ABOUT BUTTERFLY GINGER:
Butterfly Ginger is the story of first love getting a second chance. The summer before freshman year, Nate Bradley and Blythe Barnes meet and fall hard. Even with plans to attend college in different cities, they’re convinced that nothing can tear them apart—until everything does. Now, six years later, life in South Louisiana is giving them the chance to put the pieces back together.
ABOUT STEPHANIE FOURNET:
Stephanie Fournet, author of Fall Semester, Legacy, and Butterfly Ginger, lives in Lafayette, Louisiana—not far from the Saint Streets where her novels are set. She shares her home with her husband John and her daughter Hannah, their needy dogs Gladys and Mabel, and an immortal blue finch named Baby Blue. When she isn’t writing romance novels, she is usually helping students get into college or running. She loves hearing from fans, so look for her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and stephaniefournet.com.
1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve wanted to write since I was seven. I wrote a story about a fox and a goose. I don’t remember much else, but it started then.
2. How long does it take you to write a book?
It usually takes me about six months to finish the first draft, and I take about six to eight weeks to go through my editing process.
3. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I’m always writing. The day I finish a novel is the day I start the next one. I write every single day without fail. Even if I only write two sentences before my head hits the pillow, I make a little progress every day. Of course, if I can get 3,000 words a week, it’s been a good week.
4. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Other than writing every day, I can write a novel and pet a dog at the same time. In my house, that’s a necessity.
5. How do books get published?
With my first two novels, I self-published without even attempting to submit my manuscripts to publishing houses. I don’t have any regrets about that. I probably needed that time to build my confidence and improve my craft. But with Butterfly Ginger, I pitched it to nine or ten publishers at the RT Convention in Dallas and then to probably three or four more publishers online. Within about six to eight weeks, I received three offers from publishers.
6. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I am a runner, and inspiration finds me on my runs, but when it come to information, I do find that I have to do at least a little research—sometimes a lot—to write with authority on a subject. For Butterfly Ginger, I read a lot of articles about autism, especially on what it’s like to have an autistic parent. For my work in progress, I’ve probably watched 20 YouTube videos on tattooing.
7. When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I wrote my first romance novel when I was 12. I am so glad that I have no idea where it is.
8. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I’m a high school administrator, so I am most often helping kids, but in my own time, when I’m not writing, I’m usually reading a romance novel, running, playing with my dogs, bugging my 17-year-old daughter with questions about her life, or cooking.
9. What does your family think of your writing?
My husband and my daughter could not be more supportive. As I write this, my husband is cooking red beans and rice so that we can eat and I can meet this deadline. I’m really lucky. He’s also my first reader, bless him. My daughter is an amazing writer, and I know she’s going to publish at a much younger age than I did, and that makes me so happy and proud.
10. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
You can’t do it alone. Sure, the story is yours, but you need readers and editors and proofreaders to help you make the best finished product possible.
11. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’ve written three novels, and while Fall Semester will always have a special place in my heart, I think Butterfly Ginger is my best work to date.
12. Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Write every day. Just like anything else, the more you practice your craft, the better you will get. If you aren’t sure about a passage or a chapter, read it aloud. Doing that will help you to hear language that needs tightening. If you get stuck, go back to the beginning and read your manuscript all the way through. It will reconnect you with the flow of the story and recharge your batteries.
13. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Aside from reviews, every now and then, I get a nice message or email from a reader. Many of them say that they can relate to my characters and their problems, and some have even told me that a story of mine helped them deal with or prepare to deal with a difficult time in their lives. Those are the best.
14. Do you like to create books for adults?
Yes, I’d say my work is intended for adults, although I know I’ve picked up a few young adult readers.
15. What do you think makes a good story?
Suffering and longing are two important ingredients—at least for my characters.
16. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I definitely wanted to be a writer. I lost faith in myself in my twenties and thirties, and that is probably my biggest regret in life. I could have been doing this a lot sooner.
17. What would you like my readers to know?
I’d love for them to how grateful I am that they are giving me even a small amount of their time to read this interview. My daily prayer is that readers who would enjoy my books can find their way to my books, whether they buy them, check them out, download them in a giveaway, or win them in a contest. If one of your readers reads a book of mine and loves it, that prayer has been answered.