Diva: Describe yourself in five words.
Stefanie: Funny, sensitive, curious, shy, loyal.
Diva: What are three things that your readers would be surprised to learn about you?
Stefanie: Well, first, I never really planned on being a romance writer. In high school I thought that I would become a journalist and write for Rolling Stone magazine. Only, I don’t smoke, drink, or like to stay up until the wee hours, and I’m shy, which kind of put a crimp in the plan.
Second, I was the 30th employee at a little internet company called Amazon.com. My office was in a garage and I knew nothing about the web—and had no idea what a ride my nearly six years there would be like.
Third, writing romance runs in my family! My mom is Lois Faye Dyer, the amazing Silhouette Special Edition author of nearly 30 books. She writes incredibly moving contemporary stories that most often feature complex and completely yummy cowboys.
Diva: What were you doing before you became a writer? And what would you have done if your writing hadn't taken off?
Stefanie: Well, I was and still am a mom to two amazing and challenging young girls. As any parent knows, this is a full-time job—rewarding, but demanding! And Justin Bieber fever has recently hit our household, so the challenge-o-meter just ratcheted up. I’ve also done quite a bit of editorial consulting work for various companies and nonprofits, which I truly enjoy. If I wasn’t writing historical romance, I would probably be concentrating on my nonprofit work. In this economy, nonprofits need our help more than ever.
Diva: What authors have had the most influence on your writing or your desire to become a writer?
Stefanie: First and foremost, my mom. She started writing when I was quite young and she was working a full-time job—so that’s, what, three full-time jobs all at one time between raising children, working in the legal system, and writing? She taught me what discipline and belief in yourself and your dreams can do for a person.
Julia Quinn has also had a major influence on me as an author. We’re the best of friends, and she’s always been there for me both personally and professionally. Her strength has carried me through some of the more bumpy patches of life’s roadway.
Diva: How long did it take from the time you finished your first book, to get your work published?
Stefanie: Well, the first book that I ever wrote was a contemporary chick lit back in 2003. I finished it and signed with an agent less than a week before giving birth to my second child! Unfortunately, that book didn’t sell, and learning to care for two kids took over all of my time until 2007 when I started what would become The Devil in Disguise. That summer, at the national RWA conference, I was introduced to agent Jennifer Schober, who encouraged me to send a partial her way. I finally did mail off the first 150 pages to Jenn in early 2008. She offered representation shortly thereafter and we set to work on polishing the partial. It went out to editors in the fall of 2008 and I had my offer from Ballantine by Thanksgiving. I think that I ate an entire pie in celebration!
Diva: What's the best piece of advice you were given while you were trying to get your work published?
Stefanie: “A watched pot never boils.” Honestly, I’m one of the most impatient people on the planet. So when a fellow author heard me lamenting the fact that I wasn’t progressing as quickly as I should, she said those words to me. And was she ever right! And it’s excellent advice for every part of the author process—and really, life in general. Have patience with yourself, with those around you, and with your work. You’ll be surprised by what it does for your outlook.
Diva: What book(s) are you dying to get your hands on?
Stefanie: There are so many! Amanda Quick’s Quicksilver releases tomorrow. In late May there is Julia Quinn’s Just Like Heaven. And Jennifer Ashley’s The Many Sins of Lord Cameron is due out in August.
Diva: Do you have any tidbits that you can share about what's next on your agenda?
Stefanie: Oooh, yes! I recently signed a contract for the next three books in my Regency Rogues series. Here’s a sneak peek at the fourth book, tentatively titled The Saint Who Stole My Heart:
Lord Dashiell Matthews, the Viscount of Hardwicke, remembers little of Lady Elena Barnes beyond her slight build, mousy character, and bookish ways. Her unavoidable presence at Hardwicke House would be inconvenient, true, but a woman could hardly prove enough of a distraction to interfere with what was the most important case of Dash’s life—ferreting out the monster who’d murdered a dear friend’s mother many years before.
Dash would, of course, live to regret such an assumption.
As for Elena, a trip to London to retrieve a priceless book is troublesome, though not nearly as much as the feelings the viscount inspires in her. His touch elicits feelings from Elena that she’d only ever read about. Her skin tingles. Lord Hardwicke is as handsome as she remembered—actually, more so as he’d grown into his frame in a rather attractive manner—and as dim as a ha’penny tallow. Or is he? The more time Elena spends with the man, the greater her suspicions grow regarding his intellect and just what he might be up to as they’re thrown together in the search for an individual known only as the Rook.
Can true love save the day? Find out in the exciting and enthralling fourth installment of the Regency Rogues.
Thanks so much to Stefanie for taking time to answer my questions. To learn more about her and her books, find her at: