S.A. Stovall on Writing, Characters, and her new release ‘Modern Gladiator (Modern Gladiator #1)’

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Modern Gladiator (Modern Gladiator #1) by S.A. Stovall

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Kanaxa:

Published March 26th 2019

Sales Links: Barnes&NobleDreamspinner Press | Amazon

 

 

 

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host SA Stovall here today talking about her latest novel, Modern Gladiator.  Welcome!

✒︎

Hello everyone! This is SA Stovall, author of the VICE CITY books, here to bring you my latest release, MODERN GLADIATOR! It’s a romance between a med school student, Corbin, and an up-and-coming UFC fighter, Keon. What I love about this novel is the enemies-to-lovers dynamic. Corbin thinks fighting is a waste of time, and hates that his sister is dating an MMA fighter. But he’s a doctor in his heart, and when Keon shows signs of having a serious injury, he’s determined to help—even if Keon struggles the entire way.

 Our Interview with SA Stovell…..

Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

I think my biggest influence is other books and video games. The books answer is obvious—I enjoy reading. There are fun and exciting worlds to read about, and some books really blow my mind with the creativity.

And video games. I know this is an unconventional answer, but it’s true. Some video games have an amazing story. Mass Effect, one of my all-time favorites, had an amazing cast of characters living in a world sci-fi setting that I’ll never get over. When I see things like that, it just gets my imagination going. I can’t wait to tell my own stories.

How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?

I love ebooks and think they’re great. I love reading on my phone, and I think it’s the way of the future. Keeping a physical library is tough—have you ever tried to move to a new home with 300 books? Awful—but with a kindle or nook or any smart phone, you can have unlimited books. It’s fantastic.

What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters?

I love intensity in any form. People who get passionate, people who struggle to control themselves (either for the good or the bad), and people who clash with others. And I write them all the time! In MODERN GLADIATOR, Keon is passionate about becoming a UFC fighter. He’s so passionate he gets a little intense—and he definitely clashes with the love interest, Corbin. (Though, spoiler alert, he does find a cute way to make up for his outburst).

What’s the wildest scene you’ve imagined and did it make it into a story?

The wildest scene I ever imagined involved a girl cutting out her own heart and replacing it with another. It did make it into the story—it was the climax and ultimately a metaphor. Really awesome, but not in MODERN GLADIATOR.

If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?

In a city. At night. Every store and restaurant is still open, but most people are asleep. I have my study where I write, and my video games are close, just in case I want to sneak in a game between writing chapters.

A fantasy, I know, but that would be my ideal.

With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To widen our knowledge?  Why do you write?

I write because it makes me happy, I have a passion for it, and I want to tell so many stories. Sometimes I “explain” how I feel about certain subjects through my stories, but those are incidental to the narrative. I definitely use reading as an escape, so maybe it’s also to get away. Less sure on that.

What’s next for you as a writer?

So much! The sequel to MODERN GLADIATOR, a fantasy novel called KNIGHTMARE ARCANIST, and the sequel to my sci-fi novel, STAR MARQUE RISING. I have lots and lots of books I just can’t stop writing!

About the Author

S.A. Stovall relies on her BA in History and Juris Doctorate to make her living as an author and history professor in the central valley of California. She writes in a wide range of fiction, from crime thrillers to fantasy to science-fiction. Stovall loves reading, playing video games, entertaining others with stories, and writing about herself in the third person.

Website: https://sastovallauthor.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/gameoverstation

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SAStovall/

 

BLURB

A prim and proper aspiring doctor and a destitute martial artist—both with hurts to comfort. Each with just the cure the other needs.

Corbin Friel hates mindless sports, especially fighting and boxing. As a medical student, he wants to help others, not watch them beat each other senseless. But his sister, Lala, can’t get enough of rough-and-tumble sporting events, and she drags her brother along whenever she can.

