Author Spotlight #1

The Author: Stephanie B. Whitfield

Stephanie is a 3rd generation Arizona Native and currently resides there with her husband and best friend. They have three children, and have created a mini farm on a small parcel of land where they have a number of critters. She loves being a mom, riding her horses, gardening, and reading. Being in the outdoors is her favorite place to be as long as it’s not Summertime.

She enjoys writing and has always had a vivid imagination. She had a dream once to write but it was shattered by a school teacher. One day, she sat down and decided to release the stories that had roamed her mind for years. Thanks to her supporting friends who encouraged her to share them with the world, her books have started to be published. Writing has allowed her to give a bit of her magic to the world one story at a time.

The Book: Hidden In Roll (Book One)

Josephine Baker’s life takes an unimaginable turn after finding out the family secret; that she has magical powers. This new found knowledge leads to a series of exciting and daring events that will alter her life as she knows it. School, boys and drama quickly become entangled in the world of magic. As she starts to get a handle on her new life, a witch hunter shows up in her small town of Roll. Now that he has found Josephine, he is determined to be the one who eliminates her from the face of the earth… just like he already did to her mother!

The Review: 3/5 stars!

This book is the essence of nostalgia.
It took me back to my high school days, the times my mundane life had me daydreaming about magic, mystery and danger. Of hot boys and secret destinies type stuff.
Stephanie managed to somehow peer into those daydreams and bring them to life – only better.
She captured, in my opinion, the teenage angst and frame of mind perfectly. The plot was fascinating, moving at a pace that felt just right, and the entire story was a minefield of twists and turns.
The MC, Jo, had an entire world dropped on top of her – and I have to say, she handled the changes pretty well (considering)
The interactions between characters was often on point, funny and engaging, and I loved the way the relationships built up and grew throughout.
I honestly had no idea where the story was geared up to take me, I just held on and went along for the ride!

The Interview:

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book?

That anyone can write. Don’t let someone tell you otherwise. If you can talk to people, you can write.

Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?

Roll is actually a real place though I did change a few things.

Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?

Jo is my main character; she was the first character I have ever made and published, so she, to me, is special, and she always will be.

 What was the inspiration for the story?

The story is, in a way, based off of me. My dad grew up in Roll, and I made sure to share some of the things I loved with Jo. Because it’s what I knew best

 What is the key theme and/or message in the book?

That no matter what challenges life throws at us, we can get through them. And we are better because of it.

What is the significance of the title?

Jo’s dad finds the most remote place he can to hide his children from their family secret. To protect them from the witch hunters. So… Hidden in Roll.

 What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel?

There are two more books in the series. Possibly four, I haven’t decided yet.

 What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book? What was the highlight of writing this book?

I loved every moment of writing this book. I did struggle with the first chapter. It was changed many times. It was the whole toss-up between too much information and trying to get the setting just right.

How do you handle writer’s block?

So far it has only hit me one time. In the middle of my second book in the Hidden series. I found a meme somewhere that said, “If you hit a block, then something isn’t right, and you probably need to kill someone off.” Brilliant advice. -haha this saved the story.

 What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

Character connections. If the reader can’t connect with the characters, they will lose interest.

 What comes first, the plot or characters? How do you develop your plot and characters?

Character first! I’m a very basic plotter. I have a basic idea, and then I just let the characters do the rest.

Describe a typical writing day.

After getting my kids off to school, I clean up the kitchen and then load up my caffeine and then sit down to write.

 What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

Finding the time. Because it takes A LOT of time. I feel its blood, sweat, and tears to get through the entire process from writing to published.

 Where do you draw inspiration from?

My life experiences. Those are what molds us into the people we are.

 Who is your favorite author, and why?

JK Rowling probably. Because she is inspiring. Who doesn’t love Harry Potter?

 Favorite book/story you have read as an adult, and what was your favorite book when you were a kid?

As a kid, I was a huge fan of Zane Grey because his books all involved cowboys and horses. My favorite was wildfire. As an adult IDK Recently I have read so many good ones it’s hard to choose.

What are you reading now?

Currently, I’m doing an ARC read Wings of Ruin. Which is a fabulous series.

 What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Ride my horses or garden. When it’s too hot, I read.

What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

Don’t give up. Just keep writing and find a good editor.

Where can readers find out more about you and your book, and are you on social media? Can your readers interact with you?

Yes! I am on FB and IG. I also have a website where you can join my newsletter. I love to interact, support, and make new friends.

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