Monday, December 19, 2011

A four-time RITA® Award nominee and Golden Heart® Award winner Stephanie Rowe is the nationally bestselling author of more than twenty published books with major New York publishers, including HarperCollins, Grand Center and Harlequin. Stephanie has received starred reviews from Booklist and high praise from Publisher's Weekly. She writes romance (paranormal, contemporary and suspense), teen fiction, middle grade fiction and inspirational non-fiction. A former attorney, Stephanie lives in Boston where she is actively working on her next project. Thanks for visiting with us today and answering some of our questions Stephanie. We are so exited to have you.

1.       Let's talk about your Soulfire series. Tell us a little bit about each book for our followers that haven’t had the pleasure of reading them yet.
Thank you so much for having me! I'm so excited to be here, and I'm SO excited about the January 1st launch of my next paranormal romance. Yay! Thanks so much for asking about the series.

The Soulfire series is about a team of immortal warriors who have recently escaped from the Den of Womanly Pursuits, after 150 of torture and sensitivity training by Death's grandma. These hardened survivors can, much to their dismay, wield a pair of knitting needles as well as they can vanquish a demon with a sword. Not that they will admit that. Ever. Denial only goes so far, however… If a man's got a talent with a curling iron, he can hide it for only so long…

In KISS AT YOUR OWN RISK, the first book in the series, an intractable warrior teams up with a cursed spitfire to rescue his best friend from Death's hot-blooded Grandma, in a high-octane and deliciously sexy romance, in which Death takes on a whole new meaning.

In TOUCH IF YOU DARE, book two, Jarvis Swain is an immortal warrior with a talent for French braiding, who is also the Guardian of Hate.  He's on the fast track toward succumbing to his dark side, much to the detriment of pretty much the entire world. Jarvis's only chance to prevail comes in the form of Death's tender-hearted assistant, Reina Fleming, who is far too busy trying to save her own sister to get involved with Jarvis. Or is she? Reina and Jarvis quickly discover that they are each other's best chance…and greatest threat. Will love prevail or bring them down? 

In HOLD ME IF YOU CAN, book three, Nigel Aquarian is the only warrior who's entirely at peace with his softer side. Give him a sketch pad and some markers, and he's happy. But those that giveth taketh away, and Nigel suddenly finds that his art has become deadly to those he loves. Without his art, Nigel has no outlet for his darker side. He has to find a way to regain control before he kills everyone he loves, and the only woman who can help him is Natalie Fleming, a passionate woman with a talent for chocolate, demons and maybe, just maybe, his salvation. If, of course, they don't kill each other first.

2.How did the ball start rolling, so to speak, with the idea and plot for this series?
My goal with the Soulfire series was to create a story that took the paranormal genre and twisted it into new, unpredictable directions. I wanted to surprise the reader by creating a powerful, sexy story about the triumph of love in the most unusual of circumstances. For example, the traditional dark, tortured alpha hero is deliciously yummy, but I wanted to do something more. I wanted to give these guys an unexpectedly soft side that torments them as much as it gives them peace. Each warrior in this series has his own special talent, one that he's embarrassingly addicted to for his mental well-being, be it knitting, cross-stitching or flower arranging. I wanted to show that a man can be a bad ass warrior, and still tap into his gentle nature without losing that which makes him so powerful and appealing. As for Death, I wanted to create a bad guy that was compelling and delicious in a way that the reader would never expect. I adore Death, and I wanted the reader to as well. I modeled him based on Satan, who was the villain in my Immortally Sexy series. Satan got the most fan mail, and everyone wanted to see his happily ever after, even though he was, of course, Satan. With Death, I wanted to create a similarly compelling character that you love and hate at the same time.

3.  Your characters have a lot of developed facets to them. Do you do a lot of planning before starting a project where your characters are concerned, or do you just go with the flow?

