Interview with Stephany Tullis   1 comment

Today’s interview is with STEPHANY TULLIS. Welcome to the blog. Tell us something about yourself. 

 

Stephany Tullis Author PicHello, I refer to myself as a ‘A Native New Yorker’. Typically, when most people think of New York, they think of New York City—one of the biggest cities in the world. I’m from upstate New York about two hours north of NYC. However, I love The City—as it is also called and have visited it many times but would not like to live there-. New York, however, is a city known for its style, flare, theatre, shopping and so much more. It is a progressive city where its residents and often first-time visitors learn the importance of coping with their environment and circumstances with an attitude and perspective of succeeding with the hand life has dealt them. It is that seeming ability to cope and handle it all that I bring to my personality. My father and some family members continue to live in New York State. Other family members live in Georgia where I also reside about 30 minutes north of Atlanta.

I currently have small business management consulting company but write full time for the most part.

 

 

At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I wrote my first book entitled The Master’s Plan, A Novel at the dare of my oldest son. I had unexpectedly left my management job in New York because of family reasons and relocated to the Atlanta area sooner than I expected. Upon relocation, I was extremely disappointed when I was not able to find a job. When I relocated, finding another job was the least of my worries. It was this New Yorker attitude that eventually led me to conclude that my sometimes brash, bold, fast talking, confident persona did not mesh well with the genteel southern sometimes-not-so-hospitable south.

 

Stephany Tullis Masters PlanAs I commiserated over my unemployment status, my son said quite cavalierly, ‘why don’t you do what you do best? Write! Write a book!’ I had never thought about writing fiction. Loved to read—always have and he was correct. I wrote but my expertise was in the areas of technical writing—contracts, proposals, speech-writing.

Needless to say, I took the dare and wrote my first book in 2013—a novel about a woman’s search for purpose.

 

What are you passionate about?

As I write in my bio, “In my world, there is no life without writing, traveling, family, music and my love of politics. My loves and interests are central to my writing.”

My world (my back-story) is guided by my faith and the inspiration I receive from God.

With this backdrop, regardless of the date or time of your visit, you will find family. Without exaggeration, family and relationships are the core of every book I write.

I love to travel and like me, my characters are always off and running and in so doing require me to research (and often visit) so many fascinating places.

I also love music—all kinds and I’m never surprised by what track finds its way to my personal playlists and a character’s ring tone, door chime, or car radio station.

People frown sometimes and don’t understand my love of politics, but I have a political administration background and thrived on it and in my past government career. For me, it’s the people, the process and what democracy offers. As with life, my fictional towns and cities include mayors, governors, school board members, etc.

If you haven’t guessed, I love my world that allows me the joy of living a life I love but most importantly, one where I can share it with others via my writing.

 

 

Are you a plot driven or character driven writer? Why?

Stephany Tullis Blue LadyFrom start to finish, my writing is driven by my characters. There are times when I have an idea or a plot and storyline but as I create my characters, the story line and plot usually changes. For example, recently, I had developed a very general outline of my intended story. When I began my search for images for my cover design, the entire theme of my story changed as well as the qualities, quirks and characteristics of my characters. In this respect, my cover is very important to me and has a motivating influence on the development of my characters and the ultimate storyline. Additionally, I use a lot of dialogue in my stories and have been told that I am a cinemagraphic writer…scene and dialogue driven.

 

 

Do you write from an outline or are you a discovery writer?

I am a pantster, i.e. discovery writer primarily as I describe above. My characters drive my story and as ‘they develop (along with the storyline), an initial plot outline will change drastically as my story evolves. I no longer spend time in developing outlines for this reason.

 

 

Was it your intention to write a story with a message or a moral?

Stephany Tullis Love's LegacyI intend to write ‘with purpose’ without moralizing or chastising. I write in several genres but my goal is to not only entertain and write a ‘good’ book but to also provide my readers something to think about. This was an important objective in writing my first novel, The Master’s Plan. My first book is ‘Inspirational’ and I tackle some important moral issues; e.g. fidelity, family, relationships, etc. My goal was to write a book that anyone could read and would want to read regardless of religious backgrounds and come away with a message that they could apply to their respective personal situations.

 

My favourite review of this first book is by a reader who describes himself as a ’63-year-old blond-haired, blue eyed male who rated the book with five stars.

 

 

 

What influenced your decision to self-publish?

I decided to self-publish after hearing the horror stories of so many writers who had signed writing contracts only to find themselves boxed into situations that limited their ability to write and did not provide them the financial advantages they expected.

 

If you have experience with both traditional and indie publishing, compare the two.

For a short period, I was under contract with a small publishing company. There were some distinct advantages such as the availability of editing, proofreading and cover design services. I’ve learned, however, that I prefer my independence and the ability to direct my writing according to my personal preferences. I had anticipated that I would receive much more support in promoting my books with a publishing company. I was extremely disappointed to discover that this was not the case.

 

 

Who designed your book cover/s?

As mentioned previously, my cover design is very important to me and I view the cover as a reflection of me, the overall quality of my book and writing. I have used several designers since publishing my first book. My primary objective in selecting a designer is their willingness to work with me to design a cover that meets my needs and personal taste. I’m proud and very happy to say that I have ongoing relationships with all my designers and that several of my covers have won ‘best cover’ awards in various competitions.

 

 

***Do you write specifically for a Christian audience? Why or why not?

I address this question above but would also like to reiterate that I write cross genre, always with a ‘purpose’ and do not write only for Christian audiences. I want my reading audience to understand that all people, regardless of their religious background, ethnicity or gender have problems, issues, and challenges. It’s the manner in which we handle those issues and challenges that makes the difference in our lives.

 

What are some of the special challenges of being a Christian writer?

The biggest challenge for me is reflected in how I view myself. I am a Christian who writes fiction and not a Christian writer. This may appear to be a minor point, but it isn’t. I’ll use a couple of examples to illustrate my point. As a Christian, I know that we all have issues and problems. We live in a world filled with horrific problems that impact us all and not just Christians. My goal as a writer is to share stories about how people live in view of and despite such problems. To illustrate a point, as a writer, I might have a character who swears. While I know most Christians will find swear words offensive in an inspirational book, I approach this area carefully. Usually by softening the presentation by using language such as, ‘he cursed’ but I have been known to use certain words such as ‘hell’ to illustrate a point.

 

 

Do you feel that Christian writers should focus on writing really great story or on presenting the gospel clearly in everything they write? Or is it possible to do both?

 

I think as a writer who is a Christian, my purpose is to tell a great story. In my first book, The Master’s Plan’, I use a lot of scriptural references (note the book is based around a woman in search of her purpose who happens to be the second wife of a pastor). My goal is not to present the gospel. My goal is to present a life style that reflects a character’s ability to face life challenges in a manner that would be pleasing to Christ.

 

Where can readers find you and your books?

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

Amazon Author Page

Book Bub

Readers Group

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One response to “Interview with Stephany Tullis

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  1. Reblogged this on Daermad Cycle.

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