First of all I’d like to welcome Stella Stafford to my blog, and it’s a pleasure to have you with us to talk to us a bit about yourself and your books “The Little Wychwell Mysteries”
So please grab a chair and let us begin!
So let’s start with some history,
- So tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m not really a very exciting sort of person. I live in Oxfordshire, married, two children. Sort of average!
- When did you start to feel that writing is an important part of you?
When I first learnt to read and write, and that was before I went to school. I can’t really remember ever not being in the process of reading a book or writing some little project of my own. (Hope that sentence made sense!)
- Have you taken part in any local/international competitions?
I’m in the middle of one at the minute on The Authors Show (50 writers you really should be reading), and if you are reading this before November 11th then I and the other 110 finalists would love it if you could go over there and vote for one of us. The voting form looks like a survey but don’t be put off, it’s only one question. http://www.theauthorsshow.com
- Did you attend any workshops courses?
Not for writing. I have for lots of other subjects!
- What was the first book that got you interested in writing?
I can’t remember but it would have been something suitable for the under 5s!
- When did you decide you want to publish?
I was looking after a disabled relative a few years ago who read so avidly that she was running the Oxfordshire Libraries service dry. So I thought, ‘No good, I have to start writing books and getting them published myself!’ No joking, that really is why I started getting published.
Writing & Stella Stafford:
- What are your favorite genres to read?
I read anything, including the back of cereal packets. I don’t like reading anything very X-rated but that is just me. Apologies to X-rated authors.
- What are your favorite genre(s) to write about?
At the minute I write mystery fiction (The Little Wychwell Mysteries) and Science Fiction (The Demeter Chronicles). I also write short stories and have a second collection to put out on Kindle when I get round to it, these are neither science fiction nor mystery thrillers, they are about old age. I have no idea where they came from really (see q. 3) But I was thinking that when I finish all the current projects I am juggling I might write some historical fiction-based-on-fact. There is a female character hat I would rather like to research. That is, after I finish Little Wychwell 6, which I have only just started, and Demeter Chronicle 2, which is about three quarters written, and finish editing Little Wychwells 4 and 5……….
- If they’re different tell us why?
Somewhere in my head my subconscious invents all the plots, characters and events, they appear before me like a video and I write down what happens. So it depends which mood my subconscious is in I suppose.
- When did the idea pop up into your mind that “I want to be an author”?
When I was about three years old. Or possibly younger.
- Do you write any other form of literature (poetry , prose , quotes etc..)?
Actually that reminds me, years before Little Wychwell, as well as having ‘work’ stuff published, I did have some poems published only under a different name.
- Did writing change you?
- I started writing too long ago to remember.
Through this section we will get to know a bit about The Little Wychwell Mysteries.
So care to tell us a bit about your book?
I’m cheating here, this is not one book, it is a set of books, beginning with Did Anyone Die? but if you read them end to end you would find they were a continuous family saga as well as a set of mystery novels so I could slap them altogether in one gigantic book. Honest! They are mystery thrillers set in a fictional village in Oxfordshire.
- How did the idea pop up?
My subconscious writes them, I spend a lot of time walking through the countryside, during winter quite often long walks through the countryside in darkness, and it is excellent ‘thinking space’ time for the next chapter to develop itself.
- Have you considered changing it? Not going through it along the way?
- Famous last words but if I start something I believe that I must finish it so the
Thought of not doing so would not cross my mind.
- What made you passionate about this type or genre?
My disabled relative liked mystery thrillers. But they are also very interesting sort of books to write because they has to be surprising and yet completely believable.
- Did you struggle to find a title for the book?
I get part way through writing them and then the title usually emerges by itself. Having said that I am still not happy about the title for Little Wychwell Mystery Book 5. I am still hoping to think of another one but the original one seems to have ‘stuck’ to it.
- When writing do you get emotionally involved while writing any of the situations or scenes in your book?
I have been known to cry over the keyboard. Yes.
Every writer has a muse that comes in all different shapes and forms and even sometimes it’s some sort of very delicate routine that an author cannot write without!
- What’s your muse?
Oh dear, I don’t have one, other than walking in the countryside. That’s my best answer. I need a reasonable amount of time to think without any other people around and talking to me.
- Do you scribble down notes when you are outside and an idea hits you?
No but I rush upstairs and type them up very, very quickly when I get back or else I scribble them all over bits of paper as soon as I get in.
- Did you get brain freezing before? How did you handle it ? and how do get back an idea you lost ?
Don’t usually get brain freezing. If I do forget something I was planning to write because I can’t write it up straight away I have to go back to the same place where I originally thought of it and it usually reappears.
The publishing industry is becoming more open with a lot of various options for the different types of authors, some prefer to go indie, others prefer traditional publishing but in the end each author has a dream
- What are your dreams as an author?
The usual sort of thing, a few TV series and several large film contracts…………Not really. I don’t know. I just enjoy writing. It’s lovely when you get a good review and find that someone else enjoyed reading what you enjoyed writing! (Although if anyone wishes to offer me large amounts of money for film and TV rights do get in touch…….)
- Are you a self published (indie) or traditional published author?
I have changed over to being self published with the latest Little Wychwell Mystery.
The science fiction I write I self publish only on Kindle.
- Which do you prefer and why?
Self publishing is much, much faster. Provided you use properly qualified proof editor(s) and have the script thoroughly proof read multiple times then the standard of the book should be just as good. The delay time for published books, from acceptance but including all the proof reading, cover design etc, is over a year. But self publishing this Little Wychwell Mystery is an experiment, I’ll see what happens.
- Imagine you walk down a road and you see in a bookstore a few people standing in front of your book holding one of it and talking about it, how would that make you feel?
I would hurry past in case they were saying it was rubbish!
- As author who inspired you to write?
No. I love a lot of other authors’ books but my writing is my own.
- If you would give an advice to authors out there who are working on getting out their work, what would your advice be?
Just enjoy writing your own books. Then it really doesn’t matter how many you sell because you had all that fun just from writing them!
Here are some questions we’d like to shoot at you just to get to know you a bit more!
- Favorite drink?
- Favorite meal?
Eating in a very expensive French restaurant
- Someone you would love to have over for tea or coffee?
One of my best friends or one of my family. (I tried thinking about celebrities and famous people but then I thought that I really like my friends and family better, even though I do meet them all for coffee or tea quite often, there’s still a lot to talk about every time!)
- Left-handed or right-handed?
Ambidextrous (hope I spelt that right)
- If you were given the chance to change one thing about your book what would it be?
My readers probably have a few things they would like to change. But I would rather they did not tell me as it is depressing when people do that!
- What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear or read these words:
Holidays (climbing them!)
- The ocean
Pheasants, very sad.
You can now refer me to the psychoanalyst…………….. (I sing a lot, that is why song -> singing!)
Well after this wonderful time we got to spend with Stella Stafford we would like to thank them for taking the time to be with us here and share with us their thoughts!
Thank you Stella Stafford