Kindle Author Interview With Erica R. Stinson

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Join us for anther kindle author interview with Erica R. Stinson. Read on as she tells us what makes her write and also chats about her new book Code:PINK which is available on the amazon kindle store now.

Why do you write? 

I enjoy writing and creating scenarios and environments. I like when people read something I've written and really enjoy how I told the story.

When did you decide to become a writer?

For as long as I can remember, I have always been writing. I have quite a few short stories that I wrote and one very long fantasy novel that I wrote back in 1992 but was too afraid to send it in for fear of rejection. Now that so many of us are able to self-publish, I am going to be publishing my fantasy novel sometime within the next five years or so(it needs lots of work!)under a pen-name. I have always been a fan of fantasy writers such as David Eddings, Terry Brooks and Robert Jordan when I am not reading suspense, thrillers and horror.

What genre are your books? 

Suspense and thrillers

What draws you to this genre?

I like a good story that draws the reader in right from the start, makes you want to learn more. I especially like plot twists and I try to do this is my own writing.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? 

I lost my full-time job in 2011 and a lot of times writing my first novel, Survival Tactics, made me forget about my own problems for a while. Trust me, my main character Daphne Edwards had far worse problems than I did!

Do you write full-time or part-time?

I write part-time. Once I lost my job I decided to legalize my custom cake business to help make ends meet while I've been looking for work. I have owned and operated Gigi Cake Shoppe since May of 2013.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? 

I usually write in the evenings and well into the next morning. I live in NYC and the middle of the night works for me, since it's actually quiet sometimes by then.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? 

I find that the more I write the more I want to write. I've mapped out my writing projects for the next five years at least, a lot of my story ideas derived from the short stories I wrote as far back as the late 80's while I was still in high school.

What have you written? 

I have three books out currently. Survival Tactics, Swept Away(a Survival Tactics Novella which is a prequel to Survival Tactics that was written later) and Code:PINK. I am working on my fourth book, to be titled Company Policy.

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

I usually do some sort of beginning to end outline, but I will sometimes get a better idea and stray outside of the lines here and there. I love it when I am driving or on errands and all of a sudden a light-bulb will go off in my head on how I can make my story better. That's when I'll whip out my cell phone and dictate the idea right then and there so I don't forget it before I can get home.

How do you market your books? 

Right now I am mostly on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter and Instagram. I have lots of followers, but very few of them interact with me or visit my website. This is something that I plan to work on this year to try and get more people that are truly interested in my work.

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

I had a book signing for Survival Tactics and I sold over 100 copies. Most of them were to family and friends, but there were some isolated sales as well, which made me very proud.

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

I am still learning about how to market myself, and it's not easy. But I just keep trying to find what works.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors? 

Don't ever give up. Keep writing. Stay positive. This has been hard for me, putting so much work into my books but not making many sales yet. But over the past couple of months I have been noticing more sales of my first book. I can only hope the other two will begin to follow since I want to acquire a readership for all of my works.

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

Ryan Ashby is your typical male. Handsome, smart and loving. When he and his wife have a tragedy involving their newborn baby he shows that he is supportive, headstrong and he does all he can to find his child.

Where do your ideas come from? 

Everywhere! Sometimes I will be watching television and an idea will hit me. I may try to run with something that is part of our current events of the world, but I like to add a twist. 

What is the hardest thing about writing? 

Hoping that what I write will be entertaining and will hold the reader's attention. If I can master this, then they will hopefully like my other stories as well.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? 

I stupidly put my book on pre-order before it was completed. Needless to say, I pretty much ran around like a chicken with my head cut off to make the deadline. Never again will I put a book on pre-order unless it is completed and fully proofread!

Which writers inspire you? 

I have been reading Tess Gerritsen for the past five or six years and most recently, Gillian Flynn.

What do you do to get book reviews? 

I am very active on Goodreads and I recently found a thread of authors needing book reviews and put my newest book Code:PINK up for an offering. I only got two responses, but happily both readers enjoyed the book and I was extremely grateful for the feedback(which I take very seriously)

How successful has your quest for reviews been so far? 

It could be better. I've just got to find a way to get more people interested in reading my books so I can get more reviews. I would have thought that selling 100 copies of my first book Survival Tactics to family and friends at least some of them would have read my book. Sadly they have not, so I will have to find another way.

What is the current book you are promoting? 


Who is your favorite character in your book and why? 

Millie Harvey. I named her after my paternal great-grandmother and she's tough as nails. I love her character and the fact that she's very no-nonsense(a lot like me and my great-grandmother, so I've heard!)

Who is your least favorite character and why? 

I don't really have a least favorite character. But there are some bad characters in this book. The stuff that some of them pulled would really make you shake your head. I can't really say too much about them without giving away the storyline.(sorry!)

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

Not sure yet, but it's definitely something to think about!

What is your next project? 

I am currently working on my next novel, which I am calling Company Policy. The last two projects, Swept Away and Code:PINK were shorts, but this is to be a full-length novel and it will be out sometime by the end of 2016.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why? 

No real favorite, because I read too many books and I come to care about a lot of the characters.

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

People from my family on both sides. I am heavily into and I would love to talk to them and find out more about my family history.

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

Stop all the hating and that we could all learn to just get along. We are all just people who want the same things, so there's no need to fight.

How do you write your books? 

On my computer, quiet room(when I can get it that way)and a cup of coffee. Sometimes I will go to Panera Bread for a change of scenery and no distractions. Sometimes when I write at home I start getting involved in other stuff and my writing will fall to the side. At least at the café I can get all the coffee I can drink on free refills and I can focus on what I am doing. It worked great for me the last two weeks of putting Code:PINK together.

Who inspires your writing? 

I am a new fan of Gillian Flynn, having read two of her books (Sharp Objects and Dark Places) over the past summer, and the fact that she throws a lot of twists and turns in her stories is something that I really like. I can admit that I try to do the same thing in my own writing. I love it when a reader comes up to me and says something like 'wow, I didn't see that ending coming! I was shocked!'

Where do you come up with your stories? 

Most of my stories come from my overactive imagination. My first novel, Survival Tactics, was derived from a short-story I wrote about a woman facing off against domestic abuse and how she decided she wanted out of that situation but her fiance would not leave her alone.

Who is your favorite author? 

Too many to list, but as I mentioned I like Tess Gerritsen and Gillian Flynn these days.

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

Read and reread work carefully. I was still finding little errors in my first novel Survival Tactics well after it was published. I now read the story a hundred times(it seems)to be sure that there are no errors.

What is one thing you hate about being a writer? 

Not knowing what to do to reach more readers. It's disappointing to put so much work into something and still struggle with getting readers to pick up the book in the first place. I plan on doing more to make better blurbs and covers for my future projects to help alleviate this problem.

Tell us something unique about you. 

I am a hard-core video gamer. I play Silent Hill, Final Fantasy and love the Metroid series. Sometimes I'll sit up all night playing massive multi-media online role-playing games such as Final Fantasy XI and World Of Warcraft. I particularly love The Sims and have trained my eight year old niece Gianna to play it and now she's addicted. I don't look it, I know, but I have been an avid gamer since my parents first brought home the Atari 2600 in 1978. I was hooked! My next goal is to get a Playstation 4 so I can play the new Tomb Raider game.

How can readers discover more about you and you work? 

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