Today, I am honored to present to you a Q & A I was thrilled to have with the Queen of Hearts, Lacey Weatherford. Lacey is the USA Today Bestselling author of several books in the YA, NA, Paranormal, Historical, and Fantasy genres. For the YA crowd, you know her for the Of Witches and Warlocks, Crush, and Chasing Nikki series.
Do you have any writing rituals that really get you in the zone?
Not really. When I go to bed at night, I like to think about the next chapter I’ll be working on and things I want to put into it. I get up in the morning, grab a bottle of water and a cup of ice to drink and chomp on. I put on whatever song is really moving me with the storyline at the moment, and I start writing! I keep things pretty simple!
Whenever I’m reading a really great book, I always have to have a snack. For me, it’s popcorn and iced coffee. Do you have any writing/reading time snack favorites?
Writing, pretty much water and ice, as I said before. Reading, if the story is talking about something yummy in it, I may find myself craving that item. I’m more of a “salty” person, so if I am snacking it may be something like chips and cheese or a quesadilla. Cheese is my downfall in life. I’m part of the “No cheese left behind” program. haha
I just started the Crush series. I absolutely loved the Phantom references. Does music have a powerful impact on your writing? Do you like to listen to anything in particular when you write or do you prefer absolute silence?
For me, the more music the merrier! I compile playlists for every book/series I write. Sometime a song might really stick out at me, hardcore, and I’ll play it on repeat consistently. Any music that does that for me is a favorite of mine. Every time I hear it, it really moves me to write. It really helps me capture a series as well. If I’m writing a new book in a series, I always listen to the previous playlist because it takes me right back into that voice and place.
You recently had a new release, Love in the Crush series and Chased Dreams is coming up on May 25th. Do you have any other releases coming out this year?
I do, several actually. After those two, I have Allure, which is a pretty hot and steamy New Adult contemporary coming out in July 6. After that one, I will have a co-authored story with Belinda Boring called Fall for Me, coming our August 24th. It’s a dystopian novel—something neither of us has written before, and we are truly excited for it. Smolder, which is a companion book to the Crush series, will come out on October 12th. And Let It Snow, will be my latest Christmas novella on December 7th. All of those are available for preorder on iBooks right now too. I’m excited for all of them!!
Recently there’s been a lot of discussion in the blogosphere about love triangles in YA. How do you feel about them?
I have TRIED to add triangles into some of mine in the past, but I just couldn’t manage to do it. I really love the one on one contact between characters. That being said, I do have an adult love triangle slated for release sometime next year. I believe when a triangle is done right, it can really pull the reader into an amazing, angst ridden, place of conflict. I’ve read ones where I, as the reader, couldn’t pick between the two options. I love stories like that, which keep you on the edge of your seat. They can be lots of fun.
What’s your favorite genre to write?
I’m not sure if I have a favorite genre. I’m happy to write anything that is a good story. I love doing paranormal, because it allows the imagination to go places that are so unique. However, the contemporary genre steals my breath away just as much. As a reader, I absolutely love historical stuff. I’ve got books to research the era—research can be fun and exciting, but also time consuming too. I hope at sometime to produce a historical romance.
Is there anything you’ve been dying to write but just haven’t had the time?
I have the makings of a vampire time travel series. I know where I want to go with it, but as stated earlier, it has lots of research behind it. I find it hard to build on it at all due to the massive amount of research it will entail. Hopefully someday!
Are you attending any signings or events in the next couple of months?
Sadly, I had to cancel some of my appearances due to family issues. So my next events are in August—the 14th in Orlando, and somewhere around the 20th of August in Maine as well. I’ll also be in Vegas in October for Love N Vegas, and then Hollywood in December, signing at Madame Tussaud’s.
What inspires you to write?
Anything and everything! Haha I’ve had story ideas come from the most random things—from the shapes of clouds in the skies, to my daughter dying her hair. I never know where the next idea will come from—dreams, songs on the radio, a billboard, something someone says. It’s all viable material.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers out there?
1. WRITE. Don’t try to develop the whole story in your head, first. Just start writing. Often times the characters will dictate the story to you as you move along. Don’t be afraid of “doing it wrong” either. It’s a rough draft…that’s what edits are for.
2. Before you sign with ANYONE, i.e., agent, publisher, editor, research them on the site predators and editors. They will give you the business reputation of the person in the business that wants to do business with you. Unfortunately, there are many sharks out there wanting to take advantage of unsuspecting authors. Don’t get caught in a trap you can’t get out of!
If you had to choose one genre and stick with it for the rest of your writing career what would it be and why?
