Okay so it looks like I fell off the planet. Promise - I'm still here. The last two years have been ... hard. There's no other word for it. Everything is fine. I'm fine, but I've been the caregiver of my Mother-in-law and now I'm taking care of my mom. Between her needs, work, etc I seem to have lost control of my time. I am still writing and have made a few hard decisions.

I pulled my books from Mundania and have decided to to try to sell them through other publishers. I'm happy to say the 1st three books I sold to HSWF (now owned by Mundania) have been picked up by Melange Books and will be released through their Satin Books imprint. The rest I'm still working on.

I'll probably still be sporadic. Unless I win the lottery and can hire someone to help me I can't avoid it, but know I'm still here still working hard in the background and am hoping to do better at keeping my blog alive.


Tink...tink...tink...anyone out there? Hi! I'm Barbara Donlon Bradley - Author - editor and slightly crazy - ask anyone in my family. I hope to use this blog to talk about writing, editing and whatever pops in my head. Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Meet My Latest Guest - Stacy Juba!

I want to welcome Stacy Juba. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

I have published books for adults, teens and children, everything from mystery and romantic suspense, to a hockey novel and a paranormal thriller for young adults, to a patriotic children's book that teaches kids about American flag etiquette. I like to say that all of my characters are at a crossroads, or a turning point, in their lives regardless of the genre or age group.  I'm also a freelance editor for writers and teach online writing and marketing classes,

Tell us about your latest release.

 My upcoming release, which should be coming out in early 2015, is Fooling Around With Cinderella. It's a blend of chick lit, romantic comedy and clean romance, and is about a marketing coordinator who gets roped into playing Cinderella at a fairy tale theme park for the summer and winds up falling for her boss. It is the first in my upcoming Storybook Valley series.

Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.

1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?

The favorite villain from one of my books is the mysterious Miles, the stalker obsessed with former reality show contestant Cassidy Novak in Sink or Swim. I remember after my editor read the book, she e-mailed me and said, "Whoa, that Miles is nuts!" There was one scene in particular, set in an old mill with dance music playing in the background, that was really fun to write as I got to showcase how disturbed Miles really was.  My favorite villain in something that I didn't write is Regina, the Evil Queen, from Once Upon a Time. I love how the writers showed how she became evil and how she truly loves her son and wants to change for him, but obstacles keep getting in her way.

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?

My favorite character is always the protagonist of the book that I'm writing, so currently it's Jaine from Fooling Around With Cinderella. She is sweet and funny, kind of "adorkable" and I enjoy making her put on a Cinderella dress. I also have a soft spot for Dawn, the teenage psychic in my YA thriller Dark Before Dawn, as she feels like she doesn't fit in and needs to learn self acceptance. She is a good kid who makes mistakes so I think a lot of girls will relate to her. I relate to her as Dawn is always picked last in gym class, like I was in school, only she gets a chance for revenge!     

3.) What do genre do you write? What made you pick that one?

Although I've also written YA and children's picture books, I mainly focused on mystery novels until recently and now I'm branching out into the Storybook Valley chick lit/sweet romance series. I have loved reading mysteries since I was a kid as I enjoy trying to figure out who did it. I became a fan of chick lit and romantic comedy books over the last few years, since I started reading e-books and being exposed to a wider variety of genres.  I enjoy romantic comedy as those kinds of books are light, fun and sometimes I chuckle out loud.       

4.) What are you working on now?

I am working on the final rewrites of Fooling Around With Cinderella, and on developing the next couple books in the Storybook Valley series.

5.) What got you to start writing?

I started writing in third grade and by fifth grade I was writing my own mystery series about an amateur sleuth named Cathy Summers. I was very introverted and writing was a way for me to express myself. My teachers realized that and encouraged my writing, making me feel as if I had a special talent.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

I pick up ideas from my daily life. My mystery novel Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, is about an obit writer who stumbles across a 25-year-old murder on the microfilm, and was inspired by my days of working for a newspaper and compiling the flashback columns. Sink or Swim was inspired by the reality TV show craze, but I made Cassidy a personal trainer for a health club because my college major was exercise physiology and I once worked in a gym. Fooling Around With Cinderella was inspired by a family trip to a fairy tale theme park.   

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?

They would probably be surprised to find out that I am so introverted. Because I'm so quiet, a lot of people who know me casually are shocked that I write mysteries and chick lit and that I'm all over Twitter and the blogosphere. I think readers who are just familiar with the confident voice in my novels and on-line would have the opposite reaction and be surprised at how introverted I am. At a party, I'm usually content just talking to one or two people in the corner.    

8.) Do you have any special talents?

Writing is my biggest talent but I'm also good at researching and conveying dense information in a way that is easy for people to understand. I've written a lot of health articles over the years for a mainstream audience. If a friend or relative needs to find out something and doesn't know where to start, they come to me. 

9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?

I remember reading that to be a successful author, it took 20 percent talent and 80 percent determination. I think there is some truth to that.  You need determination and drive, regardless of whether you submit to publishers and agents or self-publish. You also need determination to hone your craft and improve your stories, so that your raw talent grows and becomes much more polished.  

10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?

Dale Carnegie wrote some insightful books about self-improvement, leadership and interpersonal skills such as How to Win Friends and Influence People. One of the core ideas in his books is that it is possible to change other people's behavior by changing one's behavior toward them. I think it would be fascinating to sit down and have a conversation with him.

11.) What song would you say describes your life?

My husband and I danced to the song "Don't Want to Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith as the last song at our wedding and I think that song describes my life to some degree. The lyrics capture how I feel about my family. I also don't want to miss out on anything whether it's pursuing my dream of being a writer, traveling, or whatever else I feel compelled to do, even if it means going out of my "introverted" comfort zone.

12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?

A cat! My cat lounges around on beds and couches all day and her entertainment is watching birds out the window. Sometimes I think of how simple her life is!  

Sink or Swim: A fun beach read endorsed by contestants from Survivor, Big Brother, and The Amazing Race. Ambitious personal trainer Cassidy Novak has gained fame for starring on Sink or Swim, a hit reality show. Not only does she lose and have to walk the plank, but after the game show ends, the terror begins. Upon returning home, Cassidy discovers she has attracted a stalker masterminding his own twisted game. She struggles to focus on her health club job and celebrity endorsement opportunities, but her stalker has other plans. As her former competitors get knocked off one-by-one, Cassidy refuses to play by the stalker's bizarre rules. She's also being shadowed by hunky photographer Zach Gallagher, who has been assigned to capture her personal moments for a spread in the local newspaper. She wants to trust Zach, but fears he may not be what he seems. When the stalker forces a showdown, Cassidy must once again walk the plank...this time for her life.

Barnes & Noble:

Bio: Stacy Juba loves to write stories about Characters at a Crossroads: individuals who are finding themselves and getting on the right life path after overcoming obstacles. Her goals are to entertain readers of all ages as well as inspire them. She has made numerous bestseller lists including GalleyCat’s Barnes & Noble Bestsellers and GalleyCat’s Mystery and Thriller Bestsellers. Stacy has written about reality TV contestants targeted by a killer, an obit writer investigating a cold case, teen psychics who control minds, twin high school hockey stars battling on the ice, and teddy bears learning to raise the U.S. flag. She has had a book ranked as #5 in the Nook Store and #30 on the Amazon Kindle Paid List. Stacy also offers a beta reading/editing service for writers. Watch for her upcoming romantic comedy Fooling Around With Cinderella.
Website: http://stacyjuba.com/blog/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stacy-Juba/100155471301
Twitter https://twitter.com/stacyjuba

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