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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Interview of Author Stacy Juba

Today I'm pleased to present an interview of romance author Stacy Juba.

Latest Book: the audiobook edition of Sink or Swim. Also available as an e-book.
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Stacy Juba has made numerous bestseller lists including GalleyCat’s Barnes & Noble Bestsellers, GalleyCat’s Mystery and Thriller Bestsellers, and multiple Amazon Top 100 lists, and she has also been ranked as one of the Most Popular Authors in Mysteries on Amazon. She has had a book ranked as #5 in the Nook Store and #30 on the Amazon Kindle Paid List. 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 pursues whatever story ideas won’t leave her alone. Her titles include the adult mystery novels Sink or Swim and Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, the children’s picture books The Flag Keeper and the Teddy Bear Town Children’s Bundle (Three Complete Picture Books), and the young adult novels Face-Off and Dark Before Dawn. She is also the editor of the essay anthology 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror: 52 Authors Look Back. She is a former journalist with more than a dozen writing awards to her credit.

Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: I called my husband, and then called my parents! Then I paced the room with a big grin on my face, as I was so excited, I couldn’t sit still.

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: The beginning is the easiest to write as I usually have a clear vision of the first few chapters. I follow an outline to get started. It gets trickier when the characters start surprising me, but that’s usually deeper into the story.

Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
A: The middle is hardest as it goes on for so long. It’s important to develop the story and characters, yet keep the pacing moving along, which can be a challenge.

Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: My favorite character in Sink or Swim is Cassidy Novak, a personal trainer who competes on a reality show. I like how the experience makes her appreciate the normal life that she had and reminds her of how important her family is to her. She was an interesting character to write as Cassidy is stubborn, sassy, impulsive and determined, yet has a hidden layer of vulnerability. I enjoyed hooking her up with easygoing cowboy Zach Gallagher, as he is her polar opposite in personality.

Q: What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
A: I enjoy aerobics, yoga, and my latest hobby is playing game apps like the puzzle game Flow Free. I am spending way too much time playing games!

Q: Facebook, MySpace, Blogs, Chats, or Twitter. Which do you like best and why?
A: I find Twitter the most helpful. I’ve made so many connections with book bloggers, authors and readers, and having others RT a post can really get the word out. I feel that more people are seeing my posts than on other social networks. I also blog, primarily because I can heavily promote my blog posts through Twitter.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
Amazon page:
Barnes & Noble page:

It's hard enough being famous and not rich. When a stalker enters the picture, reality TV has never seemed so real. 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 cowboy photographer Zach Gallagher, who has been assigned to capture her personal moments for a spread in the local newspaper. She wants to trust the mysterious Zach, yet 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. A Nook Mystery Bestseller, made the Nook Top 100, and a #1 Kindle Bestseller in the Women Sleuths and Romantic Suspense Categories.

"Look! There she is!" A few hundred spectators pointed and gawked as Cassidy entered the ballroom of the Starlight Sensation. She gulped and smoothed down her sleeveless emerald pantsuit.

Deniz Jewell had called the other day with an offer for Cassidy’s first public appearance, and conveniently, it was only forty-five minutes from home. A cruise line had asked her to headline the grand preview of a new luxury ship, docked at the Black Falcon Terminal in the South Boston Waterfront District. They wanted her to sign autographs and socialize with the guests who’d paid to attend a cocktail party and information session.

Cassidy would have preferred something more fitness-related, like an exercise video or sneaker endorsement, but Deniz said she was putting out feelers and that in the meantime, her client should take any work she could get.

Although a cruise ship wasn’t what Cassidy had hoped for, she appreciated the marketing department’s interest in her and liked that the event was in Boston. Even better, the cruise line had sent a black stretch limo for her and her companions from the Garrett Daily News.

Lynn, the cruise line’s six-foot plus brunette director of publicity, rubbed her hands together in anticipation. Barrettes fastened sausage black curls off her rawboned face, lengthening her giraffe neck. Her springy ringlets bounced as she talked. "We’re delighted to have you here, Cassidy, especially on such short notice. We just knew you’d be the perfect ‘face’ of the Starlight Sensation. When we have our maiden voyage this fall, we’d love for you to cruise with us. We could do a huge publicity campaign."

"Oh ... wow, that sounds like fun," Cassidy said.

First SOS. Then the cruise runner-up prize. Now this. How many ships was she doomed to ride?

"As you can see, you’re a big hit." Lynn waved toward the guests murmuring and sneaking glances from round tables festooned with drinks and appetizers. "You’ll sign autographs in here and our staff will be sure to keep the line orderly."

Good to know, but Cassidy half-wished she’d jumped out of the limo a few miles back at Castle Island, a spacious urban park and her favorite spot in Boston. She loved walking or jogging around Castle Island and the peaceful Pleasure Bay, enjoying views of the ferries and vessels passing in the harbor, the low airplanes descending toward Logan International Airport, and the tourists milling about the historic Fort Independence. She’d give anything for a hotdog and ice cream at Sullivan’s, the popular family-run restaurant that serviced visitors. Alas, she’d get no relaxation today.

As Lynn conferred with a co-worker, Cassidy turned to her own personal news team. "Boy, does this beat the Atlantic Devil in the luxury department," she muttered.

"No kidding." Alison scrawled into her wire-bound notebook. With her sleek helmet of blonde locks and designer wardrobe, she looked more like a TV anchorwoman than a small-town newspaper reporter.

Zach Gallagher, her photographer, pulled his Nikon digital camera out of a padded bag and removed the felt Stetson from his wavy black hair. "I wouldn’t mind taking a trip on this baby myself." His flash blinked, triggering a half-dozen cameras from other parts of the ballroom.

"Cassidy! Cassidy!" An acne-scarred young man rushed over to them. Lank greasy blond strands hung ragged past his shoulders, limp as a used mop, and a torn tee-shirt with Cassidy's blurred likeness fell to the waist of his ripped jeans.

He cupped a camera to his heart. "Please, could I pose for one picture with you? I know this is a huge favor, but I can’t stay that long."

Lynn gave her a subtle nod. "Yeah, sure," Cassidy said.

She positioned herself beside the kid and Lynn snapped the photo with a cheerful "cheese."

His lip trembling, the kid stared at Cassidy. "You don't know what this means to me. You should have won. Reggie was a loser."

How could he say that? Reggie was dead. There were more important things than winning. Like living.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Stop by my free reads page for a free 23 minute mystery audiobook and my free anthology 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror: 52 Authors Look Back.


Melissa Keir said...

Sounds like a wonderful story. I love mysteries that keep me guessing. Thanks for sharing!

Sandy said...

You have me on edge already with your blurb and excerpt.

jean hart stewart said...

Sounds original as well as gripping. Lots of luck with this.

Stacy Juba said...

Thanks so much for hosting my interview. Thank you for the nice words, Melissa, Sandy and Jean! I hope readers will enjoy the book for some fun escape reading.

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