Today we’re welcoming romance author Stacey Purcell. Her romance novels have a hint of darkness where the characters have depth and love and healing don’t come easy. The journeys her characters take are engrossing and make the happy ever after all the sweeter. She grew up travelling the world with her family, because of her father’s job, but she got her university degrees in America. I can’t wait to find out more about her books and very interesting life.
Welcome, Stacey! Thanks so much for taking time out to chat to us, and Happy Thanksgiving.
You’ve led an interesting life so far, and while you’ve studied French and early childhood, you weren’t an author. What led you to take the plunge and follow a lifelong desire?
Writing and reading have always been a big part of my life. My first “novel” was written on hotel stationary when I was 15 in London. It was truly awful, but I was completely absorbed by the story and loved doing it almost as much as reading a novel! Skip forward to me being a young mom with two kids. I made up huge stories every night for them. I took a class on writing books for children and discovered, while I liked it, it didn’t quite scratch the itch. Once my baby started school, I had more time on my hands and decided to write a romantic suspense…and I did.
Do you still travel a lot?
I’d rather travel than eat! As I fill out this interview, I’m sitting on our porch in Maui. Long story, but a friend of mine is here for a medical conference and she offered for me to come stay with her in the hotel for free. Needless to say, I said YES.
This coming spring, my husband and I will go to Portugal to celebrate 30 years of marriage. 😊
Wow, congrats on the Anniversary! Also I’m so jealous right now ;).
Do you have a favourite place/s in the world? And if so, what is it?
Wow- this is a tough one…. If I had to pick, I’d have to go with an area of the world. Southeast Asia was my home for almost 18 years of my life and continues to be the home of my heart. I’d go back to Malaysia and Singapore in a nanosecond.
When do you do your writing? Do you have to fit it around any other work or kids?
I do 90% of my writing in the mornings and usually knock off around 2. I’ve tried to push longer than that, but my creativity for the day is spent. I’m lucky because my kids are grown and I have the time to focus on my craft now. Before, it was done during school hours. I’ve always made it a point to NOT write on the weekends unless I’m under a super tight deadline. That time is always for family.
Your bio says you met your husband on a plane. Please tell us more (it sounds so romantic lol).
Hahahaha it is romantic and I keep trying to put it into a book, but haven’t quite figured it out how to do it yet.
I had returned to the US after teaching in Malaysia. While in Malaysia, I had dated a marine who worked at the embassy. I was on my way to visit him and a few of my other Marine friends during a school break. Peter spotted me in the airport, but I was oblivious. I saw him get on the plane and sit down directly behind me. Another fellow was chatting me up in my row but made the fatal mistake of going to the restroom. Next thing I knew, this guy leaned over the chair saying he had lived overseas as well. Boom — Peter was in the empty seat next to me, and when that other guy came back from the bathroom, he had competition. The rest is history!
Both your books, A Promise for Tomorrow and Echoes of the Heart have characters who are overcoming tragedy and hardship. Obviously there are many different types of romance books, so what was it about this style of plot that you liked?
My mother said I should have been a counselor. I love taking broken people to the edge and then they must take a leap of faith to find love and happiness. I guess I want everyone, no matter what they’ve gone through, to find what I’ve got with Peter.
Can you tell us about your latest release, A Promise for Tomorrow?
I love this book! Both my hero and heroine have let the awful things that happened to them at a young age define who they are as adults. They have to find the courage within themselves to be stronger than what was done to them. It’s about coming home, redefining family, and trust.
Here’s a short blurb: Naomi Hope Rawlings is a survivor. She fought her way out of the darkness from a traumatic assault as a teen to build Songbird’s Bakery and Cafe into a thriving company in Cardinal Point, Texas. Her painstaking work will enable her to create a healing sanctuary for young women who have gone through the same nightmare. But just when the dream can become reality, all the carefully orchestrated pieces fall apart.
Nathaniel Shepherd has lost his way. He once had a family, a home, and a best friend. All of that vanished with a move to the city that ended his brother’s life and landed him in jail. He’s survived the heartache, but he’s restless. An offer to buy his company causes him to lose grip on his hard-won balance. Something is missing. Can he find it back in Cardinal Point, the last place he felt whole?
Naomi and Nathaniel have unfinished business. A long time ago, their unbreakable friendship turned to love before life interfered to crush childhood dreams. Now, Nathaniel is back to find her. Can she see beyond her inability to trust outsiders? And can they both move beyond the past to find hope and the promise for tomorrow?
Do you plan your books or let them develop as you go?
My first book took almost 6 years to write, my last took 8-10 months. I’m getting better because I’m learning how to create the characters, and come up with 10 things I know I want to happen in the book. It still allows me the creativity to take the book in any direction that pops into my head, but it also helps me speed up because I really know the characters. Before this, I would sit down with a blank screen and just make it up as I went.
Who is or who are your favourite authors?
I love Roxanne St. Claire, Jami Albright, Rebecca Zanetti, and far too many others to even try to list!
Do you get much time to read when you’re writing? And if so, how do you switch between relaxing with a book to creating and writing?
I will never be the same kind of reader I once was before I started writing. Now I think about their techniques, the clever way they word things, how they work their plot twists etc. Even so, I still love to read, and I find I’m far more creative when I do read! I justify my reading time because it does make a writer even better.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on the third book in My Echoes series for my publisher. I have to have it to my editor by March 7, and I’m already stressing. It helps that I love this story line and am already 20,000 words into the book.
That’s a great start. It’s so exciting to get far enough in that you know it’s going to work out okay (the writing lol). And good luck finishing before the deadline. It’s been so great having a chat, and I’m still jealous about all your traveling ;).
Readers, if you’d like to check out the lovely and talented, Stacey Purcell’s work, you can visit her website, Amazon author page, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. And just below are her books. Click on the covers to see tham on Amazon. Happy reading!
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