Stacy Green: Thanks so much for having me! I’m a stay-at-home mom of my miracle child, who is now in first grade. I’m lucky enough to watch a two-year-old part time, so I still get my baby fix. INTO THE DARK is a suspense novel set in Las Vegas and features a determined stalker and the dark labyrinth of storm drains beneath the city, which house hundreds of homeless.
TTS: How did the idea for this book come about?
Stacy Green: At first, I simply wanted to write a book about a hot SWAT guy saving the damsel in distress. I set the book in Vegas because they have one of the best full-time SWAT teams in the country. I’d had an idea to write about a stalker for a while, and I figured since Vegas was founded by the mob, there would be some great legends about escape routes and bootlegging tunnels around the city. I Googled “Las Vegas tunnels,” and that’s when I discovered the storm drains. Stretching hundreds of miles below the city, more than 200 homeless live in the drains at any given time. Many have set up elaborate camps, and some are even happy to be there. That’s when INTO THE DARK truly began to take shape. The tunnels and homeless don’t get a lot of scene time in the book, but they are a driving force of the plot and the characters.
TTS: I like to ask this question of every author I interview because I find character creation interesting. How did you name your characters and did you shape them after people you know in real life?
What a great question! As for naming, I tend to think about family history first. Emilie’s grandparents were an important part of her life, and they were French, so I chose a French name. Nathan is black Irish, and I made sure his surname fit that. And as for first names…I tend to go with what strikes me, and then I make a list, matching first and last names until I find something that strikes me.
Personality-wise, yes and no. Parts of Emilie are very much me–her stubbornness for sure. Nathan’s sister Kelsi is based on a close friend. Beyond that, I do a lot of free-writing with my characters, trying to let them tell me who they are, and that process evolves with each book.
TTS: Did you have the storyline all planned out when you sat down to write or did it take a life of its own beyond the initial paragraph?
Stacy Green: No, I didn’t have it planned out. I had the idea of the kidnapping premise, and I knew I wanted to incorporate the tunnels, but when I started writing INTO THE DARK, I had very little understanding of craft and plotting. I wrote and learned at the same time, trashing and revising until I finally had it right. In some ways, that organic writing is great, but it can also be tedious. With my second book, I had much more planned out, and I think that process will grow as I do. But I still want to leave some of the writing organic, because that’s part of the fun of writing.
TTS: When you sit down to write a story do you use an outline?
Stacy Green: I do more now than I used to, as I understand craft better. I try to have the turning points and midpoint figured out, and the final act, or end game as I call it. Then I research, figure out my characters, and maybe write a little. Once I come up with a scene list for the first act, then I starting writing seriously. That first act sets up so much for me, and once it’s finished I revaluate and move on from there
TTS: Where there ever moments where the story didn’t go the way you planned or personally wanted it to go? How did you deal with that?
All the time! With INTO THE DARK, it seemed like every time I had one problem fixed, the solution caused another. And honestly, the best way to deal with is to keep writing. Letting go of the idea that I had to use everything I wrote was a huge step for me. It’s okay if I write a scene that doesn’t make the book–all of that is practice and moves the book forward.
Another thing that helps me, especially with plotting, is to write freehand. I take my notebook, write down the question that’s bugging me, and start coming up with answers. For whatever reason, my brain works better when I have a pen or pencil in my hand.
TTS: What led you to writing?
Stacy Green: I’ve always loved reading, and I’ve always had stories running around in my head. Putting them down on paper seemed to be the only way to quiet my head.
TTS: Are you planning on sticking to one genre or are you going to branch out into others?
Stacy Green: Right now, mystery/suspense/thriller is where I want to be, but I also love paranormal. I wouldn’t mind writing a few short stories in that genre, if I can find the time!
TTS: What do you like to read?
Stacy Green: Suspense thrillers all the way, although I do love a good ghost story. Lisa Gardner is a big favorite of mine. I also recently discovered S.R. Bolton and really like her books. And I’m kind of a research geek, so I read some nonfiction as well.
TTS: What are you reading at the moment?
Stacy Green: Right now I’m reading about the lost plantations of the South, as well as the legendary Body Farm. How’s that for opposites? Next on my fiction list is Fortune by Erica Spindler.
TTS: Do you think what authors read influences what they write?
Stacy Green: Absolutely. I’d like to branch out in my reading, but I’m so pressed for time I stick to my genre. Writers can’t get better without reading other writers. It’s the best way to learn and improve, if you love a genre, it’s natural to want to write it.
TTS: Can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on right now if you’re working on anything at all?
Stacy Green: Sure! My next novel, Tin God, is set in southern Mississippi. It’s the first in a series I’m calling Delta Crossroads. It features an embattled, poverty-stricken woman trying to get her daughter back. She soon finds herself stuck in the middle of a murder mystery, and the key to finding her child is also paramount to solving the murder. It’s due to be released in April.
I just started the second book, and while it picks up where Tin God leaves off, it’s about a minor character from that novel and is his own story. I’m still working on the title, but the tentative release is November 13.
TTS: Once again, I would like to thank Stacy for stopping by! We would love to have you back again sometime!
Stacy Green: Thank you so much for having me! I’d love to come back, and I’m excited to give away a digital copy of Into The Dark. And don’t forget to enter the raffle to give back to the homeless – the donation is on me!
After earning her degree in journalism, Stacy worked in advertising before becoming a stay-at-home mom to her miracle child. She rediscovered her love of writing and wrote several articles for Women’s Edition Magazine of Cedar Rapids, profiling local businesses, before penning her first novel. Her debut novel, INTO THE DARK, is set in Las Vegas and features a heroine on the edge of disaster, a tormented villain, and the city’s infamous storm drains that house hundreds of homeless. INTO THE DARK is available on all digital formats and paperback November 30th.
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The homeless living in the storm drains of Las Vegas played a vital part in INTO THE DARK, and Stacy wants to give back. From November 1st until February 28th, participants will have several options to enter the raffle, including donating to HELP of Southern Nevada. The grand prize will be a $100 donation from Stacy in the winner’s name to the homeless shelter of their choice. Just click the link above to enter the raffle.
Synopsis: A two-hundred-mile labyrinth of dark storm drains serves as a refuge for the delusional stalker who will go to any lengths to possess fragile, emotionally isolated Emilie Davis. To survive, Emilie will have to confront the secrets of her past she has kept locked away from everyone, including herself. Emilie is a master escape artist—she’s fled a manipulative mother and a controlling ex-husband. But it’s impossible to evade a stalker who uses a bank robbery as a ruse to kidnap her. He’s still out there, hiding in the Las Vegas tunnels and dodging police. Emilie’s life careens out of control as her assailant continues his pursuit. She has nowhere to turn but to Nathan Madigan, the hostage negotiator who worked the robbery. Nathan is haunted by his failure to protect a loved one fourteen years ago and dedicates his life to saving others. Determined to catch the lunatic hunting Emilie, he finds himself losing his professional detachment. He fears history is about to repeat itself if he cannot protect Emilie from the Taker’s obsession.
The police close in on the Taker’s identity as Nathan and Emilie grow closer to each other and to resolving the misery of their own pasts. At the height of The Taker’s madness, his attempt to replace someone he’s lost will either kill them all or set them free.
I have one e-book copy of Into The Dark to give away! To enter, just leave a comment and make sure the e-mail you put in the e-mail field is valid! That’s how I will contact you if you won. Winner will be chosen on Monday February 04, at 8pm Eastern! Good luck!