Despite being a mystery buff, Stacy is also addicted to Historical romance.
Stacy is a natural born novelist but her first release Divas of the New Millennium (2005/Amber Communications Group Inc.) put her on the map. The book is a compilation biography highlighting the achievements of the biggest minority female R&B singers of early to mid-2000.
From there she scored two book deals from Simon and Schuster for Everlasting (2007) and Melody (2008). In 2011, she signed with African-American Literary Award winning independent publisher Peace in the Storm Publishing and released Giving up the Ghost. Giving up the Ghost is the first installment in Stacy’s new Interracial Suspense series starring two detectives from her novel Melody. The book gained a 2011 African-American Literary award nomination and a 2012 Swirl Award nomination. It was a Top 20 Black Expressions Bestseller.
In 2012, Stacy released The Season of Sin, book two in the series. The book earned a 2012 African-American Literary Award nomination and became a 2012 USA Today Recommended Read. The Season of Sin was nominated for the first annual All Things Literary awards sponsored by OOSA Bookclub and made the OOSA Bookclub Top Reads of 2012 list.
Stacy is featured in the NAACP Award nominated book, Literary Divas: The Top 100+ African-American Women in Writing (2006).
Stacy is currently the African-American Lit content editor for BellaOnline.
Stacy’s message is staying true to herself as a writer and as a woman. Her dream is to see more black authors recognized in more genres.
Stacy was born, raised and resides in Houston, Texas.
Her titles include the following:
The Season of Sin (2012/Peace in the Storm Publishing)
Giving up the Ghost (2011/Peace in the Storm Publishing)
Melody (2008/Simon and Schuster)
Everlasting (2007/Simon and Schuster)
Divas of the New Millennium (2005/Amber Communications Group, Inc.
About “The Season of Sin”
Detective Brianna “Bree” Morris and her partner and ex-lover Steven Kemp are back. This time they are thrown head first into a gruesome homicide that brings forth as many secrets as it does clues.
Brianna’s psychiatrist, Dr. Nadia Hollister is stabbed to death in her upstairs bathroom. Brianna, who is at Nadia’s home while the murder happens, is the only witness. Unfortunately she was knocked unconscious by the killer and only has the memory of the killer’s scent to go on.
Brianna and Steven sign on to help Homicide Detective Jayce Matthews solve the case. With Nadia’s journals as her guide, Bree learns that Nadia was keeping a devastating secret that has something to do with her adopted daughter. The renowned doctor was not whom she seemed to be and her secret may not have only got her killed but could ruin the foundation of her entire family.
The police hunt for suspects but Nadia’s secret could wreck the lives of many, all who have motive to kill her.
The deeper Brianna and Steven dig into Nadia’s past, the more they question whether Nadia was the true victim after all.
UBAWA: When did you first decide you wanted to become an author?
Stacy: I always had an interest in writing and had a great imagination but I never planned on doing it as a career. When I turned 19 I got my first computer and caught the writing book. I revealed to my parents that I wanted to work toward publication and from there my journey began.
UBAWA: How did you decide on the idea for your 1st book? 2nd book? 3rd book, etc?
Stacy: Divas of the New Millennium came about because of my love for the singers I profiled in the book. I never planned to write a biography but as I researched I became interested in making it a project so that's how the book started.
As for fiction, my ideas come to me naturally. I just write about anything I want and go with it. There isn't a process or anything I do special. I can be anywhere and an idea will pop into my head. I find the spontaneous ideas make writing even more challenging and I love challenge because it makes things interesting.
Giving up the Ghost and The Season of Sin began because of my love for the detectives in Melody. I knew that I wanted to continue stories with them. I'd fallen in love and writing a mystery and detective series is something I've always wanted to do. I also got a lot of fan feedback that people loved the officers so I figured it would be cool to start a series.
UBAWA: How long did it take you to complete your first book? What was the process like?
Stacy: To be honest I can't remember. I'd have to guess probably around four or five months for the first draft. It usually takes me about four months at least to finish a novel.
