This week’s MWN Spotlight is on Yvonne Stegall!
Yvonne Stegall, is a communications addict, freelance writer and published book author. She has been a professional writer for over 14 years. She started out as a music reviewer, then landed a job at that very magazine as the Editor-in-Chief, where she remained for just over 2 years (until the magazine was sold by its original owner).
Following her print work, Yvonne started writing online. She has written for online blogs, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, social media and more. In 2010 she started working full time from home as a freelance writer. She has also done work in copyediting/copywriting, SEO, marketing and digital PR.
In 2008 Yvonne published her first book. Since then she has taken up self-publishing and has been focusing on children’s books.
Yvonne also enjoys photography, painting, drawing, and creating many types of crafts (from jewelry to soaps, and many things in between).
Where are you from?
Originally from the thumb, I currently reside in Fenton
Tell us your latest news?
I just released the first book in my new tourist series ‘Experience Michigan.’ The first book is ‘Experience Michigan Wildlife’ and I am already hard at work on ‘Experience Michigan Tourist Traps.’
When and why did you begin writing?
I have been writing since first grade. I did a poetry book in my first grade class.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I started getting poetry published in the late 90s.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Michigan and the nature and outdoors. It was a children’s book about a firefly.
Do you have a specific writing style?
No. I just write.
How did you come up with the title?
I love Michigan and I think it’s a great place to experience. There is more about Michigan that just being here.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Just that Michigan is an amazing place with so much to offer.
How much of the book is realistic?
This particular book is completely non-fiction.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I love travelling Michigan and I love the wildlife here in this state. So, it is definitely based on events in my own life.
What books have most influenced your life most? On The Road by Jack Kerouac and Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
My writing mentor would have to relate mainly to the poetry and short stories I used to write… and then it would be a tie between Edgar Allan Poe and HP Lovecraft. I really loved writing dark and macabre stuff in my teens and twenties.
What book are you reading now?
Ghost Hunting Michigan by Helen Pattskyn
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Kelly Gay, although I don’t know how new she is. I enjoy books with otherworld beings in them.
What are your current projects?
The Experience Michigan series, my own memoir and a couple novelettes that fictional, one is paranormal.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Probably my friend Anna Gustafson. She’s always quick to read my stuff and give me honest feedback.
Do you see writing as a career? It is my career. When I am not working on books I am a freelance writer professionally. It’s how I make a living.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
It was doing that poetry book in first grade.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I am most focused on the Experience Michigan series. I already have 13 book ideas, which includes the one already published. I have 3 road trips to take in the next 3 weeks in order to get all the photos and info I need for the tourist trap book, which I hope to have published in July.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Just finding the time to do it all.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My all time favorite author is also a tie, between Kelley Armstrong and Kim Harrison. I love both of their fictional worlds of otherworld creatures living among us humans. I can’t read a book if I can’t “see” what I am reading, and both of these authors really know how to make my mind turn their words into a mental movie.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I hadn’t, but I will be with this new series.
Who designed the covers?
I publish all of my stuff through CreateSpace and I use their cover designer to create my own covers.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned with this Michigan book that I really do have a passion for my home state. I have never felt so good about a book I’ve done and been so excited to share it.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write what you know. Put your heart into it. And just keep writing.