The Fast Five With … Stephanie Fournet

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By Christine Duval

When not running a high school or training for marathons – because there is so much time left over after doing those two things! – Stephanie Fournet writes novels. Butterfly Ginger released this month and is her third book – pretty impressive for a person who does this on the side! Inspired by the butterfly ginger blossoms that grow in her southern Louisiana town, and where all of her novels are set, she caught the scent of the blossoms’ perfume on a run and soon after a book was born. To quote Stephanie, “Tom Robbins once said, ‘80 percent of love is the smell,’ and that is where this novel started – with a character so hung up on a girl that the scent of butterfly ginger could bring him to his knees.” Sounds swoony. Welcome Stephanie! ♥

1) What is the most difficult thing you’ve ever written?

The honest answer to this would be a spoiler in Butterfly Ginger, but I’ll just say that I agonized over a decision that one of my characters made, and it was difficult to see it through. If you read the book, you’ll know what it is.

2) If you could collaborate with another author on a project, who would it be and why?

Oh, wow. I’d have to pick Amy Harmon because her works move me like few others. It would be amazing to be able to create something like that, but I almost feel embarrassed for naming her. It’s like I’m on Wayne’s World, screaming “We’re not worthy!” with Wayne and Garth.

3) What do you like most about being an author?

I love disappearing into the world I create for my characters and falling in love along with them.

4) How do you motivate yourself to write?

From the first day I started writing Fall Semester, my first novel, I have made myself write every day — even if it is just a few sentences before I fall asleep at night. It is a daily requirement of myself that I must do. At this point, I’m almost neurotic about it because what would happen if I didn’t? Maybe I’d lose my ability to write forever! (I know I’m being a tad dramatic, but you just don’t mess with that kind of mojo.)

5) What do you feel are the top three qualities one must possess to make it as an author today?

Passion, faith, and persistence. You must love writing with everything that you are. You must believe that you can do what you’ve set out to do — even when you are in the belly of the beast. (In case you didn’t know, everyone goes through the belly of the beast when they write a book. It’s dark and scary in there, and you feel as though you are surrounded by … well … the kind of stuff you’d find in a beast’s belly). This is where the persistence comes in handy.

Stephanie Fournet, author of Fall Semester, Legacy, and Butterfly Ginger, lives in Lafayette, Louisiana — not far from the Saint Streets where her novels are set. She shares her home with her husband John and her daughter Hannah, their needy dogs Gladys and Mabel, and an immortal blue finch named Baby Blue. When she isn’t writing romance novels, she is usually helping students get into college or running.

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