This week, I have turned the tables on excellent friend and author, L.M. Stull, by taking the questionaire she’s developed to interview fellow authors, and asking her the very same questions. I think you will really enjoy getting to know her a bit better.
When did you first know you wanted to write a book? About a year ago. I never really thought of myself as a novelist. I wrote and got published with some short stories and poems when I was younger. I went to a book signing last year and got to chatting with the author about writing. She said “you should totally get back into writing. Write a book!” For some reason it all made sense. I felt kind of silly, really, when she said it—I mean, why hadn’t I thought of that! So, I went home that night and for the first time in over 10 years opened a journal and wrote. The end result? A 5,000 word short story called My Vintage Rose (which should be available for reading with Romance Stories Magazine this month). After that the creative juices could not be stopped. In 3.5 months I wrote my debut novel. Took a week off and started Nano, where I wrote a novella. Waited a week after that and started my latest WIP. It has been an exciting journey. One that I hope will never end.
Are you a traditionally published author or indie? Indie. Indie. Indie.
What made you decide this route? Control. I am a control freak and I’ll gladly admit it. I like to come up with my own plan. Not to say I don’t appreciate advice from others, but I’m not a mainstream kinda girl. I like to be different and take chances. So, naturally, the indie route appealed to me right off the bat. I have no desire to be traditionally published. There is nothing wrong with going that route, but it’s just not for me.
What was your biggest resource of information as an indie author? Twitter brought the entire writing world to my fingertips. I have met thousands of writers, all of whom have been willing to share their experiences thus far with me. Also, I have to say the members of the Indie Book Collective. When I was just a newbie on twitter they took me in, chatted with me and helped me get my platform going. For that, I will always be their fan.
How many novels have you had published, or is this your debut? This will be my debut! EEP!
What genre do your write in? You just had to ask this, didn’t you? This is one of the hardest questions for me to answer. My writing style generally crosses over several genres. So, here is what mine is called: paranormal romance that will make you laugh, full of cliff hangers and oh, yeah has some sex. There’s a section at Barnes & Noble named that, right? I guess the main genres would be horror and paranormal romance. The novella I wrote during NaNo is most certainly a horror/suspense. My longer writing tends to be laced with more humor and action, while ironically my shorter pieces tend to be more dark and demented.
Tell us a little bit about your latest novel (or upcoming novel)? Here is the synopsis for Memoirs of a Monkey:
Samantha Bowden was born and raised in the Nation’s Capital. As a young, energetic writer, everything seemed to be going right in her world when she was offered a junior writing position in the Marketing Department of a very prestigious invention firm. As she tries everything to get recognition from her new boss, it becomes apparent that most of the executives at You Name It, We Made It are not what they seem to be. Samantha sets off to find out what is going on, but will she regret learning about the creatures she calls coworkers? In her quest to succeed in one of America’s deadliest offices, she finds herself on a hilarious, sexy and action-packed journey to find the truth of just about everything in her life.
There is a snippet on my site, but several chapters will be available as part of final pre-release push over this next month.
Which of your characters do you most relate with? Samatha Bowden. She is a fictional version of me.
Where did the inspiration for this book come from? My work. Memoirs of a Monkey was originally going to be a memoir about me and the somewhat ridiculous office I work in. But, that just seemed too boring. Sitting at my desk, after having kind of a rough day, I wondered why some executives had to be so mean. I thought to myself wouldn’t it be funny if they all turned out to be monsters?! And there you have it, my debut was born. It was decided that I would take some of the funny things that happen at my job, use them in the book and add a paranormal spin to it. Everyone wants to know about the banana and the monkey in the title – I can tell you it is a play on words, the book is not actually about a monkey. The rest, well, you’ll figure it out when you read it.
Did you know the title before you started writing, or did it come to you later? Yes, definitely knew it before.
Is there a message in your novel you wish for the reader to grasp? Not really into messages and deeper meanings. I like that in other books, but that’s just not what my writing is about. If you want to sit down, laugh and escape reality, my books are for you.
If you could use only FIVE words to persuade us to read your book, what would they be? Caution: This book may entertain. What? I don’t know, it was the first thing that popped into my head. So, that’s what you’re getting.
What do you find are the biggest obstacles to overcome when writing a novel? I don’t really have a problem writing a novel. If I have an idea and plot it, it will be written. BUT THE EDITING….GODDD THE EDITING. Phew, not the fun part of writing for me AT ALL. But, it is a necessary evil.
