Stacia is the first person I’ve interviewed who’s living somewhere that doesn’t require a plane trip for me to visit. That probably deserves a prize of some sort.
1. On a scale of one to ten, rank your current level of insanity–where ten is belongs-in-lunatic-asylum insane–and tell us why.
Hmm. I’d say about a seven? I’m not quite homicidal yet, or plotting elaborate drugs-in-the-water-supply schemes, so yes, seven or so.
As to why…it could be the isolation of living in a rural community where your every move is viewed with suspicion. Or it could be my parents are to blame, or that I spend most of my time planning how much creepiness and gore I can insert into the lives of people I made up. Or it could be the gremlins who visit me at night. Yes, it’s probably those damn gremlins.
2. How do you think life on the right side of the pond affects the stories you tell?
You mean the right side as in the right hand, or the right side as in the correct side? How does it affect the stories I tell. I think my work is a lot darker now. I’ve always had leanings towards the dark/violent/spooky, but now I don’t think I could write something cheerful if you paid me. Isolation has always been something of a theme for me as well but it’s really moved front-and-center now. Sorry, I really don’t have a funny answer for this one—the truth is, it’s very lonely here and I feel very out of place, and I think that’s really affected what I do.
It’s always been difficult for me to write people who have, say, close and loving family relationships and huge groups of friends, but I find I’m getting to a point where my characters have no friends and no one. (Although for the record I am very happily married, with two adorable daughters, and my best friend in America and I talk every week, and she is the greatest friend in the world. She’s Charlotte from Sex and the City—you know, the one who always makes occasions special and is thoughtful and caring and sweet and all that? Only Cori is also bitchy sometimes which makes her perfect.)
3. Chocolate cake is the food of gods. How can you not like it, and even worse, how can you subject your loved ones to your dislike of it? Though, I suppose your sadism is a good sign, for goodness only knows what you do to your characters.
Okay, now you’re not being fair. I love chocolate, I do. And if chocolate cake tasted like chocolate, I would like it. But to me chocolate cake just tastes…brown. There’s no real chocolate flavor. It’s not like I don’t let them have cake at all!
And over here, because the cakes you buy in stores are so awful (really, the “party cakes” they sell for kids’ parties are like cardboard with that horrible plasticy roll-out frosting) I bake cakes from scratch for the girls’ birthdays and stuff and make the frosting myself too. I bake peanut butter cakes (which are delicious, and the recipe is on my overflow blog.) I bake sponge cakes with Nutella and fresh whipped cream, and Devil’s Food cakes with raspberries and raspberry syrup and fudge frosting and whipped cream, and all sort of things. Just not plain chocolate cake.
But hey, if you have a chocolate cake that really tastes like chocolate, bring it on!
4. One of your newest releases is a book you co-wrote with Anna J. Evans, who is also your critique partner. Were you critique partners before you started writing together, and if so, has it changed the way you look at her work?
We were critique partners first, for about a year, year and a half? We found each other through the Passionate Ink forums (Passionate Ink is the online erotic romance RWA chapter) and just really clicked right away. So after a year or so of critting and chatting, we thought it would be fun to write something together. EC was still accepting submissions for their Torrid Tarot line, so we came up with a plot and got started! That book, As the Lady Wishes, took us about three weeks start to finish—we got really competitive with the word count, lol. “If she did 3k, I bet I can do at least 3500!” And so on. Since we live in different time zones, too, we were able to trade off once a day. A book gets written fast if you’re adding 6-8k words per day! It was a blast, and we definitely wanted to do it again, so we did Demon’s Triad. We really want to work together again, too, but both of us are so busy these days that we don’t know when we’ll get the chance. We have some ideas, though…
It hasn’t really changed the way I look at her work, no. I loved her work the very first time I read it several years ago, and I still do. There is nothing in the world like having a really good critique partner, someone who gets you and your voice and knows what you’re trying to do. Really, it’s worth hunting around until you find that person. I trust Anna implicitly—if she says something doesn’t work, chances are it doesn’t work.
5. You are part of the League of Reluctant Adults? Why are you reluctant to be an adult?
Well, really, aside from being able to legally drink, who wants to be an adult? It’s all the responsibility and less of the fun. I hate getting older. Yes, it beats the alternative but frankly I’m pissed about that too. Whose stupid idea was death?
6. Thus far, all your books are paranormal/fantasy etc. Do you think you’ll be writing a book with an ‘ordinary’ setting any time soon?
No, I don’t think so. Every time I try, the supernatural stuff sneaks back in. I’m not really a fan of reality, so it’s just not fun for me to write books that take place there. I did write a historical romance, a medieval called Black Dragon which was just released by Cerridwen Press, and I may do another historical without the paranormal elements, but as far as writing straight contemporaries I’d be a flop. The present as it is just doesn’t excite me, I’m afraid.