My process is simple. I just jot down some key ideas and write. I don't go through any fancy rituals or some big planning stage. With some writers it seems like it takes them longer to plan what they are gonna write than actually write it. I jump on in. Once I know what I want to start with, I begin the book. I jot stuff along the way as needed but I find that planning too much takes the fun out of writing for me.
UBAWA: What’s so rewarding about writing books and being an author?
Stacy: I write because I enjoy it more than anything. It makes me happy. If it didn't I wouldn't be doing it. There are some great things about the industry and some horrible things. I've had all types of experiences that come with the territory. So my main reason for writing is I enjoy it.
What's rewarding is touching readers with your work and being able to share your imagination with people all over the world.
UBAWA: Was there ever a time you felt like giving up?
Stacy: Yes. There have been times when I thought of walking away from it. Writing is such a hard thing to make a career out of. It really is. It's also incredibly hard to support yourself on writing and that's the dream of most writers. I don't think people realize the pressure it is to be a writer and just all the drama and problems writers can encounter. But I love writing and that passion didn't allow me to leave when I thought I wanted to. Still, I found myself just tired. I was tired of the BS, tired of the hassles, tired of just the process in general. We all get tired. So when I really felt I'd had enough with the industry as a whole I wanted to leave.
I took the advice of friends who told me to just give myself a little space from it and think things out to make sure I really wanted to. I couldn't see myself not writing so I finally came back to myself. I had to change my way of thinking and not let the negativity of the industry get to me.
I try to just focus on the positive and focus on me, myself and I and not worry about others. Everything else out here will drive you crazy! LOL!
UBAWA: There’s more to being an author than writing a book. How do you manage to handle the business side of things?
Stacy: The business side is minimal for me. I am commercially published and not self-published so all the business things a self-published author deals with, my publisher deals with.
In terms of business I just have to look out for myself. I make sure everything is on the up and up in terms of royalty checks and stuff like that but besides that I don't have business stuff. I just have to write and the publisher handles everything else.
The little business stuff I handle, it's just part of the overall process but I don't have to deal with all the business things that a self-published author would.
Thank goodness! LOL! I'm a writer, not a publisher.
UBAWA: Do you have an editor or do you edit your own books?
Stacy: I have a background in editing so my work is crisp and polished by the final copy and I just send it in. The publisher does any additional editing.
So nope, no money comes out of my pocket. I took editing courses years ago so I know a lot about editing including content editing. I also learned a lot on my own and from being in the business. I've studied books on editing that were amazing and any writer should know something about editing. Even though you need another set of eyes, you should know as much about editing as you can because knowing how to edit your work to a certain degree is what makes you a better writer.
UBAWA: Who does the cover art for your book(s)?
Stacy: I wouldn't know. My publisher handles all of that. They work with various designers. My publisher asks for input on what I want, I tell them and they get it done.
UBAWA: Do you ever encounter writer’s block? How do you get past it?
Stacy: Everyone has encountered blocks now and then. I've written about Writers Block many times to help other writers.
I find that stepping away from the work and taking a break is the best medicine. You can't force your muse to work. She works when she wants to. She controls the writing, not you. Writers often get writers block when trying to write something that they might not need to write. Writers Block is your muse's way of telling you she's tired, that you're tired or that she is not feeling what you want to write.
Most times when I get a block on a scene or story, it means I shouldn't write it. If your ideas stop flowing that's a sign that you need to break from that idea or story. If it's meant to be for you to complete it, your ideas will come back.
Sometimes what you want to write is not what you need to write.
UBAWA: How often do you write?
Stacy: It differs now. When I first started in the business all I did was write. I wrote book after book after book. I was a workaholic with it. I had over twelve books written before I got my first book contract.
I'm older now and I have more priorities and things to do. When you are 19 or in your early 20's it's easy to spend time writing constantly especially when you enjoy it. But when you get in your 30's, it becomes difficult to push yourself the way I was pushing myself. Plus I am in no rush when I write. I take my time so whenever the work is done, it's done. My publisher doesn't set deadlines. Whenever I have a book complete, I give it to her and go from there. I prefer this method better because I wouldn't want to have a deadline. I think it would stifle my creativity. Some writers work well with deadlines.
