Thursday, 27 June 2013

Welcome my friend and fellow Romantic Novelists Association author, Stephanie Cage...

 Hi, Stephanie! It's great to have you visit me this week as we haven't seen each other for so long and I can't wait to hear more about your latest release :) I have so many friends writing for Crimson Romance and they seem to be going from strength to strength. Wishing you lot of success and sales!

1)   What is your writing routine?

I wish I had one!  I have a full-time day job so writing tends to fit in the gaps.  I like sitting down to write in the morning, when my mind is freshest – I’m not a night owl at all.  The first thing I usually do is read over the last thing I wrote to remind myself where I’ve reached and keep the story fresh in my mind.  I have Write or Die on my laptop and I use that a lot, writing in short bursts whenever I get the chance. 

2)   Which is your favorite romance subgenre to read? To write?

I read pretty much everything, both within and outside romance.  I love reading contemporary chick-lit, fantasy, paranormal and historical romance.  I’d never write a historical, though.  History wasn’t my forte at school, and I’d be petrified of getting the details embarrassingly wrong.  I mostly write light contemporary romance, but I’d like to try my hand at some paranormal or fantasy too. 

3)   What do you expect from an editor?

I think a good editor acts as your ideal reader, showing you where you haven’t put something the way you saw it in your own mind and helping to bring the story more to life.  It’s so easy to assume that readers will think about your characters and settings the same way you do, and a good editor helps you see where other people might think differently.  They’ll tell you when you need to explain something which you’ve taken as read, or on the other hand, they will trim down explanations where you’ve told the reader something they could have worked out for themselves.  

4)   What are you working on right now?

Right now I’m in the midst of edits for a Christmas story with The Wild Rose Press.  It’s set in Wales and its working title is ‘The Santa Next Door.’  Before I started on the edits, I finished the first draft of a sequel to my novella, ‘Desperate Bid’, so once I’m finished with editing I’ll be onto a rewrite of ‘Desperate Measures’ (as the sequel is called this week!).  After that, I have plans for a sequel to my dancing romance, ‘Perfect Partners.’ 

5)   Your biggest piece of advice to aspiring novelists?

Read a lot, but try to do more than just devour stories you enjoy.  Take time to think about why good writing works, and what techniques the author is using to hold your attention and bring the story to life.  You can learn a lot, too, from thinking about stories you don’t enjoy so much, and what’s missing for you in them. 

6)   Tease us with a blurb or short excerpt

This is from ‘Perfect Partners’, the story of a keen dancer reunited with her partner and first crush to take pose as his girlfriend on a reality TV show, ‘Couples’: 

Lisa never knew why she said what she said next.
“Wouldn’t it be easier if we didn’t have to pretend?”
Redmond stared at Lisa for a long moment and she couldn’t read his expression. She wished she could swallow the words back, but they were spoken and a lump of tension was forming in her throat. Then he began lifting his hand slowly. She watched, mesmerised, almost feeling the heat of his hand before it reached her cheek. Her mind ran ahead of the reality, seeing his strong fingers cupping her face and drawing her into the kiss she’d found herself daydreaming about earlier.
Even as she imagined his hungry lips on hers and the familiar warmth of his body close against her, the cautious, hurt part of her mind was warning her not to believe it.
There was no future. With his job in America and his footloose, fancy-free ways, she was bound to get hurt. Still, she did nothing to stop him as he ran his fingers gently down from her cheekbone to her chin and turned her face towards him. Despite the heat of his touch, it sent a shiver through her.
She looked up at him then, and the seriousness she saw in his eyes threw a cloud across the sunlight of her imagined happiness. How had she ever thought he would even consider her suggestion? This wasn’t a real romance, a fairy-tale ending for her. It was a cynical business ploy, a sham and a lie, and if she took part in it, she deserved every bit of misery it brought her. And yet, she’d known from the first moment that she couldn’t refuse, if it bought her another chance to dance with her perfect, infuriating dream of a partner from long ago.

7)   What was your favorite subject in school and why?

English, of course!  I loved the creative writing side, but also the opportunity to spend time reading and learning about language.  My best classes ever were when we studied The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, which is still one of my favorite plays. 

8)   What is your favorite dessert?

Just one?  I love just about anything sweet, especially if chocolate is involved, but when we go out my husband and I like to share hot chocolate chip cookie dough with ice cream, so I’ll pick that as the dessert I enjoy most. 

9)   High heels, sneakers or flip flops?

I can’t wear flip flops.  They fall off about every three seconds and I trip over whenever I try to walk upstairs!  I wear both high heels and sneakers occasionally (heels to work if I’m feeling dressy, and sneakers to the gym or for walking) but most days you’ll find me in ballet flats. 

10)                  Where can readers find you?


Having been born and educated in the South of England, including a degree in English Literature at Oxford University and an MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, I now live and write in the beautiful county of Yorkshire. I am a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association with two published e-books to date: 'Desperate Bid' from The Wild Rose Press and 'Perfect Partners' from Crimson Romance. When I am not writing, I also enjoy dance and musical theatre and I am a regular guest on 'Book It', a literary show on local radio.


  1. Hi Rachel . Great to see you too! Thanks for having me today!

  2. Hi Rachel and Stephanie,

    I love the cover for "Desperate Bid" and am definitely tantalized by the excerpt from "Perfect Partners".

    Warm chocolate chip cookie dough and ice cream sounds just about perfect, too!


  3. Hi Debra. So glad you enjoyed the covers and excerpt. I love both covers but I think Perfect Partners might be my favorite. As for cookie dough... I'm hungry already!