Author Spotlight: Felice Stevens

Never Say Never by Felice Stevens, Felice Stevens romance author, Ashley Gibson modelCJC: How did you get started as an author and what made you want to pursue that field?

FS: I always wanted to write. As a child I wrote short stories, poems and made up fantasy worlds. I always loved romance, especially historical romances and read them voraciously. In 2012 I was laid up from surgery and joked to a friend I should write a book. She urged me on and I took online writing classes, joined critique groups and started writing my own historical romance, while also running a blog reviewing romance books. I finished several of the hist. romances but along the way I began to read gay romance, fell in love with the love stories and the genre and never looked back. I sold my first book, Rescued to Loose in 2014.

CJC: What do you find to be the most rewarding and challenging part of being an author and what hurdles have your overcome while striving towards your goals?

FS: Oh the rewards part is easy. Hearing from readers, knowing that a book I’ve written or a character has touched them personally is the single most rewarding part of being an author.

The most challenging part of being an author, for I think is to stay fresh and remain relevant. Every story and plot has probably been written before but finding a new way to tell it is the challenge.

CJC: Which novel has been your favorite to write and why?

FS: Oh that’s like asking me to pick my favorite child! I have to say my newest release, Never Say Never is my favorite to date, with my favorite character, Frisco. It’s followed by a tie with Running From My Heart and The Coincidence as a close second.

CJC: For first time readers of your work, which book would you recommend?

FS: If you like low angst, I would recommend The Shape of You, The Coincidence or Rescued. If you like angsty then A Walk Through Fire, Broken Silence or Fool For Love.

CJC: If one of your books were made into a movie, which would you select and who would you like to star in it?

FS: Oh I could see Ian Somerhalder play Frisco in Never Say Never.

CJC: For those looking to become an author, what advice would you give them?

FS: Take your time! It’s so easy to self-publish now but I say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Take classes in craft, read books on writing. Read voraciously in your genre and out of it. Then write your story and get a good editor. Not your mother or best friends but someone willing to take the time and who knows about sentence structure, grammar, etc. Put out the best book you can.

CJC: If you could co-write a book with any author, who would it be and why?

FS: I have! I co wrote two books with Christina Lee.

CJC: Favorite motto?

FS: Don’t give up.

CJC: What do you do to overcome writer’s block?

FS: I walk away from the story and watch some television, re read an old favorite and leave it alone for a while.

CJC: In one word, how would you describe your writing style?

CJC: Honest.

CJC: Which do you find harder to do… writing the blurb for your story or select the cover?

FS: Oh the cover. I always have a particular look in mind and it’s so hard to find the right match. I’m one of the few people who don’t hate writing blurbs.

CJC: Which author inspires you the most and why?

FS: Oh so many—many of my historical romance authors simply for the way they create these unforgettable heroes. But probably Mary Stewart, my favorite romantic suspense/mystery author. Her use of language is gorgeous.

CJC: What is your writing process like?

FS: Chaotic!! I start early in the morning around 6-630 am and re-read what I wrote the day before, do some light editing of that, then continue writing the story I’m working on, while also chatting with my friends. I usually finish two large iced coffees before 10 am. Now before the pandemic, I would go to a Pilates class at 7:30 almost every morning, plus take a spin class. I never thought I’d say it but I miss going to the gym.

I don’t give myself a set word count. I write until I can’t figure out what else to say, or I hit a bit of a wall and need to walk away.

CJC: What new projects are you currently working on and what are your goals for the remainder of the year?

FS: After the release of Never say Never, I plan on my first paranormal but it will be a humorous one, very loosely based on The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. I have a few ideas for what book to start next, but I’m not sure. Most likely it will be several stand alones, although I always say that but it never turns out that way!

CJC: Any final thoughts you would like to share with the CJC Photography readers?

FS: I want to thank you for giving me the chance to share my thoughts in this interview. It was a pleasure to work with you.

I love seeing how the readership of gay romance has expanded and become part of mainstream romance. Everyone deserves to find their happily ever after and every year, more and more readers are embracing gay romance and are excited to read the stories I love to write.

CJC: I want to say a special thank you to Felice Stevens for taking the time to be involved in this interview. It was a pleasure working with her and Ashley on the cover of Never Say Never which can be purchased here.

Stay up to date with all of Felice’s upcoming releases here.

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