About Stefanie and James Wilson:
Stef and James met in Sydney and currently live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. They love traveling, and when they are home, they enjoy spending time with family and enjoying the outdoors.
What inspires you to write?
Stef: Travel! Both of us have traveled a lot and have funny or interesting stories we would often tell people. I had always wanted to write a travel memoir, and James suggested it would be fun to write a collection of our travel stories. Over time, the anthology of travel essays evolved into more of a memoir about the two of us, but our favorite segments to write were the travel memories we revisited.
What authors do you read when you aren’t writing?
Stef: I love Bill Bryson. I am a fan of travel memoirs, but I also really enjoy his other nonfiction books. He can make literally anything funny.
James: I don't really have one. I like celebrity memoirs a lot. Two of my favorites were by Trevor Noah and Kevin Hart.
Stef: We both like listening to audiobooks on long drives, and we usually choose thrillers by authors like Harlan Coben and Lucy Foley.
Tell us about your writing process.
James: Stef can sit down whenever and write, but I definitely have to be in the mood. I’m a graphic designer and usually after a day of work the last thing I feel like doing is sitting at a screen and being creative. So when I do feel up to it, I’ll take advantage and churn out a whole chapter. I'm more of a "start typing and see where it goes" writer.
Stef: I'm a planner. Old school, with a notebook. I decide what I want to cover, and sometimes I will write segments that I end up rearranging, so it's easier for me to lay it all out visually.
One huge part of our process was bouncing ideas off of each other. We like to go hiking, and we had a lot of debates out on the trails about what to include in the book. Something about walking helped us get our thoughts in order. We’d often have to stop and make notes on James’ phone so we wouldn’t forget our ideas.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Stef: We do both every day! Well, James might debate that I listen.
What advice would you give other writers?
Stef: I went into writing thinking, “I can write a sentence, so I can write a book.” There is SO much more to it than I had ever imagined! My first attempts at memoir were terrible! I would tell beginning writers to take classes and try to learn about the craft of writing and storytelling techniques. Learn to embrace negative feedback. Praise doesn’t improve your writing. It’s better for a critique partner to point out the flaws than Amazon reviewers!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
James: Stef originally wanted to publish traditionally, but always knew I wanted to self-publish. I wanted full control and ownership of our work, and I knew we could do most of it ourselves. I designed the cover, website, and press kit, and formatted the ebook and paperback. Traditional publishers don’t really do much marketing for new authors anyway, so Stef took care of all of that. She reached out to bloggers and bookstagrammers, and submitted the book to review publications and contests. The only outside help we had was our editor Jean McConnell, who was great to work with.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
James: Well, based on all of the reasons we self-published, I think more and more authors are going to go that route.
What genres do you write?: memoir, travel memoir
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.