How long have you been writing? Has writing always been something you wanted to do?
I’ve been writing since third grade, when I wrote my first story, “The Curse of the White Witch.” By fifth grade, I was writing my own mystery series featuring an amateur sleuth named Cathy Summers. I wrote my first novel, “Face-Off,” in high school study halls, and I was fortunate enough to have it published when I was 18. Later, I became a reporter and a marketing writer. Writing has always been what I’m best at. Math and science, not so much!
What books or stories have you written?
I’ve published books for adults, teens and children.
Adult mystery/romantic suspense novels
“Twenty-Five Years Ago Today” – When obit writer Kris Langley investigates the 25-year-old unsolved murder of an artistic barmaid who was obsessed with Greek mythology, she must fight to stay off the obituary page herself.
“Sink or Swim” – After starring on a hit reality show, an ambitious personal trainer attracts a stalker upon returning to her normal life.
“Dark Before Dawn” – A teen psychic moves with her family to a Maine beach town and hooks up with a mysterious fortuneteller.
“Face-Off” – Twin brothers and hockey stars Brad and T.J. McKendrick compete both on and off the ice.
“The Flag Keeper” – An illustrated picture book that teaches children about U.S. flag etiquette through a fiction story, flag facts and activity ideas.
“The Teddy Bear Town Children’s E-book Bundle” – includes three illustrated picture books: “The Flag Keeper,” “Victoria Rose and the Big Bad Noise” and “Sticker Shoes.”
What are some of the hardest things you’ve had to overcome as a writer, in order to be published?
Although I was initially published at a young age, it took 17 years to sell a second book to a publisher. There were a lot of ups and downs – two agents, near misses at publishing houses where editors would go to bat for my book and get turned down by the Pub. Committees, contest wins, contest losses and many form letters. It was like an emotional rollercoaster of getting my hopes up and then having them dashed. There were a few times when I asked myself why I kept putting myself through this. The other challenge has just been fitting writing into a busy life – balancing it over the years with family, other jobs, freelance clients, etc.
Is there any advice you have been given that you could give to a young up-and-coming writer?
I’d recommend finding critique partners whose feedback you trust, joining a professional organization in your genre such as Sisters in Crime for mystery writers and honing your business skills. Writing is the fun part, but you also need to know how to promote your published books and develop marketing savvy. You’ll need to put some money into business expenses, such as a website, review copies and advertising, but spend that money wisely. Also stay updated on the changes in the publishing industry, and the whole e-book trend. There are more options for authors today than ever before.
Do you think writing has any benefits, and if so what would they be?
I love to write. I’ve always been introverted and writing has been a way for me to express myself. I’m almost in a meditative state when I write – a few hours can pass in a blur. It’s enjoyable for me, and I love having the opportunity to entertain readers and distract them from the stress of their daily lives.
Has writing made you a better person? Was there a point in your life where writing helped you deal with something, a death or a problem relationship perhaps?
I don’t know if it’s made me a better person, but being a writer is who I am. If I’d chosen a different career path, I wouldn’t have stayed true to myself. It’s a career that has always pulled at me like a magnet. I remember that writing helped me a lot in college. That was a lonely time of life, before I met my husband, and I wasn’t the type to drink or go to parties. I didn’t enjoy living in the dorm and missed my family. Once I finished my homework, I’d go on my word processor and immerse myself in writing my latest novel. My characters kept me company at a time when no one else did.
About Stacy Juba
Although Stacy Juba specializes in writing adult novels, she has also authored books for children and young adults – she pursues whatever story ideas won’t leave her alone. Stacy’s titles include the mystery/romantic suspense novels “Twenty-Five Years Ago Today” and “Sink or Swim,” the mystery short story “Laundry Day,” the children’s picture books “The Flag Keeper,” “Victoria Rose and the Big Bad Noise,” and the “Teddy Bear Town Children’s E-Book Bundle” (three complete picture books), and the young adult novels “Face-Off” and “Dark Before Dawn.” She is a former journalist with more than a dozen writing awards to her credit and is currently working on a contemporary fiction/romantic comedy novel, as well as a new mystery novel.