Author Spotlight

 

I recently had the chance to visit with a very talented author.  So, without further delay let’s hear from

Yolanda Sfetsos

Did you always want to be a writer?
It’s going to sound really cliché, but yes, I’ve wanted to be a writer since my early teens. I started writing and sharing tales with my friends when I was about fourteen.

Tell us what makes you…well, you.
Well, I’m a dreamer who absolutely loves books. I’m a very determined person who likes to set personal goals, deadlines and also an almost compulsive double checker. I’m loyal, friendly and curse whenever the situation calls for it.

When writing do you have a schedule you follow?
I write every single day, except for weekends. Weekends are family time with the hubby and daughter, though I still think about storylines and jot down notes.

Monday to Friday, I write as soon as I get home from dropping my daughter off at school and don’t stop until it’s time to go pick her up. I also like to squeeze in a final session after she’s tucked into bed, before the hubby gets home. If there’s an available moment there, I’ll take it.

Tell us some of your favorites…foods, movies, music, authors, books, colors, and any others you want to share?
Okay, I’ll only mention my most favorites in each category:

Foods – Hubby’s lamb roast

Movies – The Lost Boys, Star Wars

Music – Anything and everything by 30 Seconds to Mars

Authors – Clive Barker, Stephen King

Books – Too many to name

Colors – Black and red

When writing do you plan your stories out before starting or do they develop as you write?
Okay, I’m a total pantser. I usually start out with an idea and the main characters. I jot as much as I can into a notebook, research and find character pics on the net. I like to have them for inspiration. Then, I just write. Some planning is involved, otherwise I have no idea where I’m going, but it’s minimal.

The story usually unfolds as I move along and surprises pop up all over the place. Then, I get to a certain stage in the story when the rest of it rushes into my head and I know the main points left and where I want to get. Still, the getting there can remain a mystery until the end.

You write primarily paranormal and urban fantasy.  What about this genre appeals to you?  Do you see yourself writing in different genres?
I just love urban fantasy. Most of the books I pick up to read are urban fantasy, and paranormals. There’s just something about otherworldly creatures co-existing within or in the shadows of our society that really appeals to me. You just never know what’s out there and I love to play around with that notion. Besides, I love researching paranormal and mythological creatures.

Yes, I’ve written a Sci-Fi novella, which has been contracted by Cobblestone Press. I’ve also written a futuristic/cyberpunk novel, another dealing with aliens and a lot of horror short stories. I want to write more in these genres, but don’t think I could ever write a straight out contemporary. I’ve tried, but somehow, creatures of the dark always wind up making their way into the plot.

You write a series of connected books. Do you enjoy writing stories that are connected or do you find it more difficult?  I know as a reader, I absolutely love stories that are connected.
I love reading and writing a series. I enjoy if it’s about the same main character - as I did with the first Fae-Hunters trilogy - or if a different narrator is introduced within the same world. That’s something I did for my upcoming Cobblestone Press October release called, Sandy Shore. It follows the events of Alana Blues but features two different characters.

How do you promote your work?
I try to blog almost every day and wander over to MySpace to send out bulletins. I’m also part of a group blog called, Divas of the Dark. I have a monthly newsletter, and an announcement group. Plus I pop over to Cobblestone Main Street as much as I can and into a few Yahoo! groups.

I love attending live chats. They’re always a LOT of fun. Loop chats are cool too but with the time difference and having to organize everyday stuff, I always turn up after everyone’s already gone home.

What was the best piece of advice you received when starting out?  Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
The best advice I remember reading about in many writing articles is the same one I like to give. Write! You just have to write. If you’re a writer you write. Real life has a tendency to get in the way a lot, but if you allocate a little time every day, it all adds up.

Oh, and keep writing the story until you get to the end. Worry about all the problems while you’re doing revision. If you remember something that needs to be changed or added, take notes. It can be very tempting and distracting to keep going back, forgetting that to tell the story, you need to move forward.

So, keep writing and never give up. I know I haven’t.

If you could travel to any place or time…where would you go and why?
I would love to go to the future. I can’t say exactly what year because it would have to be when humans can drive flying cars and can travel to other planets. J

Do you enjoy hearing from your readers and what is the best way to contact you?
I absolutely love hearing from readers, so if you’d like to contact me, don’t hesitate to email: Yolanda@yolandasfetsos.com. I love to hear opinions about my tales.

How would you spend a perfect day?
A perfect day can come in many different ways. But I’ll concentrate on just one for now…it would have to be sunny, with a clear blue sky. I always feel happy and inspired when the sun’s out. Then, my family and I would go for a really nice long walk beside the river near our house. I love walking and spending time with my hubby and daughter, so this is perfect.

If you could bring one of your characters or any character to life, who would it be and why?
I think I would have to say Mason from Guarded By Stone, simply because I love gargoyles and have always been fascinated by them. How cool would it be to see the city from a gargoyle’s angle?

What do you find to be the most difficult thing about the writing business?
Breaking in is really hard, finding that perfect market for your style of writing can take a long time. And of course, the waiting game is always difficult.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us? Any current or upcoming releases?
The next Fae-Hunters installment will be released in late April by Cobblestone Press. The Hunter changes narrator, and the story takes a different direction.

My story Selkie Skin will be released at the end of May in the latest Whispers Midnight Fantasies print anthology.

I have two eBooks coming soon with Forbidden Publications, and a Dark Tarot novel in August from Tease Publishing. I also have the Vampire Oracle Death coming in September from Cobblestone Press.

The best way to keep up with what’s coming soon is to check my website at www.yolandasfetsos.com.

 

     

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