Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Please Welcome Christian Author Stacy Stallings

Everyone Is A Winner Of This Ebook!

August 15 & 16 2012
Staci's "Amazing!" novel:
To Protect & Serve

 "Reading To Protect & Serve, I'm taken away to another world, a world I want to be a part of and never leave. Staci's characters are real with real everyday problems. I love that.

Oh, and the firemen in this story, they're smokin' hot! Especially the hero!"
--Debra, Amazon Reviewer

Available as a free download from Amazon!

Is there a story behind this book?

The story of how "To Protect & Serve" came to be begins with me writing another story... Really.  That's how it happened.

See, it had taken me awhile to convince my kids' babysitter at the time that reading was FUN! When she first showed up, she hated reading and told me so vehemently and often.  Then she read one of mine and loved it.  Then she read another and another of mine--finishing one 350+ page book overnight.  By the time this story begins, said babysitter was thoroughly fascinated.  She wanted to know how I wrote--the process, not just the finished product.

Now when I write, I make a soundtrack and I download pics of my characters from the 'net. I had a story, let's call it Original Story, that I was working on and really excited about.  The main character for Original Story was a guy in a 90's boy band, so lucky me, there were LOTS of pictures and many songs to choose from for the soundtrack (I know. I have a TOUGH job, right?!).  So I was sharing all of these with the babysitter.

However, instead of getting excited about the main character for Original Story, she "fell in love" with one of the other guys in the band!  (NOT what I was expecting!)  Every time she'd come in here, she'd say, "Well, he's okay, but what's this other guy's story?"  UGH!  For me, stories don't happen like that.  I get a nudge from God to tell me what it's about, etc.  I don't decide what I'm writing, nor do I come up with the stories.  No inspiration.  No story.

Well, she just kept it up and kept it up.  So finally one day just to shut her up, I said, "Fine, God, if I was going to write this other guy's story, what would it be?"  Now mind you, MY plan was for God to be silent and I could go back and tell her, "Sorry, I asked.  There's no story."

Boy, was I wrong!  About 2 seconds after I asked the question, "To Protect & Serve" started playing in my brain... like ALL of it, which is odd as most of the time I only get pieces and parts at first.  When I went back and confessed two days later that I knew his story, she was so excited, waiting to write it wasn't an option.  By the next day I was at the fire station asking, "Okay, to cut a vent hole for a residential fire, exactly how do you do something like that?"  (Can you say "way out of my comfort zone"?!)

She ended up reading "To Protect & Serve" as I wrote it. No pressure THERE!  Every day, I would lock myself in my office and write furiously because even if I wrote 40 pages, she would say, "That's it?! You can't leave me hanging there! When can I get some more?"

Oh, and what about Original Story?  Well, 10 years later, I'm on page 125 writing it.  Don't ask me. I gave up trying to figure out how God works a long time ago!

What distracts you from writing the easiest?

Everything.  I have a husband, three kids, two schools, two businesses, a house, two large extended families and lots of friends. I do VBS, teach Sunday School, and serve on retreat teams. So, I don't get a lot of time to write stories anymore although I write blogs, etc. every week.  When I do get to write on my stories, I will write like 20-40 pages a day, and it's like breathing again.  Sadly, that only happens about once every two months.

However, I know there will come a time as the kids get older and some of their activities drop away that I'll have more time to write.  At least I hope that's the case.  I've got so many stories in me, they kind of battle for brain space until I get them out. 

In fact, I read a quote the other day to the effect that writers are simply multiple people trying to live in the same body.  I would say "in the same brain" as their stories play "movie-like" in my brain all the time.  The truth is, the books you read from me are the movies I've been watching in my brain for months and sometimes years. Weird. I know.  But I'm a little weird all the way around and I've kind of made peace with that fact.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading? 

I mostly read Christian nonfiction.  I think of myself as something of a counselor to my characters as we work through their deepest fears and frustrations.  So I read a lot of how to help people type books.  Some of my favorites have been:

Having a Mary Spirit, Joanna Weaver
Forgiven Forever, Joe Beam
The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning
Grace Walk, Steve McVey
And anything by John Ortberg!

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?

