S T E P H A N I E J O H N
A D U L T C O N T E M P O R A R Y R O M A N C E A U T H O R
Last week I had the pleasure of being 'fostered' by the fabulous Verna at Verna Loves Books Blog. During the week, my books were spotlighted with teasers, excerpts and a whole host of giveaways! Read on for the interview...
What is your current Write In Progress?
I'm currently working on four books at the moment, and I think my head might be about to explode from all the voices! My immediate focus is on Forgiven (Book 2 in The Heal Me Series). Salvation (Book 1) introduced us to Nate & Kara, and Forgiven is the conclusion to their all-consuming love story. Nate is the narrator and I'm loving being inside his head. I'm also writing Temptation (Book 3) which is a standalone and gives us Mai's (Kara's BFF) story. Anyone who has met her knows she doesn't have a filter and speaks her mind, so she's providing me with plenty of giggles! You can add them on Goodreads. I also have some of the fourth and final book in the series written, but can't divulge what that is just yet. Finally, Slow Dance is a standalone second chance romance with entirely new characters roughly outlined, but I've had to shelve it so I can concentrate on the series.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I'd love to be a full-time author and make a living from it (every author's dream). Of course, it would be fabulous to hit 'the lists' but that isn't the end game for me. I'll keep writing and publishing my best work (I'm a perfectionist...probably why I'm taking forever to release the next one!) for as long as my muses continue providing me with passionate stories to tell.
Which writers inspire you?
Sylvia Day. I just LOVE the way she writes. I've only read her contemporary romances, but her ability to tell stories is beyond compare. The words flow seamlessly; the emotions are conveyed so effortlessly you can't help getting sucked into the world she created. And she writes some HOT men (hello Gideon Cross 😍). I'm also a huge fan of Christina Lauren and Emma Chase. Another writer who inspires me is my lovely friend Dina Littner. She's amazing. Dina writes, manages to make maintaining her social media presence look easy, is incredibly supportive of other authors, always has time for them and is just an all-round fabulous person. You should check out her short stories - you'll fall in love with her writing.
What genre are your books?
Adult Contemporary Erotic Romance. They are definitely for readers 18+ who don't mind explicit language, steamy sex scenes and a deliciously addictive book boyfriend who will send them running for the nearest cold shower (or needing a change of underwear lol) 💘 There is a little humour, and some twists and turns to provide an element of suspense to keep you wanting more.
What draws you to this genre?
Contemporary and erotic romance are my favourite genres to read. I couldn't imagine writing in a different genre I wasn't a fan of reading myself - I'm not sure I could connect to the characters and/or story.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Finding the time, or finding the words when the dreaded writer's block hits. Real life demands a lot of my attention, and this year has been especially tough. It's frustrating when the urge to write is burning inside, yet I can't get to the laptop and spend time with my characters. Then, when they have my full attention, invariably they decide to sulk and won't talk to me lol. Also, I don't think I appreciated the amount of time needed to invest in promoting and building relationships with readers, bloggers, and other author friends, and trying to balance it with the whole writing thing.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
See above! Lack of time has been the biggest factor in writing Forgiven. Also, I've been hit with some severe bouts of crippling self-doubt as I'm sure every author experiences at some point. As I mentioned before, I'm a perfectionist. The reviews for my published work are fantastic, so now I've set the expectation bar even higher. It's killing me!
Do you have any advice for other authors?
Stay true to yourself, be prepared to work hard, but above all, don't allow the inevitable fear and self-doubt you'll feel hold you back from fulfilling your dreams.
What is your favourite positive saying?
OMG, I have so many! I have entire boards on Pinterest dedicated to quotes and inspiration (as well as serious man candy, books, The Heal Me Series, did I mention man candy? You should check them out 😘) Here's two favourite quotes:
"By being yourself, you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before - Edwin Elliot."
"Don't be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams - Ralph Waldo Emmerson."
What is your favourite book and why?
Gah, that's like asking me to pick a favourite child! According to my Goodreads 'Favourites shelf' (and in no particular order) - Tangled by Emma Chase (love a bit of Drew Evans); Bared to You by Sylvia Day (the book that revived my love of reading, and has one of my all-time favourite book boyfriends, Gideon Cross); Frenched by Melanie Harlow (the perfect blend of sexy and funny), and Beautiful Player by Christina Lauren (Will Sumner - say no more).
Is there anything else you would like to add for readers who haven't read your books yet?
Powerfully passionate, breathtakingly sexy, tenderly erotic - if that's what you look for in your stories you should #oneclick The Heal Me Series. Nate isn't your typical 'broken' billionaire, and Kara isn't the typical woman who comes along to save him. Yes, he's ridiculously handsome, charming and funny, confident and sure knows how to please a woman in bed. And let's not forget the gorgeous blue eyes and panty-dropping smile - what's not to love? But peel back the layers, and you'll find a kind, supportive, trustworthy man who isn't afraid to fight for what he wants. He wears his heart on his sleeve and I adore him for that. Gah, I'm swooning again. Salvation is a captivating story of finding, fighting and finally giving into a love that is clearly meant to be. Unspoken is FREE with all major ebook retailers and can be enjoyed before or after Salvation if you need a taster from Nate before you decide (you'll be drooling!).