I never have a problem getting my writing in. I'm self-disciplined; but I in no way will kill myself just to write a certain amount a day like I did when I was in my 20's. I'm 34 now. I also have other interests I didn't have then.
I’m in school. So I write when I want to, whenever that is, is when it is. I don't depend on a schedule these days. But I do get the job done. LOL!
UBAWA: Tell us about your last book signing.
Stacy: A waste of time. LOL! I haven't had a signing in a long time. I hate doing them. I also do not like to do events due to an issue I won't go into. But I never enjoyed book signings, at all. I just forced myself to do them but I'm at a point mentally where I can't do that anymore. I won't share why, but I made up my mind before to stop doing stuff that made me miserable just to please others and it's necessary to take this approach for my overall health.
Thank goodness for online promotion. I think these days it's much easier to spread the word about books due to the Internet. I also think it's more effective and you can still talk with readers if that's your goal. You have a better chance of meeting readers online because it's hard as heck to get folks to come to a signing these days.
Book signings were mainly for authors to make their presence known to bookstores. It wasn't ever the best mode for selling books. Most authors don't sell at signings. Sure you interact but you don't have to have a signing; just do that in public. There are other ways you can connect with readers and for me, these ways have been more beneficial to me than a signing ever has. To me book signings are like torture and I'd rather skip out on that misery. Especially when it doesn't result in sales.
UBAWA: Beside social media, what other methods are you using to get the word out about your book(s)?
Stacy: Each time I release a book I try to get in touch with more and more book clubs. I think that's a great way to get exposure.
UBAWA: As a Woman of Color, what inspires you the most?
Stacy: The same thing that inspires me as a human being, period. I just hope to be happy and satisfied in what I do. That's my main inspiration. If you're not happy in life then what's the need of living?
UBAWA: Who is your biggest influence?
Stacy: For my career it would be Alfred Hitchcock. He made me discover my love for suspense and that's why I am a mystery writer.
In life it's my mom (RIP). No one else will come closer than her. She's been gone since 2006 but it's like she is right along with me.
UBAWA: Have you ever done something in the past you regret? How did you get through it?
Stacy: We all make regrets. It's a part of life. If it's something I did wrong I made peace with myself and it to move on. If it's something done to me and I ended up regretting my reaction to it, I ended up forgiving the person or the issue. What helps me deal with things is remembering that things happen for a reason. I am a big believer in fate and I believe how things happen is how they were meant to happen. We can only deal with it the best we can.
UBAWA: How do you get through the tough times in life when life throws what it throws at you?
Stacy: I just go with the flow. What more can I do? I've gone through some very tough issues like my mom passing away. She was my rock. We were incredibly close and I am an only child. She was my best, best friend and a big hole will never be replaced with her gone. Losing a parent is something no one can understand unless they've been through it. I used to think I'd never get through something like that but I was incredibly strong when it happened and I got through it. Once again I realized everything happens for a reason. You might not recognize the reason at first, but everything happens for a reason.
I've also been recently diagnosed with a chronic issue and I was born with a mental disorder. These are things I can't control or change no matter what I do and wished I didn't have to deal with them but that's all I can do, deal with them.
You have to be able to accept the challenges in life in order to survive. We all get tested and we all go through things. When my mom passed, I realized that it’s true that most times we are stronger than we think we are and we have no idea what we can handle until we have to.
UBAWA: What is one goal you want to accomplish for yourself in 2013?
Stacy: Pass all of my classes in school.
UBAWA: What do you have planned next?
Stacy: The Wild Life is book 3 in my Interracial Suspense series and it will be released in July 2013 from Peace in the Storm Publishing.
I've been getting some emails on when my next book is coming out so I hope folks check it out and enjoy it!
UBAWA: How can readers and others in the literary community reach you?
Stacy: You can reach me through the contact form on my website: http://www.stacy-deanne.net and I'll get the message immediately.
You can also reach me through BellaOnline (but give me some time to get back to you).
Just go here and fill out the box: http://www.bellaonline.com/about/africanamericanlit
I am also on Facebook and Twitter (sometimes) LOL!
Just look me up and say hi! It's best to keep professional inquires to my website or BellaOnline to ensure I get back to you.