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Interview: Staci Stallings

What do you consider peculiar or different about yourself as a reader or a writer?

Most books on writing will tell you to read what you want to write.  I tried that.  It didn’t work for me.  For one, my genre (Contemporary Christian Romance) wasn’t even a genre when I started.  For another, reading fiction frustrates me to no end.  Oh, I’ve tried it, but it’s like trying to fit a tree into a blade of grass because I’m not big on external conflict–the house burns down, the bank is coming to get the ranch, Sadie was kidnapped and is being held at ransom.  Those types of over-the-top drama just don’t appeal to me. I would rather read about how Sadie has been struggling to come to terms with her mother’s death and how Brett is her soft place to fall.

So mostly I read non-fiction books like How People Change and Grace Walk, and then translate those lessons into my characters’ lives.

Who is your favorite author?

 Whoever wrote Cinderella.  I’m forever indebted to that person!

How many books have you written and published?

This answer gets harder all the time.  Right now I’ve written 31 full-length novels.  Of those, I believe 14 are available in Kindle and/or Nook.  Seven are in print.  However, I also have written numerous Bible Studies and short non-fiction collections–of which, 5 are now available.  (I’m trying to release around one a month, and doing that, I have enough to be putting things out through 2015).  Strangely, no matter which one I put out, I always have private readers clamoring for others.  They come up and say, “Well, this one is good, but where is…?”  What a nice problem to have, right?

What is your writing schedule like?

 Schedule?  What’s that?

Let’s see. In addition to writing, I have 3 kids, a husband, 2 companies, a house, 2 large extended families.  I teach Sunday school, volunteer at two schools and for VBS.  I have 3 blogs and my own (very active) Christian writers’ group.  I’m marketing, tweeting, and Facebooking all the time.

So when do I write?  Good question.  Over Spring Break, I wrote 80 pages in 2 days and then didn’t write again (on a novel) for 2 months.  Then I went back and finished a book I’d started nearly 2 years ago–about 60 pages in 3 days.  I didn’t write again for another month.  Basically there is no rhyme or reason to how or when I write.  If I have a sliver of time, I write.

Can you tell us about your latest book?

 My new book White Knight is the second in The Courage Series.  It is a continuation of the first book To Protect & Serve, but it’s from the point of view of two different characters from the first book.  In To Protect & Serve one character’s life is changed forever by a tragedy.  White Knight is the story of what happens to this character after the tragedy.

It was so interesting in writing this one because I realized how hard it is to be at the epicenter of a tragedy.  You can’t go on as if nothing happened.  You can’t fix it.  Everybody’s worried about you, but they can’t fix it either.  And where do you go with all of that?

The answer this character receives is basically that you remember, and then you take those memories with you into a new life.  The couple in White Knight is so genuine and wonderful, I guarantee you will fall in love with them! I know I did.

 Why do you write?

 For sanity’s sake.  🙂

Honestly, I’ve always come up with stories in my head.  Ever since I was very young, I would put myself to sleep watching movies in my head.  The movies were often extensions of dreams that I had that I particularly liked.  So the next night, I would close my eyes, remember where the dream left off, and push play to keep watching it.

I thought everyone did this until just a couple years ago when people started asking me how I made my books so much like watching a movie.  Only then did I find out, not everyone does this.

How did you start writing?

When I first quit teaching to stay home with my baby, I found I had hours and hours and hours with nothing to do.  So I decided to write down one of the movies in my head.  I started with one, and a couple days later, I had a new dream that completely took over.  That second one was the first book I finished.  The first one was the seventh I finished.  (I don’t know!  I just write. I don’t really have a plan other than to follow what God says to do next.)

What do you do when you’re not writing?  Do you have any hobbies?

 Well, I play several instruments–guitar, piano and a little drums.  But what I most love to do is play snowboarding on the Wii.  Crazy. I know.  But it is a BLAST!  I’m terrified of going fast on anything so I’m a horrible runner, swimmer, skier, go-cart racer, etc.  On the Wii, however,  I can go as fast as I want, jump off ramps, do flips, and if my little Mii guy crashes?  He just jumps right back up and here we go.  So I can go fast, crash completely, and in an hour be back typing away as if nothing bad ever happened.  That’s my kind of entertainment!

Do you have any favorite inspirational quotes?

My favorites are a mix of “live for a better world than the one you were born into” and “if you don’t live with love at the center of everything you do, you’re missing the point” (Bible paraphrase).  I believe that God is my center.  He and His love are what my life, my work, and my purpose are built upon.  I’m not doing anything for Him.  He’s God.  Maker of the Universe.  He is perfectly capable of doing whatever He wants done without my help.  But He chooses to let me watch Him at work–in my life, in my friends’ lives, and in my characters’ lives.  That inspires me to let go of doing it myself and just watch in awe at how incredible He really is.  I think that is also why I write… because I get a front-row seat to watch how He works in lives.  In tragedies.  In triumphs. In disasters.  In victories.  And what I’ve come to learn that’s inspired my own life is that God wants to partner with us, to be with us, to live with us and teach us things that will draw us into His eternity of love and hope and grace and peace.

Thanks for the opportunity to meet all of your visitors!

# # #

A stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading. Staci touches the lives of people across the globe every week with her various Internet endeavors including:Spirit Light Books–The Blog http://spiritlightbooks.wordpress.com/

Facebook Author Page at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spirit-Light-Author-Staci-Stallings/266593276699576

Staci’s Ebook Romance Stories: http://ebookromancestories.com

Or…Follow Staci on Twitter @StaciStallings

Come on over for a visit … You’ll feel better for the experience!


3 comments on “Interview: Staci Stallings

  1. Sophie Dawson
    August 2, 2012

    The way you have movies in your head is exactly the way I have always been. I can see what’s going on just like a movie. When I’m thinking about what happens next in a story while driving I have to be careful to see the road not just what’s happening in my head.

  2. Evelyn Puerto
    August 2, 2012

    “He chooses to let me watch Him at work” is a great reminder that it is He who works in us. You share great wisdom about letting go of doing things ourselves. Too bad I’m a slow learner!

  3. Staci Stallings
    August 6, 2012

    @Sophie, I’m the same way. I love to drive especially long roads with few cars and no kids or hubby. GREAT for thinking and coming up with new fun things to write.

    @Evelyn, I don’t think any of us are lightning fast at it. Mostly it’s a being willing thing that’s the tipping point.

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This entry was posted on August 2, 2012 by in Author Interviews and tagged .

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