We'll start with Mrs. Stephanie:
Stephanie Morrill is a twenty-something living in Overland Park, Kansas with her husband and two kids. She’s the author of The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series, Go Teen Writers: How to Turn Your First Draft Into a Published Book, and The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet. She enjoys encouraging and teaching teen writers on her blog, www.GoTeenWriters.com. To connect with Stephanie and read samples of her books, check out www.StephanieMorrill.com
1) How old were you when you got your first book published?
I was 25 when Me, Just Different hit store shelves.
2) What are the titles of your books?
The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series, which includes Me, Just Different, Out
With The In Crowd, and So Over It. Then I co-wrote Go Teen Writers: How To Turn
Your First Draft Into A Published Book with Jill Williamson. And then The Revised
Life of Ellie Sweet came out in May, and the sequel, The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet,
comes out this November!
3) How long have you been writing stories?
I started writing stories in first grade. We were given writing time everyday in class and could write
about whatever we wanted. When we finished our stories, we turned them in and someone (a teacher
or volunteer parent, maybe) would type them for us. We got to pick the color of our cover and binding, and then they printed out our “book” for us to illustrate and read to the class. I loved it and from then on I started telling people I wanted to be a novelist when I grew up.
4) Do you write by hand or on the computer? Which do you suggest is better for
I write mostly on my computer, but I enjoy brainstorming with a pen and paper.
There’s just something about a pen and paper that makes the brainstorming process
work better for me!
5) Do your stories flow out of you? Or do they take a lot of time to come up with?
Both. There are some days that writing feels effortless. I like those days. But there
are lots of days that it takes me awhile to get going or when a scene isn’t working like I
thