Stephanie M. Freeman- is a USA Today Featured hybrid author whose professional writing career began back in 2012 when Crimson Romance an imprint of Simon and Schuster published her first novel, Necessary Evil. Since then, she has explored different writing genres including, Mysteries, Thrillers, Romantic Suspense and the Paranormal.
She often jokes that with a shot glass or a cup of coffee in one hand, she is known for writing an erotic tale or two. Stephanie has amassed a loyal group of fans who eagerly await her latest releases. Her Diamonds, Blood and Shadows Series is a fan favorite. Her other books include: A Letter from Yesay, Midnight Son, and Deliciously Wicked: a Collection of Erotic Tales. Writing as Aracyne (Air Ruh Sin) Kelly, she also wrote: Peculiar Kindness and Heaven’s Girl.
Stephanie is the host of the wildly popular Club House Event called Murder, Mayhem and Mysteries (and the people who love them). With multiple five-star reviews of her work, Stephanie M. Freeman continues to push literary boundaries.
1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! 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? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?
I knew I wanted to be a writer at an early age. I would write endings to television shows, movies or books that I loved. My mother was my first reader/editor/biggest fan. She would read my work and say, ‘Stephanie, that’s nice but I want to hear your stories your way with your words.’
What I love about being a writer most is connecting with my fans. My Murder Mayhem and Mysteries Event on Clubhouse is a great way for me to connect to my fans and encourage other writers on their journey to publication.
What frustrates me most about being a writer is that there are so many scam artists out there trying to make a buck off of inexperienced writers.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
My books are best described as Psychological Thrillers. My Heroes and Villians wreak havoc on a busy fictitious port city called Shadow Bay, Maryland. Readers can find out more about me and my books across all social media and my website stephaniemfreemanuthor.com. My books are available wherever books are sold including Amazon, Apple books, Kobo and Barnes and Noble
3) What projects are you currently working on?
Presently I am working on the final edits to Queen of Shadow Bay book two in the Queens of the Castle Series. I am also working on a several other projects for 2022 including an anthology, several series and a few books of my own.
4) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
I recently became a #1 Amazon Bestselling author for 40 Days of Pleasure, a book I co wrote with Bestselling Author Martha Kennerson.
I see myself retiring from my day job as an educator and writing full time. I may still continue to teach. I do love it so.
5) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?
I love this question. In my early days as a writer, I cried and then dried my eyes and send out another query letter or manuscript. After a while, I started seeing each rejection letter as a cobblestone in my path to publication. I still have a few from my early days. I see them as badges of honor now.
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 write early in the morning or immediately after work. Sometimes, my muse will wake me up in the middle of the night to write. I do a rough outline of my novels, but they aren’t etched in stone. My characters make sure of that!
It really depends. Sometimes three to six weeks for some of my smaller works and four to six months for a longer project.
7) 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? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
It is never ever too late to write and publish your first novel. Becoming successful in this industry is relative. The writer defines success. If publishing one book is all you want to do then that is a success. If you’re looking for overnight fame, forget about it. That only happens once in a blue moon. Most writers have an overnight success moment are years in the making and take a lot of hard work including creating a decent back list.
8) Are you an avid reader and have you always been? What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally and moved you? Who is your favorite author? What book are you currently reading?
Absolutely. I can’t write with any level of competency unless I read voraciously. I am not a book worm. I am a true Book Dragon.
Marie Mackenzie’s Memoir, Things that Keep me up at Night.
There are so many authors that make up the fabric of my existence as a reader, a writer and a person. How much time have we got? Lol
9) The Pandemic was a challenging time for some writers and creative individuals but also for others it was time that they needed to focus on their creative passions. Which side of that spectrum do you fall on? Are there any lessons or nuggets of wisdom that you gained during the Pandemic that help you within your writing career? Did the quarantine stifle your creativity or did it make you even more driven to get things done?
My family teases me about this very topic. They say I’ve been training for this pandemic my entire life. I am naturally an introvert. Being at home with my cat Egypt surrounded by books, art and music makes my wild mind come to life.
The main lesson I learned was that life is precious. Carrying a grudge equals hours lost in a relationship/friendship. Live life out loud, love often and forgive even more because we’re all out here trying to do the best we can.
A certain pandemic that will remain nameless set fire to my imagination in so many ways. I wrote yes, but I also painted more, sculpted more and knit and crochet everything including a pink crown for my cat Egypt.
10) What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry as it is being represented today? Do you lean more towards traditional publishing or self-publishing as a preference? Does being a hybrid author interest you?
My thought on the publishing industry and the way it’s being represented is that it has come a long way, but there is still a long way to go. Own voices is a fine start but more can be/should be done to include everyone no matter your race, gender, sexual orientation or religion.
I am a hybrid author. I love the benefits of Traditional Publishing and the autonomy of self-publishing.
11) 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?
The unique quality about me is that my stories and my art in general tends to flow along the back roads, the darker more frightening sides of life. Theater of the mind is my best medium and it best represents my authenticity.
With a pen and a bit of paper, I mine the wounded, darkest, nightmarish places of the soul. It is my hope that with my writing the reader learns that not all heroes wear medals. Most wear scars and Villains have a way of surprising you with their peculiar kindness and compassion. Hope lives in the darkest places.
With that in mind, I am able to return from the woods of my imagination and create beautiful hand knit or crocheted items to that I donate to charities all across the country.