My first step is to get to know my main characters in their souls. I don't bother with their favorite kind of ice cream. I need to sink myself deep into the emotions that drive them, and peel back the layers to expose their greatest fears, their greatest hopes, and their greatest joys. I find out what drives them, and I find out what terrifies them beyond belief, and then I create a story that forces them to defeat their innermost terrors in order to get that which their soul burns for. Sometimes those obstacles can be external experiences that trigger their inner traumas, and sometimes those obstacles can be internal, but every obstacle and every event and every relationship stems from that darkest place in their soul that is yearning for hope, for love and for light.  

4.  Do you have conversations with your warriors? If so what do you talk about? Has their special talents ever been a topic of discussion?

I've heard that a lot of authors have conversations with their warriors, and I always wondered about that, because I never have. There were times if I thought there was something wrong with me because I didn't have discussions with imaginary characters.  Eventually, I discovered that there was a good reason for this lack of dialogue, and I was happy to realize that there was nothing wrong with me. See, the reason I don't have conversations with my characters is because when I am writing their stories, I become them. I am not an author telling their story as they tell it to me. I actually become my characters and I live their lives. I think their thoughts, I feel their emotions, I live their lives. I'm so immersed in who they are, that I could never pull myself back and separate myself from them long enough to have a conversation. I simply feel who they are through my own heart. So, see? I'm totally normal… ahem…

5.  Could you tell a little secret or fact about Death that we can’t read in the series?

Death will get his own story eventually, but the poor man wants nothing more than to fall in love, and to be loved deeply, passionately and without judgment or reservation. Despite the fact that he has successfully turned the business of Death into a phenomenally lucrative business, he's actually really insecure and gentle in his personal life, and he yearns to have a safe place to show the utter softness of his soul. I heart Death. J

6.  Writing in multiple genres is nothing new for you, but is it hard to jump around from one to the next?
I think the toughest part is when I finished a book and then start brainstorming a new book that is in a different genre. Sometimes it is really hard to get myself out of the mindset of the book I was working on. Once I start to gain momentum, then it's all good, and I'm so happy to be able to challenge myself with something new. Writing in difference genres forces me to keep developing as a writer and prevents me from getting into a predictable routine with my writing. It keeps those brain muscles working hard! 

7.  Do you have a genre that you prefer to write about, and if so, why?
My favorite genre to write is always the one that I'm writing in at the moment, but I enjoy writing in all of the genres. I think going back and forth helps keep my writing evolving and growing, because I focus on different things in each type of story, while still maintaining some continuity. For example, in my paranormals, there is more action and they are darker (and a little more outrageous) than my contemps, but both of them focus on characters battling their darkest fears and demons (sometimes literally, in the paranormals). Every genre is challenging in its own way. They all require a compelling story and compelling, heartfelt characters, and that's the toughest part of writing a book. The setting, whether contemporary, paranormal or romantic suspense, are the natural output of the characters in that story. 
8.  Do you have any special requirements, or things you can’t do without, when you write?
In an ideal world, I like to write in the morning, power through until I'm finished, and then gallivant gleefully throughout the rest of the day. Unfortunately, that rarely happens. I often have to stop to take a break and workout, because my brain gets tired, or life interferes. Often I need to write a few more pages at night, but honestly, I’m not that great at night, unless I can get into a groove, and then I can sometimes get some great creative juices flowing. I have a pretty extensive outline before I start to write, and I usually end in the middle of a scene (not the end of the scene), so it's pretty easy for me to pick things back up when I sit down again…or at least, that's my theory… In terms of setting, I can actually write in pretty much any situation. I can write in a coffee shop with all sorts of chaos around me, I can write with music blasting or the TV on, or I can write in the total silence of my living room, or even in my car in a parking lot. It depends partially on my mood, but there is also an element of awareness that this is my job, and I have to find a way to work in whatever situation I'm in. Sometimes it's tough to get going, but once I become immersed in my story, the environment I'm in ceases to matter. Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to write on a sunny afternoon lakeside in the woods of Maine with a gentle breeze blowing, and I must say that that was quite awesome. If I could recreate that moment at will, that would be a beautiful thing.
9.  What would you like to tell us about Stephanie that isn’t in your web bio?
I think the most important thing about who I am is my belief that we all deserve to be happy and feel good, no matter what is going on around us. I've been through some hard things for the last few years, and there are times it's been such a challenge for me to put one foot in front of the other, and to believe that things are going to be okay someday. It's made me realize how important it is for all of us to keep striving to feel good, to be good to ourselves, no matter how tough life is. Taking the time to read books that uplift your heart is one of the gifts we can give ourselves, so I'm honored and privileged to have the opportunity to write books and maybe be that moment of relief for someone whose having a tough time.
10. Jan.1st won’t be here soon enough for all of us to dive into HOLD ME IF YOU CAN. What future projects or reads are you working on that we can  look forward to?

