Welcome, today we are talking with Porscha Sterling! I would like to thank you for taking time out of your busy writing schedule to answer a few questions. First, let’s delve into who you are. Some of the questions may be untraditional but you’d be surprised at what readers connect to, and sometimes the simplest ‘I can relate to that’ grabs their interest where nothing else can.
Can you share a little something about Porscha Sterling that’s not mentioned in your bio on your website?
I am obsessed elephants. Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, it’s very interesting that I don’t have anything pertaining to elephants on my site!
One other thing that isn’t on there is that I’m a perfectionist. It’s a gift and a curse. Wanting everything to be perfect stops me from moving on things as fast as I should sometimes and that can really hinder you in business. I’m trying to work on balancing it. Especially because nothing is ever perfect!
When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
I knew very young that I wanted to be a writer. I was probably around nine or ten. Maybe earlier. However, as I got older, I started hearing things from people about how it was impossible to make a living out of writing, so I went a different direction. If I hadn’t listened to those people, I would have started much earlier. That’s why it’s so important to trust yourself, your capabilities and your dreams.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing professionally for about six years.
What have you found most challenging about it?
The most challenging thing is how much writing is tied to your emotions and mental state. If I am involved with a conflict that is emotionally and mentally draining, I won’t be able to write that day. If I’m happy and energized, then I’m more able to perform creatively.
It’s so important to protect your peace and to have good energy in and around you when you’re a creative because those things can greatly impact your creative process.
What does writing do for you? Is it fun, cathartic, do you get emotional?
It’s extremely fun! When I have deadlines, it can become stressful, but I wouldn’t trade what I do for anything. Writing is therapeutic for me and it allows me to speak about my own personal experiences, my insecurities, my successes, failures and even my fantasies in a way that is helpful to me as well as others.
My readers are not only my best supporters, but they are my greatest inspiration. When someone tells me how much they love my work or my characters, it literally makes my day. I’ve had some people share with me how my books have provided them with a way to escape from the harsh realities of their everyday life or inspired them.
Books provide people with an outlet; they are able to travel and experience different things without ever leaving the room. There is nothing like pulling something out of your head, putting it on paper and hearing how many people you’ve affected, entertained or helped by that.
Describe what your writing routine looks like. Are you disciplined with a strict schedule or do you have to be in the mood?
A little of both for me. I try to keep strict deadlines but, if I’m not in a creative mood, it becomes difficult to stick to that.
When I’m in writing mode, I block out everything. My phone goes off, I close out all other windows on my computer and I don’t respond to anything unless it’s an absolute emergency. I also work on setting the mood with music, aromatherapy candles and anything else that helps me get in the zone.
Sometimes I need a change of scenery, so I’ll go to a park or even sit in a library or Starbucks, if I need to be around other people. Crazy or not, some background noise can help out a lot for me. Absolute silence makes it hard for me to concentrate.
Did you go into writing thinking that it would be a hobby or a job?
I definitely thought it would be a hobby. I was not expecting to make a career out of it until people began to purchase my books, read them and then reach out to me about how much they loved them. I think it was at that point that I decided I enjoyed it too much to not at least try to make it a career.
What inspires you?
Many things inspire me. My family, definitely my sons, everyday life inspires me. New experiences certainly do. Every now and then, I’ll see something that gets my mind working and I’ll grab my phone and jot down some ideas or a storyline for a book; sometimes even a chapter. I have so many chapters, small clippings, of a story for some book that I haven’t even started yet but, in that moment, something inspired me to write a part of it right then.
The wonderful thing about being a professional writer is that everything, whether fun or not, fuels my passion and my career. It all inspires me in many different ways.
Let’s move on and give readers some insight into your personal life.
What is your favorite:
- Animal – Elephants
- Food – Pasta; anything with cheese. I’m not picky, I love it all.
- Movie – I really can’t just pick one. I love Imitation of Life, Memoirs of a Geisha, Joy Luck Club and Friday. The cartoon Inside Out makes me cry every time. I love all of these for so many different reasons.
- TV show – Grey’s Anatomy
- Singer – Beyoncé
- Author – Sidney Sheldon.
What are your pet peeves?
Loud, open-mouth burping. Drives me insane!
Who is your hero?
My grandmother is my ultimate hero. She is an amazing, selfless woman. I really don’t know how she does everything that she does. She has many roles at her church, volunteers, visits and helps who are sick or need assistance, feeds the homeless, and does all kinds of things for everybody.
But then, on top of that, she is the person our entire family calls on when there is an emergency and she’s always there to help. Being a publisher, I travel for work and she has no problem hitting the road to drive to my house and help out with my sons. She also attends events important for the kids: sport events, recitals, plays, grandparent’s day. I don’t know where she gets the energy!
Give us one thing on your bucket list.
I want to learn how to swim. I’ve made sure my children learned how to swim because I never learned. It’s definitely something I want to learn to do and soon!
