Wednesday, June 15, 2011

If Your Ex was a Soap Opera Star...

Would you watch?  Well, that is the dilemma facing Stephanie Haefner’s main character Robyn Miller in her recently released novella SOAP DREAMS.   Check out the blurb!:

Robyn Miller is perfectly happy in her immaculate home, playing stay-at-home mom and devoted wife. That is, until she's channel surfing one day and sees her high school sweetheart Derek, acting in a lead role in her favorite old soap. Watching Derek's show becomes her secret pleasure...and brings back memories best forgotten. When Derek's mother throws him a big celebration in town, Robyn tries to avoid seeing him, but ends up in his arms for a dance. 

Derek has finally hit the big-time, but he hasn't found happiness. He regrets losing Robyn, and his show's ratings are falling. He longs to get her back in his life--both personally, and as a writer on the show. Those love scenes she used to dream up were Emmy material. Knowing her marriage is a sham, can he convince her to follow her dreams and give the show--and him--a shot? 

Today I’m super excited to welcome the author, fellow blogger and romance novelist Stephanie Haefner for an interview.  I first discovered Stephanie through reviews for her book A BITCH NAMED KARMA  (love that title) which was published by Lyrical Press in 2010.
Q: Have you always written romance ?

S.H.: No, actually! :) When I first started out, I wrote chick lit....that now taboo genre title! But everything I wrote revolved around romance and the relationship between my main character and her love interest. And I still write chick lit/women's fiction that focuses more on the main character's journey. For me, there are very thin lines between contemporary romance, chick lit, and women's fiction. 


Q: How did you discover Lyrical Press and what has your experience with them been like?

S.H.: It was a few years ago when I was searching for magazines and other publications that published shorter romance pieces. I had written Soap Dreams, and another shorty called Paradise Cove, for a romance mag. Nothing came out of it, but I had these stories and I wanted to find a home for them. I was searching www.duotrope.com and came across listings for digital publishers. I was intrigued immediately by Lyrical's website...such awesome cover art. They sounded like a good fit for a story I'd had on the back burner for quite some time (A Bitch Named Karma), so I sent it in. Two weeks later there was a contract in my inbox. They have been nothing but amazing since then. The owners are fantastic and I don't know if I've ever witnessed anyone so on top of their business. My editor is awesome...we clicked immediately. I had already known of her...she is also an author for Lyrical, and I'd loved the premise of her books.


Q:  Lately we’ve been discussing the Ebook revolution here on the blog and around the blogosphere.  As someone who’s already involved with an EPublisher, do you think it might be a better venue for some authors more than others ?  Why or why not?

S.H.: Yes. For erotic romance authors, there is SUCH a huge community in the ePublishing world. Let's face it, romance in general has a stigma attached to it...now add erotic romance, m/m, f/f, m/f/m, f/m/f, bdsm....it's pretty tough to find a place in the print publishing world for stories that are a little more risque. And I think readers are less likely to go to a Barnes and Noble to buy them anyway. I think it's safe to guess that many erotic romance readers read the majority of their titles on a Kindle or other eReader. 


Q: What was the inspiration behind SOAP DREAMS ?

S.H.: The idea came to me a while back, when out of the blue I'd come in contact with my high school boyfriend online. He'd told me he was pursuing acting and modeling. And it kind of blew me away. He wasn't exactly model or actor material when I'd dated him!! (There is actually a scene in the book where the mc wonders "Where did those washboard abs come from? He hadn’t had those in high school." And I imagined him showing up on the soap opera I watched every day. What would I do if I suddenly saw him on tv??? 


Q: How long did it take you to write SOAP DREAMS and have you found your writing process has changed since your first book?

S.H.: This is a shortie, only about 17,000 words. The first draft was under 10,000 though, since that was the max word count for the magazine I was originally targeting it for. So, it probably only took a few weeks. But then when I was gearing up to submit it to my editor at Lyrical, I needed to bump the word count to 15,000, their minimum. Probably took another week or so. :) My process has most definitely changed since writing my first book. I had no plans back then. Now I do plot, though not extensively like some. But I make tons and tons of notes as I go. I do more characterization ahead of time. Now I write with the business end in my mind...I recently started a new story and already I am crafting a query, and will probably write the synopsis right along with it. 

