Over the past few years, I've had opportunity to interview several well known authors. Among them have been Raymond Benson (six James Bond Novels and several Murder Mysteries) and Michael Z Williamson ( noted Military Science Fiction Author).
This particular interview is going to be just a bit different.
This past November, my wife and I were introduced to an attractive young woman named Candice Stockstell. Because of her poise and her charming nature, I immediately knew that she had to have done some modeling in the past. To my surprise, Candice Stockstell had been in the military before becoming a model. The lovely young woman is now attempting to make a name for herself as an author of Science Fiction.
A few weeks ago, my schedule cleared a bit and I had the opportunity to talk with her about the first two careers and how this pathway lead her into the third.
Travis: How old were you when you entered the military?
Travis: And what made you interested in being in the service.
Candice: I wasn't all that interested in going to college
Travis: And how long did you stay in?
Candice: About four years
Travis: If I remember correctly, you got your modeling start while in the service.
Candice: Yes, I was a Miller Lite Model. Spokes Model I should say.
Travis: So you modeled in Germany while serving your country and then continued to do so when you came back to the states.
Candice: Yes, I started working as a promotions model for One Magnificent Model Agency, while I attended school for TV/Film.
Travis: Having met you face to face, I can verify that you have the looks and the personality that are very good for being a product or trade show model.
But then you walk away from modeling and the business world because you have these ideas for a book pop into your head.
Candice: Yes, I was working in Sales at the time, still doing promos here and there. It got boring, life in general had gotten boring. One day, I just decided that I wanted a different kind of life. That same morning, I resigned from my job and started writing an outline for my book.
Travis: How did all of that get started?
Candice: Well, I've always been an over-analyzer and as curious as George. So, I fell in love with philosophy ... It gave me an outlet to explore my own theories... So, I pretty much became a philosopher, spent all my free time trying to figure out the world, how it works, why it is the way it is, and what could be done to change it.
Travis: And this gradually lead you towards the character of Milla Blaire?
Candice: That and Quantum Physics...
Travis: And where did she come from? What was the seed that started Milla growing?
Candice: Well, a lot of Milla Blaire came from my own personality.
Travis: Then how are the two of you alike?
Candice: We think a lot alike and our families are pretty similar.... kind of scared for mine to read the book. (chuckle)
Travis: I know exactly what you mean. There are a few stories I wouldn't want my favorite aunt to read
Candice: Hahaha ... I can relate to that. I think most artists, writers, actors, comedians, film-makers etc., have been there at some point or another.
Travis: How is Milla different from you?
Travis: That explains the smoke coming from my computer (snickers).
Candice: LOL (you're a funny guy) ... At the beginning of the story, she's not as tough as I am. She's kind of a softy with a big mouth.
I'm not as much of a 'girly,' girl as Milla. The military toughened me up... quite a bit. I'm the one who will quietly kick ass without question.
But as the story progresses, her reputation consistently grows to something along the line of "Supreme Bitch". So by the end of her story, I'm the much nicer individual (wink).
Travis: As I understand it ... Becoming Milla Blaire contains certain elements that would be considered science fiction or fantasy. It also has the basic elements of a love story.
Yet you state that it isn't a "Paranormal Romance".
Candice: In certain ways, its hard to decide what to call it. There is a lot of comedy, quite a bit of romance and lots of supernatural aspects. The basic framework of the story is an interweaving of science and philosophy. A good deal of this philosophy mirrors my own.
Milla and Aden, the main characters, have a very deep connection. Sometimes, its very intimate and romantic, while other times its very comedic and nonsensical. It's very realistic, even for fiction and consistently maintains its philosophical integrity.
If I had to choose a neat little description, I would call it a Sci-fi Thriller. And there are elements of romance, but the book was absolutely not written to be a love story.
Travis: And was this was one of the issues that kept you from going with a large publishing house? Were the big kids trying to pigeon hole the story into that genre?
Candice: Yes! One publisher, who shall remain nameless, just wanted to call it fiction. Didn't really know what to say about that. WTF?
Travis: So ... How is the book being sold and marketed?
Candice: Literally, at the last minute, I pulled out of a contract and decided to self-publish and self-finance the entire project. I must say, it's a bit more work than I thought, but to have total freedom of my project was certainly worth it. And yes, I would do it again.
Travis: Are you selling through Amazon?
Candice: Yes, Amazon. It will be available in e-book and paperback this coming September. Although, a little birdy tells me that it might be released earlier.
It has cost me quite a bit of money to do it all on my own, website, video trailer, cover design and marketing strategies, but its my blueprint and I love it.
Travis: When you find yourself opening a book, what do you like to read?
Candice: It totally depends on my mood. For instance, I love, love to cook. When I get into that mode, I read cook books. When I'm in the mood for a change, I read self-help books. Other times I want to laugh, so I read comedy. Of course there's also romance and erotica, which I generally choose over dating, Lol. Nothing like a glass of red wine and a Joey W. Hill novel...
Strangely, I don't read a lot of Sci-Fi books. I guess its because I'd rather watch it on film. However, I could read about astronomy and quantum physics all the day long...
Travis: And once this initial trilogy is finished ... What do you think you'd like to tackle?
Candice: I'd love to see it on film... as my goal is to become a screenwriter.
Travis: Thank you very much, Candice. It's been a pleasure.
Candice: You're quite welcome, Travis.
-- Click on the picture below to purchase a copy through Amazon --