.
If not romance/subgenres of romance, what genre would you like to write in?
I would love to dabble in Paranormal and Magical Realism. But thats a different adventure!
What are your most and least favorite tropes?
Favorites: Friends to lovers, only one bed, he falls first..
Least Favorites: Surprise pregnancy and miscommunication.
What are some tropes you want to write in the future?
I am so excited to write Fake Dating—my next one is fake dating and I am so excited to write it all out!
What are some topics (sensitive and otherwise) that you think should exist more in romance?
I love seeing mental health rep in characters—I have depression and anxiety so I like to see it depicted—I relate to them more.
If you write open door romance, why did you choose that and what inspires your sex scenes?
I write fade to black—I will start the scene but I don't give any explicit details. I want the love to come from other places—but I want that intimacy for my characters. Ultimately I choose fade to black because I knew my mother would someday read my books! I didn’t want to be embarrassed from anything. (I know I know!)
If you write closed door romance, why did you choose that and what are your favorite ways to build tension between the characters?
I try to give as many swoony moments as I can with it being fade to black. Glances, touches, kisses, moments with them that you think something will happen but then it doesn't—it only adds to it when they do become intimate.
What inspired your published stories? How and when did you come up with these stories and plots?
With my debut—I had a story of a woman healing, finding love again for ten years before I finally wrote it all down. A town inspired my second and music inspired my series.
Can you briefly tell me about your books?
All Because of Elowin is about a woman who ran from her past, returning home to try to heal - only to find love again in a stranger. That book is near and dear to my heart!
Under the Marble Sky is based off of a real town in Colorado where a writer, Brooke, is looking for inspiration for her new novel. Caleb is restarting his life and meets Brooke there—instant connection without being insta-love.
The Moments of Us Series follows a group a friends, starting with That Right Moment where Friends become Lovers—trying to find the right time for their relationship, That Next Moment is the perfect second chance and Book 3 is in the works!
Do you already have a favorite character from the stories you’ve written?
I love my men! Milo from That Right Moment is probably my favorite—even though Elliot and Clay are coming in a close second. Milo, Clay and Elliot are a fun group of friends that I’ve enjoyed spending time with. Out of my leading ladies, Ophelia is by far my favorite. She’s independent and everything I’m not. I adore her.
If you were to cast your book for a movie/television show, who would you cast in the lead roles?
All Because of Elowin—Simon would be played by Tom Hiddleston, Elowin would be played by Mandy Moore. Under the Marble Sky—Caleb would be played by Andrew Garfield, Brooke would be played by Jennifer Lawernce. That Right Moment—Milo would be played by Trevor Donovan, Madeline would be played by Karen Gillian. That Next Moment—Clay would be Jared Padalecki, Ophlia would be Zoey Saldana. I can’t say Book 3 yet!
How much of yourself do you put into these characters?
I like to think in each FMC there a bit of me. Elowins Favorite flower is sunflowers, Madeline is in the dental field and Brooke is a writer.
What is a story/stories that you really want to tell?
I have an idea for a magical realism love story—I’m hoping I can conquer that one soon!
Is there one common element that readers can find in all your stories?
Dogs, Country Music and always and HEA
What’s next on the bookshelf for you? Anything you can tell us about a future project?
Other than the magical realism aspect—I can’t say too much. Other than it involves a calendar.
When you write these stories, what are you hoping your readers will feel?
I want my readers to feel all the warm fuzzy feelings, I want them to feel the love through the pages, maybe embarrassment for the characters if they do something awkward (MILO!) I hope they will get a book hangover and think about them from time to time.
Paperbacks, hardbacks, ebooks or audiobooks
Contemporary, fantasy, historical or romantic suspense
Single and Dual POV
Standalones, series and standalones in a series
Open door, ajar door and closed door romances
Music or silence when writing—THOMAS RHETT!
Plotter, pantser or plantser—I think - I make an outline but sometimes the characters veer off course
Water, tea, coffee or….wine?
Cold or warm weather—In between! Colder normally
Write better in the morning, afternoon or night?
Illustrated and photo cover?—I have both, I think it depends on the book! UTMS has a photo cover that I updated to an illustrated one, but I love the photo cover!