This week, I have the distinct pleasure of featuring Author and Blogger Staci Troilo on this edition of A Perfect 10.
Please enjoy this week’s edition of A Perfect 10
If you want to check out past interviews, you can find them in the following links:
A.C. Flory, Steve Boseley, Kayla Matt, Mae Clair, Jill Sammut, Deanna Kahler, Dawn Reno Langley, John Howell, Elaine Cougler, Jan Sikes, Nancy Bell, Nick Davis, Kathleen Lopez, Susan Thatcher, Charles Yallowitz, Armand Rosamilia, Tracey Pagana, Anna Dobritt, Karen Oberlaender, Deby Fredericks, Teri Polen, Darlene Foster, Robert Rayner, C.C. Naughton, Sherry Rentshler, Linda Bradley, Luna St. Clair, Joan Hall
Also, if you are an author and you want to be part of this feature, I still have a few slots open for 2017. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Writing energizes me. I love when a seed of an idea bounces around in my head and I get to cultivate it and watch it grow on the page. Editing, however, exhausts me. Editing for my clients isn’t a problem, but when I’m revising my own work, it takes a lot out of me. I don’t think that’s unusual, though. I think most of us struggle to edit our own work—that’s one of the many reasons writers should work with an editor.
Do you ever write under a pseudonym? If not have you considered it? Why or why not?
No, I don’t, nor do I think I ever would. I’m a multi-genre author, so I did consider it. But I have enough trouble maintaining a single platform. Maintaining two or more would be a nightmare. Besides, I do see some cross-over in my audiences, so it doesn’t hurt me to have a single name as a brand. And I used my real name, not a pen name. I’m not embarrassed by the genres I write in, and I’ve noticed that some people from my past recognized my name and became loyal readers. In my case, name recognition was a benefit. So, no, I’ll never use a pen name.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers? Why or why not?
While I do think you have to be confident to publish, I think there’s a difference between confidence and ego. And ego is a huge detriment. When you think you’re above reproach, you won’t take constructive criticism. And we can all benefit from the informed opinions of others. That’s how we learn and grow.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Scrivener. The price is laughably low for a program, especially when you compare it to, say, Microsoft Word. And writing in Scrivener lets me keep all my information in one file—research, character sketches, scene descriptions, outlines, and the text itself—rather than in several documents that I have to print out or switch back and forth to view. I can’t say enough good things about it. I write faster now, and I think better, because of it.
What does writing success look like to you? Have you achieved it?
Success would be earning a regular income that could replace a fulltime job or my freelance work. I have not achieved it yet, but I’m working hard toward that end.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? What sources do you use?
Like I said, I’m a multi-genre author, and research is largely depended on the genre. For my Medici Protectorate series (a contemporary romance saga with a paranormal element), I did a lot of online research on the Medici and on alchemy. For my Cathedral Lake series (a contemporary suspense/family drama with medical and legal aspects), I did a little research, but I mostly asked doctors, lawyers, police, and military veterans questions. I tend to only do minimal research before I write, but as I’m writing, I’ll dig deep into situations that present themselves. Yes, it takes time out of my writing, but it does enable me to get the most relevant details answered and saves me a lot of time by keeping me from investigating things that I won’t need.
How do you select the names of your characters? Have you ever regretted choosing a particular name? Why?
I decide if I need a modern name or one more appropriate for a different time period, then I start looking at online name generators, baby name books, even sports rosters, family/friend names, and film and television credits. I don’t think I’ve ever regretted a choice. By the time I start writing, that character’s name fits perfectly with who the character is.
What is the hardest type of scene to write?
I think I’d have to say the intimate scenes in romance novels. It’s hard to make sure they are evocative without being cheesy and still manage to impact both characters’ arcs and advance the plot. There’s a lot to accomplish with such a small yet impactful scene.
If you could have dinner with four people, living or dead, who would they be and what would you want to ask them?
First, Jesus (yes, I know that’s cliché, but come on… He’s Jesus!). Because His words are already so powerful on the page, but hearing them aloud and in person would have to be life-altering. I’d ask Him if I’m going to make it to Heaven, and if not, what can I change to assure my place there.
Second, my grandfather. Because I lost him when I was too young, I miss him every day, and I’d love to catch him up on everything he’s missed and see his reaction to it all. I’d ask him what Heaven is like, because I know he’s there.
Third, Robert Downey Jr. Because he is one of the best talents on the planet, and I would love to exchange ideas with him as well as experience his humor first-hand. I’d ask him if there was a chance on earth for us to collaborate on anything, particularly on a script based off one of my works. (But I’d settle for working on any project with him. He’s brilliant, and I know I’d learn a lot.)
And finally, fourth, Billy Joel. Because his music has always spoken to me. If I was lucky enough to be eating at a piano bar, I would ask him to play something for me. Sometimes it’s not about learning but rather just experiencing beauty in the moment.
What platform has brought you the most success in marketing your books?
Marketing is hard. If there’s a magic formula, I haven’t found it. I’d have to say my newsletter has been most beneficial to me. I have signups on my website, some social media platforms, even in my email signature. Getting those names and communicating with these fans has been the best thing for me, because those people have confirmed that they are interested in my work, and cultivating my relationship with them keeps them interested.
About Staci’s Books:
I’d like to promote my Medici Protectorate series. Books one and two (Bleeding Heart and Mind Control) are already out, and book three (Body Armor) comes out this summer.
Series Premise: The four Notaro sisters are the secret legacy of the Medici, famed rulers of Italy. Michelangelo promised his Medician benefactor that he’d always watch over the family, and as such, he formed the Medici Protectorate to guard them throughout the generations. Now, Italy is in political turmoil and revolution is imminent. The people are calling for new rulers, and the Notaros are poised to assume control. But a nefarious opposing faction wants the power for themselves. Never was the family in more jeopardy. The four sisters are protected by the Brotherhood—four elite warriors of the Medici Protectorate prophesied to keep the family safe until they fulfill their destinies. They journey around the world in an effort to keep the family safe and the future of Italy secure.
Book One, Bleeding Heart: Gianni, a warrior destined to defend the secret legacy of the Medici, protects his charge Francesca from a prophesied assassin. Their worlds collide in passion and violence, and he must conquer her fears and his demons in time to save them both.
Book Two, Mind Control: Vinnie copes with his own identity issues while he struggles to protect the one prophesized Medici descendant, Jo, who refuses to embrace her heritage. With lives in peril, can they find the strength to overcome their tragic pasts, or is it too late?
Book Three, Body Armor: Nico works to increase his powers and save the Notaro family matriarch, but his private agendas put his charge Donni’s life at risk. When secrets and lies result in three abductions, the group will need to place their trust him to save them all.
Staci Troilo has always loved fiction, ever since her parents read her fairy tales when she was a young girl. Today, her interests are much more eclectic. She loves getting lost in sci-fi battles, fantasy realms, horror worlds, suspenseful intrigues, and romantic entanglements.
As goes her reading, so goes her writing. She can’t pick a single genre to focus on, so she doesn’t even try. She’s proud to say she’s a multi-genre author.
When she’s not reading or writing, she’s spending time with family and friends, possibly cooking for them, or maybe enjoying an afternoon in the pool. To learn more about her, visit http://stacitroilo.com/.
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