I hate placing myself in any one genre. I like being able to write whatever I’m feeling at the moment. But, if I were forced to chose, then I’d probably stick with contemporary. It’s nice to be able to pull from my real life experiences and I enjoy being able to fall back on what I know or have experienced.
There’s been a lot of chatter about the lack of diversity in YA books. What do you think is missing in YA? What would you like to see more of?
I think there is a lot of “trending” when it comes to YA. Almost like there is a “formula” for success authors are trying to hit. However, that being said, I also think authors are “blamed” for following that formula and accused of copying, even when it isn’t true. I once had someone compare one of my series to Twilight, for instance. I had purposely chosen NOT to read Twilight while I was working on this series so that people wouldn’t be able to say those very things. Yet, it is constantly compared to Twilight. What is the similarity? A girl finds out on her birthday that she is a witch and the guy she likes is a warlock. That happens while they were in high school. I’m sorry, but Twilight can’t “claim” the high school market. It’s like saying an author can’t ever write about cancer because another author did it before them.
In the case of my books, reviewers have said, “If you don’t like Twilight, then read these books. In the review right after, it will say, “This book is a Twilight rip off.” Yet, anyone who reads the series can clearly see…it is nothing like Twilight. So the “short” answer to this question for me is this. I think there is plenty of diversity in YA books. However, I think the reader is determined to say there is no diversity because that is all they’re willing to see.
If you go to a crime seen expecting to find evidence of a certain killer—you’re going to find all sorts of things that look suspect. Books are the same. Readers seem to be anxious to label and point at books and call them things they aren’t. My advice is for readers, (myself included) is to stop trying to find comparisons. Read each story and let it stand on it’s own.
Thanks a bunch for the questions! I always enjoy doing interviews and pretty much anything to do with books! I hope you and everyone reading this will find some amazing reads!! 😀
Lacey Weatherford is the bestselling author of the popular young adult paranormal romance series, Of Witches and Warlocks, and contemporary series, Chasing Nikki and Crush, and Tell Me Why.
Lacey resides in the beautiful White Mountains of Arizona. She lives with her wonderful husband and children along with their dog, Talley, and cat, Minx. When she’s not out supporting one of her kids at their sporting/music events, she spends her time reading, writing, and visiting with her readers on her social media accounts.
The Trouble with Spells is currently FREE, pick it up today. Trust me, it’s awesome.
Portia Mullins had always lived the life of a normal teenager, up until her sixteenth birthday. She is then informed by her grandma that she is actually a witch who is a descendant of a long line of witches and warlocks. After overcoming her disbelief she finds that being a member of the coven comes with one great perk in the form of the school’s handsome bad boy, Vance Mangum. Vance and Portia have an immediate connection as a budding romance begins, only to be threatened by turbulent skies on the horizon as Vance’s checkered past rears its ugly head to haunt them. Portia is forced to use her untried powers in defense of everything she loves in a desperate attempt to hold on to the one thing that really matters in her life.
Crush is currently FREE, if you love The Phantom of the Opera or contemporary teen romance, check this out!
Cami Wimberley has a plan, and that plan includes no room for boys—especially the big time party animal, Hunter Wilder, no matter how handsome and charismatic he is. She’s beautiful, a senior, extremely talented, gets good grades, and is working her way toward her dream college to be a musical theater major. Everything is perfect.
Hunter Wilder does not want a girlfriend—that would complicate his life way too much right now. He especially doesn’t want this girl, Miss-Goody-Two-Shoes, so how come he can’t keep his eyes off her? He tries to keep her at arms length, but fate seems to keep pushing them together. Before long, it’s obvious to everyone they’re crushing on each other.
As sparks begin to fly, Hunter finds himself sinking deeper and deeper into hot water. Soon he’s scrambling to keep Cami from discovering his dark secret—one that can destroy their entire relationship.
Chasing Nikki is currently FREE on iBooks. Get it while you can.
Chase Walker used to be a good kid-charming, athletic, and with a bright future ahead, but that was before travesty struck his life, sinking him into deep despair. Caught up in a world of drugs and alcohol, he doesn’t notice time slipping away until he’s arrested for underage drinking one night. Fed up with watching her son destroy his life, Chase’s mom relocates him to live in a small ranching community with his ex-military grandfather. Chase is far from happy about the situation until he meets, Nikki, the cute cheerleader who won’t give football players like him the time of day. Chase enjoys a good challenge though and sets out to claim Nikki for his own. He soon discovers she’s more than a pretty face-she’s a balm to his troubled spirit also. But when tragedy strikes Nikki’s life too, suddenly Chase finds himself put to the ultimate test. Can he trust Nikki, and all that she’s taught him? Will it be enough?
Happy reading all. It was lovely hearing from Lacey, I hope you enjoyed this interview,