Interview & Giveaway: Stacy Green

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TS: The Top Shelf would like to welcome Stacy Green to the blog!  Tell the readers a little bit about yourself and your book Into The Dark.

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!

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Stacy Green is fascinated by the workings of the criminal mind and explores true crime on her popular Thriller Thursday posts at her blog, Turning the Page.

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.

Sign up for Stacy’s newsletter for exclusive excerpts and information!

Website: www.stacygreen.net

Follow Stacy online at her blog, www.stacygreenauthor.com
Twitter @StacyGreen26
Facebook Stacy Green, Author

Enter the INTO THE DARK Charity Raffle!

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.

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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.

Buy it now at:
Amazon ( Kindle ) $2.99 | Barnes and Noble ( Nook ) $5.95
Amazon ( Print ) $11.99 | Barnes and Noble ( Print ) $11.99

Excerpt:

Nathan peered through the chain link fence. “Is that it?”

“I didn’t even know this culvert was here.” Chris started to climb.

“I drive over it every day, too.”

“That’s why they call them box culverts,” Johnson said from the other side of the fence. “You don’t see them unless you’re walking inside.” “Why couldn’t we just cut this thing down?” Nathan huffed as he made the short trip up and over the wobbly chain link barrier. They were several blocks north of the raucous Freemont Street Experience and looking into the mouth of one of the storm drain entrances.

“Because no one in Metro wants to deal with the city officials over it,” Johnson said.

“Talk about spook central.” Nathan shined his light toward the culvert. Bathed in shadows, it stood silent and empty. A chill of foreboding washed over him. “Watch yourselves.” Johnson led the way as the three men entered the culvert, weapons ready. “Anything could be lurking.”

Standing water covered the toes of Nathan’s boots. The air was thick with mildew. “Drain’s over there.” He shined his tactical light on the flood map. “To the right.”

The temperature dropped as they entered the large drain. Darkness engulfed them.

Chris’s whistle cut through the eerie stillness. “Wow. It’s a hell of a lot cooler in here. Place smells like feet, but I’ll take what I can get.”

Nathan shined his light on the walls. Colorful graffiti decorated the concrete.

“Someone’s a talented artist.”

The darkness thickened with each step. The odor grew increasingly foul. “Jesus, I can taste the stench in my mouth.” Chris gagged and spit into the dirty water.

Nathan didn’t respond. He was too busy trying to keep the contents of his stomach down and wondering how the people who lived in the tunnels stood the smell and the constant dangers. The drains provided relief from the sweltering desert heat, and free housing, but they were death traps. Large portions ran directly underneath the city streets and inhabitants risked carbon monoxide poisoning and the frequent threat of flooding. Growing up poor in North Las Vegas gave him a better perspective than many, but he couldn’t imagine having no other alternative than to live minute-by-minute.

“We shouldn’t run into any camps,” Johnson said. “They’re deeper in. One of the biggest is right under the Strip.”

“You know we aren’t going to find shit,” Chris choked out. “It’s too dark. Guy planned this for months. He knows his way around. We need to get out of here and check on Adam.”

“Medic called me when they got him to the hospital,” Johnson said. “He’s going into surgery. All we’d be doing right now is sitting around waiting. Still have to do our jobs, Holt.”

“He’s just a rookie. I should have been in front of him.”

“Stop,” Nathan said. “You followed protocol. That was a lucky shot.”

“Doesn’t make it right.”

Silence fell over the men as they moved farther into the stinking drain. Something hard crunched underneath Nathan’s boots. He nervously shined his light into the black water. Crawfish swam around his feet, probably on their way to the Las Vegas Wash. A mushy white glob looking suspiciously like used toilet paper floated by, and he focused his light away from the stream. Better not to know what he was stepping on.

A loud splash ahead brought all three to a halt.

“You hear that?” Johnson asked.

“Sounds big.” Chris stepped in front of Johnson and raised his Glock.

“Las Vegas SWAT,” Johnson shouted. “Identify yourself.”

Nothing.

“Maybe it was an animal,” Nathan said.

“That’s even worse than a junkie,” Chris said. “With my luck, Cujo’s man-eating cousin will show up and give me rabies.”

“They have shots for that now.”

“No shit, Sherlock.”

A second loud splash was followed by the distinct sound of footsteps plodding through the water.

“That’s no dog.” Chris sprinted after the runner with Nathan and Johnson closely following. The beams of their lights flashed haphazardly against the walls making the tunnel even more ominous.

A strange brightness glowed several yards ahead of them. Their quarry came into view. He was too short and stocky to be their man, but he could have information.

Giveaway!!!!

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!

Misty graduated from Capital University in 2005 with a degree in English Literature. She is an avid reader and is the owner of The Top Shelf

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Misty

Misty graduated from Capital University in 2005 with a degree in English Literature. She is an avid reader and is the owner of The Top Shelf

  • WOW..what an interview!! So interesting. Thank you for sharing.

  • Thanks!

  • Misty,
    Thanks so much for such a great interview. I loved your questions. Thanks again for having me:)

    • Stacy,

      Thank you for being on my blog 🙂 I know I wasn’t able to ask you very many book oriented questions since family issues kept me from getting to it. Maybe I could have you back on sometime?

      • I completely understand. I’d love to be back with my next release. It’s coming out in April. Thanks!

  • Laura

    Great interview Misty. I look forward to checking out Stacy Greens books.

  • Heather Lamb

    LOVE IT!! You are awesome Misty! 🙂
    And Stacy, CAN’T Wait to read it!

  • Misty

    Congrats to Laura! You won a copy of Into The Dark! I’ll be emailing you shortly with how to claim your prize 🙂

  • Laura

    Woohoo! I can’t wait to start it! Thank you Misty and Stacy!