So first off, Thank You so much for agreeing to this interview. I have to say that reading your book has been such a good time for me! I truly loved it!
Thank you so much for reading my book. I am thrilled that you loved it. 🙂
*****may contain spoilers, so if you haven’t read book one come back later******
Q.) What got you into writing? Why this genre?
A.) I devoured books as a child. When I was in grade 7, I remember hating the ending of a book and I decided to write my own ending. I guess that was the start of my writing career, when I realized in that moment how much fun it was to write a story. Writing for me is about release and creativity and joy and love. It is my absolute favourite thing to do in the world (reading is my second favourite.)
Romance is my first genre of choice for reading so it was very natural for me to want to write romance novels. I think falling in love is one of the easiest and hardest things to do in the world. There can be so much internal and external conflict and angst and yet it can also be the most beautiful thing in the world. Love heals and is so powerful. It changes people.
Q.) Which character was the hardest for you to write? The easiest?
A.) Jackson was definitely the easiest to write because he is a character that has so much integrity, kindness and strength, yet at the same time he is so hard to read and is untouchable on many levels. To me, he is a mystery that I love unraveling. I am fascinated with Jackson’s journey.
Matt was the hardest character to write. His vibration is a bit off so it was hard as a writer to spend a lot of time with him. Getting in his head and thinking about how he would respond was uncomfortable, so I tended to really shy away from writing him in – and then I was always stressing about if he was present enough or creating enough tension. Incidentally, what surprised me the most was how strongly everyone has reacted to him. Matt and Jackson both incite a lot of strong (and very different) emotions in my readers which totally makes me happy.
Q.) Were there any scenes in this book that made you blush writing? (as there are some very well written dirty *winks*scenes)
A.) Ha! Well, when I was writing those “hot” scenes it was almost a relief for my characters, because it was something that was building between them for so long, so I was really cheering them on! But sharing those scenes, after the fact was a challenge. When I gave my sister a beta copy of my book, I actually debated cutting out the sex scenes. What really surprised me was how many of my readers commented or wanted to talk about those racy scenes with me. Ha! And that is when I am blushing.
Q.) Did anyone inspire some of the characters?
A.) I found a picture of this beautiful man (who was a Navy SEAL) and in this picture he has such a haunted and knowing look on his face. That photo, that look on his face, inspired Jackson. The entire story was built around that photo. Who was he? What has happened to him to have such a knowing, intense and almost sad look on his face. Yet he is also so strong and himself in that photo. As a man he radiates strength and courage and intelligence. He became Jackson in my mind. So I guess you can say that the photo of that real-life solider inspired this book.
And then I started asking, what kind of woman would capture his heart? And why? And from that, Emily was born. 🙂
Q.) How did you come up with the plot to this book?
A.) My stories are very much character driven. It always starts with questions about who they are as beings. What makes them tick? What has happened to them in their past to make them the people that they are today? My stories always start as daydreams and musings.
Where did this plot come from? I have absolutely no idea. When I start to write, the story immediately stops being mine. Characters do what they want to do, and lots of time they surprise the heck out of me. Mostly it feels like I am just along for the ride. I am just the scribe. I watch the story and plot unfold and my job as a writer is to best capture what I am seeing or feeling.
It might sound weird, but when my writing is literally flowing out of me, it is because I have managed to get into a zone. A zone that feels like I am plugging into an energy and creative source that is much bigger than me and it pours through me. I don’t own it, I just tap into it.
What I think it important to note is that this source of energy and creativity is available to every single person on this earth to tap into and use. We are all connected to it, we are all part of it.
Q.) So your cover is gorgeous! Can we share some spotlight on who designed it?
A.) Thank you. Absolutely. I worked with a gifted designer named Letitia Hasser from R.B.A. Designs. (http://rbadesigns.com) She was amazing to work with. Extremely professional. She asked a lot of important questions about my story before doing the covers. I choose my own photos for Book 1 and Book 2 and she put together the most amazing designs around that, which I think perfect captures the essence of these two books.
Q.) Did you decide to self-publish or go with a publisher?
A.) I decided to self-publish exclusively with Amazon. I really feel like the publishing industry is shifting and electronic publishing is the way to go. It is kind of the wild west and there was certainly a big learning curve, but I wanted my story to be immediately accessible to my readers.
Q.) Did you get an editor or self-edit?
A.) I self-edited. I have an english degree and experience as a freelance editor. My sister (she has her journalism degree and is a gifted writer) kindly made some general suggestions, but for the most part, I did it all. Proof-reading is a nightmare. I find it extremely boring to read my book repeatedly and each time I made a pass, I felt like my book was getting worse and worse in my mind. So it felt like a real act of endurance.
Q.) How many more books can we expect in this series? Any idea as to round about when they will come out if so?
A.) Originally this was supposed to be just one book. But it got too big so I made the decision to break it into two books. So right now, there is only one more book in this series although I have had a number of people ask me to start thinking about book 3. I am hoping that book 2 will be released middle of June, maybe sooner.
Q.) If there is an idea for book 2, can we get small teaser for our fans? Like a couple sentences or short paragraph or maybe on what the synopsis will be?
A.) Book 2 really delves more into the mystery of Jackson and his past. The strange secret between Matt and Jackson is dramatically exposed. Emily needs to dig deeper and learn to stand up for herself and her heart. She faces some pretty intense situations and she really needs to rise to the occasion. I can’t give too much more away without ruining the fun cliff hanger that I left my readers with in book 1, but I will say that there is a lot of conflict and drama. As a writer, it has been very satisfying to write. I am kind of in love with Jackson, so understanding him better has been a real treat.
Q.) Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
A.) First, there will always be naysayers telling you that your goal as a writer is just a pipe dream. Those are the same people that will be the first to tell you that “they knew you would succeed” when you do. Believe in yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do this. Don’t ever let anyone else dictate what you can or should do in this world. I wasted a lot of time in my life doing what other people thought I should do. It’s your life to live so just follow your heart. Be courageous. Never give up on yourself.
Secondly, one of the best way to learn how to write is to read. I read one star books and I assess why that book doesn’t work for me as a reader. And I read 5 star books and I ask why it seems so magical. If I am not writing, I am reading. I read all the time.
Third, writing takes practice. So ignore your inner critic and write your heart out. Writing is like learning a new language or learning how to play an instrument. There is a lot of practice involved. You are not going to pick up a cello and play a world class song the first time around. But if you play that cello every single day, it will get easier and you will get better. I feel like I still have so much to learn as a writer, but that is the joy of this elusive craft. You never really reach completion as an artist – and there is something immensely satisfying about that.
Finally, I really encourage writers to love and support each other. This is a solitary and sometimes lonely path and we all need to support and cherish each other. We are not in competition. We are on our own journeys side-by-side. Treat your fellow writers like you want to be treated.
Q.) If someone wants to reach you, what is the best way to do so?
Friend me on Facebook! Email me. I love email. I love hearing from people.
Q.) Anything else you would like to add?
A.) Reading Wolf, I really appreciate you taking the time to read my book and talking with me. Your reaction to my book was so rewarding. You know when I was in the process of writing book 1, I would be sitting up alone late at night, and while I was writing, I would have my own, similar responses to this story and I would wonder if it was just me or if other people would feel the same way. And to hear people react to my story with such emotion and heart, it really inspires me and fuels me to keep on writing. So thank you so much for taking the time to read my book and for loving my characters as much as I love them!
If you would like learn more about Odette and her debut novel you can do so by going here:
or check out my review of book one here: https://thereadingwolf.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/my-fiances-brother-the-guilty-series-book-1-by-odette-stone-book-review/