I’ve got a brand new-to-me- author and WRP sistah here today for a visit and an interview. I’m so excited to introduce you all to STELLA GRAE. Let’s get to know her a bit and then take a glance at her new WILD ROSE PRESS book JUST CALL ME CONFIDENCE releasing March 22, 2023
Stella…take it away.
Stella –The Writer
1. What drives you to write?
For me, writing has always been cathartic. I write when something bothers me, upsets me, or when I’m trying to process something. So, writing has become almost this extension of my personality. And, I just love creating an alternate reality where I might want to live…for a just little while at least.
2. What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why?
I write erotic romance, which I had never thought I’d do. When I first began writing, romance writing was at the bottom of the list. Honestly, I was very frustrated with my lack of success in other areas, so I thought, “Why not?” and the words, plot, characters—everything flowed really well. I’m very fascinated with sexuality. I will often look at people and wonder how they are sexually. I know…it’s odd, but for me, erotica is as much about the psychology as the sex.
3. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why?
I prefer romance with a dark twist. I have read and enjoyed Pepper Winters writing. I love that the characters are allowed to evolve and triumph out of dark, gritty situations.
4. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day?
I do not write every day unless I have a work-in-progress that is pulling me to it. Some weeks that means I may write every day, but usually I devote part of a weekend to writing. Since I teach, I do a lot of writing during the summer and on breaks.
5. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table?
I have devoted a corner nook in my bedroom as my writing space. The gorgeous old table that my family used when I was a kid is my desk. It’s a little cluttered, but I am essentially an organized person. I love the table because I can see the indentations in the wood that spark a lot of memories. It’s a very comfortable place for me to be mentally as well as physically.
6. Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnelvision?
I really like quiet. I am bothered by background noise, so I do writing in the early morning or late at night.
7. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not?
No! I honestly don’t know how people do that. I might be able to do some classical music, but usually silence is best. Now, I can be inspired to write by a song, but that’s it.
8. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP?
So, this will be an interesting answer because most authors pull some part of themselves into a work, even if it’s just their own personal fantasies. Just Call Me Confidence and its sequel, which I’m working on right now, were both born of a failed relationship. I was lonely in the relationship, but didn’t want to do anything stupid, so I created characters and situations that were based a little on reality, but twisted them to create the kind of relationship that I actually had wished I had. The relationship fizzled, but the plot sizzled, as they say.
9. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why?
I’d have to say that the plot comes first, but the character and his or her conflicts will come a close second. I often think about real people and their stories—why something is the way it is, or how it could be—and can flesh out a story pretty quickly. The characters have to be spot on though for a story to click, and that’s why, for me, character development really drives that plot.
10. What 3 words describe you, the writer?
Intelligent, determined, and passionate.
Stella –The Gal
- Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I love to work with my hands, especially on home improvement projects. I’ve tiled a bathroom, put in flooring, installed crown molding. I even have my own saws, levels, and such.
- Who was your first love and what age were you? I was young—maybe first grade—and I had a crush on this boy named Greg. I just thought he was wonderful, but he only had eyes for someone else. I can’t remember why I liked him, but I do remember that by middle school I had a mild obsession with Rick Springfield.
- If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and…. I think I would relive the day that I was with my grandmother, brother, and other family on a train trip to the West. We were going across the Continental Divide and it was just magic—the scenery, the people I loved—I just could live that feeling of majesty over and over. It was very humbling to know, in a moment, how blessed you are.
- What’s one thing you love about your significant other? I absolutely love that my significant other gets me and my writing. He isn’t jealous of the time I put in to it and really lifts me up. He’s so encouraging!
- If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it item, what would it be? Pencil and paper—I’d go crazy if I couldn’t write things down.
- What three words describe you, the person? Intelligent, kind, and independent. (Peggy here – loves those descriptions!)
- If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? “Tide Is High” by Blondie. It’s a fun, feel-good song that Jimmy would like and I love Debbie Harry’s voice—she sings in my range, so I’d sound somewhat decent.
