I love author interviews and today, I’m sharing an interesting one from Stanalei Fletcher, along with an amazing 99 cent sale on each of the books in her Northstar Security series!
What is the first book that made you cry?
The first book that made me cry…hmmm…this is tough question, because I’m not a very emotional person. I honestly don’t recall any books as a child that brought tears to my eyes, although I do recall sobbing pretty hard at the movie, Black Beauty. The first book that made me cry came a bit later in life. I’d been reading everything I could put my hands on by Alistair McLean. I’d left reading his first book, HMS Ulysses until almost last, thinking I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as his other works. I was wrong. This book wasn’t just about one protagonist. Instead, the story fictionally chronicled the ship and the men who fought aboard her. Their heroic struggles to save that ship still resonates with me. I’m not ashamed to say I cried at the end of that story.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym (or do you already)?
I do write under a pseudonym. My pen name is a combination of my husband’s middle name and my father’s middle name. I chose to do this partly as a marketing tool and partly because I still work a day job, where most of my fellow coworkers do not know I write.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Excellent question and one that challenges writers who desire to have their works published and read. I don’t believe what I write is terribly original in concept or in plot lines. I believe the originality in my stories comes from the personal experiences and knowledge I bring to the story. I am a firm believer in STORY. Readers and audiences in general, select their entertainment with preconceived expectations. If I don’t deliver on those expectations, they will intuitively know something is missing. They may not know what, but they will feel dissatisfied when they close the book. I strive very hard to make sure I don’t leave a reader wanting.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
My Northstar series is a connected work, currently with five books. However each book in the series was deliberately written to be read as a standalone. Personally, I’m not a fan of serials, so I don’t care to write them. That said, I do understand their appeal and the authors who produce them have my upmost respect. I think it’s a rare talent to write in the same world book after book.
If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?
Unfortunately, I would tell my younger self the same thing I tell myself today. Stop worrying about things I can’t control. I’ve had people telling me that all my life. Yet, it’s still a concept I’m trying master.
How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?
I don’t believe it’s my place to make demands on any reader. I certainly do what I can to take care of the reader by producing the best work I’m able. It’s my job as a writer, especially if I want the reader to part with, not only their hard earned dollars, but their time, to put effort into my craft and offer them a satisfying read and time well spent.
Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
I do see writing as spiritual practice. I see it as a way to put my expressions and emotions into words. I believe it to be a practice on the path to mastery of life.
How do you select the names of your characters?
Like many writers, I have a baby names book. And I make use of it. There were all those great names I wanted to name my own children but I was limited to only a few…which for the kids ended up being mostly family names. Well, now I get to name my characters with those great names. How cool is that?
That said, I do try to fit the name to the personality of the character as I envision him/her. If I find a name isn’t working, it’s not like I have to go before a judge to have a character’s name changed. I can simply pick another name. That’s pretty cool too.
What is your favorite childhood book?
I have a well-worn book of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. I’d have to say that is my personal favorite. I’m not locked into a single story, but have all the great ones from Cinderella to Snow-White and Rose-Red.
What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
The most difficult part of my artistic process is being an artist. I’m mostly left-brained and tend to overthink a lot of the process. But I do love the creative sparks and it’s very exciting for me when it flows and the words come together.
GiveAway: Stanalei is offering some fabulous prizes during this tour. One Lucky winner will have the chance to choose an ebook from her backlist, another lucky winner will receive a $50 Amazon Gift Certificate, and one lucky winner will have the chance to choose a print book from Stanalei’s backlist. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember to follow along with the tour to increase your chances of winning. You may find the other tour locations here.
Northstar Security Series Book #1
Caitlin Malone believes screw-ups don’t get second chances. When she returns to Oregon after failing her first Northstar Security assignment and stumbles across a plot to steal deadly pathogens, she sees a chance at redemption.
For USDA Forest Ranger, John ‘Mac’ MacAlistair, having Caitlin home again brings up feelings that are better left buried.
