I’d like to introduce a writer friend of mine Stacy Hawkins Adams. She’s a journalist and author with a passion for creating stories that are real and sincere. She likes to write about African-American characters and tell their story.
She’s stopped by the blog today in order to talk about her novel, The Someday List. Enjoy your time with Stacy via this author interview!
About the book:
Rachelle Covington has it all. A fabulous home, a handsome and prestigious husband, two beautiful children, and a place in the upper crust that’s quite comfortable. But her life is not all it’s cracked up to be. When her husband goes away on business trip and the kids are sent off to the grandparents for a month, Rachelle takes up the challenge of a dying friend to start a list of things to do before she dies.
She heads back to Jubilant, Texas, to reconnect with her past, her purpose, and herself. But when her ex shows up in town looking very fine and very single, Rachelle must confront feelings she thought she’d long buried.
Will she give up everything to recover the past? Or will she find a reason to plan for the future? The Someday List is an honest look at what makes us who we are and what can throw us off track.
Author Stacy Hawkins Adams writes with a voice that is fresh, sincere, and completely real. Her characters jump off the page and into her readers’ hearts.
Author bio: Stacy Hawkins Adams is an award-winning author, journalist and writing mentor whose fiction and nonfiction enlightens readers while helping them find confidence in their own stories.
She has penned nine faith-based novels and one devotional book. She also serves as a parenting columnist for a Virginia-based newspaper and blogs for the Huffington Post on social justice issues.
Stacy lives in Virginia with her family. Learn more about her at www.StacyHawkinsAdams.com.
Alexis: What’s your “story behind the story” for this book of yours, The Someday List?
Stacy: I wrote this novel after hearing from many women readers who felt like they were stuck in life, or that it was too late to pursue their dreams. I wanted them to realize that as much as we love and value our families, God loves and values each of us; and our hopes and dreams are meant to be birthed. The main characters in The Someday List eventually realize that as they concentrate on what brings them meaning and joy, the more they’re able to be and do for others.
Alexis: Rachelle Covington is your heroine. What makes her tick? What fills her heart with bliss? What made her fall in love with her husband?
Stacy: Your questions are at the heart of this novel’s premise: Rachelle no longer knows these answers. She has lost herself in being a wife and mother and has a hard time figuring out why she matters. This novel takes her on a journey to remembering what makes her tick, what fills her heart with bliss, and what made her fall in love with her husband, among other things.
Alexis: How close was Rachelle to her dying friend and how did her friend’s challenge lead to Rachelle creating her “someday list” of things she wants to do before she dies?
Stacy: This was a childhood friend of Rachelle’s that she hadn’t seen in years, but during her friend’s farewell party she was deeply moved by how her friend was able to die with no regrets. Rachelle couldn’t say she would face that fate with the same peace. So attending that event, and then struggling to create a list of things she wanted to accomplish, jolted her into realizing that she needed to reclaim her life and her faith.
Alexis: You set up this story at the start to show that Rachelle has it all but the reader can infer that something is missing. What is missing in her life?
Stacy: What’s missing is the core of who she is. In doing her best to love and serve her family, she forgot to carve out some time to nurture her own interests and dreams – a pattern many women fall into. There’s nothing wrong with sacrificing and serving those we love most; that’s how we grow a loving family. However, what many women tend to find over time is that when doing so leaves us drained or empty, we haven’t truly given of ourselves in the best way. Also, I’ve found that as women–including myself- we need to practice self-care and take care of our inner selves as much as we “dress up” our outer selves. When we take the time to do this, our families, friends, and associates are blessed by what pours from us. My character, Rachelle, eventually realizes this.
Alexis: Rachelle’s journey takes her home to Jubilant, TX and she encounters her ex-boyfriend who is just as fine as ever. What role does he play in this story?
Stacy: She and Troy had a long and deep history together (I won’t say more, or I’ll give away too much), and their romance was sweet and honorable. But because Rachelle seems to have never been able to stand up for herself or for her own desires, the relationship was shattered. She went on to marry her current husband; yet as the story unfolds, you see that neither she nor Troy (her former partner) fully healed from their breakup.
