Stephanie Fournet is the author of FALL SEMESTER, LEGACY, BUTTERFLY GINGER, and LEAVE A MARK. She lives with her husband, daughter, dogs, and bird in Lafayette, Louisiana, not far from the Saint Streets where her novels are set. When she isn't working or writing, she can often be found running or curled up with a romance novel.
Genres: Contemporary romance, new adult romance
Author of: Leave a Mark, Butterfly Ginger, and Fall Semester
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Tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve always wanted to write romance, but I didn’t let myself actually finish a novel I’d started until I was 41. When I began that first novel, which became Fall Semester, I made myself write every day for seven months until it was finished, and I haven’t stopped writing since. Every day. No exceptions.
By day, I am a high school administrator. I have a daughter who just started college, so my husband and I are adapting to an empty nest. When I’m not writing or reading romance, I’m usually running, riding my bike, and generally avoiding housework.
Are you an action, paranormal, or romance type of person?
Romance, completely. My stories are contemporary romance and new adult romance.
Tell us about your latest release.
My fourth book, Leave a Mark, released in April and became and Amazon bestseller, staying in their Top 100 romance reads for nine weeks. It’s the opposites-attract story of Dr. Lee Hawthorne, a young OBGYN just finishing his residency, and Wren Blanchard, a wildly talented tattoo artist who winds up in his emergency room. Dyed, pierced, and covered in tattoos she’s everything Lee didn’t know he wanted.
Do you have any upcoming releases in what’s left of 2016?
Yes! My next book, You First, comes out Dec. 13. Gray Blakewood is the most successful crime writer under the age of thirty—and he has a secret that could cost him his life. He just wants to finish his latest novel before his world unravels, and the last thing he needs is a beautiful distraction. Meredith Ryan, his new personal assistant, has seen more than her fair share of hard knocks. And, still, she’s the sweetest person he’s ever met. She deserves a lifetime of happiness—which he can’t offer. But he can’t seem to stay away.
What can readers expect from you in 2017?
I’m working on an anthology with the very talented Elise Faber and Kristen Vayden. Each of us is writing a separate romance in a shared setting. I’m really enjoying working with these two ladies and seeing how each of us has come up with something unique and captivating even though we starts off in the same place. We are hoping for an early 2017 release. Stay tuned!
As soon as I wrap that up in about a month, I’ll start on another full-length novel. All of my novels are set in the Saint Streets, this great little neighbourhood in my hometown, so my next novel will take place there. I have a few ideas I want to explore, but I haven’t settled on one yet.
Which of your books was your favourite to write and why?
That’s a tough question. In some ways Fall Semester will always be my favorite because it was the book that allowed me to realize my dream, and writing it was an exhilarating and rewarding experience. But I fall in love with all of my books in the process of writing them, so I can honestly say that my favorite one—at any given time—is the one I’m working on.
Do you have book boyfriend? If yes, who?
Yes, Akiva from Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. So what if he’s an angel? He’s my angel, and I love him!
Have your family ever read any of your work? What do they think about it?
My husband, John, is my first reader. Always. He’s enthusiastic and supportive, and I think he’s really proud of my work. My dad is maybe my biggest fan and most vocal cheerleader. He reads all of my books before my mom does. My sisters and sister-in-law are also eager readers who make me feel really good about myself when they read and praise my books. Alas, my brother says they are “too sappy,” but I can’t really blame him. He’s a guy who had to grow up with four older sisters. He’s had enough girlie stuff to last him a lifetime.
Who are your must-read/one-click authors?
Amy Harmon, Colleen Hoover, Eloisa James, Kristen Ashley, and Jojo Moyes
What book has made you laugh the most?
Julia Kent’s Random Acts of Crazy. All of her books are hilarious and steamy. I don’t know how she does it!
What book has made you cry the most?
It’s been a while, but probably The Time Traveler’s Wife.
Are any of the experiences in your books based on events that have happened to you/someone you know?
Yes, being an English grad student, like Maren Gardner in Fall Semester is something I well remember, though I did not fall in love with any of my professors! In Legacy, Wes is a triathlete, and I have lots of friends who helped me write his race and training scenes.
Do you have any funny quirks or stories you would like to tell us about?
This is an embarrassing—albeit, funny—story. I am a high school administrator and college counselor. While I was writing Butterfly Ginger, I accidentally emailed the beginning of Chapter Four to all of the parents in my junior class. To this day, I still don’t know quite how it happened, but to my horror, it did. Luckily, these parents only got a glimpse of Nate and Blythe’s innocent first date, and the only thing I suffered was scalding humiliation.
What is the most romantic thing someone has ever done for you?
My husband has given me nearly 23 years of unfailing devotion. He has shown me countless times that my happiness is his highest goal.
What is the wildest thing you’ve done?
I once did a Native American sweat lodge ritual. I’m not Native American, so it was definitely an unprecedented and unforgettable experience for me.
What is your drink of choice while writing?
Tea of Life’s Green Tea Jasmine Orange. I take it with a couple of drops of wild orange essential oils and a little stevia.
What is your favourite writing snack?
Anything salty. I’m a salt fiend. Popcorn. Pretzels. Cashews.
Do you have any pets?
Yes! Gladys and Mabel are our two, needy dogs. They demand lots of attention and affection, but they are expert cuddlers and stick close by as I write. They make us laugh on a daily basis.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Teleportation. I really hate sitting in traffic, but I love to travel. It would be great to just close my eyes and go.
What is your favourite season?
Fall, without a doubt. Louisiana heat is brutal, and I feel renewed when the temperatures cool off.
Are you a morning person?
Definitely. I’m up at 5 a.m. almost every day.
Cowboys, fighters, mafia men, billionaires, or soldiers?
Billionaires. I have nothing against cowboys, fighters, and soldiers, but I want nothing to do with mafia men. I enjoy romantic suspense in measured doses, but I don’t want to be worrying about my guy getting beat up, blown up, shot up, or rubbed out.
What book are you reading now?
I’m reading Danielle Harmon’s The Wicked One on my kindle and listening to Amy Harmon’s A Different Blue on my drive to/from work.
Name 3 books everyone needs to read (excluding yours).
Leaders Eat Last is a book I wish everyone would read. It’s not a romance at all, but it would certainly make the world a better place if everyone read it. And can I count all of the Harry Potter books as my other two???
For those who are new to your work, which book would you recommend starting with?
I’d suggest Leave a Mark. It’s my most popular. If a person picks it up and likes it, she’ll probably like the others.