Interview with Stephanie Morrill

» Posted on Jan 27, 2010 in Blog | Comments Off on Interview with Stephanie Morrill

This week I’m hosting Stephanie Morrill with Out with the In Crowd. If you want to enter the drawing for the books, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at The drawings end Sunday (Jan. 31st) evening.

Stephanie Morrill’s interview:

1.What made you start writing?

My teacher. My elementary school had mandatory writing time every day for about 20 minutes, and I LOVED it. From first grade on I started telling people that I wanted to be a writer.

2.How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?

I started sending out manuscripts when I was 16, so that’s when I started really getting serious about my writing. I sold my first book, Me, Just Different, to Revell back in the summer of 2008. They bought it and two others- Out with the In Crowd which releases this month, and So Over it which comes out next July.

3.How do you handle rejections?

The pain is usually short lived. I mean, like anybody else, I’m not a fan of them. But they’re part of this business, and I’ve gotten better at trusting God’s opinion of me and His plans versus what others say.

4.Why do you write?

Because I love it.

5.What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?

Reading and cooking more. Though I’m currently pregnant, so I’d probably be sleeping more.

6.What are you working on right now?

Edits for book three in The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series.

7.Do you put yourself into your books/characters?

Kind of. Because I write for teens, a lot of the vulnerabilities/doubts/fears/hopes that I had in middle and high school wind up on the page. That said, my main character in this series, Skylar, is nothing like me. She’s about as opposite as possible. Except we order the same thing when we go out for ice cream.

8.Tell us about the book you have out right now.

Out with the In Crowd is the second book in The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series. In the first book, Me, Just Different, Skylar Hoyt may have vowed to change her partying ways, but she’s finding 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. How do you choose favorites among the people you love most?

9.Do you have any advice for other writers?

Tons, but I’ll try to keep it short!

One is to learn how to turn off your internal editor and just WRITE. I started really seeing progress in my skills—and my career—when I stopped obsessing over every single word of my first draft and just got the thing down on paper.

Another is to build a community of writer friends. I did this by going to writers conferences. The support I get from them has been invaluable in my journey from unpublished to published.

10.How important is faith in your books?

So important that I can’t seem to write a book where it isn’t incorporated somehow. It’s vital to my character’s motivations, outlook on the world, and how they view themselves and others. In some books, like one I’ve written about a 16-year-old girl feeling like the last virgin on the planet, the faith element is very prominent. In the Skylar books, it’s more subtly woven.

11.What themes do you like to write about?

I find myself regularly writing about the first time a teenage girl finds her faith challenged. That can happen in such a variety of ways, I’m always coming up with new ideas.

12.What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?

The third book in this series, So Over It, is really special to me. It’s the only book I’ve ever written after selling it. Something about that was very freeing. Also, about halfway through, the plot took a major turn that I hadn’t expected, and turned into a much bigger story than I anticipated.

13. What is your writing schedule like?

I have a two-year-old, so for the last couple years my writing time has shifted along with her nap time. She naps for about two hours in the afternoons, so I always write then. My parents watch her on Tuesday mornings, and my in-laws on Thursday mornings, which means I have some guaranteed chunks of writing time. Come July, when we have a newborn in the house, I’m not exactly sure what the answer to this question will be!