Welcome to the second of my new interview series, this week featuring women’s fiction author Stevie Turner. Stevie has a vast selection of books to her credit, and I’m happy to share that I’ve read a few of them and look forward to reading many more awaiting me on my Kindle. So today we’re going to get to know a little more about Stevie and her writing.
About Stevie Turner:
Stevie Turner grew up in the East End of London and was fortunate enough to attend an excellent primary school which encouraged creative writing. After winning an inter-schools’ writing contest, Stevie began to keep a diary and often added little stories and poems to it as the years went by. However, she did not take up writing seriously until 2013. By this time her two sons had left home and she had more time to herself.
Stevie has now written 11 novels, 6 novellas, 1 memoir, and 18 short stories, winning a New Apple Book Award in 2014 and a Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in 2015 for her third novel ‘A House Without Windows’. You can find details of all her books on her website http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk
Stevie still lives in the same picturesque Suffolk village that she and husband Sam moved to in 1991 with their two boys. One of her short stories, ‘Lifting the Black Dog’, was published in ‘1000 Words or Less Flash Fiction Collection’ (2016). She has also written an article ‘Look on the Bright Side of Life’ which was included in the 2016 book ‘They Say I’m Doing Well’ which are articles about mental illness, proceeds of which go to the charity MIND. Her screenplay ‘For the Sake of a Child’ won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival, and her novel ‘A House Without Windows’ gained interest in 2017 from an independent film production company based in New York.
Let’s get down to some Q and A with Stevie:
own, and that suits me just fine. My mother, who constantly needed people to talk
to, could never understand why I was such an unsociable child. She would talk to me
non-stop and I had to listen. She would also take me out shopping and I’d ask to be
allowed to wait outside so that the shop keepers couldn’t talk to me. Oh dear,
perhaps I’d be referred to a shrink these days…
As I grew, nothing changed. An only child, I’ve always had no problem with being
alone and have only ever cultivated a few friends throughout my lifetime. These
friends I still have, and we meet up from time to time. I don’t really enjoy being in a
noisy room with a lot of people. I’m quite happy being with my husband or sitting at
my computer tapping away. At work I sit on my own quite a lot of the time, and this
is through choice. I could sit with another woman if I wanted to, but she talks
constantly and it irritates me. Oh dear, perhaps I really do need to see a shrink…
your future in writing, what would you have done differently?
competition aged 11. I wrote a lot of poetry as a teenager, and always received top
marks in English for my essays. When I was 17 my mother told me that ‘people like
me’ do not go to University, and so I never went. If I could do it all over again, I’d go
to University and get an English degree and then try to gain employment as a
journalist to hone my creative writing skills. I would have therefore learned much
about writing when I finally started to create novels (it has taken me at least 6 years
to grasp the basics in my late fifties and early sixties), and hopefully I would have
made the kind of contacts necessary for advancement.
publishing deal, especially after a London agency kept me on tenterhooks for a
whole week whilst debating whether or not to represent me with ‘The Porn Detective’
(later re-written on said agent’s advice, and re-published as ‘Mind Games’). They
didn’t in the end, and so I sent it off to what seemed like every agent in the world.
Many said the same thing; re-write it. I re-wrote it and sent it off again to every agent
in the world, but hey…
After about 3 years of trying unsuccessfully to find an agent, it dawned on me that
self-publishing actually wasn’t too bad at all. I had control over the content and
covers of my books, and could market them how I wanted to. There were also no
deadlines to work to, as I hate working to deadlines.
Another 3 years went by and I learned that I should have bought my own ISBNs in
the first place so that I could publish a book on any site I wanted to and not just
Amazon. I now sell more books via Ingram Spark than I do on Amazon, and this is
good, because Ingram get the books into actual bookstores and libraries.
Okay, an agent can submit your book to all those wonderfully just-out-of-reach
genuine book competitions that aren’t just there to grab your money like the majority of Indie contests are. They can get your book printed with one of the big 5
publishers, but they cannot, I repeat cannot, guarantee that your book is going to sell
thousands or even hundreds of copies. Some Indie books sell more copies than
traditionally published ones. It’s all gravy baby, as my son would say. Until the big
deal comes my way, I’m happy to self-publish!
Would you like to share with us what upcoming projects and/or ideas for
books that you’re working on?
