I’m so excited to be able to introduce you to Stacey Marie Brown, author of the Darkness of Light series. I had the chance to meet Stacy this summer at UtopYACon, and she’s wonderful. Enjoy learning a bit more about her writing process!
1. When did you start writing? Since I was able to write. In third grade I used to take home those finish-the-story assignments. They would only give you a few lines. Even then I thought, “Uh, no . . . my creativity cannot be contained and shown in three lines.” I like to write little novelettes and illustrate them. I always wrote little stories and gave them to my friends as gifts. I don’t know why I never thought about it as a career till the last couple of years. I did the acting thing in L.A, lived abroad for a while, then went back to school for Interior/Set Design. I was always creating worlds. All of it was leading me here. I know now this is what I’m supposed to be doing.
2. Are you a pantser or a planner? I am a little of both, but mostly a pantser. I like having a basic idea of what is going to happen; but every time I try to structurally plan a scene, my characters go in the opposite way. When I let them go, they always take me to a place that’s even better than what I was planning. I love them improvising in my head and I just type out what they are saying. These characters are so real to me. I can see their movement, habits, phrasing. My actors and I am the director.
3. Can you give us an idea of your writing process? Process? There is a process? Why hasn’t anybody told me this before? Seriously, I don’t know what my process is. I just know I have to leave my house and go to a café, with no Internet, but lots of caffeine and my music soundtrack to the Darkness Series. A hot guy in the corner or serving my coffee never hurts either.
4. Which authors have influenced your work? That is a hard one because they are so many authors that have affected me and probably contributed to me writing since I was little: Richard Scarry to Karen Marie Moning, Jane Austen to J.K. Rowling. I love them all and they have inspired me to write.
5. What are you plans/future projects/new releases that we should be aware of? I am releasing Book 2 in the Darkness Series, Fire in the Darkness, in September. I am hoping to get Book 3, Dwellers of Darkness out in January/February 2014, and the last installment of the series in August/September 2014. From there it is picking one of the floating ideas going on in my brain and starting a new series.
6. Any tips for new writers? Seek therapy! It’s quicker and cheaper. Just kidding! My advice is that if you enjoy doing it for fun or want to do it as your job, don’t give up. It is a LONG, grueling process. There is a lot of rejection and times you want to give up, but push through and keep writing. You also have to learn that not every word you write is worth keeping. You have to get thick skin and know people’s critiques are to better your book and you as a writer.