Thursday, 8 January 2015

Featured Author: J.W. Stacks

Today's featured author is June Stacks, a librarian by day and an airship captain by night. A purveyor of romance and adventure, June has been writing for over ten years. Recently, she decided to try her hand at fiction. I had the opportunity to chat with June and this is what she had to say!  

Why do you write?
As a librarian, I get quite a bit of reading done so, when I get home, the last thing I want to do is read more. Writing is a great way to avoid TV or video games that I have discovered I have an addictive personality towards. (I'm looking at YOU, World of WarCraft)

Which writers inspire you?
I have a deep-seated appreciation for the old pulp writers such as Edgar Rice Burroughs, H.P. Lovecraft, Walter Gibson, and Robert Howard. I also enjoy westerns. I guess I have a thing for dying genres. I blame my father whose bookshelves were within reach of me when I was just a kid. Sure, I read the normal kid stuff but there was just something about the covers of those books that looked so dangerous and so different from Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew. The moment I could try to read them, I did. It has stuck with me ever since.

What is your favorite book and why?

What day of the week is it? (laughs) I can tell you what my favorite book is at this moment in time. I just finished "Ghost of a Chance" by Eric Wilder. It's the first book in his Paranormal Cowboy series. Don't let the series name fool you - it isn't a western and the paranormal aspects are low-key. What it is, however, is a well-crafted southern gothic murder mystery that did not shy away from some of the uglier aspects of racial discrimination. I'm in the middle of reading "Big Ass Shark" by Briar Lee Mitchell and it might become my next new favorite!

What do you think is the easiest thing about writing? What is the most difficult?

Oh, characters are the easiest for me. I can come up with characters at the drop of a hat. I'm not sure why. Plotting, however, is my albatross. I've always just jumped into any writing project and just started writing. This has come back and bit me in the behind more than once. I'm trying to force myself to do a basic outline but it's hard to break old lazy habits.

From books that have already been published by other authors, which book do you wish you had written?

The Railroad! series by Tonia Brown. How can you go wrong with a steampunk weird western that has everything and the kitchen sink tossed in. By all accounts this thing should collapse under its own weight and silliness but, my god, it is absolutely fantastic! I would give my left arm (I need my right) to be able to turn out a story as engaging and amazing as Railroad!

How do you market your books?

Not effectively. I spam Facebook and Twitter. This is another of those things that I need to get better at.

Any new release? If yes, what is it about?

Not at the moment but I am working on "Geared for Intrigue," a steampunk romance, which is a (massively) expanded version of one of my first stories, "A Clockwork Christmas Angel." It is over 50k words and growing.

Here's an advanced excerpt from Geared for Intrigue
‭    ‬Matthew Boucher stared at the small fire he nursed from the snowy ground.‭ ‬An old blackened iron pot he had found underneath the driver‭’‬s seat began to steam as he absently fed the flames with the driest branches he could find.‭ ‬The clearing the had chosen the previous night had been more from exhaustion rather than practicality.‭ ‬Still,‭ ‬he had gotten lucky.‭ ‬The scraggly trees surrounding their small camp had protected them from the worst of the biting wind and the snowfall had been mercifully free of ice.‭ ‬Which was a good thing when you wake up under a blanket with your‭ ‬pants around your ankles and your pecker nestled comfortably against the bare thigh of a beautiful woman.‭ ‬Last night had been‭ ‬one he would not forget any time soon.‭ ‬Even bone-tired there were some things that any man could muster the energy for,‭ ‬he just hoped that Abby had no regrets because he sure as hell didn‭’‬t.

‭    ‬Coffee and hard biscuits from the carriage boot would be Christmas morning breakfast but his mind remained far from his own deprivations.‭ ‬Abby's cries as she thrust up into him and her beautiful brown hair spilling around her ecstatic face would not abandon him and he fought the urge to climb back in that carriage and give her something memorable to wake up to.‭ ‬His pants grew tighter at the thought.‭ ‬Dammit,‭ ‬you fool,‭ ‬get your mind off the woman‭!

