LiteraryCO Spotlight: Stephanie Blake

Stephanie Blake

Stephanie Blake is the author of The Marble Queen (Amazon Children’s Publishing, 2012). Learn more on stephaniejblake.com.

Do you have any non-book related hobbies?

I spend a lot of my time with my kids and my husband. The boys are in sports. We are always on-the-go. We watch movies. My husband and I play a lot of Rumikub.

What book had the most effect on your life, whether as a writer or in general?

My favorite book of all time is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

What is your movie/book/TV guilty pleasure?

I’m a sucker for a good romantic comedy.

What author do you wish you could write more like or who inspires your writing the most?

I wish I had written the Clementine books by Sara Pennypacker. The way she gets into a little kid’s head is just magical.

Take a hike, see a Broncos game or chill out by a mountain lake?

I love to fish, so I love to chill out by a mountain lake.

What is next on your reading list?

I’m currently reading Here I Go Again by Jen Lancaster. It’s so-so, but I’m trying to stick with it.

 

LiteraryCO Spotlight: Staci Hart

Staci Hart

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life — a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom; she has three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife; even though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey. Her favorite word starts with f, ends with k, and there a uc in there.

From roots in Houston, to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s sleeping, cleaning, or designing graphics.

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If you had one super power what would it be?

Ability to freeze time. I’d be so well rested and productive!

What book had the most effect on your life, whether as a writer or in general?

The Fountainhead. It was the first book that I read that made me feel small and powerful, all at once.

Books open up infinite worlds, what book would you love to live in?

Probably Harry Potter! I adore that world.

What is your movie/book/TV guilty pleasure?

Twilight and Sookie Stackhouse. They’re so bad, but so good.

What kind of books do you wish there were more of (ie, books with love triangles, social commentary, zombies, etc…)? And conversely, what type of books do you wish were just done?

Greek Mythology! Luckily that’s what I write. The genre is completely untapped. I’m over Vampires and love triangles. Ugh.

What online guilty pleasure causes you the most procrastination? (ie, pinterest)

Twitter. When the tab says there are 2 new tweets, I refresh my feed. It’s a problem.

Do you have any writing quirks, whether it’s a book or a review?

I’m borderline obsessive about my outlines. It’s a sick compulsion! 

What is next on your reading list?

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

 

LiteraryCO Spotlight: Neale Orinick

Neale Orinick

Neale Orinick is a Colorado native, single mother to three boys, endurance sport junkie, and will be re-releasing her debut novel with a new publisher in April. Learn more at http://www.nealeorinick.com.

If you had one super power what would it be?

I would have the ability to clone myself at will so I can run errands, watch my son’s football game, have lunch with my friends, write and go for a bike ride all at the same time. At the end of each day I would absorb all of the clones and have all their memories like I was actually everywhere all at once.

Do you have any non-book related hobbies?

I am a recreational triathlete and endurance sport junkie. I will be doing Ironman Arizona in November.

Ski condo, mountain cabin or downtown loft?

All of the above. I am a great lover of the outdoors and solitude, but I also yearn for the busy ebb and flow of the city sometimes.

What book had the most effect on your life, whether as a writer or in general?

Beloved, by Toni Morrison. I was captivated, horrified, moved to tears and euphoric as I read it for the first time. I have probably finished the entire novel four times and have re-read certain parts of it a dozen times. I aspire to write such a powerful piece of literary art one day.

What author do you wish you could write more like or who inspires your writing the most?

I love Anne Rice and want to create rich, multi-layered characters that draw you into their world so completely. Lestat is an arrogant, bloodthirsty killer, but we feel his spiritual angst, sympathize with his relentless loneliness, and despair of his ever being destroyed.

Take a hike, see a Broncos game or chill out by a mountain lake?

Go for a loooong run or bike ride, then chill out on the couch with a burger and a Diet Coke to watch the Bronco game.

What online guilty pleasure causes you the most procrastination? (ie, pinterest)

Nature porn. I can’t resist watching a python swallow a pygmy goat or a giant spider attack a snake.

Where do you see the book industry in the next ten years?

Traditional publishing is a dying entity and e-books will dominate the market for all ages and genres. The big publishing houses will be gone and the most successful authors will be those who are firmly in command of the technology to format and distribute books, social media and international distribution.

What is next on your reading list?

Cracking The Code Of The Twentieth Century’s Biggest Best Sellers by James W.Hall

 

LiteraryCO Spotlight: A.G. Henley

A.G. Henley

A.G. Henley is the author of the young adult series, THE SCOURGE. She is also a clinical psychologist, which means people either tell her their life stories on airplanes, or avoid her at parties when they’ve had too much to drink. Neither of which she minds. When she’s not writing fiction or shrinking heads, she can be found herding her children and their scruffy dog, Guapo, to various activities while trying to remember whatever she’s inevitably forgotten to tell her husband. She lives in Denver, Colorado. Connect with AG Henley on www.aghenley.com, Facebook, and Twitter.

What Colorado tourist traps do you take your out of town guest to, even though you would typically never go there yourself?

Casa Bonita. It is such a spectacle, and really, the food isn’t that bad …

If you had one super power what would it be?

Writing faster. It would seriously come in handy these days. But what would my alter ego name be? Fleet Fingers, perhaps?

Do you have any non-book related hobbies?

I play soccer twice a week, and love to ski and snowboard in the winter and hike in the summer. Does sleeping count as a hobby?

What book had the most effect on your life, whether as a writer or in general?

There were two: The Count of Monte Cristo, and Pride and Prejudice.

