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WHERE DEMONS FEAR TO TREAD with Stephanie Chong

Thank you for taking the time to visit with Manic Readers today Stephanie.

For those who are unaware of your debut WHERE DEMON’S FEAR TO TREAD, the first in the Company of Angels series, could you please tell us about it?

Fledgling guardian angel and yoga teacher Serena St. Clair dares enter Devil’s Paradise nightclub on a mission – to retrieve the wayward Hollywood “It Boy” she’s assigned to protect.  She’s ambushed by the club’s owner, Archdemon Julian Ascher.  Now, their high-stakes game of seduction, where angels fall from grace and where demons fear to tread, will lead them either to an eternity in hell…or a deliciously hot heaven.

Why angels and demons vs all the other entities in paranormal/fantasy fiction?

The original spark of the idea came from a yoga workshop.

Renowned yoga teacher John Scott came to Vancouver to teach in September 2008. His approach to practice is truly unique, and he worked a lot on the movement of arms like wings. He recommended a book called How Yoga Works by Geshe Michael Roach. One line in that book mentioned the concept of a yoga teacher being called to take her place among the angels.

Angels don’t come up often in the context of yoga. All sorts of deities exist in yoga philosophy, but the word “angel” is rarely used as a translation. The idea stuck in my mind.

Did you always want to write?

Yes!  I’ve been journaling since I was seven years old, and writing stories and making little “books” since I was about nine.  However, I started writing seriously in 2003.  That was when I started writing fiction with the intention of finishing a novel.

Why five degrees?  Just a love of learning?

I do love learning, and have been lucky to learn from some wonderful teachers and professors.  My parents also strongly encouraged me to pursue my education.  Part of my schooling, especially the last part, was also a journey of self-discovery.  I was very lucky to be able to study what I wanted, and to follow my passion.

What’s your favorite part of writing?  Least favorite?

Favorite part of writing: new ideas.  Whether it’s a new idea for a book or a scene or a character, when it’s good, laying a new idea out on the page is kind of like flying.

Least favorite: synopsis writing.  I used to hate synopsis writing far more than I do now.  I’m learning to live with it.

Judging by the ending of WHERE DEMON’S FEAR TO TREAD and the title of the next in the series, THE DEMONESS OF WAKING DREAMS, is it safe to guess that the second is about Luciana?

Yes!  Luciana is a very bad girl.  She’s so much fun to write.  In The Demoness of Waking Dreams, she meets her match in the tough guy angel who is sent to hunt her down.

Did your travels ever take you to Venice?  I hear it’s amazing.

I’ve been to Venice three times.  It is amazing, and each time I’ve visited has been a completely different experience.  Keep an eye for stories of my real-life travels next year when the book comes out!

Do you have favorite “go to” authors for your various moods?

Of course!  Here are some of my favorites:

Literary – Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Michael Ondaatje, Margaret Atwood

Commercial fiction – Susan Elizabeth Phillips

YA – Suzanne Collins

Paranormal Romance – Maggie Shayne, Kerrelyn Sparks, Gena Showalter, Kresley Cole

Favorite book?

Too many to list!  Maybe One Hundred Years of Solitude or The English Patient.

Favorite genre?

All of them!

I’ve seen pictures of Dexter, your pug.  He’s precious.  Nothing loves you quite like a dog!

Aww, thanks.  I would not say Dexter’s love is unconditional – he has his own agenda and gets grumpy if he does not get his way.  Pugs are stubborn.  Thankfully, he’s still cute and funny when he gets grumpy, and it never lasts long.

Here he is at four months.  He’s 15 months old now, and has grown into those big eyes.  It’s still hard to resist when he wants something, though.

Too precious…

Thanks so much for being with us today Stephanie.  I’ve enjoyed it and am looking forward to Luciana’s story.  You’ve got your work cut out for you if she’s going to be saved!

Thank you!  This has been a blast – happy reading!

Stephanie Chong

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TOP TEN THINGS I'VE LEARNED C.J. Barry

It’s been almost ten years to the day that I sold my first  book.  Ten years since I started this crazy, amazing journey as an author.  I’ve learned a lot in those ten years.

To commemorate the anniversary, I’d like to share my Top Ten Things I’ve Learned since I became an author.

1)     My house is clean.  Actually, it’s not but I don’t seem to notice the dust as much as I used to.  Or dead plants.  Or dishes in the sink.  Or kitty tracks on the hood of my car.  There is something to be said for lowering your standards.

2)     Your family can find the peanut butter by themselves if you ignore them long enough.

3)     The cats will not tolerate an empty food dish no matter how long you ignore them.

4)     My muse is my friend, my enemy, and my soul.  It’s a love-hate thing.  Kind of like the holidays.

5)     A reader letter or email will keep me smiling for a week.

6)     Some days I honestly don’t know what I’m doing so I just keep writing.  Somehow it all works out.  Intuition is a remarkable thing.  Trusting it is the hard part.

7)     It’s better to show your children how to set and reach goals than it is to simply tell them.

8)     I’ve knitted, crocheted, quilted, sewn, cross-stitched, decorated, painted, collaged, baked, gardened, made jewelry, and tried just about every other hobby there is.  Nothing comes close to writing.  It is the most consuming, terrifying, exhilarating and satisfying thing I’ve ever done.

9)     Some days, you can’t write.  When you can’t write, read.  When you can’t read, dream.

10)  If you wear a Bluetooth headset, people won’t know you’re talking to your characters.

Here’s to the next ten years!

Follow the links below to find C.J. and her books.  For those thrifty readers (& who isn’t these days) take note of the special Carina Press has on the first book in the series!

Visit C. J.

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UNFORGETTABLE