Friday, July 24, 2009

My Friend . . . Stephanie Morrill

Back at the '07 ACFW conference, I walked into my very first session, sat down, and thought, "Wow. I know nobody." It was an agent panel, one where we turned in one-sheets on our projects and had them dissected, so I was already a little nervous. Plus, I got there really early, so there was lots of time to twiddle my thumbs. Then, after a minute or two of "Now what?" thoughts, I heard "Hey, nice bag" from behind me.

I had a nice bag (about which I was very excited), so I turned around to find a grinning-twentysomething sitting with an identical red leather bag. A, might I add, pregnant twentysomething (I was also a pregnant twentysomething, so this was instant bonding material). We started talking, and I ended up moving back to sit beside her.

Thank the Lord for red leather bags! The young woman I was chatting with is Stephanie Morrill, who has since joined my critique group and become one of my all-time best friends. Stephanie writes Young Adult fiction and is awesome at it. And since she's the first member of our critique group to get published, it seemed fitting to dedicate my first My Friend Friday to her.

Stephanie's first book from Revell just hit the stores July 1st. Me, Just Different is about a girl who had it all--and wasn't so sure she wanted any of it anymore. With a light, engaging tone and an honest look into the heart of a teen whose world is shifting, Stephanie pulls the reader into Skylar's life and never lets go.

Yes, I'm slightly biased, given that I had the honor and pleasure of working with Stephanie through every step of this--but as I remind her from time to time, I read the book before we were super-good friends and loved it then too. =)

Since September of '07, I've been there praying as Stephanie submitted to agents and eventually signed with Kelly Mortimer. I've been there praying as Kelly submitted to every publisher under the sun. I was on Stephanie's To Call list when she heard back from Revell and did a happy dance with her when they said, "Yes!"

When the book finally arrived in my mailbox, I jumped for joy and said, "My niece is here!" I can't quite call it my baby, but since Stephanie is a sister of my heart, "niece" is totally appropriate.

I'll probably post more about Stephanie on later Fridays (when I don't have other people begging to be highlighted, lol) and as her other books come out. But for now, check out my review of Me, Just Different and all the fun bonus matieral up at the bottom of it, including an interview with Stephanie, an article I wrote about her book and Young Adult fiction in general, and character sketches. Also be sure to check out Stephanie's website and blog.


  1. Maybe it's just me, but reading it like this totally makes, "Nice bag," sound like a pick up line.

  2. LOL. Ice breaker, Stephanie. Ice breaker. =)