BIO: Stephanie Cage is a romance author and trained life coach based in Yorkshire, England. She loves books in all their forms, and is a regular guest and book reviewer on local radio. When not reading and writing, she's also interested in music and business, and it is these two interests which inspired the story of 'Desperate Bid'.
Thanks for being here, Stephanie. It’s a pleasure.
#1- Tell us a little about yourself outside of your writing career…
I live in a former mining village in Yorkshire, and I love long walks in the countryside, curling up with a good book (that happens more than the walks at the moment, as it’s pretty cold here), and going dancing. I don’t usually watch much television but I’m addicted to Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing on Ice, especially the super-sparkly costumes.
#2- Can you tell us a bit about the book in this giveaway and where the inspiration came from?
Desperate Bid is the story of a would-be musician who, in a moment of drunken madness, puts his life up for sale on an online auction site. The winning bidder is Sarah, a very focused businesswoman who’s totally unprepared for the attraction she feels to her ‘purchase’. The initial inspiration for the story was reading about some of the mad things people get up to on the Internet, but I also drew on my own interests in music and business. One of the most fun things about writing Desperate Bid was coming up with song lyrics for the band.
#3- How do you handle the negative reviews and critiques you receive?
It’s always hard when people don’t like something you’ve poured your heart and soul into, but all feedback is useful. I’ve had a lot of practice at dealing with feedback from various writing groups, my tutors on the MA course, readers on the RNA (Romantic Novelists’ Association) scheme for new writers, and of course my wonderful editor at The Wild Rose Press. One important thing to remember is that while everyone’s opinion is valuable, it’s still only one person’s opinion. You don’t have to take every single piece of advice you’re offered! I always ask myself, ‘Will this improve the book?’ and if it will, I take it on board, even if it’s not what I initially had in mind.
#4- You reside in England but have a U.S. publisher. What, if any, complications were there and do your books take place in the U.S. or the U.K.?
In general, it’s pretty easy because with an e-publisher most things are done electronically. The only annoyance is the forms you have to fill in to avoid paying US taxes! I mostly write books set in the UK, and Desperate Bid is set here, in a London suburb, but I am working on a sequel based around Greg, who moves to New York. So that one will have a transatlantic setting.
#5- You are also a book reviewer. What authors do you like to read, and were there any books that stand out from your childhood as favorites?
I love reading all kinds of fiction, from romance to thrillers, and I especially enjoy books that combine both, like Nora Roberts and Louise Bagshawe. My favourite of her books is the writerly wish-fulfilment fantasy, The Movie. I also enjoy fantasy and science fiction, and one of the books that stands out from my childhood is Alanna by Tamora Pierce, which is the story of a girl who has magic powers and decides to take her male twin’s place and become a knight. I still enjoy reading young adult fantasy, and a more recent favourite is Fire and Shadow by my friend and RNA chapter mate Imogen Howson.
#6- Are there any upcoming releases we would like to know about, and could you give us your web site so readers can check it out?
I don’t have any release dates lined up at the moment, but I’ve got a couple of stories under consideration, so do feel free to check back later and see what’s changed. My website is www.stephaniecage.co.uk.
#7- This about concludes it. Thank you again for joining us. Is there anything else you would like to share?
Just my thanks for inviting me to be on your blog, and for the thought-provoking questions. I’ve had fun answering… and don’t forget everyone, feel free to comment or add your own questions for a chance to win a copy of Desperate Bid.