Jeff fascinated me.  (Yes, he was the one my babysitter wanted to know his story.)  He fascinated me because he is strong and caring but incredibly shy and very, very quiet, which is quite the challenge for a writer.  The third scene in the book, which "features" him, I think he only says about six words, but you just get this "feel" for him, like he'll go into hell to save you and then shrug it off like it was nothing.  The whole way through this book and even through the next two books in the series he's like this.  I just love that quiet strength.  It feels so safe.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

One of the things I love to do is to skateboard and snowboard on the Wii.  Okay. First thing you have to know is that I am TERRIFIED of anything that even looks dangerous, and I hate going fast.  When my sister (who is a lot like me) and I went skiing with our husbands the first time, we were screaming when we clicked the skis on.  "I'm sliding!  Ah!  I'm sliding!" To which one of the guys said, "That's the point!"  Didn't matter.  It was terrifying.

My husband was sore that day--from picking me up out of the snow.  I spent more time in the snow than on the skis!  On our fourth trip skiing, I twisted my knee, and that was the end of real skiing for me.  But man!  On the Wii... I can try double back barrel rolls and guerrilla spins and all kinds of fun stuff.  If I crash, my little Mii guy goes, "Ugh!" Then he gets right back up again ready to go.

It's more fun than a scaredy cat like me should be allowed to have and still have all of her bones in one piece!

What's your favorite meal with family and friends? 

No recipe because I don't know how to make it, but my favorite meal is my mom's fried chicken.  It's fried chicken (THE best ever!), mashed potatoes, cream gravy, peas, and corn.  And if you're REALLY lucky chocolate pudding pie with whipped cream.  Absolutely the BEST meal in the world!  I think that's what Heaven is going to taste like, and it will all be calorie-free!

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?  

My characters come up with the spiritual themes, I don't.  They come out of whatever the character is dealing with.  For example, Jeff has major issues with forgiving himself.  In fact, he is determined to do whatever it takes to save every life that's in jeopardy because he feels so guilty for things that happened in his past.  To those on the outside, that looks very heroic.  But when you get underneath and begin to see why he's really doing it, it makes you hurt so badly for him.  He's such a great guy, and yet he doesn't see it at all because of the guilt.
Lisa, his new girlfriend, is dealing with major control issues.  She's felt out-of-control especially with guys in the past, and she is bound and determined to NEVER feel that way again.  Well, the problem is, you can't control other people, and she sure can't control Jeff and his death wish.  I think that's what makes for an interesting story, but I also think it's very true to life. 

Look around, the woman who thinks everything will be all right if she can just find the right man will end up not finding him because she's trying so hard.  Or the guy who thinks if he makes enough money, everything will be wonderful, and he loses his family because he's gone all the time.

Life is really about learning lessons--spiritual, core lessons--that we often go through the tulleys and nearly drown as we learn them the hard way.  Things like:  make the eternal things important, not the merely urgent but temporary things; forgiveness works, unforgiveness is a weight that will drag you right under; love is always worth it, but it's often painful and hard.  Little things like that. :)

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you. (and why it's special)  
I think for me everything else can be summed up in this one verse: "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal." -1 Corinthians 13:1

Why?  Because I think you can look really good doing things on the outside, get praise from everyone, be on billboards and written up in magazines for your good work, but if you do it from a place of needing the approval or wanting to impress people, it will be and feel very empty. 

Love is it.  Really.  In the end, that is the word that everything else comes down to.  But I don't mean like romantic love.  I mean real, being there when it's tough, putting your heart and soul on the line for others kind of love.  I mean loving people even when they are unlovable and loving even when it's not fun or convenient.  That kind of love is what will last.  Everything else will be burned away.  So to me, this verse is critical because it means do everything with love at the core, or you're missing the point completely.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?

"To Protect & Serve" is the first book in a three-book series called ~ The Courage Series.  It's FREE today for everyone who owns a Kindle (and free if you get the Kindle app as well!)

The second book "White Knight" is available now. That one picks up where this one leaves off.  It keeps following these same friends but from a different perspective, and I think goes even deeper with the theme of what's important and what are we doing to help those among us who are hurting. 

The last book in the series "For Real" will come out in November of 2012.  It is really an amazing ride because you've been with these characters so long, you know them now. Or do you? Sometimes I think we judge people based on what we see rather than what God sees of them.  "For Real" really challenges us to see what's really there in other people rather than just the surface that others show us.

Thanks so much for the opportunity to visit with everyone!  Happy reading and have an AWESOME day!

*Note from Sharon ~ Even if you think you don't want to read on the computer, get the kindle app. It's free! Then when you can get a "real" Kindle you will already have your book collection started.

After August 15, and 16 you may purchase the book at:

Or ask your local library to get it in for you.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you for letting us get to know you better, Stacy.