Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Meet the Author - Zara Stoneley

Meet the Author this week is with another of my fellow Harper Impulse authors, Zara Stoneley. Her latest book, 'Love is a Four Letter Word', has just been released through Harper Impulse, so, to find out more about the book, and about Zara herself, read on!



Author Zara Stoneley has been writing stories for just about as long as she’s been reading them. She sold her first erotic novel to Xcite Books in 2012, and since then has had her hot romances accepted by several publishers, including HarperCollins. Her stories have featured on romance and erotic bestseller lists in the US and UK.

Zara divides her time between a country cottage in the UK and a Barcelona apartment, and loves her family, sexy high heels, sunshine, good food and wine, coffee, cats, horses, dogs, music, writing and reading - but not necessarily in that order! She likes her heroes just how she likes her coffee – hot, strong and moreish.
Find out more about Zara at:


When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?

I have scribbled down stories for as long as I can remember, but only recently realised it could be a career! I sent my first submission to a major UK publisher when I was around 12 years old, and I just didn’t appreciate that 1) you weren’t supposed to do that, and 2) the detailed response was like gold dust! Unfortunately I just put the manuscript aside and got on with life as a teenager rather than taking the valuable suggestions on board and trying again. It was quite a few years (boys and horses getting in the way), before I subbed again.

Was it always your intention to find an agent/publisher, or did you ever think about, or indeed go down, the self-publishing route?

It never occurred to me initially to self-publish. I went down the traditional route and got accepted by a publisher. A few months down the line though, I had a story that I didn’t think fitted their requirements, so I self-published it. I now feel I have the best of both worlds. Both have advantages and drawbacks! Up until now, I haven’t approached any agents, but I think this might be something I’ll do in the future when the time seems right.

What was the inspiration for your current book?

The book I’ve just released, ‘Love Is A Four Letter Word’ partly came about because so many romances seem to be based on the rich boy, poor girl formula and recently I’ve heard so many comments from readers about them being sick of billionaires! So, I decided to switch the roles,  I do love the image of a bad biker boy with a good heart – when I was younger I was in love with David Essex, and just thinking about him on his motorbike in ‘Silver Dream Racer’ was enough inspiration for me!

Do you listen to music while you write, or are you someone who needs complete silence to work?

I used to have to work in silence, but I’ve found that now I can cope with background noise. In fact, the time I seem to write most is when I’m on a plane or train, no internet distractions!

Do you put any of yourself into any of your characters?

I think it’s inevitable that a bit of me sneaks into my characters and stories – a lot of writing is about our own life experiences and emotions. But my stories definitely aren’t autobiographical in any way!

Paperback or ebooks – do you have a preference?

I love holding a ‘real’ book in my hands, but ebooks are brilliant when it comes to taking a stack on holiday! Nothing beats seeing a story you’ve written in paperback though, ebooks, brilliant though they are, somehow just aren’t quite the same.

How did it feel the first time you saw your name on the cover of that book you’d written? 

Amazing and unreal!

What advice would you give to anyone just starting out on their writing journey?

Don’t do it unless you’re passionate. Writing for pleasure, and writing for publication and profit are two very different things. But, if you’re hooked, just stick with it and you will get there. I’ve found that the writing community is incredibly supportive, you will always find someone willing to offer advice and help you. Like everything though, you have to learn your craft – very few people are lucky, and good enough, to jump in at the top level. As in business, don’t expect to start at board level – you need to work your way up. But I really can’t imagine doing anything else – writing a book is incredibly rewarding.

Can you tell us anything about any future projects you’re working on?

The book I’m currently working on has been hanging around in my head for some time, and my editor encouraged me to let it out! I got into writing erotic romance by accident, and have concentrated on that for the last twelve months, but I always loved Jilly Cooper/Jackie Collins type bonkbusters and I’m finally writing one… so look out for more news soon!

What makes you laugh?

My kitten – he’s crazy in the way only cats can be!


‘Love Is A Four Letter Word’ by Zara Stoneley, published by HarperImpulse

Sometimes being bad can be too good to miss...
Take one rich girl who has a thing for the bad boys.
Take one tough guy who thinks possession is nine-tenths of the misery law.
Mix generously with a land dispute and a whole lotta lust…. And what have you got?
Sometimes being bad can be just too good to miss...


Zara, thank you so much for stopping by my blog today! It was really great to have you visit, and I wish you loads of success with 'Love is a Four Letter Word'!  


  1. Thanks for inviting me over!

  2. Great blog, Zara. Best of luck with your latest release. . Caroline xx

  3. You got me at Silver Dream racer!