Friday, August 12, 2005

Ask an Author Friday: Stephanie Feagan

Here is a Q&A with Stephanie Feagan, whose brilliant debut book, Show her the Money, blew me away when I read it earlier this year. Her second book in the series, She's on the Money, is out this month from Silhouette Bombshell. Stef was gracious enough to take time out of her busy writing schedule to answer a few questions for her fans.


1) Can you give us a blurb on your current book?

This is the blurb from the back of the book. I have one I wrote for my website, but I like the one the editor wrote for the cover much better!
SHE'S ON THE MONEY
Her boss gave her the ultimatum - bring in more clients or else. So when the town's stingiest man asks Pink to investigate his mysteriously dwindling oil assets, Pink takes the case.
BAD career move.
Suddenly strangers are asking for her help on "matters of national security" - then dying at her feet. A little dog - which may belong to an infamous assassin - keeps following her around. Add to that two amazing men vying for her attention and a case that's pointing to terrorist activity, and Pink's time sheet is full of things that won't get her promoted, and just might get her dead..

2) I adore your lead character, Pink Pearl. How did you come up with
her character? What do you think makes her so appealing to the reader? Does she get to have sex in this book? (Just kidding! Unless you want to answer it, of course!)


Thanks, Stephanie! I guess you could say that Pink's a mish-mash of several people. I didn't want her to be boring, but I also didn't want her to be too wacky. CPAs aren't wacky - ever. I just tried to make her fun, and smart. And maybe a little like me, but not on purpose. That's just how she turned out! And maybe that's why she's appealing - because there's a certain element of 'real' in there. Some of my anxieties, I gave to Pink.
Oh, and the sex? Yeah, baby! Pink finally gets to end her one and a half years of celibacy. Too bad for her, it doesn't quite make her decisions about men any easier.

3) There are so many hot, totally awesome guys in Pink's life. How do
you write such different men that are all to die for? What's your hot guy secret?


You know, that really wasn't planned. In the beginning, when I started the first Pink book, SHOW HER THE MONEY, the chair of the senate finance committee was a dry, old guy. But when Pink called him, he morphed into Steve Santorelli, a hot Italian from California. Then he wound up being a widower. Her boss, Sam, was supposed to be the funny sidekick sort - the straight man - but he appealed to me so much, he suddenly became a lot more than that. Pink's old boyfriend was supposed to be a possible red herring and seem villainous - but he wound up being okay too. As for Ed - he was the intended hero, all along. But instead of being Mister Upstanding Lawyer, he became a rebel type of guy. You know, I kind of think characters take on a life of their own, and it's a subconscious thing we do - to play off of the protagonist's strengths and weaknesses. So the secret to the hot guys is....I have no idea! Let your imagination run wild, maybe?

4) What are some tips you can offer about writing an ongoing series
with the same protagonist?


I've taken classes that tell us to interview our characters, to know right down to the nitty-gritty everything about them. What's their fav flavor of ice cream, or what type of underwear they have in their drawer. But to me, what that does is take all the mystery out of getting to know them. I like surprises. And these imaginary people keep throwing them at me, much to my delight. Even Pink still comes up with some random thoughts and feelings I never suspected. I'm trying, in each book, to reveal a little more about them, so they don't become stale. It's also a bit tricky to catch people up with what happened before, in the previous story, without it sounding like a grocery list. But the idea works much like any other backstory. I sprinkled bits of history here and there.

5) What's your favorite thing about being an author?

This may sound trite, but I swear, it's true - my most favorite thing about being a writer is...This is, bar none, the MOST fun I've ever had! I'm not one of those who sits down and looks at the blank screen and thinks it's scary. I dive right in. Granted, I hit roadblocks, and twists I didn't think to take, but that's half the fun - figuring out how to go on, and thinking up plot points to totally mess with the reader's thought process.
I love when people say, "I never saw that coming!" I always respond, "Me neither!"

6) Any sneak peeks at upcoming books?

I've got a third Pink book coming out next April, titled RUN FOR THE MONEY.
Here's a blurb:
Pink is honored by an offer to act as accounting watchdog for the Chinese Earthquake Relief Fund, but when she discovers someone is using her identity to embezzle the money, she loses that loving feeling. In her quest to find the crook who set her up, she comes face to face with the Russian mob, a Chinese man with an axe to grind and an annoying habit of getting in over her head. Literally. But Pink's not giving up, because out of all the options she has, including several with the two amazing men in her life, spending her old age in prison isn't one of them. Pink's going global, and the world won't ever be quite the same.

Thanks, Stef! As you can see, Stef is as smart and funny in real life as her books are. If you want more info about Stef, pop on over to her website, www.stephaniefeagan.com.

Stay tuned next Friday for a Q&A with acclaimed YA author, Mary Kennedy, as she talks about her books, her experiences working with serial killers and other fun stuff.

Also, we will be having a guest agent do the Q&A this Wednesday. I'll announce it as soon as I finalize who it will be. Check back soon for more details.

Ask an Author and Ask an Agent will be archived on my website at the end of each month.

7 Comments:

At 9:41 AM, Blogger Tori Scott said...

Great interview! Can't wait to get my copy of Pink 2!!

 
At 8:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! Great cover! I can hardly wait to get the "next Pink."

Sheila Holloway

 
At 9:39 PM, Anonymous Stephanie Feagan said...

Steph, thank you again for having me as your guest today! What a great idea you had for your blog!

And Tori (aka She Who Gave Me The Idea in the First Place!), thanks to you - hope you like the second installment.

And Sheila - I'm so glad you like the cover. I admit, when I first saw it - and those boots - I thought, wah??? My agent said it made her think a little of Austin Powers. LOL!

Thanks again, Steph! I've got your blog bookmarked - and I can't wait to see what's up next!

Stef

 
At 12:08 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

Great interview, Stef and Steph. I'm waiting for Pink 2 to arrive from B&N.

 
At 1:14 PM, Anonymous Esri/Kiki said...

Senator Steve! Senator Steve!

Great interview!

Thanks, Stephanies

 
At 2:58 PM, Blogger Natalie Damschroder said...

Hey, Stef, you lie about CPAs. You have demonstrated a definite vein of wackiness in yourself. ;)

 
At 10:18 PM, Anonymous Stephanie Feagan said...

Okay so Esri's logged in as a governmental type - gotcha down as favoring The Stevenator. Not gonna lie - I have no clue who Pink'll end up with. Maybe I should do a poll on my website?

Trish, thanks for ordering! I went to brick and mortar B&N tonight, but couldn't remember everything I was supposed to get, so I'm thinking I'll just order online. The problem with that is, I want to order books that aren't out yet, like Steph's, but doesn't that screw up the numbers for lists and such? If so, I'll wait for the lay down date. Anyone know? Steph?

And Natalie, yours is an opinion I always respect, so if you say I've got wacky veins, you gotta be right! HaHa!

Stef

 

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