Friday, May 13, 2011

Author Interview with Stephanie Morrill

I am pleased to announce that Stephanie Morrill has agreed to do an interview with me on my blog (I posted this yesterday, but blogger deleted it. As you may have noticed, blogger wasn't working).

Check out her blog: Go Teen Writers,
or her website.


The three books she has out so far....


Here's her bio: Stephanie Morrill is a twenty-something living in Overland Park, Kansas with her husband and two kids. Her only talents are reading, writing, and drinking coffee, so career options were somewhat limited. Fortunately, she discovered a passion for young adult novels a few years ago and has been writing them ever since. Stephanie is the author of The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series and is currently working on other young adult projects. She enjoys encouraging and teaching teen writers and does so on her blog www.GoTeenWriters.com. To connect with Stephanie and read samples of her books, check out www.StephanieMorrillBooks.com.

And now, the interview:


1. When did you first start writing?

I fell in love with writing in first grade and became serious about pursuing publication when I was a junior in high school. That's when I wrote my first novel and started sending out query letters.

2. What's your favourite thing about being an author?

I have two favorites. 1. Getting paid to do what I love - write stories. 2. Interacting with readers. I love hearing about their unique lives and how the Skylar Hoyt books have affected them.

3. When did you first know that you wanted to be an author? Did you ever want to be anything else?

In first grade I started saying that I wanted to be an author when I grew up. We had time everyday in class to write stories. When we finished, the school bound them for us and we could read them to the class. That was my favorite part of school. Sometimes I was interested in other professions, but writing was always in the picture.

4. Do you have any hobbies or things that you really enjoy doing?

Reading, as you might guess. I also love cooking. Right now cooking is tricky because I have a 10 month old who loves to sneak upstairs or get into the TV cables when I'm not looking.

5. Do you start your stories on paper or the computer?

Computer. Though on a beautiful day, I still love grabbing a notebook and a pen and heading outdoors to write.

6. How many books have you written? Which of your own books are your favourite?

Oh dear. Lots. I've lost track. I have three published books, which are all a part of The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series (Me, Just Different, Out with the In Crowd, and So Over It.) I have about five other manuscripts that are quality, five or six that will never see the light of day, and about ten that are half-finished. I don't know that I have a favorite. I really like So Over It, which is the third book in The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series. When I started it, I had no idea what was going to happen, but everything came together great, and I'm really proud of the finished product.

7. Are you working on any books right now?

Yes. Right now I'm polishing up a book about a high school junior trying to get her manuscript published. It's been so much fun to work on! A lot of the teen writers at http://www.goteenwriters.com/ have had a hand in it, and it's been really fun to collaborate with them.

8. How long did it take you to write and edit your first book?

A long time, if we're talking about the first book I was able to publish, Me, Just Different. That book took about 4 years of on-and-off work. Mostly because I still had lots to learn about what worked in a story and what didn't. Out with the In Crowd and So Over It were way easier to write. They each took about 4 months.

9. What is your absolute favourite author and book?

I have three. I know she's all the rage now so I'm hardly unique in saying this, but I adore Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Also, last year I fell in love with The Passion of Mary-Margaret by Lisa Samson. A wonderful book. And my favorite young adult book is This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen.

10. Do you have a favourite writing quote?

I have lots. One that I'm particularly fond of is Stephen King. He's talking about why he likes hanging out with other writers, and he says, "We are writers, and we never ask one another where we get our ideas; we know we don't know." Which is kind of an interesting lead in to your next question...

11. Where did you first get your idea for your "The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt" series?

I don't know. :) In all seriousness, the idea germinated with Skylar herself. Up until I wrote Me, Just Different, all my main characters had been just like me. Quiet girls who hung around on the sidelines. I wanted to break away from that, and write about someone completely different than me. Oh, it was so much fun. Skylar is beautiful on the outside, but an utter mess on the inside, and it was so fun to write her transformation.

12. Is life any different now that you are an author?

In many ways, no, but that's because I treated writing like a job before I ever got paid. My husband encouraged me to stay home and write, to invest in the career I really wanted. Fortunately he made enough money that this was an option. So for about 3 years, I didn't have a day job and I didn't have kids. I sat in front of my computer from about 9 to 4 everyday. I wrote and I networked with writers and agents and editors. I worked more then than I do now, honestly, but that's because I have two kids.

One odd way that life is different now is that I write less. You would think being published would mean needing to write more, but it doesn't. I certainly have season where that's how I spend the bulk of my time, but there's also marketing and promotion stuff that needs to be done.

13. What's your best writing tip for wanna-be-writers?

It's so hard to choose. That's why I started Go Teen Writers (http://www.goteenwriters.com/) because I always had such a hard time narrowing my answer for questions like this.

Something I think is really important is pushing yourself to write the whole story from beginning to end.

I love writing beginnings so for a long time, that's all I did. I wrote until I ran out of steam. And then I'd get excited about some new idea, so I'd cast aside the 25 pages I'd written and work on my new idea until I burned out on it. Rinse and repeat. I didn't see much growth as a writer until I really pushed myself to write the whole thing, not just the fun beginning stuff.

6 comments:

  1. Stephanie is awesome!And great job interviewing her Book Blogger!Sierra

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  2. What a great interview! I really enjoyed reading it. Oh, that was me. Writing twenty pages, and then getting a new idea and starting over. I've finally almost finished my first draft...though, in all honesty, I've just started my second draft without finishing my first -- I forgot the conclusion. I was too excited to fix stuff up and re-live the whole thing differently!:P Better get to that conclusion, hey? :)

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  3. That's really cool! I find it so cool that so many authors agree to have interviews with you!

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  4. THis is really neat, and of course, I loved reading it, since I adore Go Teen Writers and this author already!

    I am in love with beginnings, too, but I'm also in love with endings. All of the little stories I wrote while in middle school have fodder for a good story and end well ~ it's the middle that's tricky for me!

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