I decided to read The Count of Monte Cristo on my own while in high school. As I look back on it, that decision was the first step to my becoming a writer; I began to study, through reading, what made great books great. I read a ton of classics in high school and college, although I didn’t major in anything particularly literary. I didn’t begin to write for publication for many more years, but I’ve always had that base of classic literature to pull from.

Pride and Prejudice was the first book I truly loved with all my heart. I had many favorites as a child and teen, but there was just something about Jane Austen that spoke to me as a young adult (even though I had already found my Mr. Darcy, my husband, Ryan). I whipped through her novels after reading Persuasion for a college course. P and P was my favorite.

Books open up infinite worlds, what book would you love to live in?

This is probably so unoriginal, but I’d totally live in Harry Potter’s world. Set me up at Hogwarts with a wand and a butter beer, and I’d be happy.

What is your favorite part of being involved in the book world? (the signings, the people, the fact you get to write for a living, free books, etc…)

Definitely writing. It’s hard work, but it’s also so much fun. I’m really enjoying my current WIP – creating new characters and a new world is a blast. Each time I do it I try to stretch my wings a little further, and experiment.

What is your movie/book/TV guilty pleasure?

It has been The Vampire Diaries for a while, but I tend to lose interest in series – novels or TV shows – after about three or four books/seasons. So I’m ready for a new one.

What is next on your reading list?

I’m reading Oliver Twist right now. It’s been a while since I read a classic—I tend to read mainly in my genre (young adult) these days—but now’s the time to revisit Dickens. I’d forgotten how funny his writing was, and how he used humor as a weapon of social commentary. He’s a fantastic muse.

LiteraryCO Spotlight: Amber Lea Easton

Amber Lea Easton

Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published fiction and nonfiction author. For twenty years, she’s worked in the fields of journalism and advertising with a brief detour into the financial industry.Although she holds a BA in Communications & Journalism, she is a perpetual
student of life who enjoys taking classes on a wide variety of subjects when time allows.Smart is sexy, according to Easton, which is why she writes about strong female characters who have their flaws and challenges but ultimately persevere. She currently has two romantic suspense novels out in the world, Kiss Me Slowly and Riptide, with four more slated for publication in 2013.In addition to fiction writing, Easton also edits and freelances via Moxie Girl Writing & Editing.  She also speaks on subjects ranging from writing to widowhood.  Some of her videos on romance writing have appeared on the international Writers & Authors television network.  Current radio appearances are linked for replays via her website http://www.amberleaeaston.com and her blog Kisses, Caresses & Whispers in the Night.

Easton currently lives with her two teenagers in the Colorado Rocky Mountains where she gives thanks daily for the gorgeous view outside her window. She finds inspiration from traveling, the people she meets, nature and life’s twists and turns. At the end of the day, as long as she’s writing, she considers herself to be simply “a lucky lady liv’n the dream.”

What Colorado tourist traps do you take your out of town guest to, even though you would typically never go there yourself?
Well, I’ve visited Pikes’ Peak about 18 times now so that tops the list. I’ve sworn that I’ll drop future visitors off at the train and shop in Manitou Springs until they’re back down.

If you had one super power what would it be?
Invisibility. I’d love to lurk and listen in on certain people, cause some mayhem.

Do you have any non-book related hobbies?
Belly dancing, yoga, Pilates, Zumba, going to movies, hiking, listening to live music whenever possible.

What book had the most effect on your life, whether as a writer or in general?
Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss

What is your favorite part of being involved in the book world? (the signings, the people, the fact you get to write for a living, free books, etc…)
The best part of being a professional writer for me is the freedom to work around my life schedule rather than living around a work schedule. What’s sweeter than that?

What is your movie/book/TV guilty pleasure?
Oh, I have many guilty pleasures. I’d say watching the Beverly Hills Housewives is one of my guiltiest. Usually while watching I wonder why I can’t look away.

What kind of books do you wish there were more of (ie, books with love triangles, social commentary, zombies, etc…)? And conversely, what type of books do you wish were just done?
I am so sick of Vampire books and people trying to rush in to catch the craze. I used to love Vampires–the Anne Rice kind.

What author do you wish you could write more like or who inspires your writing the most?
I like writing like myself and wouldn’t ever try to be anything but myself. As far as who inspires me, I’d say early Nora Roberts, Heather Graham, Jennifer Cruisie and (this will date me) Sydney Sheldon from way back when. I also admire David Sedaris, but I’m purely a fan. What he does very few people can do. His talent and wit blow me away.

LiteraryCO Spotlight: Brenna Yovanoff

Brenna Yovanoff

Brenna Yovanoff was raised in a barn, a tent, and a tepee, and was homeschooled until high school. She spent her formative years in Arkansas, in a town heavily populated by snakes, where sometimes they would drop turkeys out of the sky. When she was five, she moved to Colorado, where it snows on a regular basis but never snows turkeys. She holds an MFA in fiction from Colorado State University and is the New York Times bestselling author of The Replacement and The Space Between. Her lastest novel, Paper Valentine, released in January of 2013. She currently lives in Denver with her husband. Visit her online at www.brennayovanoff.com.

Ski condo, mountain cabin or downtown loft?
Loft!

What is your movie/book/TV guilty pleasure?
Oh man, I love—lovelovelove—watching Arrested Development over and over again. And not feeling guilty AT ALL.

What author do you wish you could write more like or who inspires your writing the most?
The list is so long. Neil Gaiman. Nova Ren Suma. E. Lockhart. More people. Too many to list.

Take a hike, see a Broncos game or chill out by a mountain lake?
Broncos. Definitely.

What online guilty pleasure causes you the most procrastination? (ie, pinterest)
Tumblr is eating my life! (But in a nice way)

What is next on your reading list?
Prodigy, by Marie Lu