In conclusion to “Seriously, I Will Read Your Book” (Day of Sacrifice & Rebellion)
Fantasy Fiction Writer Stacey Wallace Benefiel Author Interview
Stacey Wallace Benefiel, author of Day of Sacrifice and Rebellion, writes fantasy that makes one think about the different roles religion can play and just who should be in control. You can find Stacey on Facebook, Twitter, her blog and her website.
~Each commenter received a book of their choosing. Enjoy!~
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Since elementary school. I loved to read and make up stories. As soon as I got to Jr. high and creative writing classes were offered I jumped right in.
What was your inspiration for Day of Sacrifice?
I wanted to try a few things: Writing specifically for adults, writing something shorter with a lot of action, and writing in a genre that was currently popular. These stories are my indie experiment. So, I basically set out to write an action-adventure romance with angels. To mix it up I thought adding in a party girl who couldn’t party all the way as the love interest brought up some unique problems.
What process did you go through to create the characters and the world they lived in?
I’m a pantser, so my process is to just write on it until I like it. I started with Flora and the idea that she’s a party girl who has to stay a virgin and then I piled on the problems. Up until writing Day of Sacrifice, I’d been writing YA, so I decided to just make the DoS stuff as dark as I wanted. The world was created from the constant horrible things I decided to do to the characters. With Julian, I wanted him to be the moral center without being a goody-two-shoes. I gave him a respectable job with lots of opportunity for temptation.
What prompted you to use human sacrifice as the catalyst for action in the novella?
From the beginning I thought of the DoS as a big televised event and crowd scenes just lend themselves to action.
In the novella guardian angels are a prominent member of society, seen by all. What was the inspiration for this idea?
I wanted the Guardians to be involved in the action, not just some ethereal force that guided souls into the afterlife. Making them bodyguards seemed like a good way to do that. And hot. I also needed them to be bad-ass and hot. LOL
The story in itself lends a religious tone, was there something in particular that you were commenting on about religion in modern-day society?
Everything I write has a religious tone I think. I grew up in a religious household and it’s part of who I am. I don’t think I was commenting on religion in modern-day society as much as sometimes I make God the good guy and sometimes I make him the bad guy. It’s how I work out my own ideas about faith. The Gods in DoS are the bad guys because that’s the part of me saying, “How could you let all of this horrible stuff happen to humankind and expect us to put up with it?”
What is your daily writing process?
I do a lot of thinking about what I’m going to write beforehand so that when I sit down to write I can get it down quickly. I have a two-year-old and a four-year-old that are home with me most of the time, so I don’t have a lot of time to myself.
How do you balance writing with work, home, and family?
I set deadlines for myself and then just work like a crazy person to get them met. My pace is pretty slow and scattered the first couple of months working on something and then I spend the last month writing my ass off. Therefore, the first couple of months my house is clean and my kids have lots of attention paid them and the last month everything gets ignored a lot more. I’m hoping the kids are young enough that I’m not scarring them for life. LOL Needless to say, I’m looking forward to them both being in elementary school so we can have a better schedule.
What advice would you give to those writers considering publishing their work as an e-reader?
As a writer I think it is easiest way to publish and reach a lot of readers. It’s also fairly user-friendly. I’m not much of a computer person and I was able to figure out the formatting no problem. As a reader I think it is the easiest way to feed your reading habit. Finish the first book in a series and want more? You can have it in under a minute!
What advice would you give other aspiring writers?
I’ll give the same advice that was given to me: Don’t be afraid of screwing up or putting agents off. You can always adopt a pen name and try again.
What do you like about fantasy writing?
Anything goes. It’s my world and I make the rules. I don’t have to be afraid of not portraying something accurately because I made it up.