Stacey Rourke is the award winning author of works that span genres, but possess the same flare for action and snarky humor. She lives in Florida with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. Stacey loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head.
Visit her at www.staceyrourke.com
Facebook at www.facebook.com/staceyrourkeauthor
or on Twitter or instagram @Rourkewrites.
1) I first want to express what an honor it is to be able to interview you! You have quite a list of books that you have published and they span multiple genres, including paranormal. What is it that draws you into writing the stories that you write?
I write books that I would want to read. I read different genres, so writing the same way really appeals to me. I enjoy stories that show a real strength in character, where our MC or supporting characters have big things thrown at them that they have to overcome or figure out. While I often use fantastical situations, they are all metaphors for life and how pivotal moments like that define us as people.
2) When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most?
I’ve been writing stories since elementary school. That said, it wasn’t until I was twenty-eight and I finished my first manuscript that I figured out that this was it for me. I tried on many different career paths along the way. But, with that first finished book, a light-bulb went on over my head. I realized what I was meant to do, and I haven’t looked back since.
3) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you? What projects are you currently working on?
From spins on folklore, to fairy retellings, or missions to space, to journeys into vampire history, my writing has covered many different realms and worlds. That won’t be slowing or stopping any time soon. I am currently working on a serial series about necromancer Octavia Hollow and her undead pig, Bacon. That entire collection, of six novellas, will be released this year. After that, I will be focusing on completing my Unfortunate Soul Chronicles, and my Veiled Series, as well as the second installment in my Archive of the Fives Series.
4) If someone wanted to venture into writing paranormal books but had never taken that leap before would you advise against it and what would you advise they do to get it right because paranormal can’t be an easy genre to write in?
If that’s their passion, I would never tell anyone not to pursue it. My advice would be to make connections within the industry, read often and regularly, and focus on developing their skills. All of which are incredibly important in this insane competitive literary landscape.
5) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?
One of my biggest achievements, and most crushing rejections happened within days of each other last year. I won the Utopia Author of the Year Award last year, which was a dream come true for me. Then, right on the heels of that, my agent reported back that one of my books wasn’t “sell-able.” (Turns out that wasn’t the case, and I did sell the rights to a publisher. Still didn’t take the sting out of that moment.) The point is, when you work in any form of the arts, there are always highs and lows. Not everyone will love everything you create. But that’s okay, art is subjective. The key, is to keep going, and keep striving.
6) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel?
I try to write 1,000 words every day, granting myself weekends off like “the normal folk” do. LOL! If I go over that count, awesome. I do not let myself get away with less though. That’s my minimum required. I do outline my books, but seldom does the story stick tight to it, in the creative process it always grows and changes organically. A novella, of between 20,000-25,000 words, I can finish in a month. Full length novels take me about three months. Keep in mind that’s first draft, not self-edits, betas, full edits, or any of those necessary steps.
7) What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally and moved you? What’s the first book you read that made you know that you could do this for a career? What book are you currently reading?
When I was little, my mom used to read The Monster at the End of the Book to me every night at bedtime. She did the Grover voice and everything. It was wonderful, and still sticks with me as a moment of comfort and happiness achieved by the power of a book. (And my awesome mama, of course.) I’m not sure I ever read a book that made me think, “Wow, I could do that.” More so, many of them had made me set the book down, close my eyes, and pray that my words would touch someone else as that author did for me. Currently, I’m treating myself to the Outlander Series and Vulgar Favors: The Hunt for Andrew Cunanan, the Man Who Killed Gianni Versace. Which one I pick up depends on my mood that day.
8) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry is drastically changing? Are you more of an e-book person or a traditional book person?
Goodness, no! If someone has a story in their heart age should have nothing whatsoever to do with that! I will say, to anyone that wants to make a career out of this, the industry IS ever changing. You have to constantly have your finger on the pulse of the literary landscape, noting how its shifting and evolving. That will help you make your marketing more effective, and keep your brand from getting stale.
9) Do you ever plan on branching out into other areas of writing like television or screenplays? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
I would absolutely love to. If the opportunity presented itself, I would jump at it. For now, I’m going to keep churning out stories and see where this adventure takes me.
10) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
A common element readers will find in my books is humor, and strength of character. I feel humor is so very important. Life can bring such pain to all of us, and we have those moments when laughter is all that gets us through. To me, showing the importance of that is a very empowering experience.