Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Story Time with Stephanie Morrill - Interview & Giveaway

My best bud and critique partner has a special day coming up this week--the official release of the last book in her debut young adult series, The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt. This final installment, So Over It, follows 18-year-old Skylar away from old friends and to the paradise of Hawaii, where her grandparents live. Skylar's plan is to stay there long enough to forget all about the woes of home--so why doesn't it work?

This is an amazing summation of series. From fabulous Hawaii back to her hometown of Kansas City, Skylar gets to know herself and her heart and comes to grips with where dreams meet reality. The best yet from Stephanie!!

Want a chance to win it? Leave a comment below with how I can reach you.


About Stephanie

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. To check out her blog and read samples of her books, check out www.StephanieMorrillBooks.com.


About So Over It

How can Skylar stay true to herself without losing the ones she loves most?

Senior year is over and Skylar Hoyt is ready to forgive and forget. Or at least forget. She wants a fresh start where people don't know about her past or her dysfunctional family. A place where she won't run into her ex-boyfriend every time she leaves the house. When she gets the opportunity to spend the summer in Hawaii with her grandparents, Skylar jumps at the chance to get out of town. But will she truly be able to leave her old life behind? And will she be strong enough to rise above the gossip and live the life God wants?


What's your latest book?

My latest is So Over It, which is the final book in The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series. Skylar has graduated high school and she’s ready to forgive and forget. Or at least forget. She wants to leave Kansas City behind and get a fresh start where people don’t know about her partying past. And where she won’t run into her ex every time she leaves the house.

When she gets the chance to spend the summer in Hawaii with her grandparents, Skylar jumps at the chance. But when her sister needs her, Skylar’s faced with a tough decision – cut her ties and live the life she’s been dreaming of, or return home and face the mistakes of her past.

And my totally unbiased (ahem) opinion is that this is the best of the series. I mean, Hawaii. Then there's the emotion! Wow. So what was the hardest part to write?

The first book, Me, Just Different, opens the morning after a traumatic party experience. In this book, we finally see that party for the first time. It would have been really hard to write anyway because of all the emotion and devastation taking place in Skylar’s life, but it was made even more challenging by the fact that I’d alluded to the scene in the previous two books and had to make sure I was 100% consistent with what I’d already said. But I think the scene needed to be in there, so it was worth the extra work.

Oh yeah--challenging, but it made this book fantastic, to finally get to face old demons along with Skylar. Is there a theme to this book?

While writing So Over It, I kept thinking of that phrase, “Wherever you go, there you are.” Skylar has the fantasy that by moving locations, her problems will disappear. It isn’t until she gets to Hawaii that she sees how many of her problems are really her fault, rather than the fault of her setting.

Would you believe I'd never thought of that saying in that way? But yeah--I can totally see where that would apply to Skylar. Are there any people (family, writing group, editors) who you rely on when writing?

YES. My family is insanely supportive. My husband does most of the grunt work now (Lots of, “You can do this,” and, “I believe in you,” kinds of talks), but growing up, my parents always made it clear that they were 100% behind me. I’m sure half the sales from The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt books have come from them. It seems like every time I’m at their house, they're like, “Hey, can you sign a couple books? I want to give one to Shelly, our dry cleaner. And I was talking to the cashier at the grocery store on Thursday and her daughter is a really big reader, so if you could make one out to ‘Jane’ also, that’d be great.”

Um, ahem, Stephanie. You forgot to mention your fabulous critique partner, without whom you could not possibly type another word . . . ;-) Okay, so I doff my hat to those who babysit and buy books for the dry cleaner. My budget does not allow for that, LOL. Okay, fun question time. If someone were to give you $5,000 to spend on anything you wanted, what would you buy? (No saving or gifts to charities allowed!)

A few months ago I had a book signing at Barnes and Noble that corresponded with a school fundraiser. The school librarian had a hand truck specifically designed for books and she was wandering around the store filling it up. I was practically salivating as I watched.

But of course it’ll be years before I have time to read $5k worth of books, so maybe I’d fill up the hand truck once, and then fulfill my fantasy of chucking everything in my closet and buying all new clothes, shoes, and bags.

I knew we were friends for a reason. Books and new clohtes--ah, sigh. Do you remember where you were when you got your first or most important call about a book contract?

Totally. I was walking out the door to meet my husband and brother-in-law for lunch because it was my husband’s birthday. My agent happened to call on my cell phone, which she’d never done before, so I only had to hold my good news in for five or so minutes before I could blurt it out to my husband in person. The only sad part was that I was way too excited to eat my yummy lunch.

I remember that too! (Being the next phone call. =) And just for the record, this contract was a present from my hubby--his birthday was the week before, when the committee at Revell met to talk about Stephanie's book. David, being the wonderful man he is, said, "She can have my present--it can be a contract." (Last year he chose to have the Penguins win the Stanley Cup, the final game of which was on his birthday. The man seems to have a thing with successful wishes!)


Thanks, Stephanie!! Guys, this is a great book for the teens it's aimed at, but let me assure you adults will thoroughly enjoy it to. Sooooo . . . get it for you daughter, granddaughter, niece (or grocer's daughter, ha ha) and then read it yourself. ;-)

Be sure and check out Stephanie's website at www.StephanieMorrillBooks.com and click on the blog tab, too, to get a peek into Stephanie's thoughts.

And though she didn't mention it, Stephanie's about to have baby #2 in a few days, so everyone say a prayer for a quick, uneventful labor and delivery and a healthy mom and baby!

Check out her book on Amazon or CrossPurposes.

Void where prohibited. Entry into the contest is considered verification of eligibility based on your local laws. Contest ends 7/5/10. Winner will have two weeks to claim book.


  1. Hi, Roseanna,

    Thanx for hosting this giveaway, and please enter me.

    I'm also hosting a few giveaways@ www.estherisblogging.blogspot.com , so do drop by.

    thanx. Esther


  2. I've never read Stephanie, but I would love to read her books...sounds like they would be great to pass on to some of the teens in our church.


  3. Oh, my teenage daughter would love it if I won. Thanks
    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  4. I DID forget to mention my fabulous crit partner. Without whom I would be completely lost on when to use commas.

    To list everyone who's indispensable would be impossible. And boring. I think the acknowledgements sections of a book is one of the most challenging to write.

  5. Sounds like a great book. I love Hawaii.

  6. Loved the interview!:) Just one question -- is this available to people outside the US? Thought I'd better ask:P

  7. great interview :)

    please count me in...thanks

  8. Please enter me! This whole series has been great and I can't wait to read the last book!


  9. I'd love to read this! Please enter me for a copy :)


  10. Sounds like a great book! Count me in!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  11. Would love to read this. Thank you for the opportunity to win it.


  12. Please include me.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  13. Please enter me. I would love to visit Hawaii, even if it is through a book. :)

  14. Emii--yes, you're eligible. And best of luck!

  15. This book looks really good!
    enter me!

  16. The book looks awesome. Please enter me in the contest.


  17. I would love to win this book. thank you so much

  18. Carman sent me. Please enter me in this giveaway - Thanks!


  19. Count me in on the giveaway. Sounds like a great book. kittycrochettwo@msn.com

  20. yay- love this series!
    june_spirit2628 at hotmail dot com