I worked for a year as an examinations administrator in a college that catered for 16
– 19 years olds back in 1999. I was glad of the experience, as I learned much from
the time spent there, and not all of it was good. When I wrote a letter of complaint to
my local newspaper about something I found out there, they would not print it. I did nothing else about what I found. I’m now working on ‘Examining Kitchen Cupboards’, a fictional suspense story where protagonist Jill Hayes works as an examinations administrator in a college for 16 – 19 years olds. When she writes a letter to her local newspaper (which they would not print) about something she hasfound out, things start to take a downward turn for her…
DG – Wow, now that sounds like it will be an intriguing read! And you get to say what they would not publish for you back then too!
If you could have any of your books made into a movie, which one would
you choose and why?
I was contacted last year by a lady from the development department of a New York
media production company regarding my novel ‘A House Without Windows’. She
had read the book and was eager to present it to the director for his opinion. After
some consideration the director told me the market wasn’t right for the kind of film
they would have to make, as the main female character would need to be portrayed
as a victim, and apparently that’s not PC anymore.
However I’m getting many positive remarks about my paranormal short story ‘Finding
David’. I’d love to see what a film producer would make of it, and how they would go
about doing the ghostly special effects. Here’s the latest review and the first few
paragraphs for you:
5 star review by ‘Tigerman55’ https://www.amazon.co.uk/Finding-David-Paranormal-Short-
24 August 2019
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this book so interesting I had a job to put it down until I reached the end of the story. It is a fact that clairvoyants have been known to assist the police in their inquiries. All in all a great read.
DG – You can read my review for Finding David HERE
SHORT EXCERPT FROM ‘FINDING DAVID’ BY STEVIE TURNER
She risked a sneaky peep around the curtain; every seat in Croydon’s grandly
named Athaneum was taken. Desperate for a miracle, rows of overweight middle
aged women waited impatiently. A cacophony of chatter filled the air. Women
laughed nervously or threw a few words to the odd unsmiling husband sitting in stolid
disbelief with arms crossed as if to ward off evil spirits.
The usual high-pitched buzz of anticipation echoed off the walls. Rae
Cordelle patted her black bobbed hair into place, stepped back into the wings, and
took a deep breath.
“There’s a good crowd tonight.”
Medicine Horse, six foot seven inches of calm serenity in loincloth and full
Apache feathered headdress, emitted a comforting presence as he stood in quiet
contemplation by her side.
“I am here to guide you, as always.”
Rae gave a nod of approval.
“Many thanks. May God be with us tonight.”
Peter Jones, Spiritualist Preacher, raised a water jug towards her in salutation
as he slipped through the curtain. All at once Rae heard silence from the discordant
hell of many raised voices.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we have a remarkable and gifted clairvoyant medium
here with us tonight. I want you to give a big hand to … Rae Cordelle!”
The stagehand pulled back the curtains. Rae, already desperate for the
soothing balm of water, walked towards the table to polite applause as the preacher
ceased his theatrical posturing and sat down beside her.
“Thank you Peter.” She filled a glass and took a refreshing sip. “It’s lovely to
Arms folded and his features inscrutable, Medicine Horse stood sentinel at the
back of the hall. Rae felt the burning stares of at least two hundred pairs of eyes.
“Has anybody seen me work before?”
A couple of hands shot up while a gabble of deceased spirits jostled for first
position in a queue behind Medicine Horse.
“Well, for the others here that haven’t attended a demonstration of
clairvoyance before, don’t worry. If you see anything scary I’ll be the first one out of
the door, ahead of you all!”
Rae felt the tense atmosphere lighten a fraction, as a titter erupted amongst
the cauliflower heads and bald pates. She took another sip of water, and carried on.
“And if your relative was a miserable old bugger in this world, you can bet your
bottom dollar he’ll be just as miserable in the next!”
Thank you so much for visiting here today Stevie. It’s always a treat for me to learn more about my writing friends and acquaintances. I look forward to reading your newest book – Examining Kitchen Cupboards!
You can find Stevie and her books below with all her social links:
Amazon Author Page (worldwide): http://bookShow.me/B00AV7YOTU
WordPress Blog: https://steviet3.wordpress.com/
Note: Please forgive the weird spacing and lack of white space between paragraphs on this post. As my blog was recently, finally, upgraded (meaning you readers shouldn’t have to wait so long to load my posts), I am facing new glitches. Thanks for putting up with. 🙂