Today I am so pleased to welcome S.A. Stovall to Joyfully Jay. S.A. has come to talk to us about her latest release, VICE CITY. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Hello everyone, this is SA Stovall, author of the m/m crime thriller, VICE CITY. Today I’d love to share a few thoughts with you and give you a chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card! Jay will be selecting the winner so be sure to comment on this post with your thoughts on the interview!
Without further ado, please enjoy!
What is the first book that made you cry?
The first novel that made me cry was Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls.
The ending… it gets me in the feels even to this day. If there’s someone out there that hasn’t read this book, I would definitely recommend they give it a try.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
- I worked as an attorney before becoming a professor and author. I pull most of my legal and crime information from that source. A law degree helps when crafting those courtroom scenes, let me tell you! And I know how gangbangers and drug addicts respond in a lot of situations, which really helps with my underworld thrillers, like VICE CITY.
- I have a BA in history. That really helps flesh out historical pieces and fantasy stories. History often repeats itself, for a variety of reasons, and having a good understanding of that helps tremendously when crafting my own worlds from scratch.
- I play a lot of Dungeons and Dragons (DnD). I don’t take ideas from DnD, but playing a game that is crafted from pure imagination does wonders for inspiration. Even Jim Butcher, author of the Dresden Files, admits to playing DnD on his spare time (and has admitted it helped him get his creativity going).
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I actually wrote a series of novels for my DnD friends (that’s how I started writing in the first place, actually) and continued writing them for some time before committing to making writing my career.
I’ve sold two novels (thanks to my wonderful agent), he has two more (that he’s pitching to a few places), and I’m currently in the middle of writing four more (because I work on more than one at a time). I also write for anthologies, which is a lot of fun and a change of pace. Long story short: you’ll probably hear more from me in the future.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I wrote my first complete novel in 2013.
It’s a 240,000 epic fantasy, and nowhere near as good as the stuff I write currently. I was 26 at the time, and attending law school. I wrote the entire thing between bouts of studying and classes.
What does your family think of your writing?
I couldn’t write if it weren’t for my family. They’re there for me, encourage me to continue, and cheer from the sidelines, even for tiny successes.
Everyone is so supportive that it almost becomes a burden! If I fail, I’ll be letting them down—all that hard work and sacrifice will be for nothing. I can’t stand the thought of disappointing them, so I constantly write and improve my craft. Every setback feels ten times worse when I imagine telling them.
What do you think makes a good story?
Characters. That’s my favorite element to any story. I would go anywhere with the right characters.
I know a lot of elements go into a finely crafted story. You need plot, pacing, drama, and villains, but the characters are the heart and soul of the operation. They’re everything. If I like the main character I’ll keep reading, even if I think the plot is preposterous or the villain comical. I try to keep that in mind when I write my novels. VICE CITY has some of my favorite characters I’ve ever written, so I think it helps infuse the story with that little extra something.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
There was a time in my life where I thought I was worthless. I suffered from major depression and people thought I was suicidal. However, life turned around for me and I’ve never forgotten the feel of darkness—the bleak feeling you get when you think there’s nothing left for you. Recovering from that feels like being reborn again, and I’ve always thought the legendary phoenix was the perfect symbology.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Well, like most children, I fluctuated wildly on what I wanted to be. I circled veterinarian and doctor a few times, but when I got to college (and took a few medical classes) I realized I hated hospitals. That’s when I studied classes I was good at—namely history—and then moved on to law school (on the suggestion of a friend).
Working as an attorney wasn’t for me either. I appreciate my legal education, and I use it all the time in my writing, but I realized that writing was a far better career path than anything else I had done in my life. I would say, like most things, it was a gradual evolution.
After twenty years as an enforcer for the Vice family mob, Nicholas Pierce shouldn’t bat an eye at seeing a guy get worked over and tossed in the river. But there’s something about the suspected police mole, Miles, that has Pierce second-guessing himself. The kid is just trying to look out for his brother any way he knows how, and the altruistic motive sparks an uncharacteristic act of mercy that involves Pierce taking Miles under his wing.
Miles wants to repay Pierce for saving his life. Pierce shouldn’t see him as anything but a convenient hookup… and he sure as hell shouldn’t get involved in Miles’s doomed quest to get his brother out of a rival street gang. He shouldn’t do a lot of things, but life on the streets isn’t about following the rules. Besides, he’s sick of being abused by the Vice family, especially Mr. Vice and his power-hungry goon of a son, who treats his underlings like playthings.
So Pierce does the absolute last thing he should do if he wants to keep breathing—he leaves the Vice family in the middle of a turf war.
S.A. Stovall grew up in California’s central valley with a single mother and little brother. Despite no one in her family having a degree higher than a GED, she put herself through college (earning a BA in History), and then continued on to law school where she obtained her Juris Doctorate.
As a child, Stovall’s favorite novel was Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. The adventure on a deserted island opened her mind to ideas and realities she had never given thought before—and it was the moment Stovall realized that story telling (specifically fiction) became her passion. Anything that told a story, be it a movie, book, video game or comic, she had to experience. Now, as a professor and author, Stovall wants to add her voice to the myriad of stories in the world, and she hopes you enjoy.
You can contact her at the following addresses.
- Twitter: @GameOverStation
- Website: https://sastovallauthor.com/
S.A. has brought a $15 Amazon gift card to give away to one lucky Joyfully Jay reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Friday, July 28th at 11:59 pm EST.
- By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
- Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
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- Void where prohibited by law.