Introducing our guest author, Sylvia Stypa!!
Where are you from?
I am originally from Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. I am a Canadian citizen living in the Greensboro, NC area now. I am looking forward to becoming an American citizen.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I actually started writing poetry and short stories as a teenager in high school. My English teacher told me to never stop writing. I wrote 2 adventure novels and received many nice rejection slips for those back in the day when a writer's only option was publishing companies. When I moved to North Carolina 5 years ago, I was inspired to write a Christian based fiction. The Goblet was accepted by the first publishing company I approached, Tate Publishing.
Do you write full-time or part-time? How do you balance your writing life with your family/work life?
This is difficult. I do not write every day. I tend to write when I get a thought or idea on how to continue with the current book I am working on. I have 2 dogs, 4 cats and 2 horses. I love to ride and ride pretty much every day. I am fortunate that I am able to not have an outside job so writing is pretty much what I focus on.
What jobs have you held that influence your stories? A mother, a volunteer and helping others in need.
Do you have a specific writing style? Not sure about this. I will write some poetry to incorporate into my books. How did you come up with the title? I am not sure - my friends and editors helped me with this. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? I would like for people to see that everyone does have struggles in life. One can either try to resolve them on their own or with the help of God. How much of the book is realistic? The goblet is the only thing that is not real. However, there are different forces in our world and they do try to influence us. Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Some things are based on events that have happened to me. What books have most influenced your life most? The Hole in our Gospel by Richard Stearns. The Bible. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? I'm not sure I have one but I do love Janet Evanovich's books. What book are you reading now? Three to Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Where do all these people find all this time to read? Besides trying to market my book, write, be a mother, take care of 2 dogs, 4 cats, my horse, volunteer, I just have such limited time to read anything but the daily newspaper. But, sadly, no I haven't really found any new authors. That will be my next project. What are your current projects? The Goblet is the first in a series. The second book is done. It is a darker novel about the Collins family who is being stalked by a serial killer. I am currently working on the third book. The Grifton family and the Collins family meet and become friends. The oldest daughter, Rachel Grifton, becomes an archaeologist and meets a fellow archaeologist, Wade, who together go off to make more discoveries. Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. Jesus. Do you see writing as a career? I will try very hard to make it my career even this late in my blife. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? No. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I have always loved to read. My high school English teacher really kept encouraging me to write. Can you share a little of your current work with us? I am working on the third book in this series. I am not sure what to call the series and I have no idea how many books will be in this series. Right now I am bringing the Grfiton and Collins families together. Rachel Grifton is an archaeologist. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Being organized enough to write every day. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? I don't know if I have a favorite author. I really enjoy Janet Evanovich. Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? I wish I could. I would love to see Israel but right now I don't have the resources to travel. Who designed the covers? tate Publishing gave me 4 choices of book cover. My friends and family members chose what you see. What was the hardest part of writing your book? Being honest Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I am a christian. I have always believed in Jesus but I have wondered always how to connect better, how to follow my faith better, how to hear Him better. I am slowly learning to lean on Him in times of trouble. He really is there.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never give up. keep reading. keep writing. join a writer's group. never give up.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
There is power in believing.
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
I would have to ask my readers that.
Do you have an agent or publisher? How did you go about finding one?
Tate Publishing. I looked up traditional publishing companies in the Christian based fiction genre on line. Then sent off the first chapter and prayed a lot.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
North Carolina. I love the countryside. I love the people. I love the accents. I love the faith, strength, courage and resilience of the American people.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
To love my fellow neighbor better. To not be so judgmental.
For More On Sylvia Stypa: