Sibelle Stone Interview
Today I have the pleasure of speaking with author Sibelle Stone
. Thanks for taking time to talk with me today Sibelle
Thank you for inviting me to visit Fallen Angel Reviews. I'm excited to be interviewed by you!
To start, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I write Western romance set in Montana under my own name, and under my pen name, Sibelle Stone, I write historical romance with paranormal elements and steampunk. My heroines are strong women, which just means the hero needs to be very alpha to be a match to her. I live in the Northwest, near the Cascade Mountains with my husband and youngest son. I work for one of the busiest library systems in the country, and it was named:"best" library system in the US in 2011.I was named Librarian of the Year by Romance Writers of America in 2009.
Could you tell readers a little bit about your new release Whistle Down the Wind
Catlin Glyndwr is an elemental witch, which means she can control one of the four elements, (air, fire, earth and water). She controls the air, or wind. When she's accused of witchcraft and thrown into jail, she meets the hero, Griffin Reynolds. She makes a deal to help heal his best friend in order to escape. Catlin and Griffin experience an immediate attraction to each other, but he's being sent to the Virginia colonies on a mission for King Charles II. Catlin uses a spell to attract Griffin, but it backfires a bit. Then her sister, who is a fire witch, gets involved. Let's just say from then on the sparks fly between Griffin and Catlin. This is the first book in the Mystic Moon series, which will feature at least four books, each one around a sister who is an elemental witch.
What are the most challenging things for you as a self-published author versus the typical publisher route?
Getting reviews has been challenging, so I appreciate your website. I started out releasing one of my backlist Americana novels as an EBook, and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the process. But, it is a LOT of work to be your own publisher. I had to hire an editor, but fortunately the editor I worked with on my small press release, "Promise Me" decided to go freelance. I love working with Helen Hardt, because she's very tough but also supportive. I had to find a good cover artist, but Kim Killion created an amazing cover for me. We brainstormed about some ideas for branding, so I'll use a similar design for all the books in the Mystic Moon series. When I was published by a NY house and a small press, I still had to do a lot of promotion and marketing. I never really knew what the PR dept. was doing for me, and now I can create a marketing plan. The biggest challenge is learning to format for the various distributors. But, once you do it one time it gets much easier.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I'm very good at dialogue, plotting and details of the setting. Not so good at introspection. So my critique partner will note that on the manuscript draft I give her. My editor pushes me to "show not tell" - especially about emotions. I think I'm getting better at that, but adding those things is what I do in the second draft. The first draft is telling myself the story, developing the characters and the building dialogue.
What is the most interesting thing you've done in the name of research?
My uncle lives in Virginia, so the year I was named Librarian of the Year by RWA and they met in Washington, DC, I took the train to visit my uncle in Richmond. I requested we take a day trip to Jamestown, Virginia, and it was an amazing day. They've recreated the settlement, and I learned so much. I still use the photos I took for research. It was actually a little scary how detailed I got in my story, (the book was already done). That's one of the odd things, reading the research and being able to almost see the setting. My uncle had visited Jamestown before, but he admitted it was the first time he'd read every single label in the museum.
If you could meet one of your characters, who would it be?
Griffin, of course. Not only is he gorgeous, but he's thoughtful and kind. He treats Catlin like she's a lady, even though when he first meets her she's been arrested and thrown in jail. He's also incredibly romantic and sexy.
If you could pick any celebrity to be on the cover of your book, who would it be and why?
My current celebrity crush is Joe Manganiello (Alcide on "True Blood"). He is really my type, big and brawny. I actually think I might have salivated the night he appeared on TB. I have a friend who does some designing for the show, and she sent me a t-shirt from the werewolf bar. It was given out at a crew party, and I treasure it. I haven't had time yet to see "Magic Mikes", but I really need to go to that movie.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I know what SaraLynn Hoyt, my critique partner would say, my scrapbook method of plotting. I create notebooks, at least one for research, (although this series has two already), and a notebook for the book. I do a mindmap, create a collage, write down twenty plot points, create character charts, and add photos, maps, anything that will add to the story. I collect notebooks and supplies. I also do a thing I call, "the t-shirt" and I create a drawing of a t-shirt that explains the issue my character is facing, maybe it's abandonment issues, fear of commitment, lack of trust. Whatever, it goes on the t-shirt. Last week I was at Target and they were just putting the school supplies on the shelves. I actually went, "ooohhh" and took a picture. Then I bought a bunch of stuff. I have an entire shelf of my notebooks.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I started out writing a newspaper column called, "Kids in the Country" for our local paper. When people started telling me they'd read my articles and told me how much they enjoyed them, I realized I was a writer. That's what is important to me, communicating with other people and telling my story.
If you had a warning label, what would it say?
"Call me anything but boring". I'm not really afraid of much. I dress up in steampunk clothes, have a lot of vintage clothing and jewelry. I love fashion, but I never want to be wearing what everyone else is wearing. Being different is important to me.
What's the most interesting obscure fact you know?
No witches were ever executed in the Virginia colony despite a world-wide witch craze. That was the hard thing I faced when trying to sell this book to a NY house. The editors kept telling me no one would read a book about witches set in America because of Salem. Well, first of all, Virginia was an English colony in 1663. And it wasn't settled by Puritans, it was settled by many wealthy aristocrats escaping from the Cromwell years. Where do you think all those families our revolutionary heroes came from?
Which one of the characters you've created is most like you?
Aelwyd - she's the oldest sister and very bossy. That would be me growing up. The eldest of three sisters, taking care of my younger siblings but also telling them what to do a lot. But she also feels responsible for her sisters and wants to keep them safe. My mom was divorced and got almost no support from my father. She had to raise three girls on her own. It was tough doing that in the sixties, and we girls always stuck together.
What can your fans look forward to in the next twelve months from you?
I'm just finishing a steampunk weird western, set in a Montana mining town, but with all kinds of amazing machines and gadgets. "Prudence and the Professor" will be out in September, followed by the second Mystic Moon book, "Embers at Dawn" about Aelwyd. I'm also planning to write a steampunk Christmas story for the publisher of my first steampunk story. "No Ordinary Love". That was the first in a series of steampunk fairy tales.
Is there anything else you would like to add today?
I just attended a big writing conference, and I really want to encourage all new writers to think about all the alternatives you have to publish today. There are so many opportunities, and I tell new writers to keep working at their craft and to never give up. The only way I can guarantee you won't succeed is if you quit writing.
Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions for us today Sibelle
will be giving away a free book (either print or ebook) to one lucky winner. To enter: send an email to interviews @ fallenangelreviews . com with Sibelle Stone Interview Contest
in the subject line and put your choice of print or ebook in the body of the email along with your email address and/or mailing address.
You can enter through Friday August 31, 2012 (One entry per person please). One winner will be chosen by random draw on Saturday September 1, 2012 and the winner will be contacted.
Interviewed by: Tammy