October 29, 2009

Chatting with Stacey Voss

Today I am happy to welcome Stacey Voss, author of the new book Thunder and Blood to Psychotic State .  She has kindly agreed to answer some questions for us.

Stacey, thank you for taking the time to chat with me and my readers. Let’s talk about your new book, Thunder and Blood. I found the idea of an alternate reality happening at the same time as our reality fascinating. Where did you get the idea?

Good question! I suppose I’m a bit of a science fiction fan, so this falls into that realm. I used to really like that old TV show, Quantum Leap, so I guess I kind of drew off of that idea.

I know you are a huge supporter of National Novel Writing Month. For someone unfamiliar with the program, what can you tell us about it?

Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month and it started out in 1999 as an American phenomenon and has now grown to ensnare writers from around the world. The premise is to write 50,000 words in 30 days without stopping to edit. Basically, with the quantity of words you need to write, it forces you to just keep going. With over 100,000 participants last year there is a tremendous support network out there. There are “write-ins” in almost every city where groups of Nanos get together and drink coffee (or their beverage of choice) and push out their daily word count.

Did you write Thunder and Blood during NaNoWriMo?

I wrote Thunder and Blood during Naowrimo 2007. It was an amazing experience and my success in writing 50,000 words in 30 days (with a 14 day honeymoon in the middle) has inspired me to up my personal word count to 75,000 this year. As November 1st approaches, however, I’m starting to wonder if I’m a crazy.

Who was the easiest character to write about in Thunder and Blood and why?

Sarah was the easiest character for me to write about because she is very much who I was when I was around 24. Some of her history and experiences are different, but I felt a lot of the same self-doubts that she does and I hope that her future experiences bring her to become more like present-time me.

Thunder and Blood’s sequel Thunder and Ice is due out November 1st. Can you give us any hints as to what to expect for Sarah, Christine and Hillard?

Thunder and Ice isn’t due out until May 2010. I’m going to start writing it on November 1st (the 75,0000 words). I don’t know everything that’s going to happen for Sarah, Christine and Hillard, but I do know that Sarah is going to have to deal with the Vampire Council and Christine is going to have a hard time adjusting to her new leadership role in the Donner community.

When you envisioned the idea for Thunder and Blood did you have sequels and/or prequels in mind? Or did the prequel(s) idea come about after you created the fictional aspect of DaVinci?

When I first thought of Thunder and Blood, I didn’t really have any other books in mind. When I was really getting into the writing of it, however, I had to do a lot of historical research in order to flush out the history of the vampires. When DaVinci showed up I knew that a prequel covering his conversion into a vampire would be necessary, and a second prequel covering the evolution of the very first vampire would be necessary as well.

Have you always been writing?

I’ve been writing short stories and poetry since before I can remember. The first tangible evidence I have of my writing is in a little book that I wrote when I was five, called My All-Time Book. It consists of two nursery-rhyme type poems and a short story about a kitten called Blackie who got lost in the woods. My dad had a photocopier for his business, so he made some copies of it.

Are there any favorite authors that you enjoy reading or that inspire you?

I like reading a variety of genres. My favourite authors are Anne Rice, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Patricia Cornwell, Orsen Scott Card, Robert Jordan, R.A. Salvatore, and many more. I never remember them all. I have quite the book collection.

Can you take us through a day in the life of Stacey Voss?

Well, that’s pretty boring! I get up with my husband and daughter and send them off to work and school respectively, then I may possibly take a short nap. :D I spend a lot of time on twitter and on the Internet doing book marketing things. Sometimes I even find the time to write. I make dinner for the family and try to spend time with them in the evening.

I used to work, but had some health issues and have to stay home now. My life is pretty boring and the days seem to speed by. Before I stopped working I had no time at all for my book and I think that added a lot to my stress levels. I had achieved my dream of having my book published, but had no time to tell anyone about it or enjoy it.

If you could offer one piece of advice to an unpublished writer, what would it be?

Get your story out and then edit, edit, edit and edit. No one wants to read something full of sentence fragments and bad grammar. Give it out to a few trusted friends and family and have them edit it. After that, send it to a professional for more editing. Your story is more than just a story. The story hides behind the words and if the words are a mess, the story gets lost in it.

If you could use only one word to describe or sell Thunder and Blood to a reader, what would it be? Why?

To describe – different – because I think it really is different from a lot of the vampire/fantasy fiction that’s out there today.

To sell – vampires – because let’s face it, vampires are hot right now.

Lastly, if Thunder and Blood was made into a movie, who would you pick to play Hillard and why?

My husband was quite disappointed that I didn’t choose him as the answer to this question, but he’s not an actor. ;) If I could choose any actor in the world to play Hillard, it would be Jensen Ackles. If you want to know why, just google him. :D Now I want someone to make a movie so I can meet him.

Thank you, Stacey, for taking the time to chat with  us today!  I wish you the best of success with Thunder and Blood as well as writing its sequel Thunder and Ice next month!

Stacey Voss Bio:  Stacey Voss was born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. In late 2005, she and her daughter moved to Wuppertal, Germany to live with her fiancĂ©, Heiko Voss, whom she married in July 2007. She wrote Thunder and Blood during the November 2007 National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) event, with a two week hiatus during which she honeymooned with her husband in the Canary Islands. The story takes place in her hometown of Thunder Bay, reflecting Stacey's yearning to feel close to her roots once again. Realizing that four trips back to Canada in three years was an indication of more than simple homesickness, Stacey, her husband, and daughter moved back to Thunder Bay at the beginning of 2009.

