TQ: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Stephanie: My most creative thoughts are usually handwritten.
I write best on scraps of paper. The more disposable, the better. Index cards. Torn-up bits of post-it notes. Napkins. Backs of receipts and the like. I have bought and received as gifts numerous beautiful journals over the years – leatherbound, embossed, gorgeously covered journals – but find that the writing that happens in them is too “precious” and nothing meaningful ever gets set down in those beautiful journals.
TQ: Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?
Stephanie: On the literary side, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Michael Ondaatje, Margaret Atwood. In commercial fiction, Susan Elizabeth Phillips and YA author Suzanne Collins. My favorite paranormal authors are Anne Rice, Maggie Shayne and Kerrelyn Sparks.
TQ: Are you a plotter or a panster?
Stephanie: The road to hell is paved with good outlines.
Just kidding. There is some truth in that statement for me. But some of the best writers outline extensively. In truth, I’m both a plotter and a pantser. For me, writing a novel is a complicated process that involves elements of both. I’m definitely not a linear writer. However, I think a strong sense of structure is necessary, especially in commercial fiction.
TQ: Describe Where Demons Fear to Tread in 140 characters or less.
Stephanie: Fledgling Guardian angel and yoga teacher Serena St. Clair must battle nightclub owner Archdemon Julian Ascher over a young actor's soul.
TQ: What inspired you to write Where Demons Fear to Tread?
Stephanie: A world-renowned Ashtanga teacher called John Scott came to Vancouver to teach a workshop in 2008. He recommended a book called How Yoga Works by Geshe Michael Roach. In that book was a single line about angels. Angels don’t come up in yoga that often. In ten years of practice, that was the first time I had ever encountered the idea. When I started writing the novel in January of 2009, there was no such thing as an “angel trend.”
TQ: Why did you set Where Demons Fear to Tread in Los Angeles, the City of Angels?
Stephanie: LA is the most obvious city to set an angels-and-demons series in. The reason I set it there is that I know it best of any American city (I’m Canadian). My sister lives in LA, and I’ve spent a lot of time there. I have practiced at some of the “famous” yoga studios there. Even though there isn’t a lot about Serena’s daily life in the book, LA seemed to be where she wanted to live. And yet LA is still unfamiliar enough to me that I have a sense of fantasy about it.
I love to travel, so setting my novels in unfamiliar places is a chance for me to “travel” every single day. The second book takes place largely in Venice.
TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Where Demons Fear to Tread?
Stephanie: There’s a scene in the Grand Canyon that I love because I struggled the hardest with it. It’s smack in the middle of the novel. Which is quite a challenging place, because it can sag. It’s by no means a perfect scene, but sometimes my favorite scenes are not perfect and not popular. I felt like my connection to the canyon came from a really deep place, but I had to push to get there.
TQ: In Where Demons Fear to Tread, who was the most difficult character to write and why? The easiest and why?
Stephanie: Most difficult – Serena. She’s good, and it’s tough to make good characters appealing to everybody. But I believe in good people. They inspire me, and I wanted to write about one. The world is full of enough selfishness, greed, poverty and suffering. I wanted to create a character who is trying to combat all those things.
Easiest – Luciana. She’s bad, and it’s easy to make bad people interesting. She’s beautiful, but her life is a train wreck. Who wouldn’t want to stop and stare?
TQ: What sort of research did you do to create the world of the Company of Angels series?
Stephanie: The kind you do in dreams!
That’s a coy answer. The truth is that I wrote what I knew – built a fictional world around things and places I knew.
TQ: How many books are planned for the Company of Angels series?
Stephanie: Three so far. ;)
TQ: What's next?
Stephanie: The second book is Luciana’s story, The Demoness of Waking Dreams.
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.
Stephanie: Thank YOU! It was my pleasure entirely – this was my very first interview, and I loved doing it!
About Where Demons Fear to Tread
Where Demons Fear to TreadThe Company of Angels 1
(MIRA, August 23, 2011)
Fledging guardian angel and yoga teacher Serena St. Clair dares enter Devil's Paradise nightclub on a mission—to retrieve the wayward Hollywood "It Boy" she's assigned to protect. But she's ambushed by the club's owner, arch demon Julian Ascher. The most powerful demonic entity in Los Angeles, Julian is handsome as sin, a master of temptation who loves nothing more than corrupting pleasure-seeking humans. He won't release the lost soul Serena is supposed to guard. Unless she accepts his dangerous wager...
After the disastrous way his human life ended, Julian vowed that no woman would get the better of him again. Yet this sexy-sweet angel, smelling of fresh ocean air and happiness, triggers centuries-old feelings. Now, their high-stakes game of seduction, where angels fall from grace and where demons fear to tread, will lead them either to an eternity in hell...or a deliciously hot heaven.Amazon : Barnes & Noble : Book Depository : Books-A-Million
Stephanie worked as a lawyer at a top-tier Canadian firm and completed five university degrees before landing her dream job: romance novelist. Her degrees include a J.D. and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, and a Master’s in Creative Writing from Oxford University.
When she’s not writing, Stephanie enjoys yoga, traveling and outdoor adventures. She lives in Vancouver with her husband and their pug, Dexter.
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