AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: ROSALIE STANTON
New author Rosalie Stanton is letting the bunnies chat with her on her debut book.
What is your most current work out?
Lost Wages of Sin, the first book in my debut series, released on April 11, 2011 by Liquid Silver Books.
Tell us a little Lost Wages of Sin.
I love paranormal romances that take on theology, yet for whatever reason, I never thought to write one of my own. Lost Wages of Sin, really, was something I started writing to test myself. I didn’t anticipate having as much fun as I did piecing together a more elaborate mythology. By the time I reached the end, I knew I couldn’t say goodbye to the world. It has been an exciting process. Since wrapping up Lost Wages of Sin, I have written more than half of the next book and my mind’s spinning with the possibilities for the third.
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
Both – I have an understanding of where the story will go but likewise acknowledge my characters tend to have a life of their own. If they want to have a conversation about X and I want them to do Y, they tend to gang up on me. That being said, there are certain events that must happen if I’m to get to the end. Sometimes I’ll fill the blanks as I go, other times I’ll have a rigid chapter-by-chapter outline that evolves as the story comes to life. It really just depends.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I’m more prone to paranormal romances than anything else. I love science fiction and fantasy, but paranormal fiction and urban fantasy tend to focus on the supernatural elements in this world rather than another, and for whatever reason that has always fascinated me. I don’t believe in ghosts in the real world, but I keep looking for them just in case I’m wrong. In fiction, though, anything is possible, and I love exploring those possibilities.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
I loved writing Lucifer in Lost Wages of Sin. The mythology I borrowed, mended, and created around him was tremendously fun to play with. His voice and mannerisms feel very authentic to me, as does his offbeat sense of humor and the little things that amuse him. At the same time, he’s very commanding (I mean, he has to be) and can go from one persona to the next without feeling forced…to me, at least. I really hope that translates well from my mind’s eye to the reader, because I’m a little in love with the devil and not ashamed to admit it.
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
A character who hasn’t yet met any readers aside from one of my critique partners. Her name is Cassie and she’s very literal, direct, and innocent. She walks a fine line between being funny and obnoxious, and while my critique partner feels I’ve done a good job with her, I’m anxious to see what the others say.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
I’m more likely to draw inspiration from things that have occurred or places I’ve been. Characters can have similarities with people I know, but if they share traits it’s not always, if ever, intentional. Lost Wages of Sin takes place in Natchez, MS, which is my second home. Every time I go to Natchez, I am infused with the need to write, and usually that need coincides with a drive to set my stories there. Natchez will likely make an appearance in several of my next projects—it already has in one case.
That being said, there are a good number of things I have encountered through my various occupations I’d like to eventually incorporate into a story. I worked as a bank teller for two years, and while I thankfully never had to live through a robbery, I’d like to apply my “behind the scenes” knowledge to fiction and write a robbery-situation. Right now, I am an office assistant at a metal recycling facility, and we have a slew of interesting characters come through. I once rang up a ticket for a guy whose first name was Zebulon. But then again, some things are too strange even for fiction.
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Getting the ball rolling, especially when staring at the blinking cursor. It doesn’t matter where I am in the manuscript or how psyched I am about the project. I spend eight hours a day behind a computer screen, answering phones and quoting metal prices all the while entering in figures from the previous days’ sales. I want to write when I get home, but sometimes the thought of more time behind a computer screen warps whatever energy I have left. If I can make it over the hump, however, and get my engine running, the night usually turns out to be fairly productive.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
I dread writing sex scenes. I spend every second writing a sex scene very aware of what I’m doing, which makes it feel awkward and stilted. A sense of accomplishment does accompany finishing a scene, but since sex scenes are repetitive and limited in what words you can use for what, it can take me upwards of two weeks of concentration before I feel I’m done. I also attempt to describe more than just physical sensation in my sex scenes; in order for me to give a damn what’s happening between my characters, I need to know what they’re feeling and how every touch affects them. I want the connection to be just as if not more emotional as it is physical.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Don’t we all? My guilty pleasures are tame, though. Like caving and reading a ménage once in a while.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
Not really. I’ll listen to Pink Floyd or the Beatles while writing, but I can’t think of a story that has a specific theme. That might change, though. I have a supporting character whose personality fits “The Wall” pretty well, and he will likely be the subject of his own book some day.
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
Amy Adams would be a good pick for Ava, especially after her performance in The Fighter. Alexander Skarsgård would have to dye is hair, but he’d be a fantastic Dante (and I have a crush on him, so that works). Benedict Cumberpatch (what a name!) of BBC’s Sherlock would be my first pick for Lucifer, as I think he could play his sense of humor in a noticeable but understated manner. And I’ve always seen Michael C Hall as Big J.
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
I was actually at a friend’s house checking my email when I received my acceptance letter from Loose Id. I had to read it several times, and then started screaming and bouncing all over the place. My friend found out first, naturally.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
Nineteen or so—I discovered them in college. Or rather, I discovered I liked them in college.
If you still have one of those pesky day jobs what is it?
I’m an office assistant, though I’m more likely to tell people about my second job, which is editing. I love editing (sick, huh?) – I just don’t get paid enough for editing to claim it as my primary source of income. It’s more about the experience and the resume.
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
I have several WIPs or WIP ideas on the backburner, but am actively working the follow-up to Lost Wages of Sin as well as a vampire paranormal erotic that has nothing to do with the Sinners and Saints series and is likewise darker and grittier in tone. I’ve been working on the latter since 2009; it’s started and stalled many times. Since finishing Lost Wages of Sin, though, my muse has taken off. I expect both projects to be finished within the next couple months, if not sooner.
What is your reaction to people who say one of the following…”Oh you write romance, I thought you were a real writer”, “Romance isn’t a real writing career” or the ever popular “Oh, one of those books”.
If anyone ever accused me of being a fake writer, I think I’d sock them. To the naysayers: I enjoy what I write, I enjoy reading other books in my genre, and as long as I can write what I like and what other people like to read—no matter the amount of sales numbers I see at the end of the day—I consider myself a success. I’m in this for the love of writing, and for the love of the stories I want to tell. I’m doing something I’ve wanted to do since I was little, and no one can rain on my parade.
Where can readers find you?
Romancing the Muses: http://romancingthemuses.blogspot.com/
And for the silly side – What is your favorite type of chocolate?
Hee! The sort with peanut butter in the middle.