Hello! Well, isn’t today a special day! It’s Shooting Scars release day…so if you’re not busy reading, perhaps you’d like to read this interview between me and the very lovely Stephanie Lawton, author of Want.
KH: Welcome Stephanie! Tell me, what made you pick up Sins & Needles?
SL: The cover. It was designed by Najla Qamber, who’s also done three of my four covers and when she began posting it, I definitely swooned. Months later, I was looking for some gritty NA that didn’t feature any of the usual tropes, and decided to finally take the plunge. Man, am I glad I did. It was exactly what I was looking for and I’ve been fangirling ever since.
KH: Give me one word to describe Ellie, Camden, and Javier.
KH: Who do you think Ellie should end up with? Who would you end up with?
SL: I’m Team Camden all the way! The ultimate underdog, there’s something about the outcast-turned-hottie that’s irresistible. He loves Ellie despite her many flaws, and I think he can give her the stability she needs. (Stability being a relative term in her world.)
I’d be with Camden. He reminds me of someone from high school that I didn’t pay much attention to, but who had a crush on me. He was very cute, and I’ve always wondered what happened to him. I hope he came into his own like Camden, but without the mob getting involved.
KH: What do you think Ellie needs to do to bring peace into her heart?
SL: I’m not entirely sure that’s possible. There will always be the ghosts of people she’s wronged, plus people who have been killed because of her (trying to avoid spoilers). She’d probably need some validation from her parents, someone she can trust and depend on in the long-run, and a way to channel her, uh, talents for good.
Then again, a bullet between Javier’s eyes might also do the trick.
KH: Camden is an anti-hero – do you agree with this statement or not? Discuss
SL: Hmm, I think it’s more accurate to say Ellie is an antiheroine. Camden has tried to fly right, but Ellie admits she can’t ignore her impulses to con people she loves, people who have done nothing but try to help her. That being said, extremely flawed heroes are the best kind — they mess with your head and stick around a lot longer than canned characters. I’ve said many times that no one in real life is all bad or all good. That gray area is where the magic happens.
KH: There are bad boys and then there is Javier – describe his appeal to many readers
SL: I don’t really get Javier’s appeal, even after reading On Every Street. It’s understandable that Ellie has strong feelings for him. He was her first everything – first real boyfriend, first long-term relationship, first love, first pregnancy scare … eep! I guess the intensity of his feelings for Ellie is a draw for some readers, but I’m not sure he’s feeling any real love under all that psycho.
KH: Amen, sista! If you were a con artist, what con would you pull?
SL: I’d go to New Orleans and pose as a voodoo queen or tarot expert in Jackson Square. Or maybe I’d pretend to be Henry Cavill’s girlfriend and worm my way into his set trailor…
KH: If you were caught for said con, what would your alias be and where would you go?
SL: Ellie learned to always use her real initials, so I’d be Sadie Laroche. Wait, that sounds like a stripper name. I’d hide out in New York. Lots of voodoo strippers there, I’m sure.
KH: The cover for your books are SO stunning. Najla did my covers too. Let’s discuss how awesome she is🙂
SL: Yes! I can’t say enough wonderful things about her. She’s polite, professional, prompt (how many other p-adjectives can I come up with?). Her skills are unparalleled. Need to remove someone’s arm? Done. Add a five o’clock shadow? Boom. I don’t have the time or patience to learn advanced photo manipulation, so I’m thrilled to have found her. Seriously, take a look at her portfolio and prepare to be awed.
KH: I just picked up Shrapnel because HELLO…gothic mystery in the south? With ghosts? I’m IN LOVE with the concept. Tell me about the book and what you have coming up next, Shelf Life.
SL: Ha, yes, considering your Experiment in Terror series, I can see why you might like Shrapnel. It’s the only paranormal story I’ve written, and it was inspired by a couple of reality TV shows, Mobile, Alabama’s quirky history, and some of the ghost hunts I’ve gone on. Plus, if you want to talk about antiheroes… (*cough*Jackson*cough*)
Shelf Life is more my usual thing — twisted contemporary romance, though I’m hesitant to call anything I write romance. It’s about the skeptical son of small-farmers-turned-doomsday-preppers who faces his own apocalypse when high school ends and college begins. Drugs, sex, cow-tipping … ya know, the usual.🙂
KH: You write in YA and NA…which do you prefer, what challenges do you face in each one?
SL: I have problems keeping sex, swearing and messy adult issues out of my YA, which is why NA is such a better fit. My first book, Want, was published as upper-YA because the protagonist is seventeen, but in the last year since NA has come out from the shadows, Inkspell Publishing and I agreed to reclassify it as NA. I swear I could hear sighs of relief from librarians.
Shrapnel is upper-YA, but Need is full-on adult. I write the story how it needs to be told and slap on a label later. This has made things difficult, but that’s the beauty of going indie. I couldn’t get away with that sh–stuff if I went the traditional route.
After collecting a couple English degrees in the Midwest, Stephanie Lawton suddenly awoke in the deepest reaches of the Deep South. Culture shock inspired her to write about Mobile, Alabama, her adopted city, and all the ways Southern culture, history and attitudes seduce the unsuspecting.
A lover of all things gothic, she can often be spotted photographing old cemeteries, historic buildings and, ironically, the beautiful beaches of the Gulf Coast. She also has a tendency to psychoanalyze people, which comes in handy when creating character profiles.
She has a love/hate relationship with Mardi Gras and can sneeze 18 times in a row. She is the author of the Want series (Want, Need), Shrapnel, Dirty Laundry. Her novel, Shelf Life, will be released in December 2013.
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