She is really enjoying being back in Thunder Bay, despite moving back in the middle of the cold winter months, and has been drinking copious amounts of Tim Horton's coffee while she has been preparing her book for print. Her hobbies include reading, writing, camping and fishing and she considers herself to be quite a computer geek.

Stacey has two Diplomas in International Business, certification in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with a Minor Degree in English Literature. While in Germany, she taught Corporate English to a wide variety of students and discovered a real love for teaching. She is currently teaching Business and Computers part-time at Everest College in Thunder Bay.

Stacey has already begun the next novel in the Thunder and Blood series, entitled Thunder and Ice, and wants to assure her readers that many of the questions left unanswered in the first novel are answered in the second. After writing Thunder and Ice, Stacey plans to write two prequels in the series, one covering the transformation of DaVinci into a vampire and the other expanding on the origin of the first vampire.

Stacey will be checking in with Psychotic State throughout the day so please feel free to leave any comments and questions for Stacey to reply to. 


Stacey Voss said...

Good morning everyone! If you want to ask questions, just post them. I may take a bit to answer today, because I'm still knocked flat by this flu!

Meanwhile, if you want to try out the book for free, post your request to http://www.thunderandblood.com/content/Contact/ and I'll send you the pdf version!



Kimberly H. said...

I always thought Hillard was based on your husband.

When choosing your cover art, was there any one thing in particular you were wanting to express the story, or did the cover "choose you"?

Stacey Voss said...

I wanted to include a picture of the Sleeping Giant and the green eyes that are so prevalent in the story. I described what I wanted, and my brilliant graphics designer, Christina Wiens, did a fabulous job with it! Those are actually her eyes (with a touch of emeraldness added).

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Thanks for the interview Lori and nice to meet you Stacey! I used to watch Quantum Leap too and I agree Jensen Ackles is a hottie :)

Question: As you are a fan of science fiction, would you time travel If you had the chance?

Kimberly H. said...

I am going to ask this for people not in the Thunder Bay area.... did the legend of the Sleeping Giant help to colour your story?

Stacey Voss said...

Book Chick City - Wow, would I time travel if it were possible? My first thought would be to travel back to when my dad was alive and tell him that I'm okay, my life turned out great, I have a gorgeous daughter and a wonderfully geeky husband. That probably wouldn't be allowed, though. I don't really think I'd want to go back in time. I'm more of a 'keep going forward' kind of person. I'm always looking for the next challenge or adventure - never going backwards.

Stacey Voss said...


Well, the legend is in the story, but didn't really affect it much. It might play a greater role later in the series. There's lots of things I want to include, but not sure when, or if, I'll have the chance.

Lori Johnston said...

Stacey, I don't know if you noticed but yesterday Salamandergrey and I both agreed that Lord Radek reminded us of Lestat. Maybe it was his personality or your description or maybe it was just the mental image of Tom Cruise jumping on a sofa plus sucking someone's blood. He he. Any thoughts on that?

Hope you feel better soon!

Stacey Voss said...

Hi Lori,

I can see it. I'll have to rewatch Interview since I haven't seen it in years and years. Good thing to watch from bed. :D


Tales of Whimsy said...

Nice choice. Jensen is a major hottie!

Tales of Whimsy said...

Great interview :)

Lori Johnston said...

I agree, Juju! I LOVE Jensen! Major Sam & Dean from Supernatural fan.

In fact, Stacey and I had an email discussion about whether we were "Dean girls" or "Sam girls". Not that there's anything wrong with being either . . . or both!

Maybe Jensen or his agent is reading this . . . hint, hint, Jensen would be great as Hillard . . . hint, hint!

A. F. Stewart said...

It's nice to know I'm not the only writer with a boring life.

I'd go see your movie staring Jensen Ackles. I take you are a fellow Supernatural fan?

Stacey Voss said...

Hey there A.F.,

I'm a total Supernatural fan. But I've been in the Dean camp since the very beginning. He's such a bad boy and he has the best lines.

A. F. Stewart said...

Oh definitely. I'm a Dean girl myself.

Lori Johnston said...

Agreed, ladies. And looking the way Jensen does certainly does not hurt!

Stacey, I have a question regarding the National November Writing Month. Honestly, how crazy do you have to be do it? I have been writing since I was 8, in one form or another, and I am currently trying to write a novel in my (very) spare time - -not accomplishing a lot now. The idea of writing an entire novel within the course of a month scares me.

What do you think?

Stacey Voss said...

Well, Lori, I did it once. I'm kind of terrified of trying to do it again though. This time I've increased my desired word count to 75,000, but I suppose I'll be fine as long as I get the first 50,000 done in November. I just hope I'm feeling well enough and have the blog tour under control.

So, yes, I think everyone who tries to do Nanowrimo is crazy. It's a lot of fun nonetheless.

JoJosBookCorner said...

*waves* hi Stacey and Lori
Great interview! And me likes them Winchester boyz too!
My question today is do you have any other story's/books/series in thought or work that you will be doing after this series? (Hope that made sense lol )
Do you plan on doing a virtual book tour again,or individual blog interviews?
Again keep up the awesome work! I'm. Having a blast following your tour!

Sheila Deeth said...

I wish I could do Nano. Thanks Stacey. This was such a fun and encouraging interview. Our writers' group's doing a mini Nano in Feb so maybe I'll try that. And congratulations.

Alyssa Kirk said...

Gotta read a book that has Jensen Ackles as the main character! Great interview!