Thank you for having me.
Let’s begin with location, where in the world do you live?
I live in the beautiful and vibrant London.
You speak Spanish. Have you spent time in Spain or was it a choice to learn to speak it fluently?
I wish I had lived in Spain, but no, went only for holidays. I don't speak it fluently, but with a little time to adjust I catch up quickly and speak on a conversational level. I learned Spanish in school and later, I took private lessons to improve.
When did you discover that you enjoyed writing?
Back in my teens. But I wouldn't say I enjoyed it. I used it to vent, to let steam off. About ten years ago, when I worked as a texter for a company it became more clear that I am good at it, not to me, but to my friend who brought me into the company and saw me jumping right into work as if I had done this for years. I actually wrote a radio spot that was broadcasted. It was fun.
Years later, I wrote a love letter to a guy, I know it's a bit embarrassing, but he was the first to tell me that I've got a great voice and I should write books. It never had occurred to me before. I began with sharp-cynical short stories. That's when I began to enjoy writing.
You write under the pen name of Stella Deleuze why is that?
Well, to cut a long story short. I've been called Stella for decades and a friend, Ryan Deleuze, gave me his surname as a joke. I loved it and it's a great marketing tool. Look Stella Deleuze up on google and you know what I mean.
“No Wings Attached”, a paranormal romantic comedy was your first book. You have a gift for comedic writing. What sort of response did you receive?
It was mixed. Quite frankly, I knew it's a good book. I also knew it needed a hell of a lot of work, but the basics were there. The ones who were able to overlook errors and unpolished writing saw its potential, the other ones just dissed it for not being ready. I shrugged and took it off authonomy. I had what I needed.
What did you think of the overall Authonomy experience?
Authonomy is a great resource of information for every new writer. Even for more experienced ones. I'm glad I found it, used it to get some feedback on my first attempts on a novel, learned quickly that the majority of comments were not of any use for me, but the friends I made were absolutely worth their weight in gold. I used it to learn and improve. I wouldn't be where I am with my writing without authonomy.
Would you recommend Authonomy to people looking for feedback on their work?
Yes, as long as you don't take the praise too seriously. It's important to tell real and fake praise apart, which is easy. Rather join one of those honest-critique-threads if you really want to improve your writing.
Your next book was “And You Think It’s Funny” In December 2009, a collection of short comedy stories, how different was that in the writing experience?
It was plain fun. Just a bit of letting off steam, taking the mick out of everyone and everything. By then, I had already learned a lot about editing and writing and it showed. The book got a great response from trusted readers who liked my first book, even from some I didn't expect at all. I'm quite observant and thought it would be great to put it in writing. I even have written one about authonomy. You might find it on their blog some time soon or maybe later. Yes, it's a hint.
Have either of your works been published?
. No, I'm going to begin submitting, soon. Had a long break from doing so, so agents, look out for me. Wings Attached will be changed a little bit again and made into a series now, at least two more books. The newest book isn't finsihed, yet.
You began an editing service tell us about the decision to do that?
By accident. Honestly. I began helping others with their synopsis, even before I had done mine. Only went by logic and got told I'm really good at it. And, boy, let me tell you much much I enjoyed helping them. Then I helped more people who were so impressed with my editing skills that they asked me to do their books, too. Nobody was more surprised than me. This is when it all started, I thought when people are happy with my comments and suggestions and I love it so much, why not make a living with it? And I'm glad I decided to do it.
You would have to love what you do to edit another writer’s work. Has the response been favourable?
As said above, yes, totally. I get recommened on blogs and word of mouth. My prices are competitive. Do I need to say more?
As a writer yourself you are more than aware of how protective we are of every misplaced comma, is it difficult to help your clients understand why a rewrite or chapter cull may be necessary?
No, not at all. It's a matter of tact and giving plausible reasons.My clients say I don't hold punches, I'm strict, make them laugh, give good advice, wonderful and useful suggestions and am an overall sweetheart. In general, they get back to me after they made the changes and thank me for telling them to scrap this part or rewrite that or delete this character. I never tell them: get rid of this it's crap. Instead I explain why it would read better if changed, that they should try to read the chapter without this particular section and they usually agree after they've done it. Plus, they know they don't pay me to praise their work, they want to improve. I do praise a lot, though, just to help them swallow the bitter medicine.
Please tell the folks where they can access your editing services.
It's quite simple. One website: http://synopsisandbookfactory.wordpress.com/ Full of useful tips and information, too.
You have another new book almost completed tell me about that?
It it about two people that are very different and yet so similar. None of the characters have names, it's mainly written in second person and character driven with a lot of metaphors and similis. Completely different to what I've done before.
