Today I have Stephanie Connelley Worlton on the blog, as part of the tour for her new book All the Finer Things: (click on the picture for the buy link on Amazon)
When and how did you discover your love of writing?
For as long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed penning my thoughts. I learned at an early age that I can express myself so much better on paper than through verbal means… What that really means is that when I write something I have the chance to edit it before the need arises to insert my foot into my mouth. Perhaps it is for this reason that I am big on letter writing and journaling. My first attempt at writing an actual novel came with the conception of Hope’s Journey (published by Cedar Fort, 2011). It was also the unexpected catalyst to my writing passion!
Where did the idea for All the Finer Things come from?
Perhaps you’ve heard it said that authors don’t find stories, rather the stories find them. That’s the case with pretty much everything I write. All the Finer Things is a compilation of characters who begged me to tell their stories. I woke up one morning with a very vivid view of Megan and her story. Her penthouse was crystal clear in my mind. I could see the rain pouring off her windshield, feel the pain in her heart, and relate to her overwhelming love for her child.
Who was your favorite character to write? Why?
Picking a favorite isn’t really fair because my favorite to write isn’t necessarily the one I’d want to hang out with in real life. Of course, Megan Hamilton proves to be anything but the pampered princess you’d expect the wife of a plastic surgeon to be, which made her a lot of fun to write. She is so different than me – she’s delicate, manicured, very feminine, and the product of money. As an author it was a lot of fun to investigate her ultra-feminine side and to watch her grow into a strong, independent woman. As much as I love her though, Ammon Carter was my favorite to write. I have a soft spot for Scoutmasters (my husband has spent the majority of our married life with the scouts)! Carter embodies a lot of my husband’s characteristics. He’s quiet, quirky, and – though he doesn’t like to admit it – sentimental and tender.
You didn’t mention Doctor Matthew Hamilton up there in that favorites list. What was the process for writing him?
Doctor Hamilton…. Where do I even start? Sadly, I have to admit that some of his characteristics weren’t too far of a stretch for me to come up with. OCD is something I’ve dealt with in my own life so creating these obsessive, controlling behaviors for him didn’t take a whole lot of research. Of course he far out-trumps anything I’ve ever experienced. He is crazy! There were times while writing and editing that I would get so angry at him that I’d have to walk away.
How did you choose a setting for this story?
I know a lot of people don’t associate California with small towns or mountains, but when I was about ten years old I got to spend the night as a guest in a mountain cabin in Southern California. I couldn’t even tell you where it was but I remember being in awe at the idea of going from the crazy congestion of LA to the quiet community in such a short amount of time. I’d nearly forgot about the experience until my husband and I went on a little road trip a few years ago. With no agenda to follow, we were free to explore wherever we wanted to. Before we knew it, we’d left the fast-paced cities of SoCal and were enveloped by quiet fruit-producing communities. I was immediately taken back to that cabin experience as a kid and I knew this was the setting for my story.
How do you find ways to balance being a mom, a writer, and fulfilling your other obligations?
It’s all about prioritizing and it’s safe to say that I’m still learning! My family always comes first, which means sometimes writing takes a back seat. I’ll admit, when I get into a good writing groove, the laundry starts to build and dinner sometimes turns into sandwiches or cold cereal. For the most part, however, I try to write while my kids are at school or are sleeping. Luckily I’ve been blessed with a wonderful husband that not only supports my writing habits but encourages them along. He picks up a lot of my slack and tries not to complain about the keyboard clicking while he’s trying to sleep.
What are you writing now?
I think I’ve got a case of adult-onset ADD if there is such a thing. I can’t seem to stay focused on only one project (writing or otherwise) at a time. I’m finishing up a non-fiction project about self-esteem (Beautiful Daughter), plus I’ve got a couple fiction titles on the burner including one I’m absolutely in love with called Beyond Tomorrow.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Stephanie, and congrats on publishing the new book!
Stephanie Connelley Worlton pursued a degree in Architecture before turning her focus towards raising a family. She never lost hold of her creative energy, however, she just found new ways to channel it while chasing her children. Whether it’s writing a novel, painting a mural, designing furniture, or building sometimes just for the sake of holding a hammer and smelling fresh cut lumber, Stephanie’s always got a project in the works. She lives in a quiet Utah suburb with one patient husband, two adorable dogs, three hours of sleep, and four amazing (and equally creative) children. All the Finer Things is her third published work. You can find out more about her and her books at www.stephanieworlton.com
Stephanie is giving away an ebook copy and a signed paperback of All the Finer Things on her blog here.