I have a new book out called THE FEEL GOOD LIFE that I'm so excited about. It’s a non-fiction book that evolved from my personal journey over the last four years to get my life back together after it imploded. The book acknowledges that life is hard, that tough things happen that we can’t always fix, but we deserve to still be able to wake up in the morning and not feel a huge weight in our chests. The book is filled with the things I did to help myself pull myself together and start to shift how I felt, to feel better, to be able to look around and realize that everything was going to be okay, in some way or another. Honestly, it totally sucks to feel awful, and if I can help one person get through a day more easily, then that’s a gift I will cherish. This book is the kind of book I want people to give to the people in their lives who are struggling through something tough, because we all deserve to feel better, no matter how much the world is crashing down around us. If my journey can help others, then it’s worth everything I went through.
On the fiction side, I have a new dark paranormal romance series called the ORDER OF THE BLADE launching in late winter as eBooks. The first book, THE FIRST KISS, is slated February. The next two will be released shortly thereafter, so the first trilogy of the series will be out in quick succession. The series is darker, sexier and more suspenseful than the SOULFIRE series, and the warriors are armed, dangerous and mate for life.

 WOW! It sounds like you have a lot of awesome books headed our way, thanks for telling us about them. We appreciate you taking the time to be with us today. To find out more about Stephanie Rowe and her wonderful work, checkout her site at,.....

Stephanie is sponsoring a special giveaway with the winner picking one of her books as a prize. To enter, simply be a follower of this blog and leave a comment or question for Stephanie today along with your  email address. The winner will be selected from a random drawing and posted tomorrow morning on the blog. (winner restricted to US residents only)


  1. I was wondering - your earlier books had cartoonish covers and obviously you have switched to (cough, cough) more drool worthy ones. What made you switch? Not that I am complaining!

  2. I can't wait to read this series. They are all on my "wish list"

  3. Hi Bookbunny68! Thanks for your question. The shift in covers was actually a publisher decision. They felt that cartoon covers didn't sell as well, so they switched to what they considered a more marketble cover. I'm not complaining!! :)

  4. I would love to win Kiss at Your Own Risk. I have never read any of your books and would love to win and read this one. I have the 2nd book of this series. I had got at the bookstore, but did not realize that 2nd book of the series. I have been sitting on this for about 2 months now. Got for my bday because I loved the cover. I am a cover lover and sometimes choose because of the cover. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win.

  5. sorry forgot to post my question. What is your favorite genre to write? do you prefer paranormal? Also any favorite authors or books you would recommend?

  6. Hi Christine! Thanks for your note! I'm so glad you picked up book #2. I love that cover, too. I think they did a great job. Good luck in the contest!

    My favorite genre to write is whatever I'm working on at that moment. I get so absorbed in the story that i can't imagine writing anything else!

  7. Stephanie
    What other author gets your juices going? Are they also paranormal writers.

  8. wow im so wanting to read this series next

  9. After HOLD ME IF YOU CAN, I am really looking forward to your new series coming in a few months, ORDER OF THE BLADE. It sounds awesome!!!!!

  10. will you write as a YA author?

  11. I love Stephanie's books and so excited that she shared with us today a awesome interview! Thanks so much!

  12. Thanks for letting us know about this giveaway via your Facebook post... AND thanks for the giveaway! Great interview by the way...

  13. Hi! I have not read any of your books yet but I do love a good paranormal series. Thank you so much for the chance to win a book of your sto try.
    Have a good holiday season.
    My question: Are there any authors who are auto-buys for you?
    June M.