Monday, January 25, 2010

Make-Believe Mondays With Yolanda Sfetsos

Today on Make-Believe Mondays, my guest is Yolanda Stefsos.

Yolanda, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.

Yolanda: At the moment, I’m actually between manuscripts and working on revision for several projects. One is a YA futuristic, the other is the last installment for a trilogy I have contracted with Damnation Books, and I’ve also finished the revision for a follow up to Wither. It doesn’t have a set title yet but it’s a Sci-Fi, and although Colt and Brynn are in it, the next story is all about Ace.

Debra: Wither is such an interesting title, I'm curious what the follow up will be titled.

Ray Bradbury said, “We are cups, constantly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” How do you keep your creative cup filled?

Yolanda: The best way to keep my creative cup filled is to keep telling stories. Of course, every now and then I also need a little break, especially after long bouts of revision.

I also make sure that I keep reading in a variety of genres, listen to plenty of music, watch my favorite TV shows – Dexter, True Blood, Supernatural, Castle, Burn Notice – and go for walks. I get flooded with a lot of creative ‘stuff’ when I go for a walk.

Debra: It's so important for a writer to read widely and there's something about a walk when you get stuck on something.

Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?

Yolanda: Usually, as soon as the idea starts to build inside my head, the characters come alive. They’re very persistent and once their story begins to take shape, they won’t leave me alone. :)

With my story Wither, as soon as Colt and Brynn’s separate stories intertwined, I could see, hear, and feel the core of the tale they had to tell. Of course, with each draft, a few things changed but the core of who they were and what they wanted was there instantly.

Debra: For some writers, dreams play a role in creating fiction. Has this been true for you? Have you ever dreamed a scene or an image that later wound up in one of your books?

Yolanda: Oh, yes, this has definitely happened to me. Dreams are strange things. Sometimes they’re vivid, other times they fade moments after waking. And usually they don’t make any real sense, but there is that rare occasion where I might wake up with a small fragment that worms its way into a story.

Debra: Is there anything else you would like to add about the role of imagination, and dreams in creating fiction? Any other message for our readers?

Yolanda: I think imagination is a very powerful thing and I’ve spent a lot of my life lost in mine.

Also, I love to hear from my readers, so don’t be shy and drop me a line.

Debra: Yolanda, thank you for joining us here on this Make-believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers.

Yolanda: Thank you very much for having me. It’s been a lot of fun.

Debra: It's been a pleasure.

Readers please visit Yolanda at

Debra's News/Debra is watching:

Two weeks ago I started working part-time at a yoga studio in Memphis. I'm enjoying the new job, and beginning to practice yoga again. One of my goals for 2010 is to create harmony and balance in my life. Mind, body and spirit. So this job is perfect for working toward that goal and for allowing time to do the occasional book signing (I plan to do this once a month) as well as time to work on my manuscripts. I'm happy to report that I'm feeling much better after the accident and it's good to be back here doing the Make-Believe Mondays interviews which I enjoy.

Lining up some book events for 2010 and will be adding them to my website soon.

I will be at Davis-Kidd in Nashville on Feb. 6th for a signing at 2:00 p.m. More details later.

You can also find me on Twitter and I have a fan page on Facebook".

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Make-Believe Mondays will resume Jan 25th

Make-Believe Mondays has had no posts since December 7th because on Dec 8th I was in a car accident, totalled the car and was not feeling well. But I am fully healed now and ready to resume the interviews beginning next week, Jan. 25th. Thank you for your patience and the private emails of concern.

Love and light,