Do you set yourself a daily or weekly target of word count and stick to it?
Yes and no. I aim to write every day, even if only 50 words. As long as it's good. I rarely scrap anything anymore, writing slowly, but with quality. I set myself deadlines, though and I stick to them, usually being ready before the deadline approaches.
How many hours a day do you set aside for your own writing?
Normally, I write in the evenings after 8 o'clock. I close all windows to not be distracted and concentrate on my manuscript. If I have time during the day, I will fit in a few hours, too.
You have just about the most interesting pet I have heard about in a long time, tell the readers if you will about Zorro.
Zorro: a big, fat, rather hostile, through huge amounts of food getting, wonderful cute Green Iguana.
How did you and he first become aquainted?
Through a reptile forum. After my female Iguana died, aged 15, I was in pieces. I knew I couldn't live without one and got him when he sort of chose me. When I visited the pair who needed to rehome him, he came down that plant he sat on, marched directly to me, sat on my lap and wouldn't go away. The pair were befuddled. He'd never done this to anyone before.
You have an Iguana Palace just for him, did you have it built?
Partly. I took all the measures, drew up the plan and ordered the wood, a friend of mine helped me with his building skills. I did the interior, built the bamboo shelf and fitted the glass and electrics. I like a bit of DIY and I always say I'm the best equipped woman when it comes to tools.
What music do you like?
Gosh, a wide range. If it's to dance, then R&B, to rock, Oasis, Staind, Incubus and the like, to clean, Eminem, to sing along all of them. In general I'm quite partial to classical music, Ludovico Einaudi being one of my favourite composers. Actually saw him last year perform in the Royal Albert Hall. It was an unforgettable experience and shortly after that I began to take piano lessons. Still love doing it.
Do you listen to music whilst you write?
Yes, I love to listen to Einaudi and sound tracks as they usually are mixed with quiet and very powerful stuff, like in a book, ups and downs, that's what makes it intersting.
May we be allowed to preview a taste of the new WIP?
Sure, but keep in mind it's the first unedited draft:
Later this afternoon, you lean against cool stone that offers protection from the glowing sun, you have been sitting in this picturesque spot for hours. The waves break with a gushing sound and sprinkle a gentle breeze over you.
Seagulls scream their demands of food at the tourists at the nearby coast. The bay flickers in the heat against the blue water of the see. Despite being used to such landscape, its view has followed you ever since you saw it first.
You run each line though your mind again. The open notepad next to you remains silent, stares back with empty eyes, inviting you to fill it with your imagination. An attribute you don't possess as much. Fiction is your challenge.
A few minutes, you think. With closed eyes, you listen to the beautiful sounds of the surrounding. It is easy to tell each and every one apart. They peel off the stress from the past weeks and months, leaving you in a calm state. You drift away.
She smiles at you. Surprised, you sit up shielding your eyes, then blink. You wonder what she's doing. Perhaps she's online, surrounded by her friends and men who like a flirt. Why does this bother you? Does this bother you?
As your concentration has been disturbed and nothing apart from sand corns forming an S, has been written, you get up and leave. You are hungry for you haven't eaten since breakfast. It has become late and you approach the restaurant.
Tilapia and green salad, a glass of wine and some water please your taste buds. Fuel leads to strength and strength to success – you long for inspiration. The cigarette makes the meal complete. You order a Scotch. It comes on ice which crackles in the warm air of the evening.
You watch it dissolve, then take our your notepad. After a sip, you write a couple of sentences. The whiskey has given you more than expected. Worth a scene to build around. A woman's melodic laughter let's you look up.
Her flower-print dress streaming in the wind, adds to the image you have in your head. You tear your attention away from her and let the paper memorise the words. Finally, a start which gives you something to work on in the evening.
What goals business and personal have you set for this year.
I want to kick my business into the butt, plan to do workshops and will write at least two books. One will be co-written and another piece which goes a bit deeper into psycholoy. If I still have time, then I plan to write the sequel to No Wings Attached.
You also put a great deal of time in on Authors On Show, do you find that satisfying?
I certainly do. Helping others is rewarding. I got helped and want to give something back. That's how it should be.
Promoting other writer’s work is clearly something you and I both enjoy doing, do you have a favourite new author at the moment? And if so why?
Well,it is not one we have promoted. I think to the people who know me it's not a secret that I'm a massive fan of Ryan Deleuze's writing. It's rather intelligent, captivating and mesmerising. This man knows what he's doing.
Time to promote all your sites.
Links: Blog http://wordsbystelladeleuze.blogspot.com/
What if anything would you care to share with my readers that I haven’t touched on?
I think you have covered about everything.
Thanks for joining me, Nicole.
It was a pleasure. Thank you again for having me.