The Bookie Monster interviews Stevie Kopas, author of The Breadwinner Trilogy. Read on to get some great info about her experience in publishing her books independently, and get a good laugh at some of her responses. Be sure to check out The Bookie Monsters review of The Breadwinner!
Stevie Kopas is a self-published indie author. She was born and raised in New Jersey and has lived in Florida for the last ten years. She is a gamer, a writer, an apocalypse enthusiast and a caffeine addict. She enjoys all things Horror, Sci Fi, or Dystopian. Stevie is a fan of Robert McCammon, David Moody, Hubert Selby Jr and that's just naming a few.
When she isn't spending her time writing or gaming, she's enjoying the company of friends and family. Stevie enjoys feedback and encourages readers to contact her via email, Twitter or Facebook.
How about a little back story on Stevie Kopas? And how the heck do you pronounce that last name of yours?
Ah, the mysterious pronunciation of Kopas, trust me, I get it a lot. I started telling people to just pronounce it how they felt like saying it haha. A little back story on me would be that I am a true Jersey girl, born and raised. I moved to Florida almost 10 years ago and am loving the beach life. I’m a huge gamer and when I’m not writing I am typically spending my time on my Xbox.
What sparked your writing bug?
I fortunately was always encouraged to express myself as a child, so I've been doing it ever since. Whether it was short stories, poetry, songs in any of my bands I used to be in or the walls my parents allowed me to use as my canvas in high school- writing has always been a huge part of my life. Safe to say it’s a bug I’ll never get rid of!
Do you have a most embarrassing moment?
I’m the least graceful and most forgetful person you’ll ever meet, so I’m pretty sure I have a most embarrassing moment almost every day as I trip over my own feet as I forget people’s names hahaha.
The road to publishing a book is a hard one. Some say it's harder than even writing the book itself. How did you go about it and what obstacles did you face?
Well, I made the decision to self-publish because I've watched many people experience rejection to the point where it discourages them from doing what they’re meant to be doing. I decided I would skip over the rejection and simply tell myself “Yes, let’s publish this, you’re just gonna have to work that much harder to get it out there.” That way the only person I have to blame for not working my butt off to get my name out there is myself. I have a long road ahead of me and I am excited to be on it!
What's the one question you wish you would get asked in an interview but never do?
Where I get my character names from. I love giving my characters names and I have a secret formula for it!
Who are you reading right now?
At the moment I am trying to finish up “The Fall” by Chuck Hogan and Guillermo Del Toro, it’s a follow up to “The Strain” which I absolutely loved, even though I’m not a big vampire fan, but it’s awesome, and I recommend the series! Can’t wait to start reading the third.
What's your favorite moment in The Breadwinner?
That’s a tough one to answer without giving away a spoiler, but all I can say about my favorite moment is that it’s the false sense of hope and comfort that a certain character gives herself during an otherwise chaotic moment.
In ten words or less:
Biggest pet-peeve? People who don’t wash their hands.
Favorite musician/band? Pearl Jam!
Biggest fear? Being lost without GPS.
The zombie apocalypse has begun. What zombie fighting bad-ass would you want on your team? Alice from the Resident Evil movies.
Favorite form of caffeine? Coffee, Coffee, COFFEE
How important are your surroundings when you write? Do you prefer working in a specific place or time of day? Any weird rituals?
As long as nobody is talking to me, I can write anywhere, although I do prefer to write by myself in my house. I’m very visual and often write to music, I create little music videos in my head and then describe them. I don’t have any weird rituals, unless you call red wine, Nine Inch Nails and a laptop a ritual, then yeah, I suppose so!
You are hosting a dinner party and must invite 3 famous people. Who would you choose and why?
Eddie Vedder, he would bring good wine and sing for me. David Duchovny because, David Duchovny. And last but not least Albert Einstein because I have a million questions I want to ask him and if he showed up to my dinner party then I’d know I could raise the dead.
While I read, if felt like the story organically painted Veronica as more the protagonist than Samson. Was this intentional or did you find a connection with the character? Was she easier to write, being a female?
The story changed at least five times. I originally wrote The Breadwinner as a short story in which Veronica was not one of the good guys. But neither was Samson, she was just the lesser of two evils. Then I rewrote and was just completely unsatisfied with not developing these people I’d created. I had to justify these characters’ actions. Veronica was easier to write only because of how strong I wanted her to be and how strong the other characters needed her to be.
What's the hardest part to write about zombies? The mindless killing? The gruesome appearance of the monster? The loss of loved ones?
The zombies themselves aren't hard to write about, it’s the piece of the puzzle that the zombies fit into. It’s a world you create, as a writer, and then tear apart. It’s the people you build up and then tear down. It’s all the things you hope you never have to go through. So I think of all the experiences that could force me to crumble, and then I put it on paper.
Did you ever scare yourself as you wrote The Breadwinner?
Actually, yes. I have a phone that gives severe weather updates with a very obnoxious “emergency broadcast” tone. In the middle of writing, it was dead quiet and I was really getting into a scene and then all of a sudden the phone went off and I had to hit save and get up and go outside to make sure bombs weren't dropping and people weren't eating each other haha, you can add that to my embarrassing moment list.
OK, so, what’s next on the horizon? Do you already have a new project in the works? Is it a sequel to The Breadwinner? (crossing my fingers!!)
Yes! I’m currently in the process of writing the follow up to The Breadwinner! It’s called Haven and I am planning on releasing it in February around Valentine’s Day! I’m really excited about it, I've got a lot of new characters to introduce everyone to and I can’t wait for everyone to see what’s next for our survivors.
Can you give us a little sneak peek?
Ah, well, without giving anything away I’ll say two things. First, there’s some tragedy. Second, one of the new characters will make you wish there were two of Moira.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
“Don’t write what people want to read, write what you want to write.”
Do you have any advice for other writers?
I’ll put a twist on an old phrase to make it mine: It doesn't cost anything to write, but it will cost you happiness if you don’t.
Where can readers stalk you?
I love being stalked (safely). Readers can follow me on Twitter @ApacoTaco or they can become a fan on Facebook at facebook.com/thebreadwinnertrilogy and they can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org because I love feedback, new acquaintances and new opportunities.