I met Southern women’s fiction writer, Stephanie McAfee, at Cat Blanco’s Book Exchange in Marietta, GA in July when I joined Stephanie McAfee and Beth Albright for an event. I’ve introduced you to Beth Albright, and now it’s time to meet Stephanie. And let me tell you, Stephanie is one fun–and funny–girl, too.
I’ve been impatiently waiting for a chance to introduce you to Stephanie, wanting you to hear first hand about her journey to getting published. So without further ado, help me welcome the witty, engaging and extremely talented, Stephanie McAfee, to the JaneBlog!
Is there anything that has surprised you about writing or publishing your books?
Of all the things that surprised me, the response to the character of Ace Jones and the town of Bugtussle would have to be at the top of the list. People from all over the country have written things like, “This is so me and/or my best friend/sister/cousin!” or “Did you base these characters on people from my hometown?” And since Ace Jones is a little on the chunky side, many people have expressed appreciation for a character they can relate to on a personal level. So that’s all been really nice.
Was there anyone or anything that helped inspire you to be a writer?
That credit goes to my eleventh grade English teacher, Mrs. Carolyn Jackson. She ran her classroom like an army boot camp and we were all scared to death of her. To make matters worse, she was in my parents’ Sunday school class and never hesitated to let them know how I was doing. So after getting grounded a few times, I went to work in her class and soon discovered a love for literature that I might have otherwise missed. Toward the end of the school year, she read one of my essays to all of her classes as an example of great descriptive writing. I almost passed out. I’ve loved reading and writing ever since.
Do you have a writing schedule or any writing rituals to help you achieve your daily writing quota?
Well, I have a four year old and we’ve just moved from Florida to Colorado so I’m at a point where I can only dream of a regular writing schedule. But when I do sit down to work, Pringles and Diet Mountain Dew always help me get where I want to go.
Tell us about your new release in 2 – 3 sentences. What do you personally love about this story?
In Down & Out in Bugtussle, Ace Jones has just moved back to Mississippi from Pelican Cove, Florida, where her biggest dreams went up in smoke. She’s trying to put her life back together with the help of her friends, her trusty chiweenie dog, and her grandmother’s gardening book. I love this story so much because it’s all about finding peace after discovering the cracks in the crystal ball. I very much enjoyed writing it.
What do you love most about being a writer? What do you hate?
What I love most about being a writer is getting to do what I love every day. And I love going to book events and meeting fabulous and interesting people. What I don’t love so much is the editing process because I’m terrible when it comes to that. I’m one of those people who can read jumbled letter and word paragraphs like a champ, which isn’t great for proofing and revising.
Title and author of the latest book you read?
Stephen King On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. I’m not so much a fan of horror, but he is a master of the craft in every sense of the word. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. Ever. I love it.
What’s your astrological sign?
If you could meet one person who has died, who would it be? What would you want to discuss with him/her?
Oh, that would be my literary crush, Ernest Hemingway. And I would want to discuss him taking me out on a hot date for a Jack Rose. Shallow, I know. But that’s the truth. He was so handsome and intriguing.
Rock or country music?
I’m all about some rock-n-roll. I also have a crush on Kid Rock.
Last song you listened to?
The Truth About Love by Pink. I think she’s the greatest.
Stephanie, thanks so much for stopping by today and sharing with us! Readers, please help me in making Stephanie feel welcome and do check her website to learn more about her books! In celebration of Stephanie’s visit today, I’m giving away a book from Stephanie’s book list, a Starbucks drink card and more fun reader goodies. Leave a comment for a chance to win. Contest runs through Monday night and I’ll announce a winner on Tuesday. Remember to check back next week to see who won!