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Literary Libations: Fantasy, Romance, & Colour With Stacy Bender

Today is Cinco de Mayo here in the States, so I basically have two options: 1)Stay up really late and post this week’s “Literary Libations” before heading off to drink at a friend’s party tomorrow, or 2)Wait until 8 PM tomorrow, when I’m exhausted and really just want to see the “Amazing Race”finale. Because I am a responsible blogging diva, I will opt for the first one. So, hello, world…this is me at 3 AM!:)

Today’s interview is with author Stacy Bender, who has successfully published a number of books in the fantasy genre, but her writing is original, descriptive, colourful, and really defies any specific genre. Whether you like fantasy, sci-fi, romance, or simply a well-developed story, you’ll enjoy reading what she has to offer.

Sit back, relax, and depending on what time you read this, either grab your authentic Mexican Coca-Cola, or the nearest margarita, and take a journey with Stacy through a more colourful and vivacious world!

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1) Please tell the readers a bit about yourself. Where are you from, where do you reside now, and what is your latest project?

Hi, my name is Stacy Bender, and I’m originally from Michigan, a place where UP is not a direction, it’s a place. Both Hell and Paradise really do exist, you can find it on the map, and depending on which side of the bridge you reside on signifies whether you’re a yooper or troll. I’m a troll.

Right at the moment, I live in Cincinnati and have been here for a few years. I like the area very much. I love being able to walk around town without fear of being run over.

As for the my latest project, between trying to find a job, editing Word Branch Publishing’s new Sci-Fi Anthology, working on my next book and getting my garden ready….. not much. Did I mention that I am a tad bit hyperactive?

2) If you don’t mind, share a little bit about your latest book? What is it about your writing that gives it a unique voice and appeals to readers?

‘Real Men Don’t Wax’, and yes, I purposely named it that to grab everyone’s attention. Quite honestly, I usually don’t do romance novels. I much prefer sci-fi and fantasy. However, I wrote the story for several reasons. First, as a challenge to see if I could do it; second, for a friend who is a romance fanatic, and third– to have a bit of fun. The first line says it all.

“Why is it that in every romance novel, the girl is always a virgin and the guy has more money than he knows what to do with? When in reality, most of us lose our virginity in a drunken stupor to some jackass and most guys don’t have a pot to pee in,”

The rest is just poking fun at the gene and of course and everyone falls in love with Mephistopheles. If I get the reader to laugh, I’ve done my job.

Real Men Dont Wax
3) When it comes to the creative process, what inspires you? Tell us a little bit about how your latest book came into being.

Inspiration can come from anywhere even on a gloomy day. It can follow you home from a walk in the park, wake you up in the middle of the night, drop in your lap for no good reason or show up, as ‘Real Men Don’t Wax’ did, in a conversation on romance novels.

4) Did you decide to go with a traditional publisher, an indie publisher, or self-publish your latest work? What do you consider the benefits and the drawbacks of the particular route you’ve chosen?

When I first decided to try and get my work published, I knew that I didn’t want to self publish it. Going with the traditional publisher seem daunting because it seemed like in order to get published, you had to be published. Confusing, I know.

Therefore, when a friend of mine introduced me to Cathy I thought that I hit the jackpot. She was just starting up Word Branch Publishing and took a look at ‘Emerald Tears’ and she loved it, though at the moment ‘Ursa Kane’ is now her favorite, and her husband would love to see it as a movie.

The benefits of Word Branch is that it’s a small publishing company and even though artist, owners, editors, proofers and authors are all scattered across the country we still are accessible to each other. Granted, being new is a bit of a problem, as well as the biggest drawback. There will be bumps along the road, but it’s amazing, the opportunities that the Internet presents.

5) Where, when, and how did you get your start in the writing world? Is this your first publication?

Where, when and how? Oh dear, I’m not quite sure. You see have always made up stories but had few people to tell them to. Plus, I was told that I couldn’t write and I admit that I still can’t spell. I’ve always dreamed of writing a book ever since I saw the movie, ‘The Ghost and Mrs. Muir’. But it seemed like just that a dream until a friend of mine managed to convince me to start writing my stories down and so ‘Ursa Kane’ is my oldest surviving written story, even though ‘Emerald Tears’ was published first, followed six months later by ‘Hands of Onyx’.

