I would like to welcome Stacey Coverstone as my guest author this week. Stacey wrote her first novel in 2006 after an inspiring week at Cowgirl Camp in New Mexico. When that western romance was quickly accepted for publication, there was no looking back. She now writes in several genres, including historical and contemporary western romance, mysteries with a supernatural twist, ghost stories, and Gothic romance. She also is a freelance fiction editor, who enjoys working with indie, established, and new authors. Stacey and her husband call the charming lakeside town of Mount Dora, Florida home, where she works in Special Events Sales at the historic (and some say haunted) 1883 Lakeside Inn. Her book Lake Tavadora was inspired by the lake, the town, and the inn. Stacey enjoys the beach, bicycle riding, camping, traveling, photography, and her rescue dog, Buster.
How old were you when you decided to become a writer?
I dreamed of being a writer when I was in elementary school. Back then I wrote poems and plays that the neighborhood kids and I put on for our parents and friends on the front porch of my family home. As I grew older, I wrote short stories and wanted to write a novel, but didn’t know how to go about writing one and couldn’t come up with any good ideas for a full-length book. It wouldn’t be until many years later that I felt I had the life experience, time, and confidence to write a novel.
Tell us about your decision to write that first book, even if it wasn’t published.
I began studying for a Master’s degree when I was around 45 years old. My daughters were pretty much grown, I was bored with my job, and since an employer benefit was free tuition, I thought why not try? Much to my surprise, I enjoyed the program and earned my Master’s in Human Resources in 2006. As a gift, my husband sent me to Cowgirl Camp in Gila, New Mexico for a week. It was such an adventure, bonding with other cowgirls, daily horseback rides, driving cattle on a roundup, and learning to rope, brand, and team pen. I went home so inspired that I sat down and wrote my very first novel—a contemporary western romance, of course. That book was not accepted for publication, but a very kind editor gave me some wonderful advice and the second novel I wrote was quickly accepted for publication. After that, there was no looking back.
Discuss your path to publication. Do you have an agent? Do you self-pub?
That novel I just spoke about was accepted for publication by a small press, and at the same time, a short paranormal story was accepted by another romance publisher, The Wild Rose Press. I went on to publish several novels with them, and I was also published by Champagne Books and Five Star. I’m currently published with Prairie Rose Publications. I’ve never had an agent. In 2011, I decided to try my luck at self-publishing and haven’t regretted my decision, since I like having complete control over my work. I currently have 22 novels published and am working on the 23rd.
Do you hire an editor or do you edit your own work?
Aside from being an author, I’m also a freelance fiction editor, so I do feel confident to edit my own work. However, I always have some trusted beta readers read everything I write. I also have someone who is very good at proofing to go through my manuscripts to catch what I miss. As an editor, I enjoy working my both Indie and traditionally-published authors.
What genre do you write in and why?
I write in a variety of genres: contemporary and historical western romance, romantic suspense, Gothic romance, mysteries, time travel, and ghost stories. I’ve also written a women’s fiction novel laced with dark humor, a pirate story, and a book that’s set in the past, present and future and is, therefore, difficult to categorize. I write in all genres because I also love to read different genres, but my favorites are historical western romance and Gothic romance. Western romance because I grew up watching westerns on TV (still do), I’ve owned horses, love the western lifestyle, and I’ve done a lot of traveling in the west. My mom had Gothic romance novels around the house that I got hooked on as a teen. I still love to write and read them.
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