Welcome Stephany and thank you so much for joining us. Now let’s get to know Stephany a bit better.
Do you have a personal connection to the military or what is the reason you chose to support Authors4Veterans?
PJ Fiala, one of the organizers of this project, and I have been friends for some time. I’ve read about her family’s history, dedication and commitment to our military. As you may know, she also has two sons who both deployed not long ago. She has shared so much about her family and its commitment that I relate to and appreciate her sharing and pride in their experiences over the many years.
Additionally, my father served in WWII and often shares his experiences with me and my family. When we visit him, my children beg him to tell stories of his experiences. He’s told them many times but we never tire of hearing about ‘his time on a ship in the Pacific Ocean’. I also have two brothers who proudly served in the Army and the Navy and many of my brothers-in-laws have served in the military as well.
When I read about the Fischer House and its purpose, I signed up to participate with no hesitation. I’m proud to be a part of this project.
Thank you to your family for their service as well as the kind words. Tell us about your latest release and share one detail from your current release with readers that they might not find in the book?
My latest release is Love’s Legacy, A Christian Romance and part of author Melissa Storm’s First Church Romance Series. Although I dedicate Love’s Legacy to my niece and her husband who were married in February of this year, the overall storyline and plot do not relate to them personally. For example, they have no children. They do have a Husky named Aurora, not Shenanigans, like the couple in Love’s Legacy and met while working for the same company. Like Kevin and Diedre O’Connor, they had a beautiful storybook wedding. Unlike the O’Connor’s, however, their wedding truly resulted in a blending of family and friends. I visited my nieces in—laws when on vacation this summer in Myrtle Beach and had a great time with them. Unlike the family in Love’s Legacy, my family gained a new family and vice versa.
What is the one question you never get ask at interviews, but wish you did? Ask and answer it.
Although I write across genres (Contemporary, Inspirational, Romantic Suspense, Satire, Christian Romance), my characters reflect my ‘World’. As such, they are diverse, with a variety of backgrounds and experiences. That question I’ve never been asked is: ‘Does your approach to writing present any unique challenges and if so, what are they? How do you handle them?
I come from a diverse background and have interfaced with people from many ethnic groups, each with their respective cultures, attitude and perspectives in life. When I write, I try to present my characters and their experiences as I know and understand them. What I don’t know about a character’s background or experience, I research and find the answers. This process slows the pace of my writing and can be frustrating but it’s a necessary part of the writing process.
One of my biggest concerns when presenting storylines that present controversial characters and relationships is that readers might be offended or misunderstand my effort to be upfront and true to my characters. After all, we all have our own reality. My goal is to present my truth in a manner that can broaden the perspectives of some and enhance those of others.
‘I write with purpose’ presenting larger than life characters who have an opinion about everything.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters of the opposite sex?
I use a lot of dialogue in my books so one of the biggest challenges I face when developing and writing story lines that involve male characters is my need to understand and ‘get into the heads of the men’ in my book. Additionally, the males in my books come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences so it is critical that I use language that is descriptive enough for my readers to visualize their style of dress, mannerisms and manner of speaking so they can perceive the characters as ‘real’. Fortunately, I have three brothers and a host of friends that I can rely on for feedback. My son is an excellent writer and he’s my first source for language usage and mannerisms. Secondly, I’m an avid people watcher and automatically tune into a person’s nuances, language, style of dress and appearance. I keep notes of this information so that it is available to me when I begin to write.
Another major issue that I constantly face is language usage that might offend my reading audience. This is a big battle for me as I try to present truth and validity of character within the parameters of my personal beliefs and perspective and those of my inspirational/Christian readers.
What would you choose as your specialty if you were in the military?
If I was in the military, I would bring the skills that I’ve developed over my career: financial management that would include budgeting, procurement, analysis. The size of the military budget is always an issue—is it too large or too small? I believe I would really enjoy and have the skills to function well in such a position– serving in the best military in the World.
Do you have anything you would like to say to our members of the military and their families?
I would like to thank our military and their families for their commitment, diligence and dedication to our country and representing us during these challenging times. Words cannot reflect my feelings about the importance of the work they do and service they provide. Women and men who support their military spouse at home while taking care of their families are invaluable to our service people. I have the utmost respect for those who remain home to support their military spouse.
You can find out more about Stephany on her website.
You can also follow her all over the web:
Stephany’s Angels: https://www.facebook.com/groups/StephanyTullis/