Welcome to another installment of Author Wednesday. Stacy Juba loves to write stories about Characters at a Crossroads, who are those individuals trying to find the right life path after overcoming obstacles. Her choice has resulted in a successful writing career. Her latest offering, Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, has been described as both a cozy mystery and a romantic suspense. It’s with great pleasure that I introduce you to Stacy Juba.
Welcome, Stacy. I’m always curious about the writer’s journey. Tell us when you were first able to call yourself a “writer” or “author?”
My first book, a young adult hockey novel called Face-Off, was originally published in the early 1990s when I was eighteen years old. I entered it in a contest and the manuscript won. That was when I was first able to call myself an author. It was quite exciting to see the book in bookstores and to get letters from readers.
That must have been a very exciting time and certainly the right time to call yourself an author. Tell us about the message you try to convey in your works.
I write about characters at a crossroads in their lives – a fork in the road where they can either take a chance and follow a new path, or continue down the same road that hasn’t been leading anywhere. I write books for different age groups (adult, YA and children’s) and in different genres that range from mystery to romantic comedy to sports fiction, but no matter what the age group or genre, this is a theme that I always incorporate.
What made you chose to write about characters facing this type of situation?
I didn’t consciously set out to write about characters at a crossroads. In fact, I didn’t realize at first that I was writing about this theme until I took a workshop on branding and was challenged to examine all of my books and find an underlying common thread. It was pointed out to me that my website needed to reflect some kind of common theme. After giving it a lot of thought, I realized that I was writing about characters at a fork in the road. I think I was drawn to this theme because it’s so universal. We all find ourselves at forks in the roads from time to time, and we need to decide whether to take the easy way or the harder, yet potentially more fulfilling, way. Sometimes the hard way is scarier as it is so new. I wanted to highlight this aspect of my work so that readers might ponder their own forks in the road and give some thought to what they really want and how they can get there.
Since you write in different genres, what’s on the agenda for your next books?
I plan to continue writing adult mystery novels, but I am also finishing up my first romantic comedy/sweet romance. I am having fun with the latter genre as it shows my lighter side, and I plan to do more romantic comedies in the future.
Excellent. I find it’s so important to stretch our writing selves. How did you choose the title Twenty-Five Years Ago Today? Has it been the title from the very beginning?
Twenty-Five Years Ago Today was the title from the very beginning. It was an easy title to choose, as the book is about a newspaper editorial assistant who compiles “twenty-five years ago today” items from the microfilm and stumbles onto a cold case.
I love the concept. What’s is the best thing someone could say about this book?
I get a lot of comments about the twist ending. Most people are surprised by the ending. I enjoy it when someone notes in a review that they love a book that surprises them.
How much research was required?
I once had the same job as my protagonist, Kris Langley, who is a newspaper editorial assistant, obit writer, and reporter. One of my tasks was compiling the “twenty-five years ago today” column from the microfilm. As a result, I didn’t need to research any of the newsroom scenes; however, I did interview a police chief about unsolved crimes. I also did research for the Greek mythology subplot. In the book, the murder victim, Diana Ferguson, was an artist inspired by Greek myths. I have always loved Greek mythology and was familiar with many myths, but needed to do some research to refresh my memory. One of the paintings holds a clue to Diana’s death, and I needed to find just the right myth to portray in the painting.
What else do you want readers to know about Twenty-Five Years Ago Today?
Twenty-Five Years Ago Today also has a spin-off book called Twenty-Five Years in the Rearview Mirror: 52 Authors Look Back, which is free at many retailers. In the book, authors write about what they (or their characters) were doing twenty-five years ago. It’s funny, touching, and makes readers think about the small moments in their lives. There is also a scene about what Diana Ferguson, the murder victim in Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, was doing on the last day of her life. Click here for the link to find the retailers.
Thank you for stopping by today, Stacy. I’m reading Twenty-Five Years Ago Today and hope to write a review very soon. My best to you in your writing endeavors.
About Stacy Juba: Her goals are to entertain readers of all ages as well as inspire them. She has made numerous bestseller lists including GalleyCat’s Barnes & Noble Bestsellers and GalleyCat’s Mystery and Thriller Bestsellers. Stacy has written about reality TV contestants targeted by a killer, an obit writer investigating a cold case, teen psychics who control minds, twin high school hockey stars battling on the ice, and teddy bears learning to raise the U.S. flag.