Promotional Interview with Stacey Deanne

Your Name: Stacy-Deanne (pronounced Dee-Anne)

1. Where you are from and where are you now?

I am from Houston, Texas. I was born and raised here. I’ve lived her all my life except for a year when I lived in East Texas. I’ve recently moved back to Houston.

2. How did you get started writing?
The interest to write professionally started when I got my first computer when I was nineteen. I hadn’t thought of becoming a writer until then. I always had a great imagination and always had a talent for writing but never thought of pursuing it as a career until I got the computer and then a story popped into my head. I began writing it and before I knew it, I had a completed novel. I realized that this was my calling and loved writing so much that I couldn’t help but go into it professionally.

3. What do you do when you are not writing?

Honestly, I’m always writing. That’s one of my biggest problems. People consider me a workaholic and I am obsessed with writing. My mind is constantly flowing with stories and possibilities. But, when I am not writing I am focusing on promoting myself or relaxing. Honestly, my mind is always on writing whether I’m doing it at the moment or not. I love to search the net, listen to music and watch movies to unwind.

4. What would readers like to know about you?

Probably that I am down to earth. I am a very sweet and simple person. I like the simple things in life and I am probably one of the kindest people you’d ever meet. Becoming a published author hasn’t changed who I am and I hope that it never will.

5. What inspired your first book?

The idea of embarking on a writing career is what made my first book come alive. I hadn’t thought of being a writer before so it made the feat challenging and exciting. Writing opened a new door for me and I couldn’t help but explore it. I realized that was what I was put on earth to do.

6. How many books have you written?
I’ve written probably over twenty books. Three have been published.

7. What are the titles of your books and what genres are they?

“Everlasting” and “Melody” is mainstream fiction that falls under multiple genres. “Melody” is classified as mystery, thriller, detective fiction, women’s fiction, chick lit and multicultural. My first release, “Divas of the New Millennium” is a compilation biography.

8. How do you decide on that topic or genre? Why are you specially qualified to write about this topic?

I am a novelist so naturally I love fiction. I’ve always loved making up stories and thinking of characters. I am qualified because I’ve been in this business a long time, have the talent and ability to write realistic and entertaining fictional stories.

9. How do you manage to keep yourself focused and on track when you’re writing a book?

It’s so easy for me because, like I said, I am a workaholic. I love writing so much that I have no problems doing it. When you love something you delve into it. I am lucky to love something that I’ve made a career out of. My love for it is what keeps me on track. Writing is a part of me and I really don’t do much else.

10. Do you write to make money, for the love of writing or both?

I write for both. I love writing more than life itself but I feel that I deserve to get paid for it too. I do the best to perfect my craft and I’ve paid my dues and became published the right way. It took years of hard work to get where I am today. I think I deserve to reap all the rewards of it, financially, emotionally and career wise. After all, writing professionally is a job and people get paid to do a job.

11. What are some traditional methods of marketing you have used? Which were the
most successful?

I’ve done book signings, festivals, obtaining reviews, and interviews. I’ve also done many other things that stem from online promotion. I am a big fan of online promotion. Interviews work best considering “traditional” marketing. Interviews allow readers to get to know the authors and this makes them more interested in your books. I’ve had tons of reviews done but with reviews you don’t really know if they help sell books or not. You just know that they guarantee some exposure and you hope that translates into sales. I find festivals to be fun but not great for selling books. They should be used for exposure mainly.
I find individual book signings a waste of time. Honestly I don’t know if I’d ever do one again. Not only is it hard to make a sale at a signing, bookstores no longer seem to take an interest in helping to promote signings. There’s only so much the author can do. So, why waste time with something that doesn’t work when you can get definite results from better options? Of course, this is my opinion. Other authors may feel differently. I am also a big fan of free promotion. You should never pay for something you can do yourself and may be able to be more effective with it too.

12. What are some unique methods of marketing you have used? Which were the most successful?

Social networking seems to be more effective for me. I am on many social networking sites and it’s bringing me more exposure than I’ve ever had. I find online promotion in general a must. During the years I’ve done guest blogs, online interviews, blog talk radio shows, chats, contests and more. With the exception of chats and blog talk radio, I’ve seen significant results. Interviews and doing guest blogs bring traffic to your site. All of these things are possibilities but I find that nothing works like connecting with readers on social networks. You just meet so many people and you not only connect with fans of your work but you gain so many new ones. You also gain promotional opportunities because you can come in contact with media people and you find that you’ve landed another chance at exposure like an interview or review that you weren’t even expecting. Also I write articles and am known for giving writers advice, sort of like you do, Nikki, LOL. Writing articles brings additional exposure as well.

13. Do you sell through a website? If so, what’s the address? If not, why not?

No I do not sell through my site. I am traditionally published so my books are available on most online book sites anyway so it’s easy for people to get them through those channels. It’s easier for self-published authors to sell through their sites because they have more fr
eedom to do so. I would have to buy books from my publisher then sell through my site I believe and it would be a waste for me to buy books unless I decide to sell autographed copies. I may look into that but I am busy enough as it is that I don’t want to play salesman, LOL.

14. Where can people order your books?

People can order my books on all online stores that sell books as well as buy them out of the stores.

15. What format are your books – e-book, print, audio etc?

So far my books have been released in Trade Paperback and e-books.

16. Will you write more books?

(Laughing), I am sure you can guess the answer to that. Of course and I am sitting on a pile I haven’t even published yet!

17. What do you have in the works now?

Well, I have begun a detective series starring the detectives in Melody. I am excited about that. I’ve already finished two installments. Also, I am editing previous finished novels and hopefully they’ll be published in the near future. I am also in talks with a playwright to have a play adaptation of Melody. I’m very excited about that and I am also generating interest to make the book into a possible film.

