Author on the Couch: Stacy McKitrick
Author on the Couch: Stacy McKitrick
Today I’m conducting a session with…Stacy McKitrick!
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Me: Tell me about an experience that had a profound impact on your life.
Stacy: Gosh. I’m almost 60 years old. There have probably been a lot of them. I guess the first one would be when I joined the U.S. Army (at the tender age of 18). I had no idea what I wanted to do after high school and the Army paid me! I learned a lot in my almost 6 years in and met my husband while serving. So yeah, big impact.
Me: Wow. That’s so cool.
What personality trait of yours helps you most as an author?
Stacy: Patience. Although I sometimes feel like I don’t have any, when I compare myself to someone, like my husband, I’ve got tons of it. And patience is definitely needed in the publishing business. But then I learned that in the Army: hurry up and wait. Wonder why my husband didn’t get any? Hmmm…Patience is definitely needed in the publishing business. ~Stacy McKitrick #amwriting Click To Tweet
Me: This industry would try the patience of a saint.
What personality trait of yours hinders you most as an author?
Stacy: Shyness. I’ve been shy all my life and it’s still very hard for me to get out there and meet people. It’s almost impossible for me to start a conversation with someone I don’t know (and pitch my book? Oh gosh, that was SOOOO hard). I’m slowly getting over that (finally!), but it’s an uphill battle all the time.
Me: So many writers are introverts. You’re not alone in that shyness.
What was your high point as a writer?
Stacy: I guess my highest point in my writing career was the day I found out Lyrical Press wanted to publish my book, My Sunny Vampire. Started out with a pitch of my story (via a blog, they were taking pitches and I made sure I was first to comment), then getting a request for a partial (of which I made sure I ended on a hook), then the next day getting a request for the full (hook worked—yay!), then two days later told they wanted to buy it. Yeah, I was pretty much doing the Snoopy dance by then. But it had taken nearly a year of pitching the book and another year of pitching the previous book, before I reached this point. See… patience!
Me: Yes. Patience paid off!
What was your low point as a writer—a time when you questioned your path?
Stacy: After getting published, everything kind of slopes downward, you know? But the summer of 2015 was probably the lowest for me. I had just found out that I would need open heart surgery within the next five years (I know, bummer!) and I got stuck in the book I was writing (didn’t help that the hero had heart issues—what was I thinking?). I wasn’t sure I could even finish the book. Then I read an article about re-drafting (printing out your story and then typing it out on a fresh document). It helped with my head issues (I was productive, but not really thinking) and showed me where I went wrong in my draft (which I actually finished the first draft that summer and the revisions last month). I still have that surgery to look forward to, but hopefully my head will be in a better place since I’ve had plenty of time to think about it now.I tried to learn from the rejections. I took classes. I kept writing. ~Stacy McKitrick #amwriting Click To Tweet
Me: I’ve never heard of re-drafting. I have to look into this. What a neat way of getting unstuck.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer
Stacy: I didn’t. My husband was always the one who told me I should write horror (that’s what I read for the most part), but that shyness part of me said, “No way!” I also didn’t think I had the imagination to write horror. Then in 2008 I read the Twilight series. Vampires and romance. Who knew? I became obsessed with that series (and the romance—oh yeah, the romance!), but wanted to know what Edward was thinking. That’s when I decided to write my own vampire romance, where the reader was in both of their heads. And voila! Writing that first book opened a door I hadn’t realized was there. I’d been struggling for years to find my passion when it had been struggling for me to set it free. I don’t think I couldn’t NOT write ever again.
I’d been struggling for years to find my passion when it had been struggling for me to set it free. #AmWriting Click To Tweet
Me: I love how Twilight inspired you to be a writer. What a great story.
Name a writing pet peeve of yours.
Stacy: First person body movements (e.g.: “I turned my head toward the door” or “I brushed my brown hair from my eyes”). They just sound so robotic and unnatural. It’s one of the biggest reasons I don’t read a lot of first person stories and if I see these on the first page, I don’t read any further.
Me: How do you deal with rejection or bad reviews? What advice can you give others?
