The AMAZING Staci Hart agreed to do an interview with me.
I love her work and her stories are always amazing!
Thank you so much!!
Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life: a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom to three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, even though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey, and her favorite word starts with f, ends with k.
From roots in Houston, to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north in Denver, until they grew a wild hair and moved to Holland. It’s the perfect place to overdose on cheese and ride bicycles, especially along the canals, and especially in summertime. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, gaming, or designing graphics.
- If you could tell your 18-year-old self one thing, what would it be?
Learn how to balance your checkbook and stop wearing those Steve Madden sandals. They’re ridiculous.
- What is your favorite restaurant?
There’s a tapas place down the street from us in Holland, Gastrobar Aandacht—their cheese and meat plates will blow your mind. Every chance I get to go there, I jump on, and during every meal, I moan and groan like I’m in a triple X show.
- Where is your favorite or dream vacation spot?
I’m DYING to go to Greece. It’s major life goals for me, and Istanbul too. I want to see the Parthenon and Santorini. I want to see Aphrodite’s rock and swim in the Mediterranean. I want to see the Blue Mosque and the Basilica Cistern. I want to walk the markets and eat allll the food!!
- What do you eat and drink while writing?
I’m obsessed with Japanese rice crackers, and often make meals out of them. I usually have a bag in my drawer. And I’m a coffee girl! Two sugars, please.
- Where were you born?
Houston, Texas! Lived there for twenty-two years before moving to Florida for a stint, Southern California for eight years, Denver for six, and Holland for one. I’m a Texas girl as equally as a Californian at heart!
- How often do you curse?
Every other sentence.
- What is your favorite movie?
The Princess Bride (Also one of my favorite books)
- What is your favorite food?
HAMBURGERS. I will destroy a Five Guys single all the way in (not joking) about a minute and a half. NOTE: Never look into the mouth of the beast, or the fabric of time will be torn.
- What’s your favorite way to waste time?
Playing video games! I’m finishing up Zelda: Breath of the Wild and will be starting my second play through of Witcher 3 soon. Because have you seen Geralt’s butt? JUST SAYIN. I’d follow that around for an easy hundred hours, no questions asked.
- What three words best describe you?
Loud, loving, ludicrous.
This or That:
- Day or night? Night!
- Fire or ice? Fire
- Bath or Shower? Bath
- Sneakers or Sandals? Sandals
- Tattoos or no tattoos? Tattoos!
- Pepsi or Coke? Coke
- Pancake or Waffle? Pancake
- Christmas or Halloween? Christmas
- Cookie or Cake? Cookie
- Pasta or pizza? Pasta
- Vodka or Rum? Vodka
- Summer or Winter? Summer!
Book Related Questions: **SPOILERS AHEAD**
- Let start with your book A Thousand Letters. This is very different than your romantic comedies. Why did you decided to make this book a more serious book?
I knew I wanted to write another Austen inspired book, and Persuasion is my favorite. But that story is the most melancholy of Austen’s works—there was no way it would have been a comedy. Anne Elliot is such a quiet, sweet character, so introspective, and her love of poetry became a huge part of Elliot’s character too. My own love (and writing of) poetry just poured out of me, and it ended up being such a lyrical, poetic, heartbreaking story. My whole heart and soul is in that book.
- Being in the military changes how people see life. What impact did it have on Wade? How did he change from his younger self?
Wade really gave up his life for the military, sacrificed himself, committed wholly. Elliot’s refusal determined the path his life took, and the things he saw and experienced there affected him so deeply, he couldn’t ever be the same hopeful boy he was when he enlisted.
- Did you expect this book would have the response it did? Did you think that readers would cry so much in this book?
No, I didn’t. I knew how gutted I was when I wrote it, but I honestly didn’t think it would hurt as much as it did for the readers. But truly, it’s such an honor that so many readers felt what I felt, understood these characters the way I did. Because this story ripped my heart open, and that so many grasped that was a shining moment in my career.
- Living Out Loud was another touching book that had just the right amount of comedy but still had a really deep story. Where did the idea for Living Out Loud come from?
Living Out Loud is half of Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen! I wanted to continue the series, and decided to do S&S, which is the story of two sisters, Marianne and Elinor. I always held issue with the way Marianne’s story played out, so I took some liberties to rework it in a way I could get the satisfying ending I craved for her storyline.
- Annie having a heart condition is something a lot of people can relate to. Why did you give her a heart condition? Why not just be a normal girl moving to a big, new city?
In the original work, there is a huge point in the story where Marianne is very ill, and I wanted to honor the original works, but girls these days don’t generally take ill from being out in the rain lol! I also loved the idea of Annie having a heart condition because that’s Marianne’s flaw—she has too much heart, excess of feelings. To think that her heart was the center of her entire life just held so much appeal.
- Bad Penny, what a read! I think I laughed more in this book than I have in a long time. “Did you know that a man’s lips are the same color as the head of his d***?” What made you decided to start the book with this?
HA! I actually sat on that joke for MONTHS. A friend of mine had dropped that truth nugget on me once, and one night, while thinking about Penny, it crossed my mind and boom—the opening was born. So. Freaking. Funny.
- Penny was sassy and strong and stuck to her gun. Did you think it was important to have a strong female lead in this book? And why?
Penny was actually inspired a bit by Elle King’s song “Exes and Ohs”. I adore this song, and one day while listening, I thought—I want to read a book about that girl. I was going to write a standalone, but when I wrote Penny as a side character in Tonic, I thought, NOPE there she is! And merged the ideas together. I am a HUGE proponent of strong female leads, and Penny is the one who gives the least shits about what people think of her. And I love—LOVE—the idea that a woman is allowed to be sexually open and as free as any man to be exactly who she is. Because ultimately, that’s what it’s all about. Be who YOU are. Not what someone expects of you.
- What can readers look forward to in the future from you?
Piece of Work is in a brand new universe with brand new characters—a shy intern, a cocky boss, and salvation found in a little tube of red lipstick. Similarly to Penny, this is all about empowerment, about finding the person you want to be and stepping into him/her completely. I can’t wait for you all to read!
Random Ending Questions:
- Is it hard to write duel POV?
No, I actually loving have both perspectives! I find it absolutely vital!!
- Who are your one-click authors?
Kandi Steiner, Brittainy C Cherry, Penny Reid, Sara Ney, Kerrigan Byrne
- What is the hardest thing about writing?
- What was the most difficult scene you have written?
Two—In Thousand Letters when Wade breaks down with his dad the night he comes home, and in From Darkness, the look into the serial killer’s mind. I still, years later, have a very difficult time reading that scene because it was so disturbing to get into a killer’s mind.
- If you had to write yourself as a villain I one of your books, what type of villain would you be?
Ha! That’s a hard one, I HATE being the bad guy haha. I’d probably be the real villain’s best friend who goes for the jugular because nobody messes with her boo!
What would you like to say to your readers?
I would love to say thank you. The love and support I’ve received over the years fills my heart up over and over again, fuels me through all the hard times, keeps me going. I cannot tell you what each and every one of you means to me. You are the reason for EVERYTHING! And I appreciate you beyond what I can explain in words ❤
Books by Staci Hart:
The Austens Books
The Bad Habits Series
The Hearts and Arrows Series
The Hardcore Series