I just wanted to add that I’m always so impressed by authors who are able to write a short stand alone story that hooks us onto the character and into their plight in so few words.  It’s definitely not as easy as it might seem.

Some fun questions :

Q: Where do you do the most brainstorming for your stories ?

S.H.: No specific place...stories come to me at the most random times and places..the shower, in bed, driving around town, hanging with my family or friends.

Q:  What is your favorite snack food when writing ?

S.H.: Depends...sometimes I crave sweet, other times, salty! I would love to snack on chips or chocolate all day, but I have to be good.....it's usually a granola bar, Nutra Grain bar, pretzels, almonds, etc...

Q:  If you could choose a superpower what would it be ?

S.H.:  Hmmm.....I would love to be able to just teleport myself and my family wherever we wanted to go. Disney World for the day, sure! Hollywood for an awards event, presto! Rainy day at home...boom, we're in Hawaii!

Q:  Who is your favorite character from one of your own books and why?

S.H.:  Oh, it has to be Lexi from A Bitch Named Karma! She's been with me the longest and we've been through so much together. She was the first character I wrote who was such a departure from who I am...it was so fun and so liberating! She says what's on her mind! She makes no apologies. But she can be the most loyal friend ever. 

Thanks so much to Stephanie for stopping by and please check out her and her books at her blog or through Lyrical Press! All commenters will be entered to win a Grand Prize Drawing!! A signed copy of A Bitch Named Karma (US only, sorry), and digital copies of both Paradise Cove and Soap Dreams!!

15 comments:

Sarah said...

What a great interview! I also admire authors who are able to write compelling short works. It takes real skill to tell a fully fleshed-out, satisfying story in that few words. And these premises sound like pure fun. Thanks for letting us get to know Stephanie better!

April said...

I agree with everything Sarah said, which is why I haven't attempted something like that. What a fun concept for a story! And the answer is an emphatic NO WAY! LOL.

Old Kitty said...

Hello Stephanie, thank you for the interview Katie! So glad to hear that Lyrical Press are fab to work with and that you have an awesome editor!! Yay!!

Good luck with your books! Take care
x

Miranda Hardy said...

Wow! The book sounds amazing. Great interview.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I wanted to read Soap Dreams after reading about it on another blog, but I don't think I can download it onto my iPod Touch (or my Kobo). That means I can only read it on my computer, which I don't want to do. That will be more like reading for work than reading it for pleasure. :P

I've heard this complaint from others, too. Hopefully one day soon I'll get to read the book. It sounds soooo good.

Matthew MacNish said...

Great interview! Thanks Katie and Stephanie.

Stephanie said...

Stina, I thought for sure Lyrical's books were available in the ibook store. :( I will have to look into it!! And I checked Kobo...my debut is available, A Bitch Named Karma, but I;m not seeing my newer releases...maye it takes some time for them to be available?? I will look into that too!! :)

Thanks everyone!!! It's actually really freeing to write something short...the cast of characters is very limited, there's no subplots to worry about! Just your main characters and the main plot! It's a refreshing break after I've been working on something really long!!

Jolene Perry said...

Great interview!

Funny, one thing she said stuck with me, and I want to add that one of the awesome things about reading on a kindle, is that NO ONE knows what I'm reading.

Nicole Zoltack said...

I love Steph, she's great! Awesome interview, ladies.

Slamdunk said...

Fun interview CQG.

I am all about the need for teleportation; travel is blah.

Stephanie said...

LOL Jolene!!!! I was reading a m/m/f erotic romance at the gym once on my Reader. I have to enlarge the text when I'm on the crossramp so I can see it while exercising. And I wondered if the person next to me could see what I was reading!! LOL

Thanks so much to everyone for their awesome comments!!! Thank you!!

Talli Roland said...

Great interview, ladies! I agree - there is a massive demand for erotic ebooks. It's a huge market. I wish Stephanie every success!

Stephanie said...

Thank you!!!!!! Same to you!!

erica and christy said...

GREAT interview - loved it!! thanks for sharing your journey, Stephanie (here and on your blog). And we share all the books we win, so since christy already won one, don't enter us in the book contest. Just here to lend support to our follow blog buddies!
erica

Stephanie said...

Thanks for stopping by Erica!!!!

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