In the hot seat today Iwould like to welcome:
Hello Stephanie, thank you for letting us have a peek behindthe scenes. Your sun sign is CANCER.
Q. For a Cancerian, home is a secure base, a place to retire towhen in need of respite from the stresses and strains of life. Do you write at home? How does it feel to compromise your feelingof security with the insecurity of writing?
I do write at home almostexclusively. I have a nice sunroomwhere I can look out on my decaying garden that deserves a better owner thanmyself. So that’s generally where I domost of my writing. Sometimes I getcrazy and branch out to the living room. It’s funny, but writing doesn’t generate any insecurities in me. I suppose it’s because I am constantlyinterested in new ideas and new approaches. My overactive imagination is always in overdrive, so it’s a relief tohave an outlet for this constant stream of ideas. It’s probably a relief to my husband as well.
Q. The moon is the ruling planet of Cancer. The moon fluctuates as it waxes andwanes. As a personality trait, thisrepresents changeability with moods. Doyou have a strategy that calms your mood before you write so that you are inthe right mindset to attempt your writing?
Absolutely. My strategy is always music. When I was writing the Star Child, Ilistened to a lot of British Alternative. Not only did it set the right mood but it made me feel as though I wasactually in another place. Most of mybook takes place in Ireland and the landscape in Pennsylvania is very similarin many ways. The music helped totransport me.
Q. One of the things Cancer sun sign people are known for is areaction to emotions first and then reasoning afterwards. Have you written anything from the heart andthen on proof-reading had to change it because it didn’t make sense?
I’d have to say that as I havedeveloped as an individual, emotions don’t have the luxury of the front seatmuch anymore. However, for the pastfive years, my father was suffering from prostate, lung, and brain cancer, sowriting was my outlet. It really droveme to get through everything that was going on. I’m also a hopeless romantic, so that comes through a lot in mywork. I don’t know that I necessarilyhave to go back and scrap those parts but they definitely come across in mywork.
Q. Cancerians are collectors – of all sorts of things includingclutter! Do you have any bookcollections on your bookshelves?
I am not a collector, butinstead a purger. So there are very fewbooks in my house because I give them to my public library when I’m done. However, I do have a few basic series. The Potter Books, of course, the Twilightseries, and the Chronicle of Faerie series. Ironically I didn’t read the latter until I’d finished my book but Ivery much identified with her writing. I think what had the biggest impact on my writing has been reading anybook that I truly enjoyed. I hated thatthe writer had control over when the next book would come out! So I wanted to create a world where I couldbecome completely absorbed and what better way than to create my own.
(Ed. Purging is aVERY Plutonian word. Pluto co-rulesScorpio alongside Mars. Stephanie mayhave Scorpion Ascendant/Moon. Watchthis space!)
Q. The Cancer energy can express itself as an intense desire forharmony and sometimes the Cancerian will find an artistic medium to expressthemselves through. Is writing acathartic experience for you? Does itfulfil an intense desire for harmony?
Yes, it’s very calming forme. Again, I’ve adapted this throughthe years so that feeling that I have to make everyone feel happy isn’t as muchof a priority. The reason being, I’verealized that I have to be happy too! However, I lead a fairly stressful life. I work 50 hours a week and have a four-year-old and a baby on theway. So my writing time is my time tode-stress.
Q. Cancer is the most family oriented sign of the zodiac. It is a need to have emotional support fromthose close to them, from loved ones. Have you always been a writer? If not, did you have support from thoseclose to you when you changed your career? Do those close to you support you now? Is that important to you?
Sadly I haven’t changed mycareer! Still working every day! However, my husband is my best friend andsupports me in every way possible. Iwrote my first novel at fourteen, which was nonsense, and then couldn’t find astory line that I could fall in love with until I was thirty-five, so I haven’talways been active as a writer outside of work. However, I can say that if it wasn’t for my husband, I neverwould have sat down and started writing about that idea I had in the showerthat turned into my first book.
Q. Cancerians feel there is a time for socialising and a time tobe solitary. Does this follow throughinto your writing? Do you have a clearcut time for writing? Do you have awriting schedule?
Absolutely. I only write when my son is sleeping or notin the house. It was very important tome that I didn’t stop being a parent when I became a writer. So I wrote The Star Child in nine months ofnap time. I still reserve my writingmostly for weekend afternoons, although if I feel as though I have the time andwon’t be interrupted it could be a week day.
Thank you for sharing with us today Stephanie.
Stephanie is a showcased author with Loveahappyending which is an interactive reader/author website. Visit Loveahappyending to find out more about this brilliant project and how you, as a reader, can support them.
StephanieKeyes is a Corporate Employee Development employee by day and an aspiringauthor the rest of the time. She’s also a wife to a wonderful husband often years and a mother of three: one four year old, one on the way, and acockapoo princess, named Riley. In her spare time when she’s not writing,Stephanie loves reading, singing, and is a classically trained clarinetist andjazz saxophonist. Stephanie writes Young Adult Fantasy and her first novel, TheStar Child, is due out this fall.
Kellen St. James is just your average seventeen-year-old prodigy, but with a Yale degree, a photographic memory, and an addiction to 80s music. But what’s not so average about Kellen is the girl who’s been haunting his dreams for the last eleven years. When the sudden death of his grandmother takes him from the East Coast to the Irish Coast, he finds himself face to face with his own personal ghost and finds out that she’s just as real as he is. Plus she’s come spinning a tale about an ancient prophecy in which Kellen plays a key role. Together they will travel through an underworld of faeries and demons, angels and gods, not to mention a really ticked off pack of wild dogs, all in order to save the world from darkness. But will they make it in time?