Author Interview With Stefany Rattles (M.S. L.R.)

Friday, 15 January 2016
Next up for a grilling is Author Stefany Rattles. Read on to find out what makes this author tick:

If you use a Pen Name why did you choose it?
M.S. L.R. are the initials to my whole name which I’m going to keep to myself.
Why do you write?
I write because I’ve always liked to write down ideas, thoughts, anything creative that comes to mind. I started writing (not books) when I was around fourteen. Writing has always been a way for me to get away from life issues or if I’m just feeling like I want to say something but not really talk about it, if that makes sense.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I decided to start writing a book when I was eighteen. My first finished book was awful and never published but it was great practice.
What genre are your books? 

As Stefany Rattles I write YA Paranormal Romance and as M.S. L.R. I write NA Erotic Romance.

What draws you to this genre? 

Some authors/writers don’t like to read and write in the same genre. That is not true for me. I write what I like to read. To me there are similarities in the two genres that I read and write in (YA Paranormal Romance & NA Erotic Romance). I think in both of these genre’s characters are growing and learning from their mistakes as they deal with their issues. They are making transitions as they move onto the next stage of their lives.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
It’s kinda funny actually. I read all of the Twilight series. At the time when I finished all the books I felt inspired to write my own paranormal romance story. So I did.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
I work full-time so I can only write part-time right now.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
I write when I can. Mostly after I get off work and if I have free time I work on my books. Most of the writing is done during the weekend though. Usually my week is busy with work and the kids.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Reading a lot and writing a lot. Even if it’s something I have no intention of publishing. It helps to just write things down. You never know when you’ll go back to it. I’ve also had helped from others that have pointed out mistakes I’ve made or what sounds good and what doesn’t.
What have you written?

I have an Erotic Romance trilogy called Bad Romance that’s completed now. There’s also my YA Paranormal series called The Darkest Nights which is longer and I’m publishing an episode every couple of months. Next I have a new book titled Disarmed and this will be a darker romance story.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?

Mostly I outline for my longer series (The Darkest Nights) just because it is longer and there are more characters. There’s also the paranormal stuff that I have to keep up with as I write it. With the other books I don’t need to outline as much because they’re mostly straight to the point, not to say that there’s not a story, there is but it’s just less complex. I only write down the details that I wouldn’t remember  =but not an outline. It always interesting to see where the story will go and it keeps things exciting as I write it.

How do you market your books?

I’m still working on this because that’s not something I thought about when I first started the publishing process back in 2013. It’s never too late to learn but it did hurt me not knowing what I was doing. Now I’m building my mailing list because I believe this is the most important thing you can do starting out as a writer. This mailing list is your fan base. The people that will actually want to read your books. I work through social media to reach more people and keep adding on that list.

Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?

The one thing I noticed was that once I started building my mailing list, there were more people interested in reading my books because I found my audience. You have to know who your audience is in order for it to work.

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in the future?

The marketing mistake I made was not knowing how to go about it when I first started. I wrote the book and then didn’t know how to market it. So it was my mistake not doing research.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Do your research. I would say to educate yourself about all that goes into publishing a book. It’s not just about writing the book. Maybe you don’t have a cover designer or editor starting out. I didn’t. But you can learn how to these things yourself if you can’t hire someone at the beginning. It takes time and it’s not easy. Start on your marketing plan even if your book isn’t finished. It’s never too early to start on that and in the end you will be glad you did that.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?

If I have to pick a character that I think is special is Kaden from my new book Disarmed. That book was originally planned from just one POV which would be the other protagonist – Kyle. She was going to be the main character but as I wrote about Kaden I realized that there was so much more to him that I had to add his POV so people could get to know him. Kaden has a dark background. He was in the foster care system for a while until he was adopted by a cop. I’m not going to get into his story too much because that’s just something that you’ll have to read from the book. But I think he’s one of my favorite and special characters because people will be able to understand why he is the way he is. He’s not your typical prince charming which makes him realistic and relatable. He has depth.

Where do your ideas come from? 

Not sure. I’ll be sitting at work daydreaming and then just out of nowhere I start thinking about a potential story.    I think also some of my life experiences have inspired scenes and some dialogue in plot lines but it’s not based on my life.

What is the hardest thing about writing?
The hardest thing I would say is when you experience writers block. That sucks.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
The hardest thing about writing my latest book was going back and adding Kaden’s POV. It wasn’t bad it was just making sure that the storyline flows and it’s not confusing to the reader.
Which writers inspire you?
From the YA genre I would have to say Richelle Mead. I’ve read most of her books. Her writing style is awesome and I like all of her characters. From the NA Romance genre then I would say J.A. Huss. Like me, she is also self-published. I like her writing style as well and her characters are deep, definitely well developed.                     
What do you do to get book reviews?
I offer a my book for free to those interested in reading them and then leaving a review. From my mailing list I’ve recruited fans to be on my R&R team.
How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
You can’t make people review your book. All you can do is hope they keep their word. For me it’s worked okay, probably just as much as other writers. This goes back to having a mailing list, a fan base that will support you and help you out. This is another thing that you can count on them for.
What is the current book you are promoting? 

I just finished Bad Romance The Complete Story this past month so I’m kind of between promoting that book and my new book that will release on 2/18 which is Disarmed.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why? 

Kaden for the same reason I said he’s a special character.

Who is your least favorite character and why?  

My least favorite character, I would have to say is Sophie Carmichael from The Darkest Nights series. She hasn’t been introduced yet but when you get to her, you’ll understand why. I can’t give the reason why without ruining part of that story. 

If your book were made into a movie, who would you cast? 

Wow. I haven’t thought about it. I guess depends what book we’re talking about. With Disarmed I would tell you right now that I’d cast the model who is also an actor that will be on that book cover. That’s Kaden alright.
With The Darkest Nights series I would cast Sasha Pieterce as Mia. Maybe Colton Hayes as Robert Townsend. That’s pretty much all I have.

What is your next project?  

I’m working on Disarmed right now and there may possibly be a trilogy.
Also I’m going to continue working on The Darkest Nights series. That series is being published by episodes and there will be something like a season each year. At the end of the year I will have all episodes published a box set.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? 
There’s so many I can’t pick one!

What one person from history would you like to meet and why?

If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be?

How do you write your books? 

I use my laptop and sometimes I may even do some writing at work and then send it to my home computer.

Who inspires your writing? 

Other authors inspire me. Especially my favorite ones, they’re great and I would like to be great too.

Who is your favorite author? 

The same authors that inspire me are my favorite authors. For the same reasons.

What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer?

It’s one thing to be inspired and have favorite authors. But don’t try to be them. You just do your best and don’t get discouraged. It is not a piece of cake to just write a book. If you’re willing to put the work in then one day you’ll be one of the best if not better than them.

What is one thing you hate about being a writer?

When it comes to book reviews you can’t control people’s opinions and so you may get a negative review. I’ve had those, especially when someone didn’t understand something but still they will give you a low rating just because they can. Some of them are fair and some aren’t but there’s nothing you can do about it. Unfortunately you don’t have a delete button for that. Responding to them is never a good idea. You just go with it and hope others enjoy your book.

Is there anything else you would like to add? 

Just to find me on Facebook. I’m pretty active on my page and have giveaways going on in there all the time. There’s actually two running right now for those who want to enter.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Signing up to my mailing list is probably the best way to find out more about my work. My fans are the ones that receive the news first about books, giveaways and upcoming events. Eventually I post news to my website but I will mention it on Facebook first and then Twitter.

Book Links For Stefany Rattles

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