Stacy: Rejection and bad reviews come with being a writer. When I got rejections from a query, I would take the day to be sad (and maybe eat some chocolate), but only that day. Wallowing for any longer than that isn’t productive. I tried to learn from the rejections. I took classes. I kept writing. I knew the longer I worked at it, the better I would get. And I loved writing, so it was definitely not a hardship. As for bad reviews? Well, the first time my book got one star, it stung. Why wouldn’t it? But I told myself that reader wasn’t my audience. My audience (as small as it is right now) likes my books. They are who matter and I make sure to give them a good read.Rejection and bad reviews come with being a writer. ~Stacy McKitrick #amwriting Click To Tweet
Me: Tell me about your paranormal romance, Blind Temptation.
Dreading the prospect of losing her position on the Vampire Committee, Victoria is forced to integrate with the mortal population. She hasn’t stepped outside since her husband died over 40 years ago and the thought of being treated like the 17-year-old she resembles frustrates her. But when she discovers that Ben, her hot & sexy driver’s ed teacher, is blind, she gives into temptation and flirts. She never expects to fall in love.
Ben knows he shouldn’t get involved with Victoria—she’s his student. But something compels him toward her. She makes him feel young, alive, and more importantly, whole.
Victoria would love nothing better than to have Ben as a mate, but fears he wouldn’t want to be immortally blind. As she struggles to keep her identity hidden from him, an old acquaintance of Victoria’s turns up and is willing to do anything to win her love, including disposing of her boyfriend.
Me: Share with us a favorite paragraph or two from your newest release, Blind Temptation.
You know…picking a paragraph or two is HARD! So I’ve got more of a tiny scene. Victoria is the heroine of BLIND TEMPTATION. Perry isn’t the hero (Ben shows up after this scene), but is Victoria’s antagonist (like an annoying brother) and he’s so much fun to write. While writing this book, I learned of a new German word (Victoria cusses in German) and I asked my daughter how I could use it in a sentence. It fit perfectly here. By the way, the word basically means “a face in need of a fist.”
Victoria pulled the sunglasses out of her purse. At least Barnet had the sense to give her these, even if she didn’t have a pair of spectacles for class. She would hide behind the dark lenses instead. She slipped them on and climbed onto the backseat of the van, ready to face…whatever.
“What are you doing? Sit up front.”
“I don’t want to.”
“Just because I’m chauffeuring you around doesn’t mean I’m your chauffeur. It’s safe up here.”
“Says you. I’m staying back here.”
“Damn it, woman. How did Henrik put up with you for 300 years?”
Make that 322 years, thank you very much. And what was there to put up with? Henrik had turned her. If he hadn’t known what he was getting, it was his own damn fault. “You could always tell Barnet you can’t do this. I don’t mind.”
Perry laughed. “Yeah, I bet you wouldn’t. Just for that, you can walk back, Vicky.”
“Ooh, you did not just call me—Wait. What do you mean walk back? You can’t mean that.”
“Sure I do. It’ll be dark.”
But alone? In the city? She’d never done that. Damn Perry. Damn Barnet. Damn Henrik!
By the time Perry pulled into an underground garage, she was still steaming.
“There’s the elevator.” Perry turned in his seat and smiled. “When you leave you can just get off on the first floor. No need to come all the way down here.”
“And you’ll be outside waiting.” She made it sound like an order, because damn it, it was an order.
“Uhh, no. I told you. You can walk back. It’ll be good for you. You could stand to get some fresh air.”
Like she needed fresh air. The man was seriously deranged.
“Perry, you’re…you’re…you’re a Backpfeifengesicht.” And she’d like to be the fist to hit that face.
He furrowed his brow. “What’s that mean?”
“Wouldn’t you like to know.” She opened the door.
“Well, then, you’re a…a…blunderspooner.”
“That’s not even a word. You just made that up.”
“Wouldn’t you like to know. Now you better get going. Hate to see you late on your first day.”
“I will see you out front after class. Do you hear? If not, I’ll make your life difficult.”
“Not as difficult as Barnet can. I bet he rewards me for this. Have fun. And don’t forget to learn something. Barnet expects you to pass, legitimately. He’ll be testing you.”
“Oooh. I hate you!” She slammed the door and he drove off. This was no fair. She was a member of the Committee. Shouldn’t that garner her some respect? Especially from the likes of Perry?
You can find Stacy here:
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Abbie Roads writes dark emotional novels featuring damaged characters, but always gives her hero and heroine a happy ending… after torturing them for three hundred pages. RACE THE DARKNESS and HUNT THE DAWN are available now! Stayed tuned for SAVING MERCY. Book 1 in the new Fatal Truth Series.
RACE THE DARKNESS
HUNT THE DAWN