I love hearing my readers, but before you email me, please check to see if your question has already been answered. I get a lot of the same questions, and I’ve decided to put the answers in one easy-to-find-the-answers place!
Q) What book(s) are you currently working on?
I’m writing several novellas in The Lost Heir Series. This was a five book series that was getting too unwieldy in size and needed to be cut down without compromising the story. I couldn’t do it, so I decided to cut the story apart and write a novella for each part. Butcher of Jhedek Pass (Book #1) was actually the prologue to the story and is now a finished novella. Rebels & Traitors (Book #2) is also done. Book #3, untitled at the moment, is mostly finished. Novellas #4-#8 are in various stages of progress.
Q) I noticed that most of your books are gone, why did you unpublish them in the first place?
At the beginning of 2017, I realized that some of the books out there needed to be re-edited by a better editor while others would never be made into the series that I planned and required a small overhaul to wrap up some plots. Two of the 10 stories have been republished in 2018, My Lord Hades and Death’s Lover from the Children of Khaos Series. An Angel in Tartarus is waiting to be published when Loving the Goddess of Love is ready to be republished. The others are still being worked on as time permits.
Q) Why do you have series within a series?
While some of the series may share the same setting, timeline, and even some of the same characters, the focus of their series arcs, theme, and main characters maybe different.
Q) What genre do you write?
It took me a long time to figure out exactly what genre I write. And it didn’t help that whenever I asked any of my fellow writers what they thought my genre was, the answer was varied. Some readers sent emails to tell me that they thought I had placed my book in the wrong genre category.
I write Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, and Science Fiction for teens and adults (18+, not erotica). And while romance might find their way into these stories, they are first and foremost Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, and Science Fiction (although light on the science).
Q) Do you have stories that sound good in concept but suck when you write them? Will they ever be published?
At last count I have 20 stories started and 18 abandoned and alone in my filing cabinet. This doesn’t include the numerous snippets of story ideas that languish in my digital filing cabinet waiting for their moment in the spotlight.
I find that most failed stories happen when there is a spark of an idea but no planned ending to write toward. Without a goal they don’t work. Some of those story fragments will end up in other work, others will never see the light of day. I’ve cannibalizing bits and pieces in future work.
The largest of note is The Raven King and The Lost Heir Series. The stories are monstrosities at 600+ pages which I went through and cut out all the melodrama and concepts that could have been cool once but that did nothing for the story. It comes down to figuring out the problem with piece and cut out everything that made it a mess until the basic plot was a sound one.
Q) Is Stephannie Beman a pen name? Do you write under a pen name?
I’m almost afraid to answer that. *Worries about stalkers* Um…no, Stephannie Beman isn’t a pen name, and no, I don’t have any pen names.
Q) When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In 1999, I read an article that stated that all those who write are writers, published or not. I started thinking of myself as a writer from that moment on.
Q) What are your favorite things about writing?
I love figuring out who my characters are, what they look like, what they want, what I’m going to make them do, and the world they live in. I like outlining the story, but not to death. I’m not going to be drawing detailed maps are fill out pages of unless information about my characters. As long as I know where to start, where they are going to be mid-story, what the climax should be, and how it all turns out, that’s enough planning for me.
The first draft can be scary, especially at the beginning, but it’s still fun. It’s the later work, like editing, revising, and proofing that are my least favorite things. It’s necessary for a good book, but very tedious. It gets to the point I almost hate my books and never want to read them again. It’s one of the reasons beta readers are so important.
Q) Why did you chose indie/self-publishing? And will you ever consider traditional publishing?
The short answer is that half way through my second novel (2008) I started to study the publishing industry and I was wary of what I was reading about the changes in traditional publishing world. Then I read an article about being a professional writer and all the things that I would need to do to “make it”. The one point that drove it home was deadlines and the importance of meeting them once you sign a contract, and I tried to imagine meeting those deadlines with my 1 month and 18 month old children and my responsibilities on the Ranch, and I couldn’t see it working well.
The thought of the stress level plus the idea of crank out book after book so that I wouldn’t be forgotten, wasn’t worth it to me. The enjoyment of writing is in writing the stories I have clamoring around in my head. I didn’t want an editor to tell me what I had to change in my book to meet the current trends. I didn’t want the pressure of writing what the industry believes sells rather than what I enjoy.
If it wasn’t for another Indie author mentioning self-publishing I probably would have a cabinet of unpublished manuscripts that no one would get to see. The idea of self-publishing my books made sense to me, for my lifestyle it still makes sense to me years later. I would rather write a book I would enjoy reading and hope that someone else does too, then write something I don’t like just because someone thinks it will sell.
Q) I’m new to writing and publishing. Do you have any advice to give writers like me?
Write what makes you happy. It doesn’t matter if it’s fantasy, fiction, romance, thrillers, non-fiction, horror, or erotica. Do what works for you. If that’s writing everyday, then write every day. If that’s creating a project folder of maps, research, character sketches, setting sketches, outlines, etc. Do it. If it’s just writing without a plan, have fun at it. Don’t let anyone tell you what you must do, or the right way to write.
We are all different and as long as we all end in the same place, a completed written work, who gives a shit how we got there.
Q) What does your writing schedule really look like?
It really depends on the time of year and what is happening in my life. It’s pretty flexible and chaotic.
I still have a question for you
Now if you’ve still got questions that weren’t answered on this page or you’d like a more in-depth answer to, I’d love to hear them, and I’ll try to answer them as soon as possible. Chances are, if you have a question, then someone else does, too.