Stacey Kayne is one of the new forces in Western historical romance. Specializing in the adventerous wild west, Stacy brings her love of the past vividly to life on the page of her novels. Her first book Mustang Wild was well received and her second book --The Bride of Shadow Canyon is currently available in bookshops.
What attracts you to your chosen time period?
I have a passion for rugged, dusty westerns, so in many ways, setting dictates the storyline for my western historical romances. The wild, wild, west…..what’s not to love? In a lawless untamed setting, the sky is the limit—that’s one aspect I love about westerns. My mind is constantly searching for ways to submerge my characters in the beauty and grandeur of the American West. While writing my first western, Bride of Shadow Canyon, I discovered that an adventurous setting with ever-changing untamed scenery is a driving force of my imagination.
What is about the heroes from that time period that excites you?
Rugged, wild, resilient--there’s such an elemental connection between a western setting and my heroes, and my heroines for that matter. It’s the adventurous spirit of the characters, their sense of purpose, determination and loyalty that is a major draw for me. I enjoy a hero with steadfast yet misguided convictions, and watching him grow and evolve throughout the story as love works through his rough exterior and into his tender soul.
What is the worst thing about being a writer?
I love being a writer—I’m actually allowed to spend hours lost in my thoughts, building on daydreams. If I had any complaint it would be the hours of being imobile; lack of circulation. It’s been a challenge to find a balance between the hours I spend in front of the computer and forcing myself to get up and get the circulation flowing. To help me out, some of my writing pals and I formed a walking group—teenagers aren’t the only ones who can tie up the partyline! We set a time each day to talk about our books, brainstorm, and fire up our treadmills. There’s nothing like group guilt to get you to put on those walking shoes!
Although many writers know they want to be a writer from an early age, was there something in particular that made you decide to pursue your dream?
Honestly, until six years ago, I never even imagined I’d write a romance novel…or any kind of novel—heck, I wasn’t even a reader! But I have always been a daydreamer. It wasn’t until six years ago, when I bought my first computer and headed back to college, that I attempted to put those daydreams into words. While sitting in my American History night class I had this vision of a women in buckskins, surrounded by the windswept grasses of the Sierra foothills, and instantly began trying to figure out who she was, where she was going, why she was in danger, how was she going to get her man… That night I decided to try and capture my daydream on paper. It only took one night of watching my characters come to life on a computer screen to get me hooked! I found my passion. By the time the sun came up, I had a hundred pages of what would become my first historical western romance novel.
How long after you first started submitting, did it take for you to have your first book accepted?
My agent told me I popped onto the western market about two years too late. We sent out my first submission four and a half years ago. After a year of hearing that no one wanted westerns, I began writing a new genre. Just as I was about to embark on a new round of marketing, a friend suggested I submit my westerns to Harlequin Historical--finally, a publisher who appreciates WESTERNS! Three weeks after submitting MUSTANG WILD, she sold!
What is the biggest challenge you face when you are writing a book? The beginning, middle or end?
When Stacey-Vision kicks in it’s like watching a movie, the rest of the world falls away and I’m gone for hours. My problem is I can’t write fast enough and I never know what to write first. I do absolutely nothing in a linear fashion. With my current manuscript, the second “BRIDE” book, the very first scene I wrote was the last chapter of the book, then I sketched out a few middle chapers, whichever scene is the most vivid in my mind. I generally have a solid visual for the entire story and start by sketching out the major turning points of the story. Once I have a solid flow for the story and the voice and personality quirks of my characters, I’ll start fleshing it out, molding and merging the chapters together and brushing in the scenery. I clean as I go---by the time I write the last word in the last scene (no telling what chapter that will be), the book is finished. My biggest challenge with writing is trying to balance book world with the rest of my life, the pesky stuff like housework and cooking. Luckily, I have an ultra supportive family.
When you are not writing, what do you do?
I'm not sure if keeping up with active teenage sons is a hobby, but it can sure be a blast, and is where I like to be when I'm not staring at the computer screen. I used to enjoy painting, sewing and running a skill saw—before I started writing my mom and I used to peddle our crafty creations at craft shows; wood work, toll painting and such. These days writing takes up all the time in between being a mom.
What are some of your favourite movies?
A Walk In The Clouds, Pirates of the Caribbean (first one), Maverick (of course), iRobot, Young Guns (of course), The Wild, Wild West (with Will Smith) – I love adventurous movies that can make me laugh.
Who are some of your favourite romance authors?
I began reader romance six years ago, when I realized I was trying to write a love story. I quickly fell in love with westerns by Dorothy Garlock, LaVeryl Spencer, Elizabeth Lowell, Linda Lael Miller…currently I’ve enjoyed contemporary romantic suspense by Kathleen Long and Roxanne St. Claire and western historicals by Pam Crooks and Cheryl St. John.
What does your writing cave look like?
The great thing about having a laptop is that I can paste this picture to the door of my office, pretend it still looks like that, and go write in the living room or the on the back porch where I can see the mountains :-) But this is what the desk in my office used to look like, one day in July…before writing deadlines hit. The cowgirl hat was gift from my hubby the day I sold MUSTANG WILD, and the handsome bear resting his boots on my printer is Mustang, a celebration gift from my writing pals.
Can you tell us about your future books?
MAVERICK WILD, the second story in my “WILD” series, will be released later this year. Chance Morgan will meet his match, and tries to outrun her (*he can try*).
BRIDE OF SHADOW CANYON also has a follow-up title, tentatively titled BRIDE OF VENGEANCE. As Juniper struggles to overcome his past as a gunslinger, a girl who lost her father to his gun has grown into a woman, and she’s after vengeance.
Upcoming release dates will be posted on my website: http://www.staceykayne.com/