Sam - Carefree, innocent, and in love. All is destroyed when life has other plans. Love isn't easy, especially when your heart is torn in two.
Alec - The weight of a life changing secret is suffocating. His love for her is his oxygen. Will his love be enough or will he be too late?
Emmett - Life gives and life takes away. Tormented by what and who he can’t have. Will he fight or lose his soul?
When fate steps in, their lives are irrevocably changed.
Love's Secret Torment is the story of three people's search for answers as they deal with life's cruel turns. Does surviving their destiny and living with the aftermath come at too great a cost? Join them on their journey as they face the rocky steps of a fate-twisted adulthood.
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Stacy_L_Darnell_Love_s_Secret_Torment?id=wB43BwAAQBAJ
Hi Tricia! Thanks for having me today.
Who/what inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always wanted to write. When I was growing up, I wrote a lot of short poems, which are in a journal on the top shelf of my closet, and will never see the light of day. LOL
Tell us about your characters Sam, Alec, and Emmett.
Sam is a really happy, carefree young woman. She typically sees the good side of things, until life starts throwing curveballs at her. Then she must face hurdles that she never even imagined. She loves with all of her heart, but sometimes love isn’t enough.
Alec is a smart, proper kind of guy. He has his faults, but is very loving, and has a heart of gold. When a certain something happens, he’s forced to make a hard choice and must deal with the consequences.
Emmett is, well, Emmett. Ha ha. He likes to have fun, but he’s never been the commitment type. He’s loyal—sometimes too loyal. When he loves, he loves deeply – the same goes for all of his emotions, when he’s mad or upset, it’s pretty phenomenal for him.
Why romance? Do you think you’ll branch out into other genres?
I’m writing in the romance genre because that’s the way the story unfolded in my head. I’ve started another standalone, called “Sweet Conundrum” and it’s also a romance. I don’t foresee branching out into other genres. I’m pretty comfortable in romance.
About 13 years ago, I started a paranormal story, and to be quite honest, I think it’s dreadful. However, I can’t bring myself to shred it, so it sits in the bottom of my file drawer. It reminds me of where I started and how far I’ve come.
Did you find any scene or character difficult to write and if so how did you get through it?
There’s this one scene, an intimate one, and it’s from Emmett’s POV. I remember when I received my first batch of edits back and my editor said to me, “Stacy, it’s ok to fade to black for sex scenes, but you have to give them something to fade to black with.” I’ll admit, I was nervous about that. But as I went through my rewrites, I was very happy with how they all turned out. However, when I got to one that was in Emmett’s POV, I remember messaging Nancy, my editor, and one of my critique partners (Ahem Tricia), something along the lines of: “OMG! I can’t write sex from Emmett’s POV! I don’t know what goes on in a guy’s sex-crazed mind!”
To which they both replied: “You can do it!”
So, I listened to my Spotify playlist, focused on Emmett and Sam…let the world slip away, and immersed myself into the scene. Emmett has always spoken the loudest in my head, so it didn’t take long for him to bring that scene to life. It’s actually one of my favorites.
How long did it take you to write the story and was there any particular research or experiences that played into the development of the piece?
I started writing this story around August of 2013. It started from 3-4 lines that grew into a prologue. My friend Alison talked me into entering the prologue into a contest in one of our book groups. I won third place and was on cloud nine thousand after that. I never even dreamed anyone would like my story. Over the last two years, that prologue has changed a bit, and grown into a story that I love and am very proud of.
There are some experiences that played into the development; some scenes that I wrote, take place where I was at the time I wrote them. For instance, my family had taken a vacation to Panama City Beach, FL and as I was sitting on the beach watching my husband and son bodysurf, I started picturing my characters there. So I grabbed my notebook and pen (Yes, I totally had a notebook and pen…on the beach with me. I know, I am a nerd and I’m okay with that), and I wrote out the first draft of the trip to Panama City Beach chapter.
I love Starbucks, and so does Sam…
One of the key plot points is very close to home for me. My situation is different from the one in the story, so I did some research to be sure I had the details correct for the book.
Sam has a chocolate lab named Gage, and so do I. I adore my fur baby and had to include him.
