Monday, 20 January 2014

Author Interview : Stan Crowe

Today we are featuring Author Stan Crowe as a part of a virtual tour of his new book Love Spell
he is Here with us and we will be having a lot of chit-chat but first let me introduce you to him

Stan Crowe

Stan had a pretty normal, middle-class American youth. He was lucky enough to change that by convincing an exceptional woman to marry him in 2000, setting him on a much more fulfilling life course.
Four years later, Brigham Young University awarded him with a Bachelors of Science in civil and environmental engineering. He then he spent several years designing homes, prescribing work for bridges, and even exploring the mortgage industry.
In the midst of all this, he produced two science fiction anthologies in 2006 and 2007. In 2012, Breezy Reads Publishing picked up his romantic comedy The Cinderella Project. And thus he transformed himself from Captain Kirk into Don Juan.
Stan lives with his wife, children (final count to be determined) and two cats in Utah.


Sanchit Bhandari
  • Congratulations on the positive reviews about your book! How does it feel to be a published author, with people liking your writing?

  • I’m still getting used to the idea of being a published author. I first determined I wanted to be published back in 2006, but I sat on the idea until 2011 before finally completing the manuscript for my first novel, The Cinderella Project. That story was published a year later. Love Spell is my second book, hence the fact that this is still new to me.
    I find that I very much enjoy it.

  • What gave you the idea for the story of this book? Were there any incidents related to the same?

  • Love Spell was an almost accidental evolution of several ideas. It started with the idea of “guy who can’t get a date,” becoming “the King Midas of love.” Nothing super unique, but it got personal when it became clear that something from my youth would make for a good plot.
    So it was that the high school relationship of Clint and Lindsay came into being, based heavily on my own interactions with a girl I had known during my senior year. I hadn’t been as kind to her as I should have been.

  • What do books mean to you? Records of knowledge, magical fantasy lands, or way to spread your message to people?

  • Books mean a great deal to me for several reasons. Human beings are both social creatures, and creatures of tradition and history. Books are a time-honored method of both transmitting traditions to future generations, and entertaining others.
    Telling stories is what we do. Stories are built around a central conflict and show how the characters resolve it. Everyone has problems, and we find value in learning from others who have solved their issues (or at least confronted those issues). Even comedic tales, such as this one, can be teaching tools.
    Books are important because they and their messages can become immortal. How many of great classics live on long after those who penned them have been laid to rest? How much of ourselves have we seen in stories that may have been written before our great grandparents had been born? Books guard the tales that deserve to last, and often do it better than our poor memories.
    The written word, I think, is vital to culture around the world.

  • The tagline of your novel is ‘Comedy of Love’. Please tell us something about it

  • My publisher approached me about rolling my first three books—all stand-alone works—into a single brand. Considering that I weave heavy elements of comedy into my romances, the phrase “Comedy of Love” made perfect sense, not to mention being easy for readers to remember. It also has a bit of a Shakespearean ring to it which I think is nice.
    And let’s face it—sometimes love is funny. When people ask me for marital/relationship advice I don’t tend to give much. But what I do give almost always includes finding a spouse with a complementary sense of humor. My ability to laugh with my wife has sustained our marriage through some difficult times.

  • What are the ingredients you consider necessary for a story to appeal to the reader on an emotional level?

  • I think that empathy, sincerity, and honesty are essential ingredients for creating emotional appeal. People can smell a fake. I may not have experienced everything I write about (for instance, I have no idea what it’s like to be a woman), but I know people who have. I’ve drawn heavily from them as I work to craft characters who are more than just words. My best writing comes when I write from the heart, and pour my own emotions out—naked and unfettered—for judgment.
    I believe you’re most likely to connect with a reader’s emotions when you write in such a way that the reader can see herself or himself in what they are reading—when the book becomes more a mirror than a collection of pages.
    Cheating a reader with cheap plot devices, cardboard characters, or forced emotions might work in the short term, but I don’t believe trickery will make a lasting emotional connection.

  • Could you describe to us the journey of writing this book? The parts you enjoyed the most, as well as the parts that were difficult?

  • Love Spell, like all of my stories, started out with great enthusiasm. I loved the ideas, watched them grow and evolve in my head, and was thrilled to put them on paper.
    Originally, the book was released (e-book only) in May—this was a mistake, though it was quickly corrected (luckily). That is when the most difficult part of the journey hit.
    I undertook substantial revisions that cost me some ideas, dialogue, and scenes I had very much wished to retain in the story. Forcing myself through those changes took a great deal more willpower than writing the book in the first place, and I’ll admit there were times I just wanted to throw my hands up and be done with it.
    In the end, however, what I produced was considerably better than its previous iteration; the work was worth it. I believe I’ve given my readers a much better product as a result of some (occasionally painful) changes, and I’m happy to present what Love Spell should have been in the first place.

  • Are you a plotter or a pantser?

  • I’m a little of both, to be honest. My training as an engineer certainly disposes me toward careful planning, and I spend a considerable amount of time in pre-writing— setting up the overall plot, twists, etc. Once I have that framework I let the characters loose on the stage; then they go where they naturally take the story.
    Sometimes that natural progress breaks the original plot and I have to go back to the drawing board. I do not fear this, though, because what comes from those organic changes is consistently better than my original intentions.

  • Describe characters in 5 words each

  • Clint Christopherson: Good guy in jerk’s clothing.
    Lindsay Sullivan: Nascent confidence after narcissistic parents.
    Molly Weatherpound: Stoicism masking her youthful insecurities.
    Jane Li: Psychosis on curse-induced steroids.

  • How much do the characters in your novel reflect you or people you know in your real life?

  • Clint and Lindsay are modeled heavily on people I know. Their past is based on my interactions with a girl I knew in high school. I guess in a way, this is my attempt to say “I’m sorry” for having been an ignorant jerk in my youth.

  • What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

  • My life outside writing is happily normal. I enjoy drawing, outdoorsy stuff, and gaming. More than that, I love taking care of my wonderful wife who has put up with me for over thirteen years now. I also find great fulfilment in watching my children grow and explore the world around them. Honestly, their young lives are often considerably more enjoyable than my boring old adulthood. Writing, however, does serve to keep me young.

  • When did you start your tryst with literature?

  • I wrote my first book when I was five. More accurately, my mom wrote my first book when I was five, and I drew the pictures. I’m not sure that counts as a “tryst,” but it was a great start.
    I waited until my senior year of high school, however, before I really started writing as a hobby. It was a great vent for my teen angst (all about my failed love life) so I kept doing it on into college. The rest is history.

  • What do you consider the most important part of a good story?

  • That’s a difficult question to answer. If I had to pick just one thing, I think the most important part of a good story would be that it is true. That doesn’t mean “non-fiction” mind you. It simply means that a story must be internally consistent, and must square with the greater, universal truths I think we all feel inside us.
    Fictional worlds—when properly created— can be even more “true” than what we think of as “reality,” in which deceit, fear, and confusion steal away the worthwhile human experiences that help us connect, person to person.
    I think there are good reasons why so many people enjoy “escaping” into a good book, even if the story is a complete fabrication.

  • What part of the writing process is the hardest for you?

  • I’ll admit I struggled with the usual “muddling middles.” It’s that point of wondering “Where am I going with this,” even though the path seemed so clear when you began. This has been a consistent battle with every story I’ve written (including stories I wrote before being published).

  • Any scene in your novel which reflects any real incident?

  • The car chase? That was totally real. Okay, so it was all made up. But it would have been really cool if it had been real.
    As mentioned earlier, the high school relationship between Clint and Lindsay—including the letters he sent her from college—come from my life.

    Thank you for being with us today.

    Love Spell

    Clint Christopherson’s love life is a running joke. When a crazed gypsy curses him with the best wish he could ever ask for, the punchline stops being funny. Now, even his barest touch drives girls mad for him. Desperate to reverse the curse, he turns to his last hope: an attractive private investigator who may be able to locate his missing gypsy. If only Clint knew who it was he just hired…

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