Monday, July 11, 2022



I want to thank Stacy Gold for taking the time for this interview!


Award-winning adventure romance author Stacy Gold would rather be in the middle of nowhere than almost anywhere else. To that end, she’s run more than 50 rivers in three countries, been heli-dropped into remote ski huts multiple times (and made it into even more under her own steam), worked for the U.S.D.A. Forest Service as a backcountry ranger, river ranger, and naturalist, and spent fourteen years as a commercial river guide and kayak instructor. Her last “real job” was serving as Communications Director for a state-wide mountain biking non-profit.

When she’s not busy kayaking, skiing, mountain biking, or hiking with her husband and happy dogs, Ms. Gold writes about independent, capable women finding love and adventure in the great outdoors.

When and how did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always loved to write, but as a kid I mostly wrote poetry and personal essays. By the time I hit college I discovered I had a real knack for organizing information and writing school papers. 

After graduation, I sort of fell into writing marketing copy, and writing for outdoor magazines. That led to running my own marketing and copywriting firm for about 12 years. 

I didn’t discover I wanted to write fiction—and specifically romance—until about eight years ago after reading some great contemporary romances.


Did you have any influencing writers growing up?

Looking back, probably Tolkien. I loved his world-building, and I’m a sucker for a character on an adventure—especially one set largely in the outdoors.


Are any of your characters based on people in real life?

Only loosely. I’d be more inclined to say that they’re amalgamations of lots of different people I’ve met, and sometimes even characters from other books or movies or TV. Of course, a piece of each of them comes solely out of my imagination.


Where do you draw your book inspirations from?

Definitely from pieces of my own life. I write outdoor adventure romance, and I’ve been doing adventure sports since my late teens, when I got a job as a whitewater raft guide on the Ocoee River. That led me to backpacking, skiing, mountain biking and more. 

Those experiences definitely inform the settings for my books in particular, and also the plots.


Do you use have a basic outline when starting a new story or do you let the characters lead the way?

I fall somewhere in between. Before I start writing I usually have a pretty good idea of the beginning, the ending, and the dark moment. Then I write a three to five paragraph synopsis. 

I also spend a lot of time filling out a sixty-plus item spreadsheet questionnaire for each of my main characters, and a shorter version for the secondary characters. 

Once I’ve done all that, I know what my characters care about and what their biggest fears are, so it’s easy to put them in settings and scenarios that are going to push their buttons or be in some way difficult. At that point I’m just letting the characters lead the way.


When you are picturing the characters in your book, do you have a cheater photo for inspiration?

Sometimes. It really depends. I don’t particularly love surfing images, but I have at different times found the perfect photo to represent a character.


Many people read as a form of escape and relaxation.  What is your favorite way to sit back and relax?

I love soaking in natural hot springs and just generally getting out in nature. If I can’t have that I’ll take a sauna. 

Or my husband and I will sit and do Chinese tea service.


Who are your favorite current authors to read?

Christina Mitchell, Helen Hoang and Casey Mcquiston, to name a few. 

If I’m feeling like a historical, you can never go wrong with Sarah MacLean.


What are your favorite books by others?

Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingslover

How to Stay by Christina Mitchell 

Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn 

Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy


Do the locations in the stories have any meaning to you?

Oftentimes, they are locations I’ve been to before (or at least fictional approximations). For example, I’ve hiked most of the trail miles my heroine covers in Wild at Heart—only not all in one shot. 

So, some of them definitely have meaning to me. It’s funny when my husband recognizes one, as well.


Do you write in single or multiple POV?

I write in dual POV.


What do you find to be your best research tool?

Personal experience and Google. I’ve spent my entire adult life working and playing in the outdoors and doing all kinds of adventure sports. So it’s easy for me to rely on my own adventures when I’m describing the ones my characters go on. 

But when I do need specific details, Google sure is helpful. And I’m not afraid to ask an expert on a particular subject.


Do you write under a pen name?  Also, do you write under more than one name?

Just one pen name.


What genre do you write and why is this your preference?

I write contemporary romance in the sub-genre of adventure romance. 

I wanted to write contemporary romance specifically because I wanted to show different types of people living different types of lives than are usually represented in the genre. 

For me that means writing badass women who know what they’re doing in the outdoors, and/or at their jobs, and definitely don’t need a man to rescue them. But they find a man who adores and supports them for all that they are.


Tell me something about yourself outside of writing.  Jobs, accomplishments, family, quirky trait...what led to you being you?

Okay, a few random, quirky things about me… my mother immigrated from Switzerland so I speak fluent French (and a little bit of Spanish, just because I like languages). 

I got into doing adventure sports by accident and ended up moving to Colorado solo when I was 19 so I could pursue my dreams of whitewater rafting/kayaking in the summer and skiing in the winter. 

I love living in smaller towns, and ride a bike for transportation the majority of the time.


What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

Learn writing craft. Read books, watch videos, attend workshops, whatever it takes to learn how to write well and develop your own voice. 

And have fun with it. That’s really what’s most important.


How do you deal and process negative book reviews?

Book reviews are so incredibly subjective. The parts that one person loves in a book, another person will hate. 

Luckily I’ve received a lot of great reviews that remind me why I write these books. 

But on the rare occasion when a negative review gets me down, I go on Goodreads and look at the bad reviews for a book I adored. Which reminds me that book reviews are incredibly subjective and therefore not to be taken too seriously. 

As far as I’m concerned, I don’t have to be everyone’s cup of tea just some peoples shot of whiskey.


What is the most difficult part of your writing process?

Making time to actually write and edit when I’m also trying to run my writing business and promote the books I already have out.

What do you need in your writer’s space to keep you focused?

I like quiet and a cup of tea (hot most of the time, iced in the summer). Though on occasion, I have done really well writing in a coffee shop with that sort of constant background noise. Or outside on my porch. 

And I need good ergonomics to be physically comfortable. That’s about it, really

What is your naughty indulgence as you are writing?

Dark chocolate. But I don’t consider it naughty, just an indulgence. And a nice way to celebrate completing a small project or a writing sprint.

If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose?  And why? 

Colleen Hoover. 

While I haven’t read everything she’s written, everything I have read has been fantastic. She’s grown a very successful romance writing business all on her own, and runs a nonprofit bookstore to boot. 

I’d love to learn more about her writing process and how she grew her business. Plus, she just seems like a really fun person.


What is your schedule like when you are writing?  Do you have a favorite writing snack or drink?

Typically, I write for about an hour at a time and then take a break. Usually that’s to do chores, eat lunch, walk my dogs, workout, go for a hike or bike ride, or run errands.

Because I’ve had some overuse injuries from keyboarding, I do my best to spend no more than 4 hours a day on the computer, and that includes responding to emails and doing marketing as well as writing and editing.

I don’t really have a favorite snack, but it’s rare you’ll see me writing without a mug of tea sitting beside my laptop.

Do you listen to music when you write – what kind of music is your favorite?

Rarely. If I do it’s usually something without lyrics. Hearing words outside my head can sometimes mess with the words I’m trying to put together on paper.

Have pets ever gotten in the way of your writing?

All. The. Time. 

My youngest dog loves to come and flip my hand off my keyboard when she wants attention or to go for a walk. Then she leans against me and refuses to let me stop petting her. 

They’re happiest going at least three miles a day, and I often take them 8-10 miles mountain biking, and even ride around town with them on leashes.

What is your kryptonite as a writer?  What totally puts you off your game?

Reading somebody else’s work with a very distinctive voice when I’m trying to write or edit my own. 

I have a tendency to pick up other writers’ voices and styles like people pick up accents when on vacation. It’ll cause me to change the tense of what I’m working on, as well as the pacing and overall tone.

Have you ever killed off a character that your readers loved?

Nope. And since I write romance, it’s very unlikely that will ever happen.

How do you celebrate after typing THE END?

I always take a writing break, and often treat myself to a day or two off entirely so I can get out in the woods and play. 

A little skiing or kayaking or mountain biking makes for a terrific reset.


I hope you enjoyed this interview!

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