18. What does the future hold for you and your books?
I think anything’s possible. I have a lot I want to do in my career. I don’t know what doors will open for me and when but I don’t plan on giving up until I get everything I’ve dreamed of.

19. What was the most successful thing you did to promote your books?

Social networking! (Stacy throwing a thumbs-up) Online promotion truly makes the difference in today’s market. All promotion works if you work hard at it. The key is finding something that fits you and getting the most out of that.

20. What was the least successful thing you did to promote your books?

Book signings (Stacy sticking out her tongue)

21. Tell us about your most recent book.

Melody is a thriller and mystery. It’s about a young woman who believes her sister’s new boyfriend is hiding something. She spends her time trying to prove to everyone how dangerous he really is and get him away from her sister’s life before it’s too late. Unfortunately for her, that puts her own life in danger. In the meantime there is a serial rapist on the loose and Melody believes her best friend is his next target.

22. What makes this book special to you?

This is truly my second book written. I wrote it back in 1997. This is my favorite book that I’ve written. I just love it because I pushed the envelope with this one and my true creativity came alive. It was just fun to do. I loved writing all my books but I got so close to the characters in Melody that I didn’t want it to end.

23. What sort of comments have you gotten about the content of the book?

I’ve gotten nothing but good comments and very good reviews. Even when people had a little negative criticism, it was still very positive overall. Most people ask if there will be a movie made from it. One lady said that it should be made into a Lifetime movie actually, LOL.

24. What makes this a book that other people MUST read and WHY?

Melody is definitely a book that stands apart from many. I feel it’s a book that lovers of thrillers and mysteries will enjoy because it takes a different spin on things. Melody is very different from other thrillers or novels. It is a two-plot story meaning two-stories in one. Its main characters are biracial, Latino and White. All of the characters in the book are culturally and racially diverse. It deals very realistically with the subject of rape. There are many characters all dealing with their inner demons while Melody, the main character struggles to save the most important things around her. It’s sexual, slightly erotic, romantic, horrifying, emotional and mysterious all rolled into one. If someone wants an unpredictable book with twists abound, this one is for you.

25. What people NEED to read this book and WHY?

Anyone who likes thrillers or daring fiction should read this. It’s mainstream fiction and it’s for a universal audience. All you have to do is want to read a book with twists and turns and if you do, it’s for you. There is no specific type that should or shouldn’t read it besides kids. Kids definitely should not read this book. Other than that, it’s for anyone.

26. What sparks your creativity? Any tips to help others spark their own creativity?

My creativity comes from an idea then that idea grows when I began writing. For others, my advice is that you tap into your zone while writing. That is when your creativity comes alive. It starts with where you write and the mood you possess while writing. You already have creativity, but it’s the spark that needs to come alive. It comes naturally but you have to give it the opportunity to. You’ll know when it hits you. Sometimes you don’t have to be in any kind of mood to ignite that spark. The most important thing is you have to write as much as you can or you’ll lose it.

27. What do you think motivates people to become authors? What motivated you to get into this unusual industry?
Writing is a part of me. I love it. I know I was put on this earth to do this. This is my purpose. I can’t speak for others but I feel that a lot of them are misguided and get into writing for the wrong reasons. I think most have good intentions, at least the people who are writers from their hearts. The others are looking for quick fixes and think that writing in real life is like the “idea” of being an author is. It’s usually when those people find out that the real thing is not as glamorous as they perceived, is when they give up. That’s what separates a real writer from those who aren’t. Real writers do not ever give up no matter how long it takes. They can’t, the writing is in them. You can’t give up a part of yourself.

28. Tell me about the most unusual things you have done to promote any books?

Honestly, I haven’t had to do anything unusual. I have done both conventional methods and new methods. There are new things coming up every year for authors promoting online and a lot of them seem unusual at first but turn out to be the norm.

29. If a potential reader thinks that your book wouldn’t interest them, what would you say to convince them to buy? I’m thinking something better than “Its the greatest book ever.” Give me something more specific 🙂

I wouldn’t “say” anything. I would simply show them an excerpt and let them read for themselves. That’s how an aut
hor shows true confidence in their work. Let the writing speak for itself. If the reader reads it and doesn’t want to continue, well you can’t change that. But most times, if you get their mouths watering with a good hook (which Melody has), they will continue. I’ve never had anyone to say they didn’t want to read Melody. They read the back cover and they all drop their mouths and go, “Wow it’s a lot going on in this book!” LOL, it’s funny to see their expressions. Also, this goes back to knowing your audience. These are the people you should be marketing to in the first place so nine times out of ten they are gonna want to read it if it’s a genre they like.

30. Why does the topic of your book interest you? Why would it interest potential readers? Give us a hook to reel in new readers.

In order to practice what I’ve just preached, here is the opening to Melody. It’s a sample of chapter one:
She had no idea what to make of this. He’d been one of the most attractive men she’d ever seen. His alluring green eyes rested within his creamy tanned skin. His magnificent dark hair completed the picture of perfection. Yet something about Keith Taylor seemed off. Even his good looks weren’t enough to keep Melody’s mind off his latest action.

She sensed that her being frightened turned him on. He took deep, hollowed breaths. She imagined him smirking. His handsome face flushed with demented delight. How could she feel this way about a man she’d just met? What did he want? Something about him brought out fear that she couldn’t explain. Already she felt his mind controlling her emotions.

Thanks so much for the opportunity, Nikki! I hope this interview inspires aspiring writers!

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