Alexis: You’re known as an author for writing characters who, “jump off the page and into her readers’ hearts”. How much time did it take you to develop that skill?
Stacy: Thank you for saying that. I’m humbled by that, and grateful that my readers react to my characters in this way. My goal is to make every character and every scenario seem real, so that readers can lose themselves in that story and root for the “good girls” while simultaneously finding themselves frustrated with the “not so good” characters. Just like in real life, right? Lol
Truthfully, though, no person is all good or all bad, and I try to show these layers in my main characters and in some of the secondary characters.
I can’t say that I’m finished developing as a writer, because it’s an ongoing process, and I’m always striving to get better at my craft. However, I do work at it, and I think that intention pays off. I try to read good books with great dialogue, plots, and character development. I also read writing craft books to help me better refine the “people” I’ve created in my stories.
Alexis: Your voice as an author is described as “fresh, sincere and completely real.” What do you think of that? Did you always want to be an author? Explain.
Stacy: Again, I’m honored by this, and I’m grateful, because this is who I aim to be as both a person and a writer – sincere, real and also creative in how I express myself and engage my readers.
Yes, I’ve wanted to be an author since I tried to pen my first book around age 8. I’ve loved writing since I learned to read, and I always wrote stories and poems throughout my childhood. I segued into a journalism career, which allowed me to hone my nonfiction writing skills and learn to write on deadline, research stories, and understand people from all walks of life, and this training has been invaluable in crafting memorable fictional characters.
Alexis: What stirs you to write?
Stacy: I’d have to say life! When something exciting or heartbreaking or intriguing happens in the world around me or in the world at large, I’m often inspired to express myself through writing – whether fiction or nonfiction – and to share that with the world, to help others process the issue, too, or to simply offer food for thought or encouragement as readers consider what has unfolded or how to react.
Alexis: How do you deal with writer’s block?
Stacy: I’ve come to realize that my form of writer’s block is procrastination. When I should be writing I’ll load the dishwasher or decide to clean a closet. And sometimes I give in to that because taking a break from the writing allows your mind to relax into the story. Taking a walk also helps. It gets the creative juices flowing. I’ll allow myself a short break and then get back to it. If the chapter or paragraph still isn’t flowing, I just write through it, knowing that I can go back and fix it later.
Alexis: Most if not all of your books feature African American characters. Is there a special reason why you only write fictional stories about African Americans?
Stacy: Since I am African American it’s quite natural to write what you know. Plus, I think it’s valuable to all readers to have an opportunity to read about characters from all backgrounds–protagonists who may have some similarities to the reader, yet also some differences. What my stories show is that ultimately, we all have the same hopes and dreams and desire to be loved–by God and by other people. And while most of my characters are African American, I never write a one-color world. In The Someday List, Rachelle’s husband takes a mission trip to Uganda with his Caucasian partner, for example; and in subsequent books, you see Rachelle’s family members befriending and/or working with people of various ethnicities.
Alexis: How does your experience as a journalist impact the way that you write your fictional stories?
Stacy: Having the ability to write on deadline is a major benefit. And the research skills I learned as a journalist have helped me seek out facts and trivia for my novels that make my stories more true-to-life.
Alexis: If you were not an author, how else would you spend your creativity?
Stacy: That is a great question. Since I’ve always been a writer, I’m not sure! Writing is second nature; so it flows all the time, even in just simple musings. So even if I had chosen another career path, I might find myself writing in some way.
Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Stacy! Would you like to share any closing thoughts?
Stacy: Thank you for featuring me, and thanks to all of your readers who have read my books or will take the time to read them. I try to write stories that are entertaining, but also that touch a chord with readers wherever they may find themselves in life. It has been a humbling and satisfying experience to see how the written word truly does matter, and I hope to continue writing and inspiring readers for years to come.
Connect with Stacy:
Website – www.StacyHawkinsAdams.com
Twitter – www.twitter.com/shadams
Facebook – www.facebook.com/stacyinspires