Today, it is my pleasure to welcome Stacy Hoff to my blog. Stacy writes contemporary romance, and her first book was released through Soul Mates Publishing on September 17th. She agreed to answer a few questions for me, so that you all could get to know her better.
Tami’s Thoughts: Hello, Stacy. Thank you for subjecting yourself to my Q&A today. Let’s start with the basics. Tell us a little about yourself.
Stacy Hoff: For my “day job,” I’m a lawyer. I handle contracts, primarily commercial and construction. I’ve been practicing law for almost two decades.
For my “night job,” I’m a wife and mother. I have a busy husband and (if possible) two busier boys (ages twelve and nine). On occasion, I can put dinner on the table before 7:00 PM. I’m apparently an excellent chauffer, as I schlep my kids everywhere. I can always offer my driving services professionally if my “side job” doesn’t work out.
For the above mentioned “side job,” I’m a writer, of course. I fit in my writing somewhere between the hours of 9:00 PM and 6:00 AM. During the weekends, I can also grab some daylight hours, if my kids sleep late. When I write at night, my husband watches a lot of sports on TV – football and baseball seasons are very productive for me. When a game isn’t on, ESPN commentary nicely fills in the gaps. So I’m one of those wives who doesn’t complain when my husband watches sports.
TT: I can relate! Now, tell us one incredibly strange or unique thing about you.
SH: I am an artist. I graduated from the “Fame” school in NYC, back in the eighties. I sketch nudes at a local art gallery, drawing on newsprint paper with a variety of charcoals. Taking figure drawing classes keeps my fingers flexible and my skills fresh.
TT: Okay, that’s certainly unique! And fascinating. How about something more … average? Pets or no pets?
SH: Unfortunately, “Squishy,” our Beta fish died. I think that’s going to be it for a while.
TT: Having a pet is like having another kid, so I get it. How about seasons? Winter or summer?
SH: For me, this is a no brainer. Since I live in New England, and abhor shoveling snow, I’m flat-out going with summer.
TT: I live in the great white north, too, so I get it. We always want what we can’t have (much of), right? How about drinks – red or white?
SH: As far as wine goes, I’m pretty ignorant. Thankfully, at my art classes, they have a variety of wine available to drink away our artistic tension, so whatever they’re servin’ I’m drinkin.’ I should disclose, however, that since my alcohol tolerance level is pathetic, and I obviously won’t drink and drive, I’m limited to having only a few sips during the first half-hour of our two-hour-long class. Better safe than sorry, I always say!
TT: Smart practice. However, if you ever want to learn more about wine, I’m a big fan… Of drinking it, that is. That comment, in my world, is the perfect transition into writing. So let’s talk about your books. What’s your genre of choice?
SH: To date, I’ve been a “blendy” writer, as well as a “pantser.” I have limited free time, so when I write, it’s because I have characters and a story line that really draws me into the manuscript. One thing is for sure, I write romance. But I’ve thrown in (depending on the book) action, adventure, humor, women’s fiction and soap opera drama. I’m extremely grateful to my publisher, Soul Mate Publishing, Inc., for not being afraid to blur genre lines.
TT: I like it. There are so many story lines and concepts that have been done a million times, it’s nice to discover an author who introduces us to something new. Let’s talk inspiration. How did you come up with the idea behind DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES?
SH: For fun, I watch a lot of TV survival shows. The premise for my book, DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES, is of Stephanie Lang, a NYC television exec who is forced to produce a new reality TV show—a cross between “Crocodile Dundee” and “Survivorman.” Shortly after she meets the sexy star of the show, Colin Brandt, she finds out she has to survive out in the Everglades with him.
TT: I am officially intrigued. How many books have you published, and what’s coming out next?
DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES was just released on September 17th. I do not yet have a release date for my next book, DIARY OF A YOUNG LAWYER, which will also be published by Soul Mate Publishing, Inc. Look for it on Amazon.com in the next few months!
TT: Sounds like a plan. Now for the really important question: How steamy is DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES?
SH: I’d give DESIRE a “3.” I don’t write erotica (although I have no problem reading it). That said, my heroine’s character arc requires her to become emotionally confident. As a writer, I felt this arc needed to be reflected sexually, resulting in some pretty steamy scenes.
TT: Hey, that works. I think most romance readers fully enjoy reading that particular kind of arc. Is DESIRE part of a series?
SH: If people like DESIRE, I’d love to write a sequel. I’m sure writing it would be as fun as it was the first time.
TT: Okay, let’s have a peek. Do you have a favorite excerpt to share with us today?
SH: How about starting at the beginning…
“Did I hear you right?” Stephanie Lang sputtered. “You’re saying our next reality TV series is about a modern day ‘Crocodile Dundee’ guy. Only sexier.” Could her job get any more insane? Thankfully, the big fancy desk the Teleworld Broadcasting Company bestowed concealed her shaky hands and white knuckles.
Her boss nodded with enthusiasm.
She cleared her throat, enlarging the gateway for her stuck, strangled words. “I’m having a hard time believing this, Mark. You want croc guy to tackle the Everglades. Alone. For twelve days. No camping or hunting equipment allowed and only a knife to protect himself. That’s what you’re seriously proposing?”
“That’s right. Though we’ll let him use more than a knife.” Mark stopped nodding and let loose a large grin. “He can always use his bare hands.”
Stephanie wanted to use her bare hands, too. Wrapping them tightly around Mark’s neck. Was this guy kidding, or what? Stifling a sigh, she garnered her patience and tried to look at the bright side. Mark was less stuffy than the other executives, which was good. Not afraid to crack a joke. Also good. Not concerned about anybody but himself. Bad. Very bad. And he steamrolled people to get his way. Much, much worse.
She hoped he didn’t steamroll her now, because this idea was plain old crazy. Seriously whack-a-doodle. “Is this show going to be safe to shoot?” she asked tenuously. If she showed too much emotion, she would join the thousands of New Yorkers standing on the unemployment line waving pink slips. Teleworld did not welcome emotional reactions to their business directives.
“Of course it’ll be safe to shoot,” he answered breezily. “We’re not even having our crew film it. Once they set up the cameras, we’re outta there. Of course, while they’re setting them up, there will be some risk. We’ll make sure they’re protected as best as can be reasonably expected.”
Cringing, she tried to ignore the word “reasonably.” Worst. Qualifier. Ever. Before this meeting was over, her whole body would be twitching. “I meant whether this was going to be safe for the guy we’re filming. He’ll be the one left out there, unprotected.”
“Dunno. Luckily, that’s not our problem. The guy’s willing to take the gamble, so I guess it’ll be safe enough. He’d know best how to calculate his player handicap.”
“This isn’t a round of leisurely golf. I don’t want this guy to wind up handicapped at all.” Yep. Barely eight o’clock in the morning and she was right on time for her daily dose of stomach acid.
TT: That was great. I like your writing style. Do you have a website, a social media presence, where your newest fans can stalk you?
SH: Yes, I’d love to know what TV shows makes their imagination run wild. I hope they give me their answers in the comment section below!
TT: Thank you for joining us today, Stacy. Now, for the really important stuff: How can we read your book?
SH: People can order through Amazon.com. Thanks for having me, Tami! This was a lot of fun to do!
TT: It was my pleasure, really. Now I’m off to lose myself in the Everglades with a sexy guy named Colin. Alligators don’t bite, do they?