    ‬He never intended to‭ ‬get Abby caught up in this...‭ ‬whatever‭ "‬this‭" ‬was.‭ ‬With his charge,‭ ‬Worchester,‭ ‬off to the continent he was free to get involved in another duty.‭ ‬Matt reminded himself that he was not the type of man to go looking for trouble,‭ ‬but God himself help the sons of bitches who brought it on him and even more so for terrorizing a lady.‭ ‬It had been happenstance that he had been asked to drive Lady Talbot about while Worchester was gone and,‭ ‬if that alcoholic coward had ever done him any favors,‭ ‬this was the one.‭ ‬The memory of the haunted look that marred Abby‭’‬s beautiful face as she stepped down from his carriage at Maggie‭’‬s home still made him want to make sure that he never saw that expression on her face again.‭ ‬When he found out about her arm later,‭ ‬it‭ ‬made‭ ‬no difference.‭ ‬Abby could ask him to fight a bear bare-handed and the only thing he'd need to‭ ‬know was if she wanted the pelt for a coat or boots.

    ‬However,‭ ‬her limb raised questions that he fully intended to follow up on today,‭ ‬never mind the unforeseen circumstance of getting a lady caught in the middle of a running gunfight.‭ ‬He grimaced.‭ ‬They,‭ ‬whoever‭ "‬they‭" ‬were,‭ ‬moved quick.‭ ‬He envied the efficiency even though their ambush had nearly cost him his life.‭ ‬Had they been after him or Abby‭? ‬His association with Worchester hadn't exactly been‭ ‬a‭ ‬secret and God knows,‭ ‬for once,‭ ‬the little weasel might really have someone out to kill him.‭ ‬Even if they knew it was only Abby in the man's carriage,‭ ‬a kidnapping attempt would not have been out of the question.

    ‬Matt pulled the hated red coachman coat tighter about him as a strong blast of winter wind whipped through the clearing,‭ ‬his Pinkerton badge,‭ ‬pinned to the inside of the coat,‭ ‬icy cold against his chest.‭ "‬We Never Sleep,‭" ‬my ass.‭ ‬Not only had he been asleep but they caught him with his goddamn pants down.‭ ‬And that's much more enjoyable with Abby.

    ‬He shook his head to clear his thoughts of his enchantress.‭ ‬Shit.‭ ‬It had just been a poke.‭ ‬Matt quickly dismissed that.‭ ‬It wasn't.‭ ‬He'd had his share of rolls between the sheets and never once suffered the desire to stick around afterwards.‭ ‬There were less complications that way.‭ ‬Abby,‭ ‬however,‭ ‬remained a mess of contrariness,‭ ‬one that he found himself wanting to understand.‭ ‬She nearly fainted in his arms only to charge out with a empty gun after he told her to stay.‭ ‬She didn't believe she was a woman any longer but he could categorically deny that.‭ ‬His pants twinged again.‭ ‬Matt glared.‭ ‬He couldn't let her out of his sight now.‭ ‬God only knows what these mysterious men would do to Abby if they got hold of her.‭ ‬The horrible thoughts flashing though his mind finally killed the traitor between his legs.‭

If you would like to know more about June, you can connect with her on:

Amazon Author Page:


  1. What a wonderful interview. I love it! It also makes me want to read Geared for Intrigue when it comes out :-) Good job!!

  2. What a great start for the author interveiws, Samna. And JW, the things we keep learning about you...Tsk Tsk. Tweeting now.

  3. I love you like "dying genres." Great writing never truly dies. I read all JW Stacks stories and love them for their humor, cheekiness, and fun characters.
    Chris K.

  4. I love that you read (and write) in multiple genres, JW. Great questions, Samna-- it's so fun to learn about how other writers think. Looking forward to that bigger book, JW!