An Interview with Author Stacy Juba Including a Review of "Laundry Day"
For National Short Story Month, I've asked her about her short story, "Laundry Day". Don't forget to check out my review after the post. Welcome, Stacey!
I'm really excited about this short story as it's a way for readers to get a taste of my writing style. It's a free download on Smashwords and through their distributors, and 99 cents on Kindle. It's about this nice guy, Gregg, who does a favor for a neighbor and snow blows her driveway. While she's on the phone, he goes into her bathroom and finds her sexy lingerie collection drip-drying in her shower. Gregg is mortified, but it gives him an idea, to persuade his wife into spicing up her lingerie. Then this neighbor is strangled with her own fishnet stocking and the neighborhood is turned upside down. I've also included sample chapters from my mystery novels Twenty-Five Years Ago Today and Sink or Swim, as well as an in-depth author interview, in the back of the ebook.
Where did you get the idea for this story?
One day, I was passing a Frederick's of Hollywood store at the mall and this idea popped into my mind. What if someone unexpectedly visited a neighbor and found lingerie all over the place? How embarrassing would that scenario be for the character, and how can I make a mystery story out of this? Then I thought: have someone strangled with a fishnet stocking, of course! I originally wrote the story to submit to anthologies and mystery magazines, but then I decided a better use for it would be to distribute it as a free and inexpensive e-book, to help get my name and book titles out there to readers. It seemed as if I could reach a much larger audience by distributing the story myself.
You mostly write full-length novels. How was it different writing a short story? Do you write many short stories?
I very rarely write short stories. I know some authors who write hundreds of them, but most of the ideas that occur to me are for full-length novels, and then I spend a year or two working on it and move onto the next book. This story was fun as it was quick to write. I wrote the first draft in a few weeks, and then had several critique partners give me feedback. It was gratifying to have a completed story that didn't take months and months to finish. The challenge was writing tight and limiting the characters and subplots, but I outlined the story extensively to make sure I stuck to the main storyline and didn't get off course. Another big difference was that Laundry Day is from the male point of view and my mystery novels are from a female point of view.
What can you tell us about your mystery novels?
I have two adult mystery novels available in trade paperback from Mainly Murder Press and in multiple bargain ebook formats. Twenty-Five Years Ago Today is about Kris Langley, an obit writer and newspaper editorial assistant who stumbles across a 25-year-old cold case on the microfilm and becomes driven to solve it. She investigates the murder of Diana Ferguson, a talented artist who was inspired by Greek mythology.
Sink or Swim is about Cassidy Novak, a young woman who loses a reality game show called Sink or Swim, then returns to her normal life as a personal trainer in a New England town. Cassidy soon finds out that she has attracted a stalker, and meanwhile, her former competitors are getting killed off. To get her life back, she needs to find her stalker. Both books are a cross between cozy mysteries and romantic suspense novels.
What other projects do you have in the works?
I have two children's picture books - The Flag Keeper, which is available in paperback and as a 99 cent ebook, and Victoria Rose and the Big Bad Noise, which is exclusively available as a 99 cent ebook. The Flag Keeper teaches children about U.S. flag etiquette through a fiction story about a bear family, flag facts, discussion questions and an activity. Victoria is about a bear that uses her imagination to overcome her fear of household noises such as the blender. These stories are innocent and cute, the total opposite of Laundry Day!
My young adult paranormal thriller Dark Before Dawn will be released in January 2012 from Mainly Murder Press and is about a psychic teenager who gets involved with a mysterious fortuneteller mentor. I like to bill it as: When ESP Spells D-A-N-G-E-R. I'll also be releasing an updated version of my 1992 young adult Avon Flare novel Face-Off in the near future, along with a sequel. Once all those books are released, I'll finish up my adult mystery novel-in-progress Sign of the Messenger, which was a recipient of the William F. Deeck Malice Domestic Grant and is the first in a series. I'd like to do more short stories also - I'm toying with the idea of a short story featuring Kris from Twenty-Five Years Ago Today and Cassidy from Sink or Swim.
Where can readers find more about your books?
They can visit my web site and my blog . My Laundry Day short story can be downloaded for free at Smashwords. You can also keep an eye on this page of my web site for more retailers such as Barnes and Noble and the Sony Reader Store. Laundry Day is a brand new release, so links to more retailers will be added as the story becomes available on those sites.
Thank you, Stacy. Your books sound like a lot of fun, and I love that you're teaching kids all about the American flag!
And now for a quick review of "Laundry Day".
By Stacy Juba
Smashwords Edition available for free download
Kindle Edition available for 99 cents
Gregg is in an embarrassing situation. He’s ducked into his neighbor’s bathroom to avoid listening in on her telephone argument with her husband, Dennis, and he’s discovered more than he ever wanted to know about Bridget Severin’s lingerie habits. Lacy bras and panties--the kind Greg wishes his wife, Julia, would wear--are strewn across the shower curtain and soaking in the bathroom sink.
Inspired to add romance back into his marriage, Gregg comes home from work early one day only to find Julia sobbing in their bedroom. Her best friend Bridget has been murdered--strangled with a pair of lacy hose. The husband is the obvious suspect. Were the sexy undies intended for a secret lover? Is there more to this murder than a jealous spouse?
Juba takes her short mystery to a twist ending that will take you by surprise. “Laundry Day” includes many extras, including an author interview and several bonus chapters from her novels.