Interview with Stacey Wallace Benefiel
I am originally from the Midwest, but have lived on the West coast since 1993. I’ve always been involved in the arts-I’m a major theatre geek, I played the clarinet and oboe in band, and have always written-especially poetry and monologues. I have degrees in theatre, creative writing, culinary arts, and floral design. I also have a mountain of student loans.
2. What inspired you to write Glimpse?
Do you remember that show Roswell? My little sister and I were addicted to it. When it ended my sister challenged me to write a book in the same genre. I’d never written a novel before, but I thought it would be fun to try. I knew I wasn’t going to write about aliens, but that the main character was going to have some sort of power and it was going to mess up her relationships. I just started writing about a girl that was like I was when I was a teenager and went from there.
3. How did you choose the names for your characters?
This is going to sound very Stephenie Meyer of me, but Hazel is the name I was going to name my daughter if I ever had one. At the time I started writing Glimpse, I didn’t have any children, but decided that I couldn’t use Hazel for any future daughters anyway because Hazel was the name of the street one block over from where we live. I do have a daughter now and her name is Arlo.
Grace came from one of my college roommates. I had two tall red-headed roommates-Gracie and Anne. So, Zellie became Hazel Grace-H.G. and I figured Wells was a fine last name.
Paul is after one of my grandpa’s.
Melody goes with Zellie like Valerie (my little sister’s name) goes with Stacey.
Avery was the name of the street one of the schools I taught theatre at was on.
Claire was another contender for my daughter’s name.
Mike and Becky-Good solid names that people my age have.
Jason is after my brother-in-law.
4. If you picked a soundtrack for your book, what songs would be on it?
Each character has their own music that I like to listen to, to get into their heads. Zellie is Taylor Swift and Cobie Calliet and Kelly Clarkson. Claire is MGMT and the Pixies. Pastor Paul is the Eagles. Grace and Mike are Cyndi Lauper and Bruce Springsteen. Becky is Sondheim. Melody is Miley Cyrus. Avery secretly likes country.
That’s not really songs…I had Pandora on in the background, so it made the soundtracks for me.
Zellie and Avery do have a song-Sweet Disposition.
5. What’s your favorite book you’ve read in the last year (other than yours, of course)?
Around the holidays I got sucked into the Outlander books. Drums of Autumn is my favorite one so far. Those books are some serious Scottish crack.
6. Vampires or zombies?
Vamps, they smell better…or not at all?
7. When you’re not writing, how do you spend your free time?
I like to hang out with my family, take the kids to the park and Children’s museum, that sort of thing. I read a lot and like to watch TV. Glee, Top Chef, My Life on the D-list, and Friday Night Lights are some favorites. I stage manage and direct productions at my local community theatre. I’m also studying to be a medical transcriptionist. I take my final in July!
8. When you were a kid, what monster scared you most?
I remember after watching Jaws that I was massively scared of sharks. In Missouri. Swimming around my bed while I slept.
9. Do you have any upcoming novels you’d like to talk about?
The next book in the Zellie Wells series, Glimmer, is due to come out at the end of this year. I should be done writing it by August, then editing and formatting and all that good stuff. The final book in the ZW series, Glow will be out by next Summer. I’m also working on a stand alone contemporary romance and another YA series-novellas this time-about human sacrifices, tentatively titled, uh, Sacrifice.