Saturday, 18 February 2017

AJ Adams & Storm Chase Interview with author Stefan McElvain

Cilla's Journey (Cosmetologist Extraordinhair Book 1)
by Stefan Angelina McElvain
85 pages

#erotica #scifi #paranormal


Stefan published her first story in January 2015 and currently has 11 titles for sale. 

AJ & Storm: What did you love most about this story? 
Stefan: My first seven stories had the same main character. So for this new series, it was building a new character, and adding touches to make the reader empathize with her as a cosmetologist. The story starts when Cilla is bored and decides to get out of the salon rut. She succeeds beyond her wildest dreams and explores new behavior avenues. I couldn't help myself and added a science fiction aspect. This element becomes more dominant as the trilogy progresses, and I had fun with time paradoxes in book three.

AJ & Storm: What is it you love most about writing?
Stefan: The story. I've been writing for about three years. My wife said I was spending too much time playing silly games on the computer and challenged me to write a story. I simply started with no outline. The characters decided what would happen, and I just captured their thoughts. Alex was the result. Within five months, I'd penned a further seven stories in the same series. I couldn't stop. It's as if the story takes over and has to get out. This creative rush, is what I love the most. I have a theory about writer's block. It's the conflict between the author's preconceived outline, and what the characters actually want to do.

AJ & Storm: What is it you dislike most about writing?
Stefan: Editing. To be honest, writing wasn't initially my passion. In my working career, I classified myself as a problem solver. It didn't require creating long documents. When I started writing, I had no discipline, and to be honest I'm still learning this trade. The result was I'd completed multiple manuscripts while I still trying to find a home for Alex. Finally, I found a publisher and discovered house rules. I also had a rude awakening when my editor returned my beloved manuscript.

To keep myself sane, I now write, finish, re-read, and edit. I then do something completely different. About one month later, I start serious editing and even read the passages out loud.

This part I find difficult, as the story can stop feeling fresh. It's also extremely time consuming.

AJ & Storm: Tell us about a mistake you made in writing or publishing and what it taught you.
Stefan: Show versus tell. My first rejection letter said interesting concept, too much tell and not enough show. The beginning's too slow and long. That was it.

I asked three English majors about show versus tell and got three different and contradicting explanations. The Internet wasn't much better. I finally internalized the following rules--tell the story from one character's perspective, and that head-hopping's a no-no.

This helped, but sadly I'd written a number of stories in the interim and had to rewrite large sections of god perspective, create more dialogue, and re-work thoughts. You now know why I dislike editing. Plus, don't get me going about commas!

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