I’d like to give a big welcome to author Stacey E. Bryan, who is joining us today to tell us more about herself, and her latest novel. Thank you, Stacey, for taking the time to chat to me. Please sit down, get comfortable and let’s begin.
About Stacey E. Bryan
Stacey was raised in the San Fernando Valley but born in San Francisco, where she left part of her heart. She has worked on a dude ranch, coached gymnastics, and captions for the hearing impaired. Her work has appeared in several literary magazines in New York and L.A., including Ginosko and The Rag. She is currently working on the sequel to her novel Day for Night. She lives in “beautiful downtown Burbank,” as Johnny Carson used to say, with her husband who is also a writer.
What’s the name of your new book?
Day for Night
Tell us a bit about your book
When reality TV star Rae Miller is kicked unceremoniously to the curb by her back-stabbing cast mates, she quickly realizes that revenge fantasies and unemployment are the least of her problems after she witnesses an alien abduction in broad daylight. Worse, shock has barely set in before a vampire knocks at her door with promises of power and solidarity against the gray invaders. After escaping a terrifying almost-abduction herself, Rae succumbs to the sexy Nosferatu’s silky assurances, becoming undead in order to up her alien Ultimate Fighting skills. But hand-to-hand combat can only get her so far. She still needs a job and going back to school wouldn’t be the worst idea. And once she figures out why her long-time college friend Rex refuses to have sex with her, she realizes her true nemesis is time. Life is hard as a 38-to-40-something aspiring actress in L.A. Thank God for Jack Daniel’s and denial.
Give us an insight into your main character. What makes them unique?
The protagonist Rae is unusual in that she survived a shark attack and is actually missing some fingers from it. She’s not unusual in the way that she grabs on to denial like it’s the last martini on earth and doesn’t let go after her life jogs sharply left and plunges through the looking glass. But hopefully she’s amusing while she fights to pretend nothing unusual is happening.
Where do your ideas come from?
An idea can come literally from anywhere; hearing music, seeing a movie, catching sight of a Yahoo headline, a drawing, a sunset. They come out of happiness and sadness equally.
Have you always liked to write?
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. It’s amazing that I’ve put so little out, considering.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
I used to coach gymnastics, but I can’t imagine doing that into retirement age. I’d probably do something like I’m doing now, which is closed captioning for the hearing impaired. It incorporates some writing, grammar, research, and best of all, watching TV and movies for a living.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
The self-marketing. I had to start from lower than scratch with social media and I’m terrible at promoting myself.
Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?
I have to have a sound machine on when I’m just starting out with something and getting it off the ground. I use white noise to block out all extraneous sounds during that time. Even just instrumental music with no singing can be distracting. But once I’ve gotten into a groove, I can pretty much write anywhere: Starbucks, a wind tunnel, the middle of a Civil War re-enactment.
How has your environment or upbringing impacted your writing?
My environment was more or less perfect for writing except for the fact that my parents were very down to earth about “the arts” and then “regular jobs.” My mom always said to have one foot in the clouds and one on earth. It’s good advice, but I tended to keep both feet on earth a lot more than in the clouds and wasted a lot of time doing “the ordinary thing.” In another life I’d like to take more risks.
Why should a potential reader buy your book(s)?
I think potential buyers who want to laugh should buy Day for Night. It’s a light urban paranormal adventure with a spattering of romance that pokes fun at life in L.A., the fringes of The Biz, getting older in Hollywood, and even being mixed race. And then there’s the aliens and vampires, of course! I’m not 100% sure I’ve ever seen that combination before, BTW.
What’s something you’re really good at that few people know about?
I’m a pretty good sketch artist.
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
That’s a great question! I do write in different genres. The paranormal is usually satire and tongue in cheek. But several short stories I’ve written deal with various topics like anorexia nervosa and creative suffering. I’m hoping they’re balanced in that the writing style doesn’t really vary between them, just the subject matter and tone it’s written in. I’m thinking that maybe if I wrote like E.E. Cummings in one story and then Janet Evanovich in another, that would probably make everything seem out of balance.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Angst and sensitivity is fine to a point, but lighten up sooner. Start laughing at yourself and the world as soon as possible, and you’ll be a lot happier.
Who are your favourite authors, and why?
Richard Kadrey writes a hilarious urban paranormal series. Michael Cunningham and Annie Proulx’s writing, to me, is beautiful, stark, painful. I miss Tama Janowitz’s comical, selfish heroines (it’s been a while since she’s written something funny) and Larissa Brown wrote one of the best time travel romances I’ve ever read: Beautiful Wreck.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
I don’t like corniness of any kind. I also loathe lecturing. I hope I successfully avoid having characters launch into wordy tirades that sound like they’re beating you over the head to make a point.
Available formats: ebook and print-on-demand.