Stella Night has a smooth Texan accent and a twinkle in her eye, and it makes sense that this warm, welcoming woman is an author of romance novels that end with a happy ever after for her characters. However, those characters usually include a shapeshifter, be it wolf, lion or bear, so it is evident that something darker lurks beneath her charming exterior.
Stella grew up on romance, reading authors such as Rosemary Rogers and Bertrice Small, but she also loved horror movies and harboured a few crushes for the villains of the piece, especially Dracula. Despite an early interest in writing, life got in the way, and it was some years before she first put pen to paper.
After joining a Live Action Role Playing Group (or LARP), Stella started writing fantasy stories, which were well received and won some accolades. Encouraged by the fact that people liked what she wrote, she joined a writing group to connect with other writers and learn more about the craft.
Almost four years ago, Stella’s writing journey began in earnest when she signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, which takes place every November and challenges the participant to write a 50,000 word novel in a month). As a fast writer – she wrote The Call of Her Wolf, the first book in the Whiskey Springs trilogy, in only 25 days – Stella loved the challenge of NaNoWriMo, and it solidified her goal to become an author. It was this experience, combined with the writing friends she made from it, that resulted in Stella publishing her first book.
Stella’s love of nature, especially birdwatching, and her home state of Texas, provides the backdrops for many of her novels. The setting for her Whiskey Springs series of books was inspired by visiting the German towns in the hill country. In an upcoming novel, Stella’s knowledge of San Antonio’s nightlife provides a fitting setting for seductive vampires. This knowledge grounds Stella’s books in reality, creating a solid foundation upon which her paranormal characters come to life.
Exploring her home state for inspiration isn’t the only research Stella performs for her books. She is very much a method writer, trying out things for her characters so that she can accurately describe them in her writing. While she draws the line at shapeshifting, Stella tells me that she learned to drink Irish Whiskey to add that extra authenticity to one of her characters.
When asked what she likes best about writing, Stella is quick to reply; being able to work from home. She confesses she is a bit of a hermit, and likes being able to conjure up worlds without having to mix everyday with the ‘rude and wonderful’ people. She likes to binge watch romcoms while she writes, to get her in the mood for romance.
It is said that our greatest strengths are also our greatest weaknesses, and when asked about what she likes least about writing, Stella gives me the same answer as to what she likes best. Working from home. She tells me that her love of being a hermit and getting lost in her writing is also what she likes least about being an author. It can become too tempting to not leave her home, especially on the days when she just doesn’t want to ‘people’. In order to counteract that tendency, and to make sure she continues to get out and get inspiration for her books, Stella forces herself to make regular coffee dates with her writing friends.
When it comes to advice for other writers and those aspiring to write, Stella’s advice is straight to the point. Read, read, read, write and don’t listen to people who tell you not to. She recommends NaNoWriMo and encourages people to’ just do it’.
Read my review of the first book in the Whiskey Springs trilogy, The Call of Her Wolf, here.