As promised, I'm starting author interviews here on Rae's Reading. I wanted to start with someone I've known for a few years, someone who's writing I adored, and that's Stacey. I'm so glad she agreed to do the interview, and I threw a ton of questions at her. Thank you Stace for being my guinea pig for this first author interview, you rocked it. Without further ado, come meet Author Stacey Broadbent, or if you've already met her, come find out more about her! Also, at the bottom of the interview you can find stalker links, *cough*, follow links for all of Stacey's pen names.
Hi Stace, thanks for letting me interview you. We’ve known each other a few years now, and there are still things I don’t know. So I figure, why not an interview so not only I get in on some juicy answers, but so will readers. Let’s get down to business.
Your first book, Dancing Through the Storm, has a few truths in it, as I imagine a lot of books do. Tell us about your past as a dancer. Was that the main inspiration for this story?
I’ve danced my whole life. In fact, when I was younger, I wanted to be a back-up dancer for Madonna.
Dancing Through the Storm is the first in the series, but actually the second book I wrote. Dancing in Circles was the first, and I went backwards from there. Salsa dancing is something I had always wanted to do. I happened across a flyer advertising a free intro class one night, and the rest, as they say, is history. I was hooked after that first lesson, and it wasn’t long before I was dancing every day of the week. I lived and breathed salsa.
Dancing is a form of self expression, and there is a lot of passion involved. It seemed like the perfect basis for a story. I used my experience as well as my imagination, to create this group of extremely competitive dancers.
One of your most popular series, the Super Mum books are absolutely hilarious and loosely based off your life. How do you balance the time with writing and raising a family?
It’s not easy! Working from home can be challenging, and it takes a certain level of focus. That focus can sometimes take over and I have to remind myself that it’s okay to take a break and enjoy family time.
I try to do as much as I can while they’re at school or in bed, while also making sure I have time to spend with hubby also. It’s a balancing act, and one I’m still trying to get used to, to be honest.
You have a few pen names. Tell us about them and what you write under them.
Yes! I write under three different names. When I first started, it never occurred to me to use a different name, so I just used my own, but when I made the decision to branch out into something a little more steamy, I decided a pen name was in order.
My LGBTQ shorts are written under the name Cyan Tayse – my main reason for this was so my grandmother wouldn’t read them! She’s my number one supporter and reads every book I write, but these ones were not for her eyes lol.
When I decided to collaborate with my son to release some children’s books, I thought it best to have another name for those too. I didn’t want anyone to be confused and think my other books were children’s books, thus, Stacey Jayne was created.
What has been your biggest obstacle(s) when it comes to Indie Publishing?
Marketing. I’ve been doing this for around five years now, and I’m still trying to figure out how to get people to read my stories. What works for others doesn’t always work for me. It seems to be a bit hit and miss, but I’ll keep plodding along, because there are still too many stories to tell!
Readers might be surprised to know that you also co-run an editing business. Seriously Stacey, where do you find the time?
Spell Bound is my baby. As a lover of the written word, I’d always thought it would be awesome to work in a publishing house, discovering new authors, so when my friend started doing a proofreading course, I quickly signed up too. We joined forces once we completed our qualifications.
Now, we proof for several authors around the world, and it’s a blast! Of course, it does take up time, which is one of the reasons I don’t set deadlines on my own stories. When I have a proofing job, that takes priority, but it’s easy to find the time when it’s something you love.
You also started Wham Bam Author Jam, tell us a bit about it. What charity did you pick this year?
Wham Bam Author Jam is a charity book signing I started last year. I gather authors from around New Zealand and Australia (and hopefully further one day), and they display their books for readers to purchase and discuss. I was forever seeing signings around the world, but not here in New Zealand. I wanted to create a place where readers could meet some of the amazing talent we have here, because I know I didn’t realise just how many authors are here until I started writing myself.
I’m also a firm believer of giving back. Over the years, I’ve received my fair share of help from family, friends, and organisations. Through WBAJ, I’m able to raise money for a different charity each year. This year is CanInspire.
Do you remember what book made you fall in love with reading? Also, what book (if any) would you say truly influenced your life.
Gosh, that’s a hard one. I’ve loved reading since I can remember. My grandmother used to read us stories before bed, so I quickly fell in love with Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl. I do remember stories by Sheryl Jordan (Rocco, Juniper Game) being my favourites, and I think that was actually when I started wanting to write. Those books grabbed me.
Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster was the book I was reading when I decided to give writing another go. It was this book that inspired me to begin.
Also, Is It Just Me? By Miranda Hart. Probably a strange one to influence me, but it did. I had been having doubts about writing and whether I was any good, and this book spoke to me. She encouraged the reader to follow their dreams and stop doing what wasn’t working. So, I stopped looking down on myself, and I started to really focus on what I wanted; to write stories.
Describe your favorite writing spot.
My favourite writing spot is actually my office. That probably sounds boring, but my husband built it for me, and I love it. It’s the one place in the house that is all mine, where I can have my book related things, inspiration boards, notebooks galore, and it has a comfy seat. (Note from me: I've seen pics of Stacey's office on her FB page and it is beautiful)
Who are some of your author role models?
Celia Aaron is my inspiration. That woman can write anything. She has a twisted mind and writes the stories I’d love to be able to come up with. I feel the same way about Karin Slaughter. They both have brilliant minds.
Colleen Hoover writes stories that capture your heart, another thing I aspire to do. She’s also super generous, which I think is important. If I had the means, I’d try to be more like her.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Don’t give up! I know it can be disheartening to put so much time into something and have it not sell, or to read someone’s bad review of your baby, but if you give up, you’ll miss those messages from the readers who did read and love your book. The messages that tell you your book touched them. These make everything worthwhile.
Also, attend signings. Yes, they can be expensive, but they’re so worth it. Not only do you get to be inspired by other authors, you also get to meet those readers who love your work. It’s a truly amazing experience.
If you could pick one of your books to be turned into a movie, which one would you choose and why?
You know, I always wanted Fear the Fever turned into a movie, but now I think I’d choose Emma. It’s a story that has a bit of everything in it, and it’s my favourite story so far. I think it covers some pretty important subjects, while also remaining a bit of humour throughout.
I think Thick as Thieves, one of my Cyan stories, would make a good movie too. It’s a sweet story of the first love between two boys from different backgrounds.
What does success mean to you?
That’s a tough one. I think happiness has to be one of the best markers for success. Of course, making enough money to support your family is up there too, but I’d rather be broke and happy than rich and miserable.
I also feel that if you can reach someone with your story, then that makes it a success. One of my favourite moments in this career was when a reader thanked me for writing one of my stories because she’d been through something similar. We both had a bit of a cry and hugged it out. In my eyes, that makes what I do a success.
Do you read your reviews? Do you let them affect you? How do you deal with a negative review?
Yes, I read every single one of them. The positive ones can lift you up and give you that push to get the next story finished.
Negative reviews are something you have to expect. You can’t please everyone. There will always be someone who doesn’t like what you do, and you just have to move on. Sometimes you can get some good feedback in a negative review, and they can help you better your writing.
What are you currently working on?
At the moment, I’m working on my next children’s book. I’ve stepped away from picture books this time, and into the world of middle grade chapter books. I’m really excited about this one as it’s inspired my children. It is also set here in New Zealand, and I’ve incorporated some Maori culture and language (Te Reo).
Where can readers find out more about you and your books?
Several different places. I’m always on Facebook, and have pages for each pen name. You can also find me on Instagram, Twitter, Amazon, or my websites.
What are you reading?
Right now, I’m reading a Karin Slaughter book, Pretty Girls. I used to read her books as soon as I got them, but life got in the way and I got behind, so I’m playing catch up now!
Do you have a favorite quote?
I have a few.
“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”
― Dr. Seuss
“Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth.”
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”
-George RR Martin
What should we expect down the road from you?
I’ve got quite a lot on this year with a signing in Blackpool and another WBAJ, but I have my children’s book releasing in May and two anthologies I’m part of. I also hope to write another Cyan story, and with a bit of luck, another Hollywood novel at least started.
How has your writing process changed from your first book to now?
My first book was plotted out before I even began. I learned pretty quickly that my characters have a mind of their own and don’t like being told what to do, so I’m now a pantser. My characters dictate what happens in the story.
Thank you for allowing me to interview you. Do you have any closing remarks?
Thank you for taking the time to interview me! Some of those questions were a little challenging, but I feel like I got a bit more of me out there for people to see.
I’d also like to take a moment to thank those readers out there. When you give a new-to-you author a chance, it really does mean the world to us. You are the reason we do what we do, so thank you xxx
In addition to the websites above, you can find Stacey around the web here: