Here’s the situation… Stephanie Nicole Norris is a new writer from Chattanooga, TN. Stephanie always had a natural talent for writing and website design and released her debut novel, Trouble In Paradise, in early 2012. She released her sophomore title, Vengeful Intentions, which is also the sequel to Trouble in Paradise seven months later. She is currently working on her first Christian Fiction Romance, Catching Bees With Honey, as well as the third installment in the Paradise series—a short titled Wreckless.
The Situation Room with Michelle Cuttino caught up with Stephanie Norris to discuss her vision as a writer and publisher.
Michelle: Tell us a little about yourself.
Stephanie: I’m from Chattanooga Tennessee, 32 years young, married, a child of God, an insurance broker licensed in 48 states and a lover of all things romance.
Michelle: The name of your publishing company is Love Is A Drug, Ink. Where did you come up with the name?
Stephanie: I wanted a name that would define the type of books I write in a nutshell. Love Is A Drug, Ink was perfect for that.
Michelle: Are you looking to publish other authors under your imprint, or is your focus on building your own brand only?
Stephanie: My focus is building my brand only. It takes a lot to write, publish, market and promote your own titles. I thought about publishing other authors for a split second before the decision was made not too. It’s not what I’m interested in.
Michelle: Your debut novel is titled Trouble In Paradise. Tell us what the book is about.
Stephanie: Trouble In Paradise is about a young couple, Victoria Mathis and Joshua Eubanks, who are moving up in life. They’re in love and on the verge of marriage when Joshua’s ex-girlfriend decides she doesn’t want to be without him ever. Under no means will she let this man go and she goes through extreme circumstances to prove her point—even holding the couple hostage. With all of my stories, I like to have characters people can identify with. There is always a couple, best friends of the couple, lovers, and a nemesis. Surrounding them may be supporting characters like mom, dad, kids, a boss and/or passersby. When I write I like for you to see it like watching a movie.
Michelle: Where did the idea for the main characters Victoria and Joshua come from? Did you borrow from real life for the plot, or is it a complete work of fiction?
Stephanie: Okay, so I used to lay awake at night with these stories going through my head. The characters would be getting into all kinds of drama. I could feel the emotion and everything was surreal. Victoria and Joshua were fabricated from some of those stories. They were already in my head I just needed to bring them to life. As for the plot my love for romance knew it would be a lover’s story and then while walking around the house in circles the idea of how I wanted the story to end hit me with a bang! I was completely psyched about it because being an avid reader I’d never read an ending like it before.
Michelle: Vengeful Intentions is the sequel to Trouble In Paradise. Where does this story pick up and end off?
Stephanie: The story picks up with Danielle Shumaker (the nemesis) in court. The evidence held against her has come up missing and she is on the verge of being released. The story ends with the couple Victoria and Joshua cooking Christmas dinner with they’re best friends. A lot has happened in Joshua and Victoria’s relationship and they have decided to go to counseling. However, Victoria’s heart has been ripped apart because her baby has been killed by someone who hates her. You have to read the book to find out what’s really going on!
Michelle: Is Vengeful Intentions the last installment or can we look forward to this turning into a trilogy?
Stephanie: There will definitely be a part 3. As a matter of fact, it’s what I was working on for NanoWriMo this past November 2013. It’s titled For Better and Worse and is part three of Trouble In Paradise. Look for a release date around June 1, 2014.
Michelle: Wreckless is the first title released in your “Lunch Break Series.” Tell us what this first short is about.
Stephanie: Wreckless is about a young woman who lives in her imagination. She’s in love with a college cutie who knows nothing about her. When someone threatens to challenge her for his affection, she goes into a jealous rage, unable to control her emotions. Obsession sends her over the edge and she digs a deeper ditch for herself trying to cover up the things she’s done. This story is an exciting quick read with all of the drama, love, inspiration and suspense that comes in my full novels.
Michelle: How many parts will this series contain? Do you have release dates for all titles in the series yet?
Stephanie: Let me explain what the “Lunch Break” series is. It is a series of short stories that can be read on your lunch break hour. It is not a series of the same story in parts. There will be many stories as part of the lunch break series, but they will all be different storylines and plots. Unless my readers demand parts! The purpose of the “Lunch Break” series is to give readers who don’t have the time to read long books or readers who want to try out my stories before buying a full novel can get a taste of my work. The “Lunch Break” series is only available on ebook for now. The next story to be released is ‘Broken’ it will be available Saturday April 5, 2014.
Michelle: What has been the overall response to all your titles thus far? Has one been received better than the others?
Stephanie: I promoted Trouble In Paradise for about a year before it was actually released. So when it was, I think it was received very well. Although I had a few bad reviews, the majority of people who read the story loved it and that was great for me. I’ve noticed because I didn’t do very well promoting part 2 many didn’t know it had been released so it didn’t get as big of a response as the first part. There are still people till this day that are shocked when I tell them it’s out and they go buy it.
Michelle: What marketing and/or promotional tips can you share with other new authors looking to make a name for themselves in this industry?
Stephanie: Pick up a copy of How to Market a Book by Joanna Penn and also Become A Successful Author by Deatri King Bey.
Michelle: What else can we look forward to from Stephanie N. Norris in the future?
Stephanie: Besides the stories mentioned above, “Hot Stakes,” part of the Lunch Break series later this year. Also, Catching Bee’s With Honey toward the end of 2014.
Michelle: Where do you hope your writing takes you?
Stephanie: I hope my writings get into the hands of people who find meaning and a message with the story. As well as an escape, that’s all a girl can really ask for! If my writing goes to the big screen one day I will be no doubt thankful!
Michelle: Please let us know how we can contact and/or follow you.
Stephanie: I can be contacted at www.stephanienorris.net , my blog is www.stephaniennorris.wordpress.com, I’m on Facebook book at https://www.facebook.com/LoveIsADrugInk and on Twitter at, https://twitter.com/Stephanienrrs1. I can also be contacted through email [email protected].