- If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together? There are so many great characters, but I think I’d hang out with Edward from The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. While it’s geared toward kids, that story has one wise bunny! He makes the best of any situation and keeps himself open for love, even if it’s fleeting. I like to hike and cook, so I imagine that Edward and I would do both because he likes that independent, vagabond life. I could make some cowboy beans over a fire, build a little shanty, and we’d philosophize under the stars.
I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:
- Favorite sound I love nature sounds—birds singing, leaves blowing in the wind, little animals scurrying. It’s so peaceful and humbling.
- Least favorite sound Loud talkers. I cannot stand loud talkers.
- Best song ever written Well, I’m going to pick something suggestive because I write erotica, right? So, a song that’s always in my line up is “Physical” by that late, great Olivia Newton John. I fell in love with the Xanadu soundtrack and “Physical” is just a perfect combination of seductive lyrics and music.
- Worst song ever written I’d say I’ve always disliked the Carpenters—“Rainy Day and Mondays.” Her voice is like nails on a chalkboard to me.
- Favorite actor and actress George Clooney is my favorite actor; he’s always very natural, and easy on the eyes. My favorite actress is Kate Winslet. I loved her in Revolutionary Road. She seems very genuine, and I love that she embraces her age—bravo!
- Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead) I think I’d like to be Queen Elizabeth. Can you imagine the secrets she took to her grave and the things she’s seen? I could take that information and write some great stories. Plus, a castle, a carriage, corgis, and servants—yes, please!
- What turns you on? A great vocabulary and a kind heart.
- What turns you off? A person who is narrow minded and unkind or rude.
- Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) You have a stripper’s body.
- What’s your version of a perfect day? My perfect day begins with a snowy morning in a cabin, freshly brewed coffee, and a day completely dedicated to writing. I’d see some sun later for a quick hike, then a nice fire—and more writing!
And now, here’s a little about Stella’s book:
Jenna Craig is a 40-year-old freshly-minted “hot momma” looking for a little love in her post-divorce life. After a night out with her cougar tribe, she wonders whether she’s still got “it”—the double-takes from the college clowns at the bar quickly put her doubts to rest. Though she may be alone, she knows she’ll never be lonely.
Jenna’s newfound confidence is buoyed by some swim club eye candy: Travis the lifeguard. Hot trysts in the locker room leave her wondering if she might want something more. When her naughty, new boy toy introduces her to his friend, Collin, Jenna is engulfed with waves of emotion that she thought she might never feel again. With two younger men vying for her heart, will she choose the perfect guy for right now, or the man who could give her another shot at love?
The experienced Ms. Craig is certain of one thing: She better bring the confidence to pull off the choice of her desire.
“I’m glad we’re friends, and that you think nothing of racing to my house to help me with my man woes, and my panties. But you know what I appreciate most?”
“You appreciate my sarcastic, brutally honest, down-home wit?”
“No, the fact that you don’t judge me or what I do, or don’t do. You’ve never said you think I’m acting like a whore.”
Fielding hugs me and doesn’t let go. Patting me on my back she responds, “I’ll never stoop to calling you a whore because you’re simply acting like a woman with a man’s morals.”
Get your copy here: AMAZON
Stella Grae is an unassuming English professor, copyeditor, and copywriter living in Lexington, Kentucky. She’s the author of the short story “Power Play” that was originally published in the website erotica journal Oysters and Chocolate. In her spare time she enjoys sipping on bourbon, nibbling cheesy grits, and philosophizing about love and sex in her blog, “Bone Up,” which can be found on her website: stellagraeerotica.weebly.com…along with other sexy tidbits. This is her first erotica novel.
You can connect with Stella here:
Amazon Central Author Page:
One response to “An interview with #writer STELLA GRAE”
Best of luck with your book. That guy must have been charming…a strippers body…at least he must have thought you were hot!
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