April 12th, 2019
I asked Stella where she would like to chat:
“The bottom of my trench coat slaps around my legs. I tug the starched points of my collar up to fight the bitter chill. It’s not even winter, but that doesn’t stop the arctic wind from up north, funneling viciously through the valley. The hair on the back of my neck stands on end. Not for the first time I hazard a glance behind me. No one is there, not this time and not the three other times I’ve checked. Still, I can’t shake the feeling I am being watched. I push on. My destination is just up ahead. The heavy wooden sign of my favorite bookstore swings overhead. A curious old shop with the charm of an antique store and the delicious pastries only a grandma could produce.
Pulling open the door I am grateful for the instant warmth. A familiar cocoon of old books and cinnamon. I smile at the teenager behind the counter as he hands me my usual black coffee and chocolate croissant before making my way to my favorite spot. A plush Victorian settee nestled in the back corner of the room. Most of the casual visitors don’t even know it’s there. Today I find I am not the only one who enjoys this private area. I smile and take a seat next to the woman. I may come here for solitude, but I am always up for making new friends.”
Laura Mae: Hello Miss Stella! How are you today?
Stella Williams: I am doing fantastic! How are you?
L: I’m great! Weather’s been awesome lately so that helps. Haha!
S: It’s pouring rain where I live so it’s perfect hot chocolate and book reading weather.
L: Ooh, that is seriously the best! Jealous! Is it the type of weather you like to write in too? If so, what would you be writing?
S: It is not! I tend to write really tragic tales when its raining and I like to keep my stories fun and romantic when I can.
L: Interesting! Do you want to tell us a little about what you’re working on right now?
S: I am currently working on the follow up to my latest release Ferocious. It will be the second book in my Paranormal Romance Series, Secret of Ceres. I consider myself a paranormal romance author but my fan base likes to say I’m more Paranormal Intrigue…lol. This series follows a group of African American magic users who are caught in the middle of the grand scheme that has possibly dire consequences for their culture and society as a whole. Each novel focuses on a particular couple and how the trials they face bring them together.
L: Oh that’s really interesting. I can see where your fans came up with that title! What was your inspiration behind this particular series?
S: I was in the middle of writing the final book in my vampire series when the hashtag (#blackgirlmag, #blackgirlmagic) became popular and I began to imagine a literal black girl magic. Of course, my idea evolved beyond just one character as I got more steeped in the movement for diverse books and particularly diverse romance.
L: Love that! You’re right in that we need more diverse stories. I applaud you! Are any of the characters in your books based off of people you know?
S: Not at all…lol. I make it a point not to write about people I know. I find it more fun to push the bounds of my imagination in character building.
L: Haha! I don’t blame you! Most of my characters I make up. I think it’s more fun sometimes. So Stells how long have you been writing? Do you remember the first thing you wrote?
S: I have been writing for a very long time. Like most young girls I was obsessed with keeping journals but I didn’t start writing fiction until my early teens. My first story was a contemporary romance about a young college girl who fell in love with the bad boy who was also a prince from a made up South American country. I just couldn’t help using my Spanish 1 vocabulary skills in the story either. I still have it hidden away in a closet…lol.
L: Haha! That’s awesome! So you’ve been writing romance for a while, I see! Is that also the type of genre you read most?
S: Yes! I’ve been reading romance longer than anything else. I can remember reading Harlequin Romance Novels over my mom’s shoulder as early as 3 or 4 years old. I was eight when my mom stopped pretending she didn’t know I was sneaking the ones she finished and started letting me read ones she felt weren’t too graphic for my age.
L: Adorable! Are you currently reading a romance novel then? And what’s it about?
S: I am currently reading Prisoner of Night by JR Ward, Queens of Beasts: Taming Rey by Phoenix Williams, and The Shifter Bachelorette by Shai August. I started reading JR Wards Black Dagger Brotherhood series in high school and am seriously addicted. Her novels introduced me to the style of Paranormal Romance I try to write. The Queens of Beasts Series by Phoenix Williams is a fun new spin on the small town paranormal trope, Taming Rey is the second in the series. The Shifter Bachelorette by Shai August is something completely new for me. Not only does she introduce non-traditional shifter groups but it has the fun of reality tv thrown in. I have so much fun reading this series.
L: Oh wow! Those all sound super interesting! While we’re still on he subject, do you have any favorite literary character? From any of these books perhaps?
S: My favorite literary character is Sherlock Holmes. I know kind of left field but I really dig his antihero vibe.
L: Haha, no judge! He’s a great character! Very fun to watch in action. So back to writing then; what do you think is the most difficult part of writing?
S: Editing! I am a Panster and binge writer. I can literally stream of conscious a book in three days if I don’t have interruptions. It’s going back and making sure it makes sense that gets me…lol. I always end up coming up with new ideas instead of fixing the old ones.
L: Same! I end up finding *a lot* of mistakes too… But yes, I end up adding more stuff, but that’s not a bad thing! You are making it better!
S: That’s the hope! Thankfully, I have a solid support group of fellow authors for when I need to be reeled in.
L: Do you have any habits when you write? I know you said you’re a panster, but do you need coffee or other things to get it going?
S: I have tons of habits. I burn candles or incense, play mood music, have plenty of snacks and tea on hand. I keep a notebook for notes and side ideas next to me because it often happens that I think up great ideas for the next story while writing the current one. Basically everything I think I might need because when I binge I literally zone out the rest of the world. My longest binge was three days straight where I didn’t move from my desk except to use the bathroom. My husband brought me food and drinks and by the end of it I only stopped because blisters formed on my finger tips.
L: Holy cow, girl!! That is dedication! Haha! You have a great husband for supporting you like that!
S: Yes! It helps that my binge moments mean he gets the TV to play video games as much as he wants…lol
L: Well that’s very nice of you! Haha! So besides binge writing like a beast, what else do you enjoy doing in your free time?
S: I volunteer, co-host a writing group, sew, crochet, refurbish furniture, binge Korean drama and Sci Fi shows, and read of course.
L: Very nice! Korean drama, eh? Do you speak Korean too? Because that’s awesome.
S: I do not speak Korean, unfortunately. I just really enjoy their sweet romances and intense dramas. If you ever need pointers on how to build emotion and suspense just through body language alone, a korean drama is where it’s at. Also if you ever have writer’s block. Watching shows or listening to music in a foreign language helps to stimulate your brain.
L: That’s really sweet. And, seriously? Thanks for the tip, Stella! It has been such fun talking to you today! Would you mind leaving us with some writerly advice for potential authors out there?
S: I had an amazing time chatting with you as well! The best advice I can give to potential authors is to never forget what encouraged you to write in the first place. It’s very easy to lose sight of the fun of writing when you start writing to publish.
L: I agree! Great advice girl! Thanks so much again!
S: Thank you!
Stella Williams is a Blogger, Booktuber, and Paranormal Romance Author, who lives in Washington State. She has a degree in Anthropology from The University of California, Santa Cruz. Stella prides herself in using her studies to create diverse worlds and characters for her novels. Her latest project is a Magical Paranormal Romance Series entitled Secret of Ceres. The first book in the series, Ferocious is available now on Amazon.
Ferocious – The Sanctuary of Ceres is the best-kept secret in the non-human world. Farrah Andromeda is a headstrong Aura PI in the human world. Donovan Mars is a straight-laced Security Force Officer of Ceres. They both want to solve the case of a missing Aura teen, but their methods put them at odds.
When clashes of the mind turn to sparks in the bedroom, will they be able to put aside their differences before the world as they know it goes up in flames?
Enjoy this tale of mystery, romance, and intrigue by Stella Williams.
Buy it here!