1. Series books: from Nancy Drew and Tom Swift to JD Robb’s In Death and Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters, I enjoy on-going stories that use cross-over characters. I don’t want a snippet of life. I want to see a huge character arc over time. This is the concept I’ve incorporated into my circus anthology. I have twenty ‘chapters’ that I’m using as my character bank to expand into longer adventures.
2. Writer versus Author: I’ve kept every snippet of writing I’ve done since high school. It wasn’t until I joined the critique website Scribophile, where friends pushed and prodded and then encouraged me to submit my stories, that the writer’s bug really took a tremendous chunk out of my hide. And once bitten, authors are born.
3. Emotions: My first-ever-published story featured my kids in a half-truth, half-fantasy story of a possible future. When these grown children read the story and ended up with tears in their eyes, everything clicked in my mind. The best stories I have ever read usually evoke some sort of strong emotion in me—so my goal is to bring that feeling to other people.
4. Social networks: My fellow authors are taking me by the hand and teaching me about Facebook, Twitter and many other networks and blogs. I’m learning more every day and creating an entirely new group of friends and colleagues (a very good thing). I find it interesting that although my life has been spent in creative endeavors, the first part—as a musician—was a much lonelier existence. Because of the demands of the instruments, there were hours and hours of solitary practice. With writing, I’m either on my game or totally dry (the perfect time to turn to my writer friends for encouragement and advice). Sweet camaraderie!
5. Imagination: I can’t remember a time in my life that I didn’t make up stories in my head. I’m pretty sure it’s a prerequisite for being an author. Having the time now to write down these stories is a grand luxury. It boggles the mind how my younger colleagues can juggle a young family or school, a job and writing. They awe me.
by Katie Stephens
Everyone in Mason’s Circus understands and respects the powers of the resident gypsies—the Romani tribe—and most steer clear of any involvement. But when Susie gets caught in a web of prophecy and magic that brings danger to the troupe, her non-Rom interpretation turns out to be flawed. She pushes aside the man of her dreams to date alphabetically, in the hopes of saving her circus family.
Sam has had his eye on Susie since she joined the company. He’s puzzled by her actions, but not blind to the way she responds to him. A patient man by nature, he battles his need to claim her immediately or allow her game to continue. When disaster strikes, they join forces with their Romani friends to stop the curse before it destroys the circus.
About Katie Stephens:
If you discovered a sealed box with “Katie’s memories” scribbled on the side, you’d find a lifetime of partially completed stories, plays and musicals. A retired music teacher and curriculum writer, Katie Stephens has opened that box and switched her need to create from music to literature. She writes both non-fiction and fiction, where she happily experiments with all genres.
When her muse takes a break, Katie is a staff reader for freeze frame fiction and a grant writer for the Empire & Great Jones Creative Arts Foundation. Although her grown children are scattered east and west across the country, she lives solidly in mid-America with three kitties and a husband who keeps asking when she’s really going to retire.
Facebook / Twitter @standardishue / Website / Email firstname.lastname@example.org
~~Love Least Expected, coming February 3, 2015~~
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