Keon Lynch doesn’t have much going for him. He’s broke, he lives alone in a new state, and he’s estranged from his family. But at least he has his dream—becoming a professional UFC fighter. Keon trains every day, and if he can just score a few more wins, he’ll get his ticket into the ranks of professional competitors.

But an unexplained pain jeopardizes Keon’s dream. During a backstage meet-and-greet, Corbin recognizes the telltale signs of a bone infection, which could cost Keon his leg. Unable to ignore Keon’s situation, Corbin begrudgingly decides to help. And while he gets to know Keon, finding him more desirable with each interaction, Corbin’s ex-boyfriend isn’t pleased with the development….

And he’s determined to keep Corbin for himself, no matter what.

BUY LINKS

https://www.amazon.com/Modern-Gladiator-S-Stovall-ebook/dp/B07NNJ8JJH

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/modern-gladiator-by-sa-stovall-10332-b

S.A. Stovall on Writing Influences, Characters Traits and her story ‘Thirty-One Days and Legos (Ranger Station Haven #2) (guest blog)

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Thirty-One Days and Legos (Ranger Station Haven #2) by S.A. Stovall
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas

Available for Purchase at Dreamspinner Press  and Amazon

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host S.A. Stovall here today.  Welcome, S.A., and thanks for answering our author questions!

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with S.A. Stovall

 

Hello Internet! It’s me, SA Stovall, here to have an interview with the great STaRW team! Happy holidays, and remember to check out my romantic Christmas novella, Thirty-One Days and Legos!

What’s the wildest scene you’ve imagined and did it make it into a story?

I’m not sure what you mean by “wild” but if that means “craziest thing” then I once wrote a scene were a girl cuts her own heart out with a jagged dagger. It was a high fantasy novel, and the girl was immortal (so she wasn’t killing herself) but the pain was real, and the symbology was great.

I’m a lover of adventure and epic moments, so I could list a million instances, but that one still takes the cake as the wildest.

Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

Two people played a major role in influences me as teenager: Stephen King and Robert A. Heinlein. I loved that Stephen King wrote in so many genres and with so many characters. My favorite parts of stories are the characters themselves, and while King seems to have a stock of similar character architypes that shows up in most of his books, I still love them all.

Heinlein, on the other hand, explored Mars and beyond, widening my imagination to places beyond Earth. He wove philosophy perfectly into his narrative, and I loved every instance. His characters were also very compelling—Jubal Hershaw is still my favorite.

I want to write memorable characters, like both King and Heinlein. I also want to write in every genre, and explore places far beyond Earth, be it fantasy or Alpha Centauri.

What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters?

I find self-control, intelligence, and honor to be interesting traits. And I write them all the time into my characters! I love subplots of people trying to rein in bad habits (or their temper), and intelligent characters are among my favorite (Jubal Hershaw is a super genius lawyer, basically).

I know honorable characters aren’t always people’s favorite, but I think it takes a lot of stones to know what’s right and stick to it, even if it’s to their detriment. I admire that trait, so a lot of heroes are honorable people.

Have you ever put a story away, thinking it just didn’t work?  Then years/months/whatever later inspiration struck and you loved it?  Is there a title we would recognize if that happened?

Yes, several times. My latest novel, about a space mercenary, basically, was put on hold for quite some time. At first I thought I’d never get it to work, but now that it flows, I couldn’t be happier with it.

I’m sure you’ll see it sometime in the future! Stay tuned!

Have you ever had an issue in RL and worked it through by writing it out in a story?  Maybe how you thought you’d feel in a situation?

A lot of scenes and character interactions that happen in my novels have taken place in real life. I’ve had relationships, some unconventional, and I’ve lived in both terrible poverty and comfortable environments. I like rehashing some of the feelings I had in those moments—finding the right words is almost cathartic. Some memories are painful, but they help me write the scene from a genuine place.

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

Yes. Like I said, I read a lot of King and Heinlein, but I also remember the things I looked for when I was searching for books. I try to appease Teenage-Me when I pick plots and characters for books. “What would I want to read?” I ask. It’s helped out in more ways than one. More adventure! More memorable characters! More romance! More rivalries!

Great stuff.

What’s next for you as an author?

Thirty-One Days and Legos (a feel-good Christmas novella) released Dec. 11 and it’s the sequel to Ranger Station Haven! After that, I have Vice Enforcer, sequel to Vice City (my debut novel) and its more action-adventure with some m/m romance! Vice Enforcer releases April 3rd – I enjoyed writing both of them, so I’m super excited to share them with the world.

Keep an eye out for my next few stories! I hope to keep them coming throughout the years!

 

Blurb for Thirty-One Days and Legos

Park rangers Carter and Owen Williams have decided to expand their family and adopt two brothers—boys they rescued a year before when they tried to escape the foster system and flee to Canada. After completing their parenting classes, Carter, a reserved man who enjoys the simple life, swears he’ll be the best father possible. His patience is tested, however, when one brother adopts a cat out of the snowy Voyageurs National Park and the other brother refuses to talk about what’s bothering him.

Owen wants to make sure their first Christmas together is a special one, and he decides all of December should be a celebration. He has an activity planned for each of the thirty-one days, but none of them seem to go off without a hitch. The cat has fleas, the boys need to attend a court hearing, and Carter is more than a little overwhelmed.

But Carter is 100 percent determined to make his new family work. He just has no idea how….

About the Author

S.A. Stovall grew up in California’s central valley with a single mother and little brother. Despite no one in her family having a degree higher than a GED, she put herself through college (earning a BA in History), and then continued on to law school where she obtained her Juris Doctorate.

As a child, Stovall’s favorite novel was Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. The adventure on a deserted island opened her mind to ideas and realities she had never given thought before—and it was the moment Stovall realized that story telling (specifically fiction) became her passion. Anything that told a story, be it a movie, book, video game or comic, she had to experience. Now, as a professor and author, Stovall wants to add her voice to the myriad of stories in the world, and she hopes you enjoy.

You can contact her at the following addresses.

Twitter: @GameOverStation

Website: https://sastovallauthor.com/

SA Stovall on Writing, Books and her novel Vice City (author interview)

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Vice City (Vice City #1) by S.A. Stovall
DSP Publications
Cover art by Aaron Anderson

BUY LINKS FOR VICE CITY

DSP Publications: https://tinyurl.com/ycumb5d2
Amazon:
https://tinyurl.com/yagll39f
Barnes & Noble:
https://tinyurl.com/y7tuowhk
Google Play:
https://tinyurl.com/yajyrwt9
Kobo:
https://tinyurl.com/ycu3wnl6

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host S.A. Stovall here on tour for her debut novel, Vice City.  Welcome, S.A.!

 

~Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with SA Stovall~

How much of yourself goes into a character?

13%

Nah, I’m joshing.

For the most part, I try not to put a lot of myself into a character. I’ve never written a character that was an author, gamer, or attorney (the three life roles I identify with) and I have a lot of odd mannerisms that I never write into my stories (saying kooky things, living a hermit lifestyle, talking to myself, etc.).

That being said, I use my life experiences to shape characters, and sometimes an odd phrase of mine will slip through. 

Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue, or should I say Gary Stu, and using your own experiences to create a character?

No, not really.

From my understanding, a Mary Sue/Gary Stu character is a self-insert that lacks flaws, is admired by their peers, and is often the key to solving the story’s dilemma (either by being the chosen one, or by being soooo much smarter than the villain, you guys).

Like I said above, I try not to write myself as a character, but if I did, I would need to write several flaws. I’m somewhat awkward, a little too literal, and if I don’t eat something after I wake up, I tend to get hangry (hungry + angry).  Not the Mary Sue type.

And I imagine that’s the same with everyone. Everyone has flaws. If an author is using their own experiences (honestly) there’s no way they can avoid their flaws, which would defeat the definition of a Mary Sue/Gary Stu.

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

Even if I make up my own world and cultures, I still end up doing a lot of research. I like my fantasy/speculative fiction to carry some real-world parallels. Additionally, I’m not an expert on everything (though that would be cool) and I tend to read a fair deal of information, even for minor scenes, just to make sure I get them accurate.

That being said, research isn’t all parties and confetti. It’s like editing—I’ve got to do it, no matter how soul-draining it can be. I know it’s all worth it in the end, however. I can be proud of the finished product, and that’s what matters.

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

The first book I read and fell in love with was Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. It sparked my imagination like no other books had—to this day I remember the impact it had on my thoughts.

After that, I read a ton of fantasy and science fiction, especially anything with animals (Rats of NIMH, Watership Down, Plague Dogs) or with darker themes and characters (Black Jewels Trilogy, Dune, Ender’s Game, 1984).

I would definitely say these novels have an influence on my work. I love dark, gritty themes, and one day I’ll write my own animal novel, just you wait and see!

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I prefer Happily Ever After. That being said, I also like a few stories that end in straight tragedy, but those two aren’t as dissimilar as some might think.

I like definitive endings. It’s good, or it’s bad, I don’t want wonder.

Happy For Now endings are filled with uncertainty. Will the future be okay? Will it all fall apart? I don’t want to think about that. I like knowing!

How do you choose your covers?  (Curious on my part)

Well, my publisher was gracious enough to hire an artist, and I sent said artist a written out description of what would be my ideal cover. Then the artist got back to me with a few mock-ups.

When I look at the mock-ups, I go with my first gut reaction. Did I like it? Did I trust it? Then I focus in on the details. What’s going on here? Is it clear? Does it get the tone across?

The cover for my novel, Vice City, captures the tone to a T. It’s dark, atmospheric, and it’s set in a gritty cityscape. I fear it may scare people away, in all seriousness, but I want people to know Vice City is a noir-style thriller, not a light-n-fluffy crime drama.

What’s next for you as an author?

Lots and lots! The sequel to Vice City, titled Vice Enforcer, is already set for publication April 2018. Additionally, I have several novels with my agent, and three more in the works. I wouldn’t want to disappoint my adoring fans (*waves to the two people on twitter* – Vice City is my debut novel – doesn’t mean I can’t pretend).

BLURB FOR VICE CITY

After twenty years as an enforcer for the Vice family mob, Nicholas Pierce shouldn’t bat an eye at seeing a guy get worked over and tossed in the river. But there’s something about the suspected police mole, Miles, that has Pierce second-guessing himself. The kid is just trying to look out for his brother any way he knows how, and the altruistic motive sparks an uncharacteristic act of mercy that involves Pierce taking Miles under his wing.

Miles wants to repay Pierce for saving his life. Pierce shouldn’t see him as anything but a convenient hookup… and he sure as hell shouldn’t get involved in Miles’s doomed quest to get his brother out of a rival street gang. He shouldn’t do a lot of things, but life on the streets isn’t about following the rules. Besides, he’s sick of being abused by the Vice family, especially Mr. Vice and his power-hungry goon of a son, who treats his underlings like playthings.

So Pierce does the absolute last thing he should do if he wants to keep breathing—he leaves the Vice family in the middle of a turf war.

AUTHOR BIO

S.A. Stovall grew up in California’s central valley with a single mother and little brother. Despite no one in her family having a degree higher than a GED, she put herself through college (earning a BA in History), and then continued on to law school where she obtained her Juris Doctorate.

As a child, Stovall’s favorite novel was Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. The adventure on a deserted island opened her mind to ideas and realities she had never given thought before—and it was the moment Stovall realized that story telling (specifically fiction) became her passion. Anything that told a story, be it a movie, book, video game or comic, she had to experience. Now, as a professor and author, Stovall wants to add her voice to the myriad of stories in the world, and she hopes you enjoy.

You can contact her at the following addresses.

Twitter: @GameOverStation

Website: https://sastovallauthor.com