Name Stacy Juba
Where are you from New England
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc I’m a former newspaper reporter and publicist and currently am a freelance editor for indie authors in addition to writing and publishing my own novels. Most importantly, I’m a mom. Since one of my kids has Type 1 Diabetes, I do a lot of online advocacy to raise awareness.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I am finishing up edits on the first book in my new Storybook Valley romantic comedy series. It is called Fooling Around With Cinderella.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I wrote my first story in third grade and by fifth grade I was writing my own mystery series. I loved to read and was quite introverted. Writing was a way for me to express myself.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I first considered myself a writer after the publication of my young adult novel Face-Off when I was 18.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I wrote Face-Off as I wanted to submit a novel into a competition for teenage writers. I came up with the storyline for Face-Off, twin hockey players who battle on and off the ice, because I was a big hockey fan in high school and couldn’t find any novels to read about hockey.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
My style has been described by several reviewers as evocative. I use a lot of dialogue and I keep my descriptions and narrative concise. I’m not a writer that will go on for pages and pages describing something. I like to keep the story moving.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I came up with the title of one of my adult mystery novels, Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, as it is about a newspaper editorial assistant who stumbles across an unsolved mystery while researching her 25 Years Ago Today column on the microfilm.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My overall theme is Characters at a Crossroads. I place characters at a turning point where they can either continue on the same safe but unfulfilling path or take a chance and go down a new path. That is the message that I want readers to grasp, that sometimes you need to take a risk and follow a new path.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
The storyline of Twenty-Five Years Ago Today is fiction, but the newspaper setting is authentic as I once worked for a small daily newspaper and one of my tasks was compiling the 25 and 50 Years Ago Today column. I think it’s an accurate portrayal of what it’s like to work for a small independent newspaper.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I’ll draw certain experiences from my own life and incorporate it into a novel. For example, Cassidy in my mystery novel Sink or Swim is a personal trainer who works for a health club. My college major was exercise science and I once worked in a health club. Some of the quirky characters she meets at the gym stemmed from people I observed when I was in that field.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
The Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden series had the most influence as they sparked my love of reading when I was growing up. To emulate them, I started writing my own detective stories as a child and that paved the way for my future writing career.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I took a wonderful class through UCLA extension with author Kris Neri on plotting a mystery novel several years ago and I still use her techniques today.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Sophie Kinsella isn’t a new author, but she is new to me and I’m currently reading her whole backlist. I find her chick lit novels funny and entertaining.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
My current project is finishing up edits on my romantic comedy Fooling Around With Cinderella, the first in my Storybook Valley series. I also have a mystery novel, Sign of the Messenger, that I need to finish.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My fifth grade teacher was very supporting of my interest in writing and the aptitude that I demonstrated for it. That helped to set me down the right path. I’ve also had a few editors over the years that were very supportive of the kinds of articles that I wanted to write.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, writing is definitely my career. In addition to writing fiction, I am also a freelance editor for indie authors, an online writing instructor, and I write articles for various publications.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
In my book Sink or Swim, even though Cassidy is a health nut, she cheats on her healthy diet here and there. I view it as she was stuck on a boat for three months eating lousy food and comes back home to a stressful situation, but one or two reviewers thought her eating a Big Mac was inconsistent with her passion for health and fitness. I was trying to show that she isn’t perfect, but if I could do it again I would try to make that more clear to the reader.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I loved to read and just felt compelled to write my own stories as I had all these ideas brimming in my head. I remember also buying a couple books on writing at a used bookstore when I was about ten and doing the writing exercises.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
This is the opener of my upcoming novel Fooling Around With Cinderella:
Jaine Andersen clutched the black leather portfolio case in her lap as Dylan Callahan regarded her over a battered desk strewn with papers. She toed her navy blue dress shoes into the industrial carpet, hoping the heir of the Storybook Valley theme park didn’t notice her fidgeting. She’d wanted a response to her blind resume, but the phone call had caught her off-guard. After all, her two dozen other resumes had elicited nothing.
Focus, Jaine. Focus.
Dylan’s looks didn’t make that easy. The blond hair ruffled across his forehead made him look like a Venice Beach surfer rather than the general manager of a family theme park in the Catskill Mountains. Winter sports seemed more his thing, though, considering the pair of framed posters behind his desk. In one, a skier whipped down a powdery slope while the other showed a snowboarder in mid-air. Inspirational words stretched across the bottom of each print: “Goals” for the skier and “Persistence” for the snowboarder.
That’s what Jaine needed to do now. Persist so she could achieve her goal of winning this job.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Writing the middle is the hardest part for me. I know how I want it to start and how it should end, but it can be a challenge coming up with plot twists for the middle.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have always enjoyed the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling as they are so creative. And talk about middles! I admire how she sustained that whole complicated storyline and created twists and turns over multiple books.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No. Sometimes I get ideas for books or ideas for scenes and descriptions when I travel, but I’ve never had to make a special trip to research or promote a book. I have gone on a police ride along and taken a one-day gun class to research a book. When we were on vacation in the mountains, I jotted down descriptions of the mountains for my Storybook Valley series.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My husband is a graphic designer and did the majority of my covers. The Twenty-Five Years Ago Today cover was designed by Patricia Foltz and the Sink or Swim cover was by Karen Phillips.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part of writing my current book, Fooling Around With Cinderella, has been developing the character of Dylan, the love interest. After the first draft, I went back and totally revamped his character and changed a major subplot to make him more sympathetic to the reader.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I’ve learned about so many things by researching my books such as police procedure, mythology, behind the scenes of amusement park, crystals, chakras, U.S. flag etiquette, and lots more.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
I would recommend finding out all the options available to writers nowadays, from pursuing the traditional publishing path to the ins and outs of indie publishing. I also recommend joining writers groups, finding critique partners and giving yourself an intense crash course in marketing, social networking and web sites.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I love to connect with readers! Don’t hesitate to send me an email or say hi on Facebook or Twitter. I also invite readers to download the free books on my web site, including a free mystery audiobook. http://stacyjuba.com/blog/short-stories/
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I don’t remember it, but my parents have told me there was some kind of dollhouse book that I had memorized. Visitors would think I was reading by age two or three as I would sit there and read it aloud as they turned the pages with me, but in reality I was reciting it from memory.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Movies and songs have the ability to make me laugh and cry, more so than reading a book. I cried watching the Toy Story movie when Andy goes to college and laughed during Horrible Bosses 2.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
I’d love to meet JK Rowling and find out how she plotted the Harry Potter series and kept track of all those details from book-to-book.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
That I was a loving wife and mother and that I left my mark on the world.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
My hobbies include yoga, Zumba, reading, and doing Zentangle.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love the TV shows Once Upon A Time and The Middle. I enjoy romantic comedy movies.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Foods: Pizza and pasta; colors: yellow for decor and turquoise to wear; music: Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Katy Perry
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
My major in college was exercise science and I was considering pursuing my master’s degree in physical therapy, but my heart was with writing.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? You can find me at
Links: Twenty-Five Years Ago Today: http://stacyjuba.com/blog/books-2/twenty-five-years-ago-today/
Sink or Swim: http://stacyjuba.com/blog/books-2/sink-or-swim/
Dark Before Dawn: http://stacyjuba.com/blog/dark-before-dawn/
Children’s books: http://stacyjuba.com/blog/books-2/childrens-picture-books/
Free reads: http://stacyjuba.com/blog/short-stories/
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Stacy-Juba/e/B002OXLSDE/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1