When Caitlin is trapped by the wildfire, started by the terrorists, her only hope of rescue is pinned on Mac, the man she’s tried two years to forget.
Byron O’Neal, Northstar Security Firm’s director didn’t always run an elite private investigation firm. His early CIA years were spent chasing Soviet spies. Now his past is catching up, and Kellee, Bryon’s daughter is caught in the middle of a game of Russian Roulette. Northstar agent and former Navy SEAL, Egan Maddox, is tasked to save Kellee from the Russian mafia before it’s too late, a task that puts not only his life, but his heart on the line.
About the Book:
Northstar Security agent, Riley O’Neal, balks at posing as anyone’s husband for an assignment. Nevertheless, to rescue the kidnapped wife of a U.S. Senator, he’ll perform his duty and do his best to resist the charms of the very woman who deceived him on a previous mission.
U.S. Army Lt. Mary “Chip” Anderson is uneasy about the undercover assignment to pose as newlyweds. Concealing her attraction to Riley while staying focused on the task, may be the biggest challenge. Despite efforts to remain objective, enforced proximity ignites emotions and a desire to make the fake honeymoon real.
When Chip is kidnapped during a botched rescue attempt of the senator’s wife, both women become pawns in the case that threatens the nation’s security. Riley must remain objective, save the women, and avert the threat. But after that, can he convince Chip that she wants to wear his ring forever?
Amazon | The Wild Rose Press
Riley waited until the conference door closed and then picked up the sealed envelope on the table. “What’s this?”
His father gestured with his hand. “Open it.”
Riley tore one end of the envelope. Not seeing anything at first, he tipped it upside down. Two gold bands slid out. The innocent symbols of eternal love clattered ominously on the table. The larger one spun a moment before coming to rest, barely touching the smaller ring.
Riley felt immobilized by the significance of the gold glinting under the room’s fluorescent lights. As though on cue, they both reached for the rings. When their hands collided, Chip snatched hers back and balled it into a fist.
He picked up the smaller ring first, and rolled the smooth metal between his fingers. He strode around the table and stopped in front of the petite lieutenant.
She stood her ground. Taking her left hand, he heard her draw a breath.
His gaze locked on to the violent storm brewing inside her gray eyes. The temperature inside the room increased. His breathing matched the rise and fall of her chest as the room filled with white noise. Her slender hand trembled ever so slightly as he slipped the band onto her fourth finger. It fit perfectly. He stared into the dark pools of her eyes, like a man dying of thirst in the scorched desert. Uninvited, the timeless words from the marriage ceremony echoed through his head. “With this ring…”
Stunned by the thought, he stopped short of speaking the words aloud. At the head of the table, Byron cleared his throat and broke the spell.
Riley dropped her hand as though he’d been burned. He returned to his side of the table, picked up the other ring, and slid it on the fourth finger of his left hand. No fanfare. No ceremony. Only an unfamiliar burden he was about to carry. A partner—a wife as a cover story—with two lives and the nation’s security at stake.
Northstar Security Series Book #4
Cyber-terrorism brings even the most powerful companies to their knees. When Northstar Security Firm discovers a breach inside their computer firewall, agent Sloan Cartland will do anything to help the firm’s brilliant computer tech, Allison Richards, find the culprit—even after he learns that all evidence of the hack points back to Allison.
Northstar Security Series Book #5
FBI agent, Nelson Kane’s Aunt Rosalee has a story to tell. Someone wants her stopped. When Northstar Security’s unconventional bodyguard, Justine Shelby, is assigned as Aunt Rosalee’s protection, Shelby learns she’s as welcome as a wiretap at the annual J. Edgar Hoover Christmas party. Ornaments start to fly when Shelby informs by-the-book, Agent Kane to stay out of the way while she helps his aunt complete her tell-all memoirs.
Amazon | The Wild Rose Press
About the Author: