Ace Jones needs a vacation, but she's not going to get it. What she gets instead is a good dose of scandalous small town politics that takes her on a wild quest for truth and redemption. Things get really complicated when the love of her life, who she hasn’t seen or heard from in over three years, shows up and vows not to leave town until she agrees to marry him. Diary of a Mad Fat Girl is as adventurous as it is entertaining as Ace and her friends delve into illegal surveillance, stalking, and covert operations in a strip club.
Kayla: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
Stephanie: In order to answer this question, I need to tell you about Mrs. Carolyn Jackson. Mrs. Jackson was my 11th grade English teacher and she ran her classroom at Booneville High School like an Army drill sergeant runs boot camp. I was terrified of her because 1) if Mrs. Jackson’s students didn’t work as hard as she thought they should, she would call them out in front of the whole class and 2) Mrs. Jackson was in my parents’ Sunday school class so if I happened to be one of those students she called out, she would tell on me and I would get grounded. After that happened about ten times, I decided to stop slacking in Mrs. Jackson’s English class. I also decided that the next assignment I turned in to her would be a game changer because I was determined, not just to work hard, but to impress the impossible-to-impress Mrs. Jackson. And so the next assignment arrived in the form of a descriptive essay and I wrote and edited and re-wrote and re-edited and worked and re-worked that paper like my life depended on it because in a way it did (my social life anyway). The day after I turned that essay in, she read it to the class as an example of how a descriptive essay should be written. As a matter of fact, she read my essay to all of her classes and then passed it on to the senior English teacher, who read it to her classes as well. I had the big head for weeks after that and that was when I first knew that I wanted to be a writer. I didn’t get grounded anymore (not for that anyway) and now, twenty years later, my former classmates and I still have the utmost respect for Mrs. Jackson because she really did teach us all to be the best that we could be.
Kayla: What inspired you to write Diary of a Mad Fat Girl?
Stephanie: As my previous answer indicates, I’ve had it on my mind for quite some time. But I didn’t get serious about it until March of 2010 when I realized that I had to write this book before the idea of it drove me crazy.
Kayla: Who has inspired you to write?
Stephanie: I’m a covert-ops writer which means that I didn’t tell anyone except for my husband that I was (finally) writing a book. That’s how much confidence I had in myself. Zero.
Kayla: What was the process of getting published like for you?
Stephanie: If you got on the fastest, most insane roller coaster in the world and the little train thing jumped off the tracks and rocketed into space, that would be kind of like what my experience getting published was like. I self-published Diary in December of 2010, it landed on the New York Times and USA Today’s bestseller lists in March of 2011, and then, in a matter of weeks, I had a literary agent and a 3-book deal with Penguin/NAL. It’s been a wild and wonderful ride.
Kayla: What part did you enjoy writing the most in Diary of A Mad Fat Girl?
Stephanie: I enjoy writing funny action scenes and the one I liked best in Diary was when Ace and her pal Lilly were stalking their friend’s husband at “the other woman’s” house. They snuck up on the patio and they’re peeking into the house when Ace backs into a pottery shelf and a small flower pot teeters and falls onto Lilly’s head before smashing into the concrete. They have to bail with a quickness and the whole scene is pretty funny. It’s fun to write funny.
Kayla: What do you think of the book blogging community?
Stephanie: The book blogging community does a fantastic job of getting the word out about books that don’t have the luxury of a major advertising campaign and offer in-depth reviews of books that do. Book bloggers, like my friend Jaimie Mancham-Case ( http://likeitido.com ) played a large role in the success of my self-published ebook.
Kayla: Give 2 reasons why someone should read Diary of A Mad Fat Girl?
Stephanie: Because it is:
#1) Dang Funny!
#2) An Action/Adventure Girlfriend’s Tale
Kayla: What are you currently working on?
Stephanie: I’m putting the finishing touches on the sequel, Happily Ever Madder: Misadventures of a Mad Fat Girl, which will be released by NAL(Penguin) on November 6, 2012. It’s now available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Kayla: Do you enjoy reader interaction?
Stephanie: I love reader interaction. It makes my day each and every time someone lets me know they loved the book and/or thought it was really funny. It especially makes my day when a reader says, “This sounds like something I would do with my friends/sisters/cousins/co-workers.” You just can’t get too many comments like that.
Check out my website at http://stephanie-mcafee.com/Social_Media_Empire.html
Today I also have a giveaway for you. I will be giving away my ARC copy of Diary of a Mad Fat Girl to one lucky winner in the US. All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Good Luck!
I have a B.A. in English from the University of Mississippi and I'm a life-long fan of the Ole Miss Rebels. I also have an M.A. in Secondary Education from the University of Alabama, which gives me the right yell “Roll Tide!” every now and then. Despite my solid educational background, my work history is what you might call checkered (if you wanted to be nice). It ranges from dispatching at my father’s trucking company to teaching high school Spanish to temping at a technology consulting firm in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Another thing about me: One day, I decided to write a book. It’s called Diary of a Mad Fat Girl and I think it’s pretty funny. Maybe you might think it's funny too!
Find Stephanie Here: Website|Blog|Facebook|Twitter
Thank you so much Stephanie for being a guest here on Bengal Reads! I wish you the best of luck in everything you do :)