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When and how often do you write?
It varies by the month. During the summer and fall, I was focused on publishing a couple of new books and doing a marketing campaign for them, so I only worked on my novel-in-progress once or twice a week. Now the emphasis is going to be on finishing that novel and I'll be writing every day for an hour or two in the morning.
What inspired you to begin writing?
I started writing in elementary school. I loved to read, and I discovered some college textbooks about writing in a used bookstore when I was about ten. I started doing some of the writing exercises in the books and was hooked.
Which comes first, characters or plot?
Plotter, pantser, or in between?
I'm a plotter and do thorough outlines, sometimes up to 15 typed pages. My outline does evolve, so it's not written in stone, but I really like knowing what scenes I'm going to be writing the next day and what is coming up.
What’s the perfect atmosphere for your writing?
Which part of the story is usually the most difficult to write?
The middle. It's easy to get started, and usually I have a clear end in mind, but the middle goes on and on. It's important to keep the story developing and to make sure the pacing doesn't drag.
Sex or no sex?
Yes, but I'll cut away so there is nothing explicit.
I'll include PG 13 language. I don't use any language worse than that in the mystery, romantic suspense and romantic comedy genres that I've been focusing on, as it risks turning off some readers.
Describe the sort of people you like to write about.
I like to write about young women who are getting on the right life path and who are on a journey of self discovery.
Titles—hard or easy? Where did you get this one/most current/favorite?
They're usually easy. For example, the title of my mystery/romantic suspense novel Twenty-Five Years Ago Today stems from my character's job compiling 25 years ago today news tidbits from the microfilm and her discovery of a 25-year-old murder.
Would you like to live next door to your characters? Why or why not?
I would like to live on the same street as my protagonists as they are all likeable characters and I have things in common with them. I share a journalism background with Kris from Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, but she might be a little hard to get to know as she's a night owl, I'm a morning person, and we're both quiet. I'd love to take an exercise class with Cassidy, the personal trainer from Sink or Swim, though Cassidy can be rather mouthy so we might drive each other crazy.
Which characteristic do you consider most important in your main character?
Characters can't be perfect. They need to be flawed, just as real people are, as that makes them relatable.
Stacy Juba has written about reality TV contestants targeted by a killer, an obit writer investigating a cold case, teen psychics who control minds, twin high school hockey stars battling on the ice, and teddy bears learning to raise the U.S. flag: she pursues whatever story ideas won’t leave her alone. Stacy’s titles include the adult mystery novels Sink or Swim and Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, the children’s picture books The Flag Keeper and the Teddy Bear Town Children’s E-Book Bundle (Three Complete Picture Books), and the young adult novels Face-Off and Dark Before Dawn. She is also the editor of the essay anthology 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror: 52 Authors Look Back. She is a former journalist with more than a dozen writing awards to her credit.