13 Questions shine Operation Awesome's Spotlight
2022 Debut Author
Remember Me Gone by Stacy Stokes
1- What were the special challenges in having a baby and debut book-baby within five months of each other?
There was a lot going on, to say the least! On the plus side, I was so busy learning how to be a new mom that it was hard to obsess too much about the book launch in those last few months. But I returned to my day job two weeks before Remember Me Gone came out, so in addition to doing launch prep I was trying to get back in the swing of working AND caring for a baby, all while dealing with sleep deprivation. If I had it to do over again, I would have tried to space those things out a bit more to give myself some breathing room.
My advice to new parents juggling a book launch is to be kind to yourself—it’s okay if you don’t get that social media post up or can’t do every single interview that comes your way. You need to balance taking care of yourself, which means there are going to be some things you simply aren’t going to have time for.
2- Would you please, in 160 characters or less, give a #WriteTip ?
Having a community makes a huge difference—find a group of writers you connect with and lean on them for support throughout your writing & publishing journey.
3- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader?
I love writing speculative thrillers that evoke a sense ‘what-the-heck-is-going-on-here’ intrigue to keep readers turning pages. I want to keep you guessing until the very end, and I hope when it’s all said and done readers are left feeling satisfied and maybe a little bit sleepy because they stayed up too late reading.
4- What's your favorite book marketing tip?
The best piece of advice I received is to only do the things you enjoy and either let the rest go or lean on others for help. Especially on social media, people can tell if you’re doing something out of a sense of obligation vs. engaging in an authentic way. For example, I love lurking on TikTok, but the idea of posting my own content makes me want to break out in hives. So instead of me trying to create content that would make me miserable and probably drive minimal engagement, I worked with a group of passionate readers who were interested in the book and had a strong social media presence. It allowed Remember Me Gone to have a presence without me having to post awkward videos of myself (trust me, they would have been awkward.)
5- Would you share a picture with us of your book at a fun summer spot?
6- How do you support your fellow debut authors and have any of them supported you?
The greatest gift you can give any author is to read and leave reviews, so I’ve been supporting my fellow debuts by buying their books or checking them out at the library and leaving honest reviews on all the big sites. It helps other people discover their wonderful books, and I’ve also had so much fun getting to read stories from authors that I now have a connection with. We also do a lot of joint amplification on social media to show our support—it’s been amazing to see how supportive the 22 debuts are about celebrating each other’s work.
7- Time to double-down on social media! What's your Twitter handle, and do you have two or three writer friends on there to shout-out to for #WriterWednesday ?
Also, can you please recommend a favorite #bookstagram account profile?
You can find me at @stacyastokes . Huge shout out to @leeseray , @SallyE and @keelyinkster who all have books coming out in September!
Fav #bookstagram profile – this is a bit of a cheat, but I’d be remiss not to give a shout out to the @22debuts . There are so many fantastic books debuting this year— follow to hear all about them!
8- What is your favorite creative non-writing activity to do?
When I’m not writing, you can usually find me hiking the East Bay hills with my earpods in and an audiobook playing. I love listening to stories—it not only helps me get my creative juices flowing, but there’s nothing I love more than getting lost inside someone else’s imagination.
9- diversebooks.org #WeNeedDiverseBooks What's your favorite book with a diverse main character?
There are so many books to name and so little time, but a shout out to a few of my favorite recent reads featuring a diverse character are Lisa Moore Ramee’s forthcoming MAPMAKER (out in September) and THE SUMMER OF BITTER AND SWEET by debut author Jen Ferguson.
10- What's the biggest writing goal you hope to accomplish in your lifetime? #WriteGoal #BucketList #WriterBucketList
I remember sitting at an SCBWI years ago listening to Ruta Sepetys share her writing journey as the keynote speaker and just thinking, wow! She’s amazing. I would love to someday be prolific enough that I would be invited to be a keynote speaker at a major conference. And while I’m sending out writing wishes into the universe…it would be an absolute dream to see one of my stories make it onto the big or small screen.
11- What was the query process like for you?
The query process was long and winding, until it wasn’t. I’ve been writing on and off since I was a kid, but I didn’t start seriously working towards publication until about ten years ago when I finally finished my first manuscript. Unfortunately, that book never really went anywhere, and it took several trunked manuscripts and 100+ rejections to get where I am today.
With Remember Me Gone, things moved quickly. I received an offer of rep within two weeks of sending out my first query and signed with my amazing agent, Joanna Mackenzie, a few weeks later. It sounds easy when I say it like that, but when you count the years of work leading up to that moment, I’d say it was anything but easy. I still get goosebumps when I think of the moment I saw Joanna’s email in my inbox saying she loved my book and wanted to talk.
12- Would you please ask our audience an intriguing question to answer in the comments?
If you could go to The Memory House in REMEMBER ME GONE and have one or more of your memories erased, would you do it?
13- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?
You can learn more about me and my upcoming projects on
and follow me on Twitter @stacyastokes
and IG @stacyastokes.
About REMEMBER ME GONE:
Beware what you choose to forget.
People come from everywhere to forget. At the Memory House, in Tumble Tree, Texas, Lucy's father can literally erase folks' heartache and tragic memories. Lucy can't wait to learn the family trade and help alleviate others' pain, and now, at sixteen, she finally can. But everything is not as it seems.
When Lucy practices memory-taking on her dad, his memory won't come loose, and in the bit that Lucy sees, there's a flash of Mama on the day she died, tinged red with guilt. Then Lucy wakes up the next morning with a bruised knee, a pocketful of desert sand, and no memory of what happened. She has no choice but to listen to Marco Warman--a local boy she's always wondered about, who seems to know more than he should.
As Lucy and Marco realize there are gaps in their own memories, they team up to fill in the missing pieces--to figure out what's really going on in their town, and to uncover their own stolen history along the way. But as the mysteries pile up one thing becomes certain: There are some secrets people will do anything to keep.
Stacy Stokes is a lifelong lover of stories, a former improv comedy geek, and a marketing professional by trade. She graduated with a degree in marketing from the University of Texas at Austin and holds a master’s degree in business from the Wharton School. Stacy lives with her family in the Bay Area.
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Remember Me Gone by Stacy Stokes