For those writers who have not yet completed their first novel, what advice would you give them? Stick with it, even on the days when you are filled with self-doubt and hate every word ever created. Remember to go at your own pace and have fun with it!
What famous writer would you most compare yourself to and why? Oh boy. I guess I am most like Charlaine Harris, with a little bit of Sophie Kinsella in the mix. Those ladies are awesome and I’ll never be as wonderful as them, but I’ll keep trying.
What is one book (besides one of your own) that you think everyone should read? The Reivers by William Faulkner.
What book are your currently reading? Three actually: Train of Consequence by Tom Jarvis, The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester, and Light in August by William Faulkner (I am a HUGE Faulkner fan, can you tell?)
eBook or hard copy, or do you not have a preference? Definitely hard copy. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my Nook Color, but nothing will ever replace the feel of an actual book in your hands.
Have any new and upcoming authors caught your eye? YES two: Robert James Russell, who recently published Sex Scene: An Anthology and has The Mating Habits of College Girls coming out soon! Everything he writes is absolutely amazing and I mean EVERYTHING. The other is Andrew Mocete and Monster Inside Me, write hard Andrew, I can’t wait to read it!
If you were a superhero what would your name be? Nutty monkey. A friend of mine gave me this name and well, I hate to admit it, but I kinda like it.
Favorite writing snack? It used to be wine and fruit snacks and now it has turned into hot cider and scones.
Are you a plotter or a panster? Both actually. I plot the basic outline of a story using index cards and then panster my way through the rest of it.
Have you ever thought of a great opening chapter and a devilish closing chapter but just can’t work out how to get from one to the other? Not yet.
What kind of routines to you keep when writing ( i.e., exercise, food, chores, etc.)? I try to set aside at least an hour a day to write, exercise and read. Sometimes I do more, sometimes less. Having a schedule helps me. Mornings are usually exercise. Evening is writing and then reading right before bed.
What current project are you working on? When I’m not working on those blasted edits for my debut (I’m almost done by the way – it’s been going a bit slower than anticipated – but, it’s going). I am working on a novel calls Oh Snap! I am 15 chapters in and have to say this is my favorite character so far and might be my favorite book. EVER. For some reason, I am finding myself really at one with the main character Bradford Brook. Here is the synopsis of it:
Meet Bradford Brook. Brad is pretty down on his luck right now. He can’t seem to catch a break. No job, no girlfriend and parents who are sick and tired of loaning him money. To help pay the bills, Brad takes a job at a local thrift store. One day a new donation comes in: a camera. Brad is drawn to it. He has to have it. When he picks it up and looks through the lens, he discovers a world he didn’t even know existed. Creatures roam the streets secretly wreaking havoc. Brad learns that this camera and it’s magical powers will help him stop the evil that is threatening to take over our world. Only one problem remains: it doesn’t pay very well. Brad will juggle his mundane job as a thrift store cashier by day with being a supernatural hunter by night in this undeniably funny, action-packed journey of one photographer just trying to make his mark.
Can you share any of it with us? Sure, the first four chapters are up on my website and will probably be releasing the next few this week.
Tell us a funny unknown fact about yourself. I’m petrified of deer. Yup. Can’t stand them. Those big dopey eyes. TOTALLY FREAKS ME OUT!
Originally a Washington, DC native, L.M. Stull now resides in Southern Virginia. She has always been a creative person and studied classical piano and dance from a young age.
During the day you will find her chained to a desk at a law firm. Yes, she works for lawyers. Now you understand why she writes about creatures . . . Boom! At night she channels her inner creative monster and writes (sorry, she doesn’t turn into a werewolf or anything).
When she’s not writing or feverishly taking orders from attorneys, she laces up and runs (and sometimes drinks wine…yeah, okay maybe more than sometimes).
There are several ways you can go about stalking her on the web if your little heart so desires:Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads (Hint: she’ll totally think you’re awesome if you add her upcoming books to your to-read pile) and of course her really cool Website. She also runs the Fellow Writer’s Group on Facebook.
L.M. is also the founder of Between the Lines, a book club who is proud to feature the writings of independent and small press authors. For information on membership and how to become a contributing author, visit their website. You can also connect with them on Twitter and Facebook.
Thank you, Lisa, for giving me the priviledge of hosting your interview.