Rook Interview with Stella MacDonald

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Rook Author Stella MacDonaldWelcome to Rook Author Stella MacDonald! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions about your life and book!

Stella is a married graduate student with three boys. Utah is home right now, but the need to wander has extended beyond the fantasy world of writing and into real life. She’s lived all around the US and even into the Middle East. The world is really a small place, only made bigger through imagination.

Connect with Stella MacDonald on Website • Facebook • Twitter

Rook Interview with Stella MacDonald:

Welcome to Cuzinlogic! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I started writing for the first time in junior high. I wrote a dark short story about a sister and brother going out to their back yard with brand new Christmas ice skates, and finding the pond not frozen enough to be safe. Then later, after the older sister throws a huge temper tantrum for having to watch the little brother, she comes downstairs and finds his skates missing, and a giant hole in the pond. Pretty dark, but I was a big Christopher Pike fan at that time. Nothing ended well for his characters either.

Please tell us in 20 words or less, why we should read your book.
This book is entertaining, a little bit kissy, and might even make you think a little bit!

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
My favorite thing about this book was meeting readers and getting their feedback. I have met so many interesting people, and am so grateful for those people in my life.

What kind of research (if any) did you have to do for this book?
I had to look at Montana during the late 1800’s for starters. There’s also a lot of Hindu ideas in this book, so I did learn quite a bit about this religion.

What’s your favorite quote about writing or reading?
Mine is more about accomplishment:

ʺDon’t tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon.ʺ Not sure who said it, but it’s always stuck with me.

What Inspired you to write this book?
One day I was driving home from the grocery store, and I was thinking about reincarnation for some reason, and I thought, “If there is a such a thing as reincarnation, why are there so many more people now then there were in the past? How does that even work?” From that idea, Rook was born.

If you could visit anywhere in the world for 1 week, where would you go?
I am going to China this year, and I’ve already been to the Middle East and Australia, so I think it would be time to buy a ticket to the Eurorail and see as much of Europe as I can.

What was the hardest part about writing this book?
Editing! Every time I thought I was done I’d have someone else read it and they’d point out a problem. Then I thought it was near perfect, and I brought it to a professionally editor. She convinced me that I still had a ton of major problems, so I ended up having to write it yet again.

Do you have a book that you enjoyed reading that would lend itself well to a discussion during a book club meeting? If so, share your recommendation with us.
I loved all of the Dresden Files. I’m waiting for book #14 to come out – it’s next year and I already feel like I’ve been waiting an eternity!

How many books have you written?

Do you have any fall reading or writing plans?
Next fall I hope to be writing book #3, and finishing the Timeless Games series.

Tell us something about the book or main character that isn’t mentioned in the synopsis.
Leslie is a very important character, but not so much in this book. She is pretty important in the second book, and will be even more so in book #3. I wrote a short story, Pawns, which has recently been published, and it is all about her and how she got to where we meet her in Rook. She’s easy to hate in Rook, but Pawns will make you question that.

Describe your writing environment for us.
I usually have kids around me, with a dog snoring at my feet. I need to have already had some coffee, and then I can write whatever I’ve already outlined.

How did you come up with the title for this book?
The series title is Timeless Games, and it’s about a long standing game between two powerful people. They have been moving against each other, like a game of chess. As a result, all the titles of this series have something to do with chess.

If you could pick any one author, which one would you like to co-author a book with?
J. K. Rowlings – because she is a genius. I so wish we were editing buddies!

What makes this book different from other books in the same genre?
There isn’t anything Hindu out there. It also is a dual perspective book, with two different timelines, which is also pretty unique.

What books were among your childhood favorites and why?
I read all of the Christopher Pike series in junior high. I still have a few kicking around my house, and once in a while I’ll pick one up. I loved his gifted ability to foreshadow, and the unexpected plot twists that kept me guessing.

What are some your favorite books today and why?
I really love the early Dean Koontz books, up until the last decade or so. In his books, there’s always some truly horrible thing that happens, but through that challenge, there’s still good people who stay true to their nature.

eBooks, hardcovers or paperbacks and why?
eBooks. I can’t carry my entire library with me any other way!

What are the most words you have written in one day?
12,000 – and this is why I’m no longer a pantser. I outlined most of my book two before I started writing these huge amounts. Most of the book was really written in about two actual weeks spread over a month.

Most likely to __________ in high school?
be invisible! I was definitely an introvert.

If you could go back and talk to yourself when you were writing your first book, what advice would you offer?
OUTLINE. And get your storyboard together earlier instead of later. Again… don’t be a pantser.

What genre do you write and why?
I write fantasy or dystopian. The fantasy is because there’s just so much out there we could not possibly understand. Being creative, imagining what could be, puts me in such a happy place. The dystopian is about the road humanity often leads our world down. There have been several times, especially during world wars, when we’ve done our best to annihilate some group of people, and thankfully, those efforts have never been completely successful. History repeats itself, and even in those darkest times, there’s good people fighting the good fight. I think this is why dystopian appeals to me.

Who designed the cover of your book?
I did. :)

If you could require high school seniors to read one book, what would it be?
ALL of Harry Potter.

What’s your favorite thing about Fall?
The colors. I drive a Miata, and love to drive through the canyon with the top down.

What can your readers expect from you next?
Pawns was just published, and book 2 will be out late summer.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Think that’s it!

Thanks Stella, for joining us today and good luck with Pawns and book 2 in the series.

Rook Author Stella MacDonaldRook
Could you be the monster to save who you love?

Two women, separated by generations, must leave what they know to start a new life. Seventeen-year-old Kate’s senior year is ruined when she’s moved from the only home she’s ever known. After an isolating month alone in her apartment, school starts, but neither her classmates nor her teacher are who they seem. Kali, a single mother living in the nineteenth century wilds of Montana, is stalked by a malicious past. She fights to keep her daughter safe while her freedom is threatened by her less than benevolent benefactor. Both find love, and with it hope, but that is quickly ripped away as one woman must learn the lessons of the other — before it’s too late to save either.

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Rook Author Stella MacDonald

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This giveaway is no longer accepting entries. For a list of winners visit the winners page.

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About Cuzinlogic

Cuzinlogic is a lifestyle blog full of things we love including family, recipes, books, and everything in between. We are firm believers in "sharing what you know" - so that's why we love sharing tips, ideas and the latest and greatest products that make life easier amidst the craziness of everyday life.


  1. Love to win the Amazon GC’s. Looking for some good preteen reads for my daughter.

  2. Pamela Gurganus says:

    Thank you for this interview and awesome giveaway opportunity! :)

  3. I would love a chance to win this book and read it. The cover is interesting. And women of two generations. Just might be very interesting. Please enter my name. Then can share it with granddaughters.

  4. Debbie Welchert says:

    This book sounds really interesting and a book I would love to read.

  5. Sky Evans says:

    I’d love to read this book

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