September 16, 2014

Made It Moment II: Stacy Green

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 10:34 pm

All Good Deeds

Stacy Green’s Moment is going to surprise you. Because it isn’t about writing at all. Or rather, it is, but with the most indirect of links. Stacy’s Moment has to do with fear. Of braving the unknown…in this case, a lifelong phobia that latched on stronger with the advent of parenthood. Fully aware of the preciousness of life, it became hard for Stacy to live as fully as she wanted to. Then came her Moment.

What is writing but a leap into the unknown? Stacy’s leap was physical. And it allowed her writing to fly.

(For those who wish to read more Stacy Green, here’s her 2012 Made It Moment.)

Stacy Green

In my latest thriller, ALL GOOD DEEDS (Lucy Kendall #1), my heroine has an immense fear of death. It’s this fear that causes her to risk her life for justice. She dances around the torment that keeps her up at night. Lucy’s fear of dying is my most personal contribution to her. I still have nights where I wake up with the blinding realization that one day, I will die. The End. Fade to Black. But that’s not the entire story.

All my life, I’ve had a terrible fear of flying. Statistics didn’t matter. The countless number of flights my friends took didn’t matter. I still believed I would be on the plane that crashed, and the fear worsened when I became a parent. What if I left my daughter without a mother?

This fear has kept me from writing conferences since I began seriously writing in 2011. I learned my craft from books, online classes, webinars, social media groups, etc. All of my interaction with other writers has been limited to online or within driving distance. And when you’ve got a kid who spends half her life swimming, Saturdays are taken up with meets instead of monthly Sisters in Crime meetings.

Until now, I’ve done all right. Releasing my fourth book and finishing my Delta Crossroads Trilogy has resulted in many new readers, and I’m ambling down the path to success. But I really wanted to take the next step. In my heart I knew I wouldn’t have a chance at the next level of writing if I didn’t.

I’d missed the deadline for Writer’s Police Academy in January because it was in North Carolina, and I was a chicken. Two months ago, as I sat reading the itinerary for the umpteenth time, I knew this was the one conference I needed to go to. Three days with law enforcement and EMS telling writers how their jobs and lives really work, helping us to get things right! Three days with other mystery and thriller writers! Most of my publishing friends were romance authors, with the exception of a few, and I really wanted to talk shop. Plus, Lisa Gardner, one of my all-time favorite authors, was giving a presentation.

I can’t really say what made me do it But I emailed Lee Lofland, the man behind WPA, and sure enough, there was a cancellation. I had a spot if I wanted it. I didn’t stop to think. I paid the dues and booked my airfare. I was going.

And I felt okay. Surreal, but okay. As the September 4th flight approached, I grew more worried about navigating the airports on my own or making some technical error that would cause me to miss part of the conference. I was excited to go, and I mostly believed I’d survive the flight.

That didn’t stop my blood pressure from rising. Even thought I felt pretty good, a doctor’s visit on another matter revealed my blood pressure to be 142/90. Way too high for me. I hoped it was simply stress, but how could it be since I felt okay? Could I really be that physiologically affected when I wasn’t pacing the halls in anticipation?

At 6:30 in the morning on September 4th, I took my very first flight. Alone. I wasn’t scared. Nervous, but as I walked through the gate, there was no rising panic. That came when I stepped onto the American Airlines jet and realized exactly how narrow they are. A brief moment of claustrophobia nearly overwhelmed me, but I powered on. With the help of a very kind couple, I found my seat and chatted until take off. Conversation kept me out of my very imaginative head, and then it was done.

By noon, I was in Greensboro and looking at an entirely new phase of my career. I felt professional, in control, and most of all, brave. I faced my very greatest fear on my own (and don’t misunderstand, my husband was amazingly supportive. He just couldn’t go with me) and came out so much better for it. I found that aside from the occasional queasiness, I really loved flying. And more importantly, the experience at Writer’s Police Academy truly changed my life. I learned so much and made so many contacts with law enforcement officials who really do want to help. Even better, I met Lisa Gardner and Alafair Burke and both were extremely sweet and happy to talk to fans. And the networking with other writers! There were so many, writing all different types of mystery. Arriving in Greensboro, I only knew a handful of attendees via social media, but once I conquered flying, I had no problem diving in and chatting to anyone and everyone. I even introduced myself to Lisa Gardner in the restroom! We’ll call that a fangirl moment. Thank God I’d washed my hands.

