By A.C. James
A.C. James: Hi, Erica! Please share with us something about yourself, where you’re based, and what made you decide to become a writer.
Erica Stevens: I’ve been married to my best friend for two and a half years. I’m currently living in Massachusetts but I was born in New York and spent most of my life going in between both states. I started writing when I was nine years old and never stopped.
A.C. James: Friendship is the most important part of being married. It helps you remember when you first met and the love that grew so that nothing can divide you. At least I think I read that on a bumper sticker somewhere 😉 What genre do you generally write and what have you had published to-date? What do you think of eBooks?
Erica Stevens: I generally write paranormal, romance, action, sci-fi and horror. I’ve had three books in The Captured Series published, four in The Kindred Series, and two in The Ravenous Series. I also write The Survivor Chronicles, which is a story I publish weekly on my blog, FB, and Smashwords. I will be releasing the last book in The Captive Series, Salvation, on June 8. I’m hoping to have the first book in The Survivor Chronicles edited and released in July, and the final book in the Kindred Series out in August.
I love eBooks, they’ve helped me to live out my dream of being a writer. They also give me the opportunity to find and read so many things that I may not have discovered before. Though, nothing beats the feel and smell of a book.
A.C. James: I was just telling Robin yesterday how much I love the smell of books but I have fallen under the spell of my Kindle as well. Have you self-published? If so, what led you to become an indie author?
Erica Stevens: I have self published. I tried querying agents and going the traditional route for years but I was getting nowhere. My husband kept telling me to try self publishing but I was really nervous about it. Last Memorial Day I’d gotten yet another round of rejections and decided that it was time to give self publishing a try. Before I could chicken out, as up until then no one had ever read anything I’d written, I decided to put out a bunch of books in the hopes that someone would like something. It was scary but it ended up being one of the best things I’ve ever done.
A.C. James: Self-publishing is a risk but from what I’ve heard from so many authors, it’s proved a very rewarding experience. Kudos. That takes commitment and guts but fortunately you’re not alone. The publishing industry is constantly changing along with technology, which has allowed publishing to evolve into a digital platform to reach even more readers. This can only be a good thing. Although, change can be a difficult pill to swallow for those that stand to lose the most if they can’t adapt to it. Personally, I think e-book lending in libraries is the next area where we’ll see a lot of change. Do you have a favorite of your stories or characters?
Erica Stevens: I don’t have a favorite but I did just finish writing The Captive Series so I’m still feeling a little sad about leaving them behind. Though, I plan to do something with one of the other characters in the series, Jack. I love all of the characters though, they’re all a part of me and I hate saying goodbye to them.
A.C. James: And we will too! Erica, when you were younger which authors did you read and how did they shape you as a writer?
Erica Stevens: I read everything I could get my hands on. I read a lot of Stephen King, The Babysitter’s Club, Dean Koontz, Madeleine L’Engle, Mary Stewart and anything about Robin Hood. They definitely shaped me as a writer by helping to feed my imagination and teaching me about suspense and horror.
A.C. James: I’m a huge fan of horror and Stephen King which are kind of synonymous. I have to say he did make my fear of clowns much more terrifying with It. Do you manage to write every day, and do you plot your stories or just get an idea and run with it?
Erica Stevens: I do write every day. I don’t plot my stories. I usually know how it is going to start and how it is going to end, but the journey is as much of a mystery to me sometimes as it is to the reader. That’s most of the fun!
A.C. James: I’m very much like that myself. I wish I could outline but it just doesn’t work for me. Dean Koontz’s approach to writing and editing as he goes along tends to be how I work. Do you do a lot of editing or research?
Erica Stevens: I do a lot of editing, and yet I always miss things. At first I didn’t have an editor, but thankfully now I use Leslie Mitchell and she’s been amazing! I do a lot of research for The Survivor Chronicles and some of it is pretty interesting. Most people would look at the search history on my computer and either run away from me or call the police.
A.C. James: I’m laughing with you on this one and nodding my head vigorously in agreement. It’s not much of a leap from researching vampires to serial killers like Richard Chase. Horror incorporates into paranormal and the grittiness of reality makes for fascinating fiction. What point of view do you find most to your liking: first person or third person? Have you ever tried second person?
Erica Stevens: I prefer third person though The Ravenous Series is in first person. I have never tried second person.
A.C. James: I’ve always wanted to try second person but never have had any material that sparked interest in writing from that point of view. Perhaps one day I’ll write a children’s series from that point of view but for now I’ll stick to first or third. What’s your favorite / least favorite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
Erica Stevens: My favorite is all the worlds and people I get to create. My least favorite part is saying goodbye to them when the story ends. I live with them for years at a time so they really do become a part of my life and a part of me. I’ve been very surprised by the amount of people I’ve met from around the world. A year ago I never would have dreamed of someone in Australia or England reading my book. Now I talk to some of them on a weekly and sometimes daily basis.
A.C. James: It must feel amazing to know that your books are reaching readers across the globe. Are you involved in anything else writing-related other than actual writing or marketing of your writing?
Erica Stevens: No unfortunately I don’t have a lot of time to do other things.
A.C. James: Are you on any forums or networking sites? If so, how valuable do you find them?
Erica Stevens: I’m on Facebook, Goodreads, and have a blog. I find Goodreads and Facebook to be a great way to stay in touch with readers and to spread the word.
A.C. James: Well it’s been wonderful having you on the blog and I’d love to have you back when your next book comes out. Be sure to drop me a line and remind me as your release date approaches. What are you working on at the moment / next?
Erica Stevens: I’m currently working on finishing the last book in The Kindred Series and I’m hoping to have it ready to send to Leslie by the end of the month.
A.C. James: Tell us more about Salvation and why your readers love it.
Erica Stevens: Salvation will be the fourth and last book in The Captive Series. I think it’s been such a big hit because Braith and Aria are a couple that you can’t help but root for. They’re both strong willed and stubborn but their love for each other is clear and true. Before Salvation’s release I will be running a sale on the first three books in the series Captured, Renegade, and Refugee in bundle form from Saturday May 25 until June 9 on Amazon, Apple, and Barnes and Noble.
A.C. James: I’m starting to fall in love with Braith and Aria myself after reading all the comments on the blog this week. And of course we’re giving away ten bundles as part of our Sizzling, Hot, Memorial Day Giveaway. But for those of you that don’t win, you can always take advantage of Erica’s sale that starts on Saturday. Where can we find out about you and your writing?
Erica Stevens: You can find me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/#!/ericastevens679?sk=wall&filter=2
My blog http://ericasteven.blogspot.com/
A.C. James: Erica, thank you for interviewing today on my Paranormal Passion blog! Good luck with Salvation and we look forward to having you back when it’s released. Tomorrow I will be talking to April M. Reign and I’ll be blogging throughout Memorial Day weekend. Winners from the giveaway will be announced on Tuesday—probably mid-morning. So you have until 11:59 pm Monday night to tell us who your favorite romance hero is for a chance to win these great prizes.