Friday, January 8, 2010

My Friend Stephanie - Interview and Giveaway

Today we're welcoming Young Adult author extraordinaire and my bestest bud, Stephanie Morrill. Stephanie's second book, Out with the In Crowd, just released from Revell on January 1, the second title in The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt trilogy.

Stephanie is offering a signed copy to one lucky person, so leave your comments between now and next Thursday for a chance to win!

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About Out with the In Crowd

Skylar Hoyt may have vowed to change her partying ways, but it’s not so easy to change her friends. She’s trying hard to live a new life, but her old one is constantly staring her in the face. Add to that two parents battling for her loyalty, a younger sister struggling with a crisis pregnancy, and a new boyfriend wishing for more of her time, and Skylar feels like she can’t win. After all, how do you choose favorites among the people you love most?

About Stephanie

Stephanie Morrill is a twentysomething living in Kansas with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband and their daughter. She loves writing for teens because her high school years greatly impacted her adult life. That, and it's an excuse to keep playing her music really, really loud.

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What's your latest book?

My latest book is Out with the In Crowd, which released from Revell on January 1st. It’s the second book in The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series, which follows Skylar through her tumultuous senior year. In Out with the In Crowd, Skylar finds that while she vowed to change her partying ways, it’s not so easy to change her friends. She’s trying hard to live a new life, but her old one is constantly staring her in the face. Add to that two parents battling for her loyalty, a younger sister struggling with a crisis pregnancy, and a new boyfriend wishing for more of her time, and Skylar feels like she can’t win.

What's your favorite part of the story?

One of my favorite aspects of this story is Skylar wrestling with how much she should be willing to give up for her high school boyfriend, with whom she believes she has a future. My husband and I met and fell in love our freshman year of high school, so it’s an issue really close to my heart.

Mine too! (One of the things that helped Stephanie and me bond. I married my high school sweetheart too. =) Okay, on with the questions. What was the hardest part to write?

Two things come to mind. One is any scene that involved Skylar’s 15-year-old sister, Abbie, who’s pregnant and trying to figure out if she should keep the baby or not. The scenes were fun to write because of all the conflict, but stepping inside Abbie’s shoes was always emotionally draining.

The other is a specific scene where Skylar’s mom is breaking the news to her that she intends to leave Skylar’s farther. Skylar and I both cried as I wrote that one.

And for the record, they're incredibly emotional to read too. What's your favorite genre to write? To read?

Young adult fiction is by far my favorite to write. By that, I mean books for teens. Some people think I mean books for 20-somethings, but that’s actually called New Adult fiction.

I used to say that young adult fiction was also my favorite to read. Now I’ve discovered that I like any story that’s good. A year ago I would have told you that I’d never be interested in a book about vampires, and I’ve now read The Twilight Saga twice in the last six months. A genre I find myself drawn to is historical fiction. They have some of the prettiest covers!

(She has to say that about historicals because her crit buddy [me] writes them, mwa ha ha.) What are you reading right now—and what do you want to read next?

Right now I’m reading Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. My husband has been harassing me to read it for about a year now, and I finally made it a priority. I’m a few chapters in and really enjoying it.

(Roseanna butting in to say that I seconded her hubby on the necessity to read Ender's Game and she can't fight both of us. ;-)

Next up is either The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen, Nothing but Trouble by Susan May Warren, or Anything but Normal by Melody Carlson. They’re all high up on the stack so it’ll just depend on my mood.

What lessons have you learned through the publication process that you wouldn't have guessed as a pre-published writer?

That getting published is really only the beginning. I worked toward getting published for years. I dreamed about it, prayed about it, educated myself. When I signed my contract, I had that sense of, “Ah … I made it!” It lasted about five seconds, and then I was like, “Oh my gosh, marketing! Blogging! Getting a web site up! Writing new projects! Keeping up with everything else being published!”

I quickly discovered that I knew the ins and outs of being an aspiring author, but I knew nothingabout building a career. And there’s not much of a learning curve, either. Fortunately, I’ve been able to reach out to other fab young adult authors like Shelley Adina and Jenny B. Jones. They’ve been sweet enough to lend a helping hand, and I hope to pay it forward someday!

And as someone who could offer her a tidbit here and there that I picked up through reviewing, as well as someone who gets to soak up all she's learning, I can tell you that this author is one who puts her all into her books, both during the writing process and once they're on the shelves. Not that I'm biased. =)

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Thanks, Stephanie, for chatting! Everyone should check out her beautiful website, where she also has a blog that alternately makes me laugh and touches me.

For those of you who don't win the giveaway, you can purchase this fabulous book at Amazon. But by all means, try to get the signed copy here first! Just leave a comment and where I can reach you if you're the lucky duck.

Contest will end 1/15/10. Void where prohibited and all that jazz.

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for having me, girl!

    And so far I'm liking Ender's Game ... but I don't really get what all the fuss is about yet.

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  2. I would LOVE to read Stephanie's latest masterpiece...please count me in...thanks.

    karenk
    kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)Com

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  3. I'd LOOOVE to read it!!! :D
    Awesome interview, too -- all the interviews I'm reading about Stephanie have different quetsions, which makes them all the more interesting:)

    You can reach me at girlz4god.G4G@hotmail.com :)

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  4. Hey Roseanna! I think this book sounds amazing! Would love to read it!! Being a teen a can see how Skylar could feel like this... Teen's don't have an easy as a life as most think. Sounds good! email: 1joy4you@gmail.com

    Hope I win!

    Holly

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  5. Please enter me!!! I would love to read one of Stephanie's books!

    Mollydawn1981 at aol dot com

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  6. I love writing and I LOVE reading! I am always looking to find new authors. please count me n for this contest. I would love to read one of Stephanie's books.

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  7. An entry came in via Facebook, from Natalie White. Blogspot was not being cooperative for her, but she was very excited to enter! =)

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  8. Sounds like a really fun read. I love YA!
    Thanks
    kristengjohnson [at] gmail [dot] com

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