Squee! We are so excited to be today’s stop for
Rockstar Book Tours
The Darkness of Light Blog Tour!
by Stacey Marie Brown

If you missed our review, you can find it here (top shelf!). Today we have the most awesome and talented Stacey Marie Brown answering some of our burning questions.

♥ What was your inspiration for Ember in Darkness of Light?
It’s like how I get inspiration for my stories. Reading tons of books inspired Ember. More than the heroines I enjoyed, Ember grew from the ones I was disappointed in or felt irritated with. I kept wanting someone who would react like a real person. In so many books I was reading, the girl was either too weak or overly tough or too sweet and good. I didn’t relate to any of them. I wanted her to be real. Someone who was sarcastic, strong, funny, screws up, curious, smart, makes wrong choices. Someone you could connect to.

So, I was poking around for this interview and came across this photo on Goodreads. Is this your inspiration for Eli?
No, actually that isn’t who I have in mind for Eli, not that he wouldn’t work! You should check out my Pinterest board for character inspiration. You guys, check it out. I would not lead you astray. I checked and double checked Stacey’s photos and they um, *gulp* work. *Fans self* I also have a shortened version on my website. Research is always strenuous… and there are days you have to go through hundreds of pictures of extremely hot men trying to find that person who fits closest to your idea of what you have in your head. It is really tough. *Poor me* Funny those were the days my mom wanted to help me out….hmmmm….

♥ I see you are an interior/set designer by day (wow!) and author by night.  Have you always envisioned yourself becoming an author? Do you want to continue to do both?
I actually wanted to be an actress when I was a teen. I lived in L.A and did that for a while, but I found myself more infatuated with the sets and the worlds that movies and TV shows created. I turned from acting to designing. I actually find design and acting very similar in ways. In both you add layers, generating depth in these worlds you can escape into. Writing is another form of that as well. I started writing stories as a child, but I never thought about writing as a profession till the last couple years. Then suddenly I realized that acting and design had been leading me there the entire time. I was meant to do this. I will always want to design and create worlds in other ways, but the worlds I am creating through my stories are my true passion.

♥ How did the storyline of Darkness of Light first come to surface? Do you remember what you were doing? How did you know you wanted to write a dark and gritty book and not sweet? (I LOVE dark and gritty)
Funny you ask that because I was just trying to recall that moment, that second, I decided. Probably many other first time authors would agree that there wasn’t one moment, but a thousand, that told you that you needed to write this story. I read like an addict. Between the books that left me lacking and the books that left me wanting more, my characters started coming to me. Their voices got louder and louder, scenes played out in my head, till I could no longer ignore them.

My personality is a little more gritty and dark than it is sweet. I’m sarcastic and dry and the guys I tend to be attracted to are the same—they challenge me. I was getting tired of reading books where the girl was overly good and the so-called bad boy wasn’t. I prefer stories with grit and depth. Makes things interesting.

I saw on your website you have a second Darkness book (Fire in the Darkness) on the way, is it almost ready? What has been easier with the second book? What has been harder?  And it looks like you have a third installment in the works too?  First draft of Fire in the Darkness is done and being edited right now. I am so excited for this one. I feel it is even better than the first. So much action and WTF things going on! *Poor Ember*. There were times it was easier to write because I already had the basic outline and character voices. But to keep up with the suspense and make sure the unanswered questions were all brought forward was sometimes a little mind boggling. Not everything is going to be answered in this one either as there will be four books total. To keep it intense without overdoing some themes can be tricky. I really don’t think people will be disappointed. And just for a teaser, things get a lot “steamier” in the second. Book 2 definitely becomes more a NA.

How did you come up with your character’s names? Is there a reason both their names start with the letter “E”? Do you have a favorite character in this book?
No, I actually didn’t plan for the lead characters to both start with E. It just happened. Who knows maybe somewhere in my subconscious I did! Her name is part of who she is and when you read the book it makes sense. But her name actually came after his. My lead guy was always named Eli, short for Elighan. It is funny, but most of the time the characters come to me with very distinct voices/personalities and almost name themselves. I can’t pick just one favorite character because they all make me smile or want to hit something. But some favorite scenes I enjoyed writing (besides Em/Eli) were with Mark and Ember. I really loved their relationship.

When you first began writing, what kept you motivated to keep writing?
The voices in my head! Seriously they would not shut up or let me sleep. It will sometimes annoy me but when they disappear for a bit I miss them like crazy. Yes, I’m walking that thin line of sanity, but that’s how you know you are a real writer, right? I have down days when I think I’m the worst writer in the world. A lot of times those days stem from me trying to “control” the scene too much. Not letting them just go and see what happens. When I let them go, they sometimes take me to the most amazing places and connect a scene better than I had even planned. Those are the best days!

Which is more difficult to write: dialogue, action, or a love scene?
Action. Definitely. It is a different style of writing than dialogue. Action and fighting scenes have to be written to keep and build the tension, but explained well enough so people can picture it in their heads too. I don’t like when a fight scene will go on and on for pages. So it is that balance of length and the building of tension and description. I will sometimes leave the action scenes and come back when I am in the mood to really get in and write them. I guess I don’t mind writing the sex scenes! The action scenes actually aren’t much different than my “love scenes,” but for some reason I don’t struggle with those as much as the action. I thank my character inspiration board for that!

♥ Do you ever use beta readers? Did you hire a professional freelance editor to critique your work before submitting to agents or editors?
I have a few beta readers. One is a retired nurse, so she helps me with the medical jargon and procedures. I probably need more but haven’t found that fit yet.

I hate that self-publishing and indie authors aren’t treated or looked at the same as someone from a publisher’s house. Some books from the big publishers I have found awful; and some books that are indie I thought were exceptional. But, unfortunately, a lot of self-published writers are so determined to get there work out there they bypass getting it professionally edited. There is a lot of crap out there, let’s be honest. But this is my brand, my product, and I want it to be the best it can possibly be. So I have it professionally edited. In the early edition of the first book there were a few mistakes that I found and have been corrected, but that is part of the learning process. But, even in top published books, I have found mistakes. Just the name of the game.

The world of agents and publishing is changing. It is almost impossible for a new writer to get an agent. For me I decided the best way was to establish myself and my book first and then try for an agent/publisher. This seems to be the direction things are going now.

About the Author: Stacey Marie Brown works by day as an Interior/Set Designer and by night a writer of paranormal fantasy, adventure, and literary fiction. When she’s not writing, she’s out hiking, spending time with

friends, traveling, listening to music, or designing.

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