Happy Thursday, Everyone!
Today, I have my wonderful friend and bundle buddy, Stephanie Cage back on my blog. It's been way to long since she dropped in for a visit.
Stephanie has an exciting new novella called Djinn and Tonic that will release tomorrow. I thought she could introduce herself to our new readers and tell us a little about how she came about writing Djinn and Tonic. I think the cover is just stunning and I can't wait to read it.
As fashion photographer Sally Purdew sets up her studio for a special shoot, she wishes for the perfect male model, and he appears. Sal just wants to win at the Alternative Fashion Awards, but her model, Ashtad, is a djinn with the power to grant her wishes and turn her into anything she wants to be. From the pretty English town of Whitby to a tropical beach, Ash whisks Sal away on a magical trip neither of them can forget. When Sal finds herself falling for Ash, she has to decide: do they have a future together, or will his magic always come between them?
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Stephanie, I’m so thrilled to have you here today. To start off this interview, tell us a little about yourself for my readers to get to know the person behind the writer.
I was born in the south of England, but now live in the northern county of Yorkshire with my husband. I love to dance and we’re both huge fans of musical theater. As well as writing I read a lot, both on my Kindle and in print form, but I don’t really have a favorite author as I’m a fan of lots of different genres, including romance, science fiction and fantasy. I mostly write romance fiction but last year I had a quirky sci-fi story published in an anthology called Stories from the World of Tomorrow and also wrote a ‘twisted’ version of Goldilocks for Crimson Romance’s Modern Magic anthology. It was such a pleasure to have my story included in that collection alongside your very creative take on Aladdin – and of course Jennifer deCuir and Andrea Cooper’s brilliant modern fairy tales.
I was so thrilled to be part of Modern Magic too. Tell us a little bit about how you came to write Djinn and Tonic?
I’ve always been fascinated by genies. Aladdin is one of my favorite films – of course I love the romantic ballad, ‘A Whole New World’ but I’m also very fond of Robin Williams’ brilliant genie, and the comic song ‘A Friend Like Me’. I was intrigued by the idea of someone having her wishes granted, but in classic fairytale style, things not turning out quite how she expected.
Wow! Whitby Abbey is just breathtaking. I can almost feel the magic.
Completing a book is an enormous challenge. What was your biggest obstacle and how did you overcome it? In other words, what do you think drove you to complete this enormous project?
Djinn and Tonic isn’t quite such an enormous project as it’s only a novella. It’s taken me years, but only because I wrote a draft, showed it to a few friends, and then put it away for a long time because it was a bit unconventional and I couldn’t decide which publisher it would suit. Once I took it out again, the edits flowed and I submitted the revised version to Wild Rose Press, and was delighted when they accepted it for publication and gave it such a beautiful cover.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I was tiny. I used to write a lot of poetry as a child, and also make up Enid Blyton style adventure stories, although I’m not sure I wrote any of those down. My parents used to let me stay up late to watch the Booker Prize, a book awards dinner which used to be televised in the UK, and I always thought that winning it would be the most incredible experience ever. It’s now the Man Booker prize, and it’s usually won by very literary writing, not commercial fiction, so I’ve pretty much given up on that dream now, but it was a big part of my childhood.
Do you believe writers are born or made?
A bit of both, I guess. I’ve wanted to write ever since I can remember, so if I was made into a writer, it must have been very early! But my parents were always reading, my Mum is very artistic, my Dad is quite a storyteller, and I had an aunt who was an English teacher, so for all I know it could have been in the genes, or in my early experiences.
How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for a writing career?
I read a lot when I was very young – often books which most people considered far too old for me – and I went on to study English Literature at Oxford University, which was a brilliant experience. Then I didn’t write much for a while because I’d got too much into the habit of dissecting books, but once I started again, I found the wide reading I’d done as a student enormously helpful.
What is your ideal writing space?
I love to write in a conservatory overlooking the sea. There’s something so inspirational about watching waves. I actually live almost two hours’ drive from the coast, so it’s something I only get to do when I go on holiday. This is a picture of the view from one of my favourite cafes, where I’d love to be able to sit and write all day.
Stephanie, I can definitely see myself writing with that view right outside the window. What moment in this journey are you most proud of?
My proudest writing moment was winning the Woman’s Own Short Story competition with a short story which the judges described as ‘written movingly from the point of view of a child.’ I won a holiday to Sicily for two, and had an amazing time, and that was when I began to believe I might actually make it as a writer.
What a fantastic prize and a wonderful achievement. I would like to have a little fun with our next couple of questions. There is someone you will never meet but whom you desperately need for them to know who you are. The only way to communicate with them is to send them a box with three items. What would those three items be?
The first item would be my mini laptop because I do most of my writing on it, and they could use it to access my facebook account, which would tell them pretty much everything about me!
Number two would be my wedding photo because although my wedding day wasn’t exactly the best day of my life – we’ve had loads of equally amazing days since – my husband and marriage are definitely at the centre of my life.
And thirdly I’d pop in a copy of Perfect Partners because it’s currently my only full-length print book, and it’s in many ways the book of my heart, being based around ballroom dancing, which has long been a passion of mine.
Ahhh...my favorite is your photo of your wedding day. I would love to hear that story one day. But for today, write a love story in eight words.
Seeking a storyline, I found a happy ending.
OH, I love that! So what is up next for you?
I’m working on edits for my next release from The Wild Rose Press, a light holiday novella with the working title Paris Proposal.
I look forward to sharing the news about Paris Proposal when the time comes. Where can readers find out more about your book and yourself?
Facebook page: http://facebook.com/stephaniecagewriter
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Stephanie-age/e/B00AP616GG/
I hope everyone has a great weekend and finds time to read a great book. Until next time, take care and be kind to one another.
Hugs to all,
Nancy C. Weeks