My Made It Moment – one of what I hope will be many – isn’t really about professional success. It’s about realizing that I’m a lot stronger and braver than I gave myself credit for, and (forgive the cliché), I really can do anything I put my mind to. My imagination has come alive with the idea for a new police procedural series featuring one my most loved characters, Cage Foster, and I’ve been pounding away on the second book in the Lucy Kendall series. I want to write all the time! It’s been a while since I’ve felt that way, and I know it’s because I faced that nasty fear.

Taking that trip has taken my dedication to a whole new level, and I am so excited for the next year.

What are your greatest fears? Do have a fear you’ve conquered?

PS. I had a blood pressure check this week. 117/78. Guess the unknown is truly scary after all.

Born in Indiana and raised in Iowa, Stacy Green earned degrees in journalism and sociology from Drake University. After a successful advertising career, Stacy became a proud stay-at-home mom to her miracle child. Now a full-time author, Stacy juggles her time between her demanding characters and supportive family. She loves reading, cooking, and the occasional gardening excursion. Stacy lives in Marion, Iowa with her husband Rob, their daughter Grace, and the family’s three obnoxious but lovable canine children.


  1. Thank you so much for having me, Jenny! I knew I wanted to share this moment, and this was the perfect place. Congrats again on your awesome book tour!

    Comment by Stacy Green — September 16, 2014 @ 10:52 pm

  2. Bravo! You are not alone in your world of phobias, nor are they unjustified. These fears trigger emotional and physiological responses. If you can turn those feelings into words, you will be a dynamite author. Good luck.

    Comment by Doug Carlyle — September 16, 2014 @ 11:13 pm

  3. Very cool! (And you go, girl, on getting to WPA. SO much fun at the conference two years back!)

    When I had my second child this year, I launched into some extreme postpartum anxiety where I feared the same thing you did a LOT. It’s a hard thing, because even without the hormones I don’t think I’ll ever not have that fear! My “solution” (re: “comfort measure”) was when I chose godparents the same as in the movie RAISING HELEN: I chose based on the two women most LIKE me so if ever that happened, they’d have a little of me with them. My biggest not so serious fear (completely irrational and without cause) has always been dentists. AGH.

    Comment by Colby Marshall — September 16, 2014 @ 11:35 pm

  4. Fantastic! Facing fears isn’t easy, getting past them is even harder! Congratulations for such a giant step!

    Comment by Jo Ann Reinhold — September 17, 2014 @ 7:45 am

  5. Bravo,Stacy! My own greatest fear, of getting lost, was also conquered in a similar fashion – flying alone. It’s an amazing and eye-opening experience, isn’t it? Next to conquer is my fear of public speaking, but I’ve made inroads there, too. Best wishes for your writing success.

    Comment by Susan Sundwall — September 17, 2014 @ 8:29 am

  6. Thank you guys so much! Doug, you are exactly right about turning those fears into words. It is a challenge but also therapeutic.

    Colby, I didn’t go through post partum with Grace but I did have a lot of anxiety about things happening to her, etc. Love your solution!

    And Jo Ann, thank you! It truly has been life changing!

    Comment by Stacy Green — September 17, 2014 @ 8:32 am

  7. Feeling professional, in control, and brave! Don’t we all want that. Lovely moment.

    Comment by Savvy — September 17, 2014 @ 12:07 pm

  8. Stacy, big cheers for you. Although I used to attend conferences, I no longer do and it’s because I don’t want to travel alone. I gear myself up for occasional flights (been to Scotland, Hawaii and the Northwest from Texas) but I notice the physiological and emotional changes days in advance. I know once I get on the plane I’m okay. Anticipation breeds anxiety! I need a traveling buddy–too old for another husband :-)

    Comment by Judy Alter — September 17, 2014 @ 12:14 pm

  9. Susan,
    Thanks and good for you on flying alone. I was scared of getting lost/missing my flight, etc., but I found that doing it alone really upped my confidence. And yay on conquering your fear of public speaking. You can do it!


    Thank you so much. The entire experience has really jumpstarted my writing:)

    Comment by Stacy Green — September 17, 2014 @ 12:18 pm

  10. Great post, Stacy. Thank you for sharing so honestly. Living with fear is part of being a writer, but it comes out in differrent ways. I suppose I should have said living with fear is part of the human condition, sharing it helps others.

    Comment by Donna Fletcher Crow — September 17, 2014 @ 12:54 pm

  11. Donna, you’re very welcome! And you’re so right, fear is part of the human condition, and we can certainly learn from it.

    Comment by Stacy Green — September 17, 2014 @ 3:29 pm

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