Today I would like to welcome to Novel Moments, Alison Stone, author of Random Acts.
What keeps you writing, Alison?
First and foremost, I enjoy writing. I enjoy the challenge of it. I am the mother of four children and I love the flexibility of working at home.
What inspired you to write Random Acts? Can you tell us a little more about the novel?
I saw an article in a local newspaper about a college student who was coerced into signing an agreement to serve as a drug informant in exchange for leniency on traffic tickets. The student had never been involved with drugs. Her father was a lawyer and brought it to the attention of the news. Turns out this practice is commonplace in many communities. From here, I started plotting and came up with the idea for Random Acts. In the story, the heroine, Danielle, is forced to return home after her sister is in a car accident. When she learns her former crush, Patrick, may have had hand in putting her sister in harm’s way, her fragile trust is crushed. But Patrick, now a cop, is the only man who can help her stop the villain before everything they both love is destroyed. Faith, family…and their second chance at forever.
How long did it take you to research and write Random Acts?
It’s hard to pinpoint how long it took me to research and write Random Acts. If I had to guess, I’d say a year. I tend to work on a project, go back and revise, submit, work on something new, then maybe revisit the original project when an editor asks for revisions.
Is there a certain message you would like readers to get out of this novel?
I want my books to entertain readers. If something in the story sticks with them long after they’ve read it, that’s a bonus.
Do you experience writer’s block? How do you deal with it?
I think my writer’s block should be called writer’s procrastination. I am distracted by all things shiny. When I was in college, I was such a disciplined student. I wish I had a fraction of that discipline now. The internet was not around when I was in college. That’s my excuse. J I find the only way to get over writer’s block is to just sit down and start writing. The words will come if I show up.
Are you a full time author? If not, how do you make time to write?
I am very fortunate to write full time. I left my job as an engineer years ago to raise my family. I have four children who are all in school and I am fortunate to have five to six quiet hours a day to write.
How does your daily writing schedule look like?
I get up around 7 a.m. and get 4 kids off to 3 different schools. I try to sit down by 9 a.m. to write. I find the first 2 hours are quickly absorbed by e-mails, Twitter, Facebook, and the like. I work until early afternoon when my youngest gets off the bus. I usually return to writing in the evening either after dinner or the younger children go to bed. I am always looking for ways to be more productive.
What books can we expect from you in the future?
I have another “sweet” romantic suspense, Too Close to Home, coming out August 7th. In this one, the heroine is an engineer. (A girl after my own heart!) She quickly learns something sinister is going on at the factory.
What was your best ever moment as a published author?
To date, the “best ever moment” was the first few days after the release of my debut Random Acts. So, perhaps it was a series of moments. I was tickled by the number of people from my daughters’ dance teachers, to friends, to the school bus driver who made a point to say they downloaded my book. I truly appreciate their support and enthusiasm.
What other question are you dying to be asked?
How does one go from being an engineer to a writer?
And the answer is?
I always considered myself to be a “math” person. Writing was the furthest thing from my mind. Yet, after I left my job to become a stay-at-home mom, I started to consider writing. Initially I dismissed the notion. Why did I think I could be a writer? Eventually, I pushed aside my doubts and got to the business of writing. You can’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and try new things. You might discover you have far more facets than you ever imagined.
That’s so true. Thanks so much, Alison for paying Novel Moments a visit. It’s lovely to know more about you. I wish you lots of luck with Random Acts and your future books. Oh, and thanks for the lovely giveaways.
You're welcome. Thank you, Liz, for having me.
Alison will be awarding autographed bookmarks at every stop, as well as a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
Please follow the tour and comment to increase your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found HERE.
Second chances can have a terrible sense of timing.
As a child, watching her mother always pick the wrong man left Danielle Carson wary of opening her heart to anyone—except Patrick Kingsley. But circumstances came between them and left Danielle with a broken heart. Now she buries the pain of what might have been by channeling all her energy into her career. When a family crisis brings her back to her hometown, she is forced to face the past—and the disturbing fact that her sister’s car accident was staged to mask a brutal beating.
A police officer and widower, Patrick guards his heart as fiercely as he guards his beloved daughter. Seeing Danielle again unexpectedly reignites their old flame, but no way will he introduce a woman into his daughter’s life. Certainly not one whose values on faith and family are so different from his own.
Despite their best intentions, they are drawn together—until Danielle learns Patrick had a hand in putting her sister in harm’s way. Her fragile trust is crushed, but Patrick is the only man who can help her stop the villain before everything they both love is destroyed. Faith, family…and their second chance at forever.
Opening scene Random Acts by Alison Stone:
The Protector yanked open the back door of the girl’s beat-up car. The door groaned in protest, the loud sound splintering the stagnant night air. He pulled at his collar, cursing the heat. October nights usually meant fleece jackets and first frosts, not suffocating mugginess. He swiped the back of his hand across his forehead but didn’t stop. He had to work fast.
The dome light stood out like a beacon, making his pulse spike. He reached in and punched the plastic cover, casting them once again in darkness. A twig snapped behind him. He jerked to a stop and listened. Hard. The tiny hairs on the back of his neck prickled to life and a bead of sweat rolled down his back. As if in slow motion, he turned on his heel, the loose gravel shifting under his weight. Complete darkness. A chorus of crickets and night critters, but nothing else.
He drew in a deep breath and forced his attention back to the vehicle. The girl lay unconscious. Her head lolled at an awkward angle over the edge of the narrow back seat. A trickle of blood snaked out from one of her nostrils, her delicate lips swollen. His stomach clenched and he cursed under his breath. Tamping down the swirl of emotions, he crouched down into the vehicle and jammed his hands under her armpits. And pulled.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Growing up, Alison Stone never imagined becoming a writer. She enjoyed math and science and ultimately earned a degree in engineering. Go Yellow Jackets!
After the birth of her second child, Alison left Corporate America for full-time motherhood. She credits an advertisement for writing children’s books for sparking her interest in writing. She never did complete a children’s book, but she did have success writing articles for local publications.
Finally, Alison got up the nerve to try her hand at full-length fiction. After completing a handful of manuscripts, she sold her first book to Samhain Publishing in 2011, followed a few weeks later by a second sale.
Now, Alison has the best of both worlds. From her home office in Western New York, she writes fast-paced romantic suspense while her four children are in school. It never fails to amaze her how soon the afternoon bus arrives.