Today Alison Stone is graciously answering questions about her writing life. Alison writes for Waterfall Press and Love Inspired Suspense, and her new book, Pointe and Shoot, is available in stores and online. Alison is graciously giving away one paperback copy. Don’t worry, I have all the links and book info below!
Let’s get to it.
THE INSIDE SCOOP WITH ALISON STONE
1. How did you know you wanted to be a writer
I didn’t realize I wanted to be a writer until after my first child was born. I kept seeing those ads in women’s magazines about writing children’s books. Remember those? I’m talking twenty years ago. Anyway, I signed up to take an online creative writing class. From there, my love of writing grew. I switched my focus from attempting to write for children to eventually getting published in novel-length fiction with both Harlequin and Waterfall Press.
2. What is unique about your process?
I’m not sure my process is unique. As a former engineer, I want more than anything to be able to plot out the entire book and then sit down and write it. But, that never seems to be the case. I have a general idea, a few plot points, and then I start to write. I get some of my best ideas while writing. So, even though I can’t seem to plot everything out beforehand, my process seems to work. I also do a lot of rewriting. That’s okay, too. By the time I have a rough draft, I finally know the entire story and I really enjoy the editing process at this stage.
3. What inspired your book?
Pointe and Shoot is what we writers like to call “the book of my heart.” I broke into fiction writing romantic suspense for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line. I enjoy writing for Harlequin, but I knew Pointe and Shoot wouldn’t work for this line. It’s what I like to call my “Dance Moms” meets “Blue Bloods” book. (You know, the cop show with Tom Selleck?) Anyway, both my daughters were competitive dancers at the time. (One still is!) If anyone knows what it’s like to take their children to any activity five or six days a week, you also start to live and breathe the activity – whether it’s hockey, gymnastics, dance or whatever. The idea of setting a murder mystery in the dance world wouldn’t leave me. My dance-mom friends even helped me brainstorm titles long before the book was written. Finally, when Amazon Publishing announced they were looking for proposals for their new Christian imprint, I knew this was my chance to submit my dance book idea.
4. What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
Despite not working in the corporate world for eighteen-years, I am still an engineer at heart. This means I want everything to have a clear-cut answer. You know, 2 + 2 = 4. However, writing doesn’t work that way and it was difficult for me to adjust. I am a perfectionist at heart (but hardly perfect.) The best advice I’ve ever received is that “you can fix a crappy draft, but you can’t fix a blank page.” (I’m paraphrasing here because the advice I received was much more colorful.) Like I mentioned above, some of my best ideas come during the process of writing, so I’ve learned to get out of my own way and allow myself to “just write.”
Oh, Alison, I could relate to ALL of your answers! Yes, I do remember those commercials for writing children’s books. I’m impressed you signed up for an online course, unlike me who decided I could write one of those romance novels I so enjoyed reading (those early attempts were burn-worthy). And Dance Moms meets Blue Bloods! Perfect!! I’ve been a sports mom for many years, and yes, you can’t help but get immersed in the world. Thanks so much for being my guest!
Pointe and Shoot ~
Jayne Murphy has always put family first. That’s why she abandoned her dream of joining the police force to run her ailing mother’s dance studio.
When one of the studio’s most talented instructors dies in a car crash, Jayne isn’t convinced it was just an accident. Relentlessly pursuing her hunch, she teams up with Officer Danny Nolan, the best friend and partner of her brother Patrick, who died in the line of duty. Haunted by Patrick’s death, Danny has begun to question whether he should still be a cop at all.
As Jayne digs deeper, suspects emerge, including the victim’s clingy ex-boyfriend and a jealous foe from the cutthroat dance world. Her evolving insights into the case rekindle Jayne’s passion for police work. Danny, too, feels a renewed sense of purpose…and a definite attraction to his unofficial partner, which seems to be mutual. Now, if Jayne can only keep herself out of harm’s way, she and Danny both might get a second chance—with their careers and each other.
Giveaway time! Alison is giving away one paperback copy of Pointe and Shoot! Entry form is below.
(US Residents 18 and older. Giveaway starts 10/12/2016 at 6:00am EST and ends Sunday, 10/16/2016 at 9pm EST. See entry form for complete rules.)
About Alison ~
With a degree from Georgia Tech, Alison Stone was an engineer in several industries before trading her corporate career for motherhood shortly after the birth of her second child. She became a novelist in a roundabout way, first trying her hand at writing children’s books and articles for local publications before eventually discovering her love of romantic suspense.
Stone lives with her husband of twenty-plus years and their four children in western New York, where the summers are gorgeous and the winters are perfect for curling up with a good book—or writing one.
Have you watched Dance Moms or Blue Bloods? Which do you prefer, reality television or scripted?
Have a wonderful day!