I am excited to be brining you an interview with the lovely Stacey Potter. Stacey writes Women's Fiction. When I first stumbled across Stacey's debut novel titled 'The Project', I simply knew it had to be added to my 'to be read' pile. Since conducting this interview, I recently finished reading it, and loved it. It's a beautiful story of love, loss, friendship, and unexpected surprises. A full review of the book will post on my blog in March, so stay tuned.
Lets find out a bit more about this talented author of this heartwarming book.
Tell me a bit about yourself
I’m a mid-40ish, busy wife, mom, consultant, and author. My husband, Andy, a first grade teacher, and I got married three years ago and blended our families. We are raising four teenagers – my two boys, and his two girls. My educational background is in psychology, but my career went down the public health, and health and wellness paths instead. I find time for writing in the early mornings before work with a hot cup of coffee or the weekends.
Additionally, I grew up in the small state of North Dakota within the United States, moved to Arizona for a decade, then moved to Minnesota where we call home. I say I write from “two truths and a lie” since my novels are based on my life experiences and often include these locations, but fictionalized to make it more interesting.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing stories since I was a kid. I wrote and illustrated picture books for fun and then wrote short stories about teen issues and angst when I was in junior high and high school. It wasn’t until 2005, when I was 30, that I finally got over my fear of failure and wrote my first novel during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I’ve written four other novels since, although I’ve only published one so far.
Do you have a favourite book?
Yes. She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb. It’s an older novel from 1992, but is still great today. The main character Delores goes through these tragedies (dad leaves, mom dies, she marries the wrong guy) throughout her early life and she emotionally eats to cope. She’s a flawed character in the beginning but becomes whole by the end. I love to watch characters evolve throughout a story. Wally Lamb is phenomenal at character development and really getting into the brains of his characters.
Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your work?
My favorite authors include Wally Lamb, Jennifer Weiner, and Marian Keyes, to name a few. One element that I love about all of their novels, is that they draw you in within the first few pages and keep you engaged until the end. I also really like how in some of their books, their characters end up having a connection you wouldn’t have expected in the beginning. I try to infuse that element in my stories.
What do you love about your chosen genre?
I love women’s fiction genre, because it can include elements of romance, friendship, and relatable female issues without sticking to rules that other genres have.
Can you tell me about your debut novel tilted ‘The Project’
At the beginning of her college sophomore year in 1994, Sabella Pierce surrenders to volunteering at a nursing home for a class assignment. At first, Sabella dreads this project, but Sabella’s anxiety turns to fascination as she discovers nursing-home resident May’s vibrant spirit and stash of handwritten letters from the one who got away. Now Sabella is inspired to reunite these two long-lost lovers while there’s still time. While visiting May, Sabella regularly runs into Ted, alt-rock listening, volunteer coordinator, who couldn’t be more opposite than her longtime, jock boyfriend, Ryan, who is often distracted lately. Will the project spark new love for Sabella and relight an old flame for May?
For a longer description and book trailer, check out my website at staceypotterauthor.com/books
Can you describe your writing process?
My writing process is not consistent, unfortunately. With a full-time job and a family, I haven’t found a writing rhythm. The five novels I’ve written were during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I love the pressure of writing 50K words in one month. It gets me to focus on getting the story out of my head vs thinking about what if it’s not good enough. When I’m editing and re-writing, I like to print out the pages, old school, and mark it up with a colorful pen. I set small goals of editing 10 pages at a time.
I am excited to read your book, as I really love the sound of the storyline. Where did the inspiration for the book come from?
Thank you, Hayley! The inspiration for the story came from my personal experience working with an elderly woman in a nursing home for a college assignment. The lady’s name was Amy and she was lovely like May. I learned so much from her and about myself during that semester that I wanted to write about that experience in a fictional way.
What advice would you give a new author?
My advice to an aspiring author would be don’t wait 15-plus years to publish your story like I did. There are so many options for people to publish now that there aren’t any excuses if that is one’s aspiration. Also, find other new and aspiring authors locally or on social media. If you’re like me and thinking “can I do this?” or “is my writing good enough?”, your author/writing community will cheer you on and remind you that people need to read your story.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
As an extrovert, I like to be around people and do social activities like going to happy hour, trying new restaurants, or experiencing something fun as a group (obviously limiting during this pandemic). I’m in two book clubs so I’m always scrambling to finish a book club book within my busy schedule. Also, my family loves to travel, so we dream and plan where we want to go next.
Thanks to Stacey for chatting with us about her work. I personally look forward to reading more from this author.
If you would like to check out Stacey's work, click on the links below.