Wednesday, August 21, 2013

KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE WITH AUTHOR, STEPHANIE CAGE

Even if I never had anything published, I’d still want to write. 



Hi Everyone,

Welcome back to my favorite series, Keeping Your Dreams Alive. I'm so pleased to introduce you to a new friend of mine, author, Stephanie Cage. I met Stephanie through Crimson Romance. The cover of her new novel, Perfect Partners caught my eye and I immediately download it. 

Stephanie, I'm so thrilled to have this chance to get to know you better. Thank you for being here today and sharing your dreams with us. Would you please tell us a little about yourself? 

Stephanie...
In the real world I’m married, I live in the beautiful county of Yorkshire, in the north of England, and I work in administration.  To tell the truth, though, I don’t spend all that much time in the real world.  I love books because you can go anywhere you want to go, for the price of a paperback… or a download… or for nothing on a library loan.  You don’t get a cheaper ticket to adventure than that! The only thing better than reading books is writing them, because you truly get to ‘choose your own adventure’.  (I wonder who else remembers those books?)  So you can look for me walking the moors in Yorkshire, but you’re just as likely to find me on a faraway planet, flying with the dragons. 





People of all ages have forgotten how to dream. What inspired you to dream?
From when I was very young, my parents  encouraged my reading – and writing – habits.  For some reason, they used to let me stay up late to watch the prize-giving ceremony for what was then the Booker Prize (now the Man Booker prize) which was a huge deal in the UK literary world.  I decided very early on that I was going to win it.  I don’t think they believed me… I can’t imagine why!  Later, I realized that I was more interested in writing to entertain than to impress, so that dream fell by the wayside, but I never stopped dreaming of seeing my name in print, and luckily that’s already happened quite a few times in different ways.  My favorite is on the cover of my ballroom dancing novel, Perfect Partners – I think Crimson Romance’s cover designer must have read my mind, it’s so exactly the cover I wanted for the book. 

We all place obstacles in our path which brings our dreams to a dead stop. I call these obstacles dream killers. What was your dream killer and how did you overcome it?
My dream killer is that dullest of little voices, the one demanding I ‘be realistic’ and pointing out that ‘writing isn’t a proper job.’  I haven’t so much overcome it as sidestepped it by keeping up my writing alongside my ‘proper job.’  Although on my more stubborn days I do turn around to it and shout, ‘Tell that to J.K. Rowling!’   

How do you keep the dream alive under extreme adversity – external or internal?
Every so often I’ve come close to giving up writing after a long spell without any apparent success.  What always stops me in the end is realizing that even if I never had anything published, I’d still want to write.  Some people describe the thing they’re born to do as ‘like breathing’.  For me, it’s more like exercise, I think.  I can stop, I just feel lousy when I do!  As much as my body needs me to go for a walk or a swim every now and then, my brain needs me to write.  So I just keep writing for the pleasure of doing it, and sooner or later I have an idea that’s too good to keep to myself, and then I’m back on the roundabout of submissions, rejections and eventually acceptances. 

When you reached the top, how did it feel?
I’m a long way from the top still, but there have been some wonderful moments lately when readers have responded to my books exactly the way I dreamed of.  Some years ago, when I was working in marketing (like my heroine Lisa in Perfect Partners) I found that I was reading a lot of light romance to relax, and I decided I wanted to write books that would make people happy after a hard day in the office.  So I’m over the moon when someone comes up to me and says, ‘I sat down with your book last night and it just totally took me away.  I really believe in Lisa and Redmond and I love their romance – it’s so hot!’

How did realizing your dream change you?
I don’t think being published has changed me, but I have changed a lot by being part of writing groups and especially the Romantic Novelists’ Association, because I’ve learned so much from others and realised how much I have to give back to people who are newer to writing – or to the quest for publication – than I am.  I think perhaps that’s one of the most important things to realize about dreams: they don’t depend on just one person.  You get to them a lot more quickly once you start spending time around people who are on a similar journey, regardless of whether they’re closer to the destination than you are, or not. 

 Photo by Steven Bisby

What's next? What new dream would you like to reach for?
I still dream about going into a mainstream bookshop and seeing my book lined up on the shelves with all the big name authors, but that’s an old dream.  A newer one is to get to know and spend more time working with other authors, whether that’s through blog visits and tours, conferences or courses.  The writing world is so full of excitement, I don’t think I’ll run out of writing dreams for a while! 






Blurb of Perfect Partners:

“What’s he doing back in London after all this time?”
Eight years ago, Lisa Darby’s dancing partner and first love, Redmond Carrington, left London for a fun summer on the cruise ships – and never came back. Lisa’s grown up a bit since then, and she’d like to think she’s prepared for anything, but when Red comes back from America with a proposal for her, she’s not sure she’s ready for what he’s suggesting.
A TV studio is filming a knockout competition of six of the world’s best couples – each of them partners both on and off the dance floor. Redmond wants Lisa to pose as his girlfriend so that they can compete. It’s an unbelievable opportunity for an aspiring professional dancer, and the spectacular prize money would help save Lisa’s beloved dance studio, which is in need of major renovation. Scooping the prize is going to take the performance of a lifetime from Lisa and Redmond, but with the sizzling tension between them, they might just pull it off.
It turns out that putting on an act for the cameras is the least of Lisa’s worries. As time goes on and she rediscovers her feelings for Redmond, she’s left questioning what’s really behind his offer, and where their partnership is heading this time.
Sensuality Level: Sensual

Excerpt of Perfect Partners:

Lisa never knew why she said what she said next.
“Wouldn’t it be easier if we didn’t have to pretend?”

Redmond stared at Lisa for a long moment and she couldn’t read his expression. She wished she could swallow the words back, but they were spoken and a lump of tension was forming in her throat. Then he began lifting his hand slowly. She watched, mesmerised, almost feeling the heat of his hand before it reached her cheek. Her mind ran ahead of the reality, seeing his strong fingers cupping her face and drawing her into the kiss she’d found herself daydreaming about earlier.

Even as she imagined his hungry lips on hers and the familiar warmth of his body close against her, the cautious, hurt part of her mind was warning her not to believe it.
*



Where you can find Stephanie Cage: 

Stephanie Cage is a British romance writer, author of 'Perfect Partners' (Crimson Romance) and 'Desperate Bid (The Wild Rose Press). She studied English Literature at Oxford University and Creative Writing at Bath Spa. One of her most exciting writing moments was winning a holiday to Sicily in the Woman's Own Short Story Competition. More recently she won the Yorkshire Ridings Magazine's Romance Story competition. Oddly, both short stories were set in the same location in Yorkshire
.

Find out more about Stephanie Cage:
My blog: http://www.stephaniecage.co.uk.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/StephanieWriter
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephanie-Cage-Writer/212877878754408


Buy Links:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/19GRuxm
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1dpwiLC
iTunes: http://bit.ly/18HT3Xx
Crimson Romance: http://www.crimsonromance.com

Stephanie and I would love to hear from you so please leave a comment by clicking on the pencil. 

Hugs to all!

Nancy C. Weeks

4 comments :

Stephanie Cage said...

Hi Nancy! Thanks for having me to visit! I really enjoy your 'Keeping the Dream Alive' interview series and it's a pleasure to take part.

katyaarmock.com said...

Nice interview. I love seeing people have dreams but also live in the real world. Always inspiring.

Stephanie Cage said...

Hi Katya. Yes, it's nice to balance reality with a little fantasy!

Nancy Weeks said...

Stephanie, it was my pleasure. Like you said above, dreams come about a lot faster if you work with those who are seeking similar dreams. I love helping dreamers reach their star.