What would readers find surprising about you?
I am very, very shy. I’m a true introvert and it’s in my nature to avoid situations where I’ll have to interact with other people. I’m most comfortable somewhere in the corner reading a book.
True story, I actually went to a lounge with friends one time not too long ago and I brought my Kindle with me so I could read while they danced. Seriously! But when I thought about it, what’s better than good music, good wine and a book? Not much!
If you could go to heaven, who would you visit?
My father. He passed away when I was thirteen and if I could visit anyone, it would definitely be him.
Any bad habits?
Definitely. I drink way too much coffee. I actually have to make myself stop because if I don’t, I’ll go all day refilling my mug.
What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you?
I’m extremely clumsy, especially in heels. It’s terrible really. I’m one of those people who can’t talk and walk if I’m wearing high heels because I have to concentrate just that hard!
I was on a date with my husband not too long ago and we were in the middle of a huge theater in Buckhead, lots of people around. My outfit was cute, hair was on point and my make-up was flawless, so I was really feeling like a star. I tried to do a nice strut walk and lost my footing. I tripped and then went through a series of motions trying to catch myself from falling… and still fell. Then, because the heels were so high, I still had issues getting up, even with my husband helping. Plus, remember the outfit that I mentioned was so cute? Well, it was also tight so that only added to my difficulties. So embarrassing. I could die just thinking about it!
Now that our readers know who Porscha Sterling is let’s get down to the business of your books. What’s your latest release?
I finished up a series called Bad Boys Do It Better. It’s my top-selling series and I actually ended it three times already! But my readers are the boss, so I kept adding to it since they asked for more. Thinking back though, I’m glad that I did because I love how the series turned out in the end.
Is it part of a series?
Yes. There are 7 books total in the series.
How long did it take you from beginning to end before your novel was completely finished, and how did you decide on the topic and title?
I can write a book in a few weeks. What takes me the longest amount of time is my review stage. I go over my books so many times, adding and deleting all along the way. That process takes even longer than writing the book does. My outlines take a great deal of time, also. However, if I outline right then getting the novel written takes no time at all.
Please tell us a little bit about your book.
This series is really about how opposites attract. Janelle is a new attorney and a daddy’s girl. Her father was an attorney as well and she has a firm belief in the law. For her, everything is black and white; there are no in-betweens. When she first sees Luke Murray, aka Outlaw, she is disgusted by him. He’s on trial for a crime and she’s a member of the prosecution. Once he’s released for that crime, they cross paths again.
Throughout the series, you see both of them involve as a result of meeting each other. They both begin to understand and appreciate each other for their differences.
What was your hardest challenge writing this book?
This happens to be one of my favorite series to write so it wasn’t difficult at all to get it written. I really connected with these characters to the point that I truly enjoyed every bit of writing about them. If I had to pick, I’d say the most difficult part of the process was letting them go. I really wanted to write more about them, even after book 7!
What kind of research did you have to do?
I had to research some things pertaining to law and court procedure, facts concerning my location and things like that. For this series, most of my research dealt with the actual art of writing. I studied character development and writing styles.
What in your opinion makes good chemistry between your leading characters?
I find it very rewarding as a writer and reader when the characters complement each other in small ways that end up really connecting with the story. With this series, Janelle was very judgmental. She believed in rules, laws and procedure and had very little tolerance or understanding of anyone who would break the law, regardless of why. Through meeting Outlaw, she begins to see things differently; he helped her see things from different perspectives. She did the same for him. He was a womanizer, didn’t see himself ever settling down, being vulnerable, or being a father. Through love, she helped him want all of that.
Any other works in progress?
Yes, always. I have a mafia romance coming out next and I’m so excited about it. It’s the first time I’ve written this type of story and though a challenge, I’ve enjoyed it!
Any advice for aspiring authors?
Do your research! You can never be the best you can be as a writer. You always have more to learn.
This next one is huge: Never stop reading. I’ve heard so many authors say, “I don’t read much because I don’t want what I read to bleed into my writing”. It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. You can’t be a great writer without being a great reader. You can’t just watch movies all day in order to get the inspiration to create a great book.
Great writing is so much more than a storyline. Much of what I enjoy about my favorites is their style of writing: the word play, metaphors, analogies, how they are able to bend the rules of novel writing and create a masterpiece. I remember being introduced to ‘stream of conscious’ writing when I read Beloved by Toni Morrison. It amazed me how she could make a sentence that was nearly as long as an entire page to create a style of writing that reflected the purpose of her the story she was telling. My English teachers would have had a complete fit!
Great writers can bend the rules and still get their point across in ways that make you think. It’s truly art and it’s what separates a book you read once from a book you can read again and again. You can only experience these things and learn about them through reading.
I really just want to take this opportunity to thank you for your time and thank you for giving me the chance to speak about my passion. I enjoy any opportunity that I have to speak about my love for books and writing.