Serpentine Creative LLC (2019)
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (7/19)
Stella Williams is a Blogger and Romance Author, who lives in Washington State. She has a degree in Anthropology from The University of California, Santa Cruz. Stella prides herself in using her studies to create diverse worlds and characters for her novels. You can find out more about Stella at her website www.serpentinecreative.com.
Hi Stella, Welcome to Reader Views! Give us a little background info. How long have you been writing? How did you get into writing in the paranormal romance genre?
Hello! Thank you for having me. I have been writing for a long time. I think I started journaling around 8 years old and that evolved into short stories by the time I hit my teen years. I’ve been a reader for even longer than that, reading Harlequin romance over my mother’s shoulder and finding the stories intriguing. It wasn’t until I got older and developed a taste for darker stories like Edgar Allen Poe and Sherlock Holmes that I started to look at other genres. Eventually finding, JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood Series which really got me started with Paranormal Romance.
Tell us about your latest novel, Ferocious.
My latest novel was truly a story I’d been wanting to write for a very long time. It’s a magical suspense romance that features what I believe to be realistic portrayals of Characters of Color.
What inspired this story?
As an avid reader I never really found books in the paranormal romance genre that had black characters or black female leads. I wrote Ferocious to fill that gap for myself and other readers of color.
Your protagonists are almost opposites in some ways, yet there is a powerful attraction between them. What can you tell us about Farrah and Donovan – what motivates them?
Farrah is mostly motivated by her desire to break out of the stereotypes and the strict mold she has been taught to fit into as a woman, as a security force officer, and as a member of a powerful Aura family.
Donovan on the other hand revels in everything Farrah is trying to get away from. He actively upholds the rule of law as a Security Force officer and makes the majority of his decisions based on maintaining the reputation of his own powerful family.
I really enjoyed bringing them together because I feel they both learned that each way of life is a valid option and of course all the sparks as they try to hash out their differences.
Did you know you were going to start a series when you wrote the first book?
Yes! I honestly don’t think I have a stand-alone story in me. Every new idea I have becomes an entire world in my mind and I enjoy playing it through.
What’s next for the series?
There will definitely be more steamy romance and suspenseful intrigue, but this time focused on a different couple.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
I think I have always been aware of that fact. As a person of color you learn at an early age the power that certain words can have on how you perceive yourself and interact with others.
What do you like to read and what is currently in your TBR pile?
I read mostly romance but I have more recently gotten into political nonfiction, biographies and memoirs. My TBR Pile is massive to be honest. The most recent additions for Paranormal Romance/Fantasy would be Something Witchy This Way Comes by Koko Brown, Jinn by Jessica Cage, Lullaby of the Lilitu by Victoria A. Wilder, and Hunted by the Alien Prince by A.M. Griffin.
You are also a book blogger and do reviews – tell us about Serpentine Reviews and where can listener’s tune in?
Serpentine Reviews was honestly just a place for me to share and help support other authors of color in the paranormal romance genre. I just wanted to contribute to the visibility of Authors of Color writing Characters of Color in the Paranormal Genre, so I created The Serpentine Creative Channel on YouTube and created Serpentine Reviews for that purpose.
Do you have a favorite author in the Paranormal Romance genre? Who are a couple of your favorite authors in general?
That’s a tough question. I can’t say for sure I have any favorite authors mostly favorite books or series. Right now, I am obsessed with Erin St. Charles and her Shifter Enforcer Series as well as Phoenix Williams Queens of Beasts Series.
How have these authors inspired you to become a better writer?
I really enjoy Erin St. Charles’ out of the box thinking in terms of her world building and Phoenix Williams could give me lessons on writing the erotic any day.
What does your writing routine look like? Do you write every day?
I don’t really have a writing routine. I consider myself a binge writer. As a mother of two young children writing every day just isn’t an option for me so I have to get as many words as I can in short spurts when I find time.
What do you love most about being a writer?
The creative process. Being able to turn a flash of an idea into a full-blown world all of my own. It’s freeing and cathartic.
What kind of reaction to your writing do you most seek from your reading audience?
I think like most authors I just want people to enjoy reading it. I want them to walk away feeling like they just went on a wild vacation from their everyday madness.
How do you feel when you finish writing a novel?
Exhausted. I am an emotional writer so when I’m done with a project while rewarding, I am often completely drained but in a good way.
Tell us about your publishing experience?
I am self-published so it’s been a roller coaster of trial and error. From my very first book that I published on amazon with a MS Paint cover and zero editing to now Ferocious under my own publishing company. It’s been a crazy ride.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Free Time? I am always on the go so free time is almost a foreign concept for me. When I am not doing mom stuff, writing, or handling the business side of being an author, I like to volunteer my time in my community.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received, about writing, or about life in general?
The best advice I have received for both writing and life is to do what you are passionate about.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
My advice to aspiring authors is to stay creative. Once it stops being fun it shows in your work, even big-name authors sometime forget that.
Stella, thank you so much for joining us today at Reader Views! It’s been a pleasure getting to know more about you and your work!
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