Charm City Threads Book 1
by Stephania Thompson
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
A little of both. David, Josh, and Kate, the three main characters, came to me all at once. I wrote a blog about what inspired their story on my publisher’s website (https://www.orangeblossombooks.com/blog/the-write-timing). The supporting characters came in bits and pieces out of necessity, convenience, and, in some cases, inspiration for a subplot/spinoff.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
I didn’t do much before writing, but once I began it seemed I was researching after every other word! As I wrote, ideas came and I chased them down until I found one that fit the direction the story was taking.
Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely. But it’s so much more than a career. It’s a passion, a pastime, a fulfilling skill you can never quite master. Much like an artist, a writer’s work is never done. There’s always room for inspiration and improvement…what a gift to embrace for the rest of my life!
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
I read all genres, but my preference is contemporary romance, romantic comedy, and romantic suspense.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
I prefer a little background noise if it’s not overwhelming. The quiet hum of a café is my favorite.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
I generally have more than one going. Currently, I’m working on three. I pick and choose which depending on the characters I feel like hanging out with that day.
If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?
Veronica Roth’s Divergent. I think her story is fascinating. Imagine writing your debut novel while still in college, having it picked up by a major publisher, published less than a year after you graduate, and made into a blockbuster movie. I’d love to experience that, not to mention conceptualizing a wildly popular dystopian trilogy and getting to see it come to life on screen.
Pen or type writer or computer?
Computer. Or, iphone. Half of Woven was written in Notes and copied over!
A day in the life of the author?
I have four kids, a dragon, an aussiedoodle puppy, and a husband working from home. My day is the farthest thing from routine. As an author, this translates into me grabbing whatever screen time/thought time I can muster (usually in the hours between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am). Woven was written on stationary bikes at the gym, in line at the grocery store, in the bathroom, school parking lots, ball fields, airports. If you can name it, chances are I’ve written there!
Do you have any advice to offer for new authors?
Check back with me in another book or two…I still feel like I fall into the “needs advice” category!
Describe your writing style.
I think conversational best describes it. I write like I think.
What makes a good story?
Addictive dialogue, unpredictable twists and turns, cringy moments, and characters so real they could climb off the page and grab a coffee with you.
What are you currently reading?
At the very moment I’m typing this, Flowers in the Attic is on top of my Audible playlist. All this talk about reading and writing inspiration had me craving some of my all-time favorites. The entire Dollanganger series by VC Andrews had a profound effect on young adult me. As for more current reads? I’m working my way through Book Lover by Emily Henry.
What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
I generally attempt an outline, then begin writing and scrap the outline in part or entirely. I do this for every chapter, as if hoping an outline will eventually take! I’m definitely more of a pantser than a plotter when it comes to writing. While I have a general idea where the story is going, details tend to unfold as I write them. When writing Woven, I found myself often saying (out loud) …wait, that wasn’t supposed to happen!
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
It’s a long process. People warn you, but I don’t think you realize until you start writing. It’s easy to grow weary and get discouraged. Especially when you discover a finished manuscript is only the beginning.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Distraction. It is amazing how much time I can waste on the most ridiculous things.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Maybe a little of both? I wanted to write a book readers enjoyed, but I also wanted to be true to the characters, their lives, and my vision for the story. For example, I love romance, but I’m not a huge fan of HEA. I believe readers will be satisfied with the end of Woven, but it’s more of a HFN (hopeful for now).
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Start sooner and don’t stop!
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from other genders?
Oddly, I found it easier to write for Josh and David than I did Kate. I guess only time will tell if readers find their voices authentically male enough (is that even a thing?) I think part of the ease stems from being surrounded by men in my off the page life. Also, and this is a bit of a stereotype, I think men are less complicated when it comes to stream of conscious thought.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Woven took me a little less than three years, from conception to completion, but I started out slow. The entire book could’ve been done in less than a year.
Stephania Thompson is the author of Woven (Orange Blossom Publishing 2022). As a poet and multi-genre author, her work has appeared in a variety of online publications as well as several print anthologies.
Formerly a CPA in the corporate world, Stephania now writes from the comfort of a modern day crumbling castle alongside her very own knight in shining armor. Together they have four valiant offspring, a brave aussiedoodle, and one not-so-fire-breathing dragon.
When not writing, working, or waiting in a carpool line, she can be found running local trails and escaping in a book at her favorite café, iced latte in hand. She is a sucker for quirky romance, is addicted to audiobooks, and finds herself hopelessly drawn to flawed characters, raw honesty, and life’s cringiest moments.
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