6) Your work is highly imaginative. Where does that inspiration come from? Are there times when you experience “writer’s block”, and what do you find is the best way to get past that?

Highly imaginative, I find those words rather odd. For me, it’s normal state of mind. I guess it’s because I see the world rather differently than most, and have been accused of living in my own world. When I have trouble with a story I usually tuck it in the cubbyhole in my mind, or if it’s written down, toss it on the shelf for a time. Time is really the only answer and trying to force a story out doesn’t seem to work very well for me. Sometimes, talking to someone about a particular story helps the brain organize thoughts and brings the obvious to light.

7) In addition to being a writer, you’re also a blogger with a social media presence. How do you feel social media helps or hinders artists in pursuit of their goals?

Right at the moment I’m still trying to get used to the SM thing, (Social Media) and sometimes I think the acronym sounds accurate.;P But it seems that this is the way the world is turning and it’s unavoidable, so it’s just a matter of getting used to it. Luckily, one can link many of these sites together making it a little easier and less time consuming.

8) Other than yourself, of course, who is your favorite author? What’s the last book you read that really spoke to you in some way, and why?

Correction, I’m my own worst enemy. However, one of my favorite series is Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer, there is something about the character. It’s had a big influence on when I wrote ‘Emerald Tears’. There is just something about a man in a fedora and wearing a suit, it’s sexy. You just don’t see that anymore. As for the books that I read, I always try to find something to take away with me and I tend to lean towards stories that have a somewhat positive ending. (Please don’t confuse that with a happy ending.)

9) Is writing a full-time career for you, or something you do in your free time? What do you ultimately hope to accomplish as a writer?

Writing so far has been nothing more than a hobby, and I am not really sure if I want to go beyond that or not. As long as it kept its ‘fun factor’, that would be great. I wouldn’t mind a movie deal either. I wouldn’t want to act in it or direct it. However, can I slap the director if he screws it up? But seriously, I write because I love doing it. One should not get into writing expecting to make loads of money, but if you are one of the lucky few who can, my hat’s off to you.

10) If there were one thing you’d like to improve about your life or your writing at this point in time, what would it be?

How about getting the day job so I can keep my house? Sorry, that’s just been at the forefront of my mind here lately. After almost 20 years in the same company, I’ve found myself laid off and a bit out of sorts. Getting back to the question, one can always find improvement in everything they do. Life changes and so do we. If we aren’t willing to change, we stagnate.

11) Do you enjoy other types of media and artistic creation, such as television, magazines, movies, music, fashion, social media, etc.? What are some of your favorite things?

Television has so few shows that actually require a brain cell or two, so I tend to stick to PBS, mysteries and mayhem. Magazines are mostly advertisements. Movies and music depend on my mood at the time as to what keeps my attention. I do have a love of cooking, especially when there are others around to enjoy it. Opera (yes, I know everyone usually dies) and various other live performances.

12) What’s your Zodiac sign?

Occidental or Oriental? Taurus, if you’re asking about the occidental or Greek zodiac most of us know. Dog, element of metal, for the Oriental—and just for shits and giggles, in numerology my full name adds up to eleven. Yes I could go on but basically it all ends up being a double whammy and a contradiction in terms. All in all I’m stubborn and dependable.

13) Of course, we both want readers to rush right out and grab a copy of your latest book! Please tell us where we can find it. Additionally, if you have a blog, website, Facebook, or Twitter, please let us know so we’re able to follow you.

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You can order direct from Word Branch Publishing or go to

If you wish to follow me, pick your poison I’ve got them all linked together:

Thank you to Stacy for joining us today, and for bringing along her witty and upbeat sense of humour. Anita Lewis, who appeared in a previous installment of Literary Libations and conducted an interview with me earlier this week, has a guest post written by Stacyon her blog, so I encourage you to take the time to hop on over and read more about this very colourful and unique lady!

I’ll see you all again next Sunday, when we’ll be speaking with the lovely and multi-faceted author Devorah Fox. Please don’t forget about me in the meantime! I’m always conversing over on Facebook and chatting about books and such on Goodreads, so don’t hesitate to be my friend!:)

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