Synthia Stone, author of Summer Lake Heat is an amazing member of the Kindle Vella Community. She’s quick to share ideas and strategies with other authors and weaves an amazing tale for us readers!
Seriously, why a series?
How did you know you had this series in you?
I didn’t! I thought I wanted to try something different. I’d been publishing books in different genres for a while, and I thought it would be fun to see if I could write a romance. Around the time that I was thinking about it, news of Vella came out, which was spring 2021. It felt like a sign—here was this new platform, and I could experiment with a new genre on it. So the day I heard about Vella, I sat down and started writing the opening scene of the book. Before Vella even went live, almost the entire book was written. I’d sent each completed chapter to my beta readers, though, just as I planned to release them on Vella, to get their reactions for each chunk of the story.
I wish I had heard about Vella from the get go. But I love how it lets me explore genres! Also, the fact, that I am actually completing some of my ideas. lol
Why did you choose to use a series format?
I found serial writing made it easier for me to get out of my own head about whether a chapter was perfect or not, and it made me a much more productive writer than when I was solely working in the novel format.
Cool, I think this is helpful for many authors.
What is your greatest challenge in writing?
Currently, my greatest challenge is trying to work on too many projects at once. Though project hopping keeps me actively writing every day, since I’ll work on one project if I’m in a creative lull with another project, it can feel daunting when trying to manage five or six writing projects at the same time.
It is daunting, but I also like it. I can write as the mood strikes me. Scheduling ahead means I have some flexibility week to week what I work on.
What surprised you in the writing process?
I’d never written romance before, though I’d read plenty of it. I started out with this idea where I wanted to play around with common tropes and turn them on their head a little, and as I wrote this book, a whole series came to my mind. It was like a creative epiphany. So Summer Lake Heat is only the first in the Edgewood Lake Romance series. I only shared the first book to Vella. My hope is that it’s a lead-in into my whole series. I think that if people like how I write, they’ll try out some of my novels.
This is awesome on both parts. I hope you update the Vella community on how well this works.
Is there something that you found particularly helpful?
I love Romancing the Beat by Gwen Hayes, particularly for how she describes the story problem as two people who have a hole missing from their hearts to becoming whole-hearted by the end of the story. Another book I loved was 7 Figure Fiction by T. Taylor. Though she talks a lot about romance, it’s really about universal fantasies that readers respond to across genres.
I may have to add this to the TBR.
I know we tend to write what we know, but did you need to do research for this book?
I tried not to bog myself down with too much research for this one, but I did do some research on home design because the male lead in this story owns a home design business, and the heroine goes to work for him.
What else can you describe in your writing process?
I love to listen to Mississippi Delta Blues while I write, so I often turn on YouTube and listen to Justin Johnson. I also made Spotify playlists for each book.
Ready to share?
Who is your expected audience?
I think my audience is the contemporary romance reader who wants to try out new authors without fully investing in a book. That’s the great thing about Vella—you can read the beginning of any story for free to see if it interests you, if you like the author’s writing style, if you connect with the characters, etc. Also, Vella is perfect for the busy career person or parent who can’t read chapter after chapter in one sitting. With a career in education, an author career, and three kids, I’m lucky if I get to read two chapters or episodes a night before bed, and that’s when I’m nearly comatose and well past my bedtime that I do.
I empathize with this! I didn’t realize you worked in education.
Who has been your strongest supporter?
Once I’d completed this story and published it as a book, my dad, a 76-year-old Vietnam vet and factory worker, bought and read my first romance, a genre he’d never have picked up otherwise. He stopped me one day after I’d come over to visit for lunch. He held my book in his hands, and he said, “I really enjoyed your book. Don’t stop writing.” That felt so good!
A little bit more about you
I’m a pretty good cook. And I can bake just about any dessert you can think of, which is good because I have a mean sweet tooth. I share recipes in the backs of my romance books because I love cooking so much.
When can we expect more from you?
Book 2 in the series is Lake House Steam, and it’s already available. I am working on Book 3 now. Each book is a standalone, but I hope to tie all the stories together by the end of the series in one last book.
Where can we find your book? On Vella – https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Lake-Heat/dp/B093565FFB
Or you can find the series in paperback or on Kindle Unlimited here – https://www.amazon.com/Synthia-Stone/e/B0952BW6HY
Where can we find you? www.SynthiaStone.com or www.instagram.com/synthiastoneauthor or www.facebook.com/synthiastoneromance or bit.ly/SynTok