What’s your writing process like? Plotter or Pantster?
I’d say a little of both. But mostly I’m a Pantster.
What has been the most difficult part about this journey/what has been the most positive part?
My first answer is the rewrites-it was both the most difficult and positive part. Why? Because even though my initial reaction at times was a near panic-meltdown, (thankfully, my bestie kidnapped me and gave me chocolate brownies and Coco-Cola that day) it forced me to dig deep, and the end result was even better than I had originally had it. Molding it into a beautiful story that I am proud of and also helping me improve on my craft.
Separately, the most difficult part of this journey has been the indie publishing side of it. There is far more involved than I had imagined. But it is worth every second.
The most positive part of this journey is definitely the amazing people that I’ve met and worked with during this entire process. The support of my family and friends has been amazing.
Are there any books or authors that have influenced you in your writing? What are you reading right now?
There isn’t really a specific book or author. I am influenced by all who have trudged ahead in the pursuit of bringing their stories to the world.
I don’t really read while I’m writing. My mind is pretty much solely focused on the story in my head. I did take a quick break this week from everything, and beta read for a friend who is writing an amazing adult thriller.
Is there anything particular you want readers to take away from your book?
That no matter what life throws at you, don’t give up. Fight and strive for your happiness.
Why Indie publish?
I love the ability to decide what my cover looks like; from what I understand (and I could be wrong) that isn’t always the case with traditionally published books. I didn’t want to take all the time trying to find an agent and go through the process of querying publishers, when I could spend that time writing the next story in my head. I also love the indie world.
Do you have a favorite step in the indie publishing process (cover art, writing, editing, promoting)?
Definitely seeing my cover and the contents of my story come to life at the end. My cover designer, Robin Harper and my formatter, Tami Norman are absolutely amazing. It is beyond my wildest dreams how the cover and interior design of my book has turned out.
What can your readers look forward to next?
I’m working on my new WIP, “Sweet Conundrum” which is another standalone. It’s NA/Contemporary Romance. But it’s very different from “Love’s Secret Torment”. There are two main characters; the only similarity is it is dual POV. Merrik and Paige are alive in my head and I love love love their story.
Wow, that’s a hard one. There are so many BBF’s (Book Boyfriends) that I love. Ah, but I’ve found an easy way to answer. I would choose Katniss Everdeen, because she’s resourceful and survived the hunger games twice. I think being stranded on an island would be safer, and I'd have a longer survival chance living with her than with a BBF (Bahahahah).
Favorite TV or book character growing up?
I didn’t really watch a lot of TV growing up. I was always listening to music (an eclectic mix) and hanging out with friends. The only real TV I watched was when home sick from school lol. That usually consisted of The Price is Right, and Guiding Light (my sister, Penny had me watching that for as long as I could remember – I did always crush on Josh Lewis when I was a kid).
For movies, I am a total fangirl over Robert Downey Jr. (so is Sam ha ha).
Favorite hobby that isn’t reading or writing?
I like painting, I’m not very good at it, but my husband graciously supports me to the point of hanging them in the living room.
If you had to choose just one—Coca-Cola or Starbucks?
Awwww now…that’s just not right LOL. I seriously can’t choose. Hmmm, Gah. I have to say Starbucks.
About the Author
Stacy lives with her husband Mike, son Austin and chocolate lab Gage just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. She loves the seasonal weather changes, taking walks with Gage, and spending time with her family and friends.
While happily addicted to Starbucks writing is her passion and sharing her stories with the world is a dream come true.
I shuffled to my window and spread the curtains wide. Smiling up at me was my Alec. I didn’t know how it was possible and had never experienced anything like it in my life, but damn, I loved him.
He waved me down, and I noticed he had a Starbucks cup in his hand. He knew me too well. I was a coffee and hot tea junkie and thanked God every single day that we had a Starbucks within five miles from anywhere in town. I threw my bathrobe on over my sleep shorts and tank top and ran downstairs to see what my sweet guy was up to.
“Hi baby,” I said as I wrapped my arms around him and my body molded into his.
“Good morning Samone,” he said back as he smiled. “I have a surprise for you,” he chuckled, knowing how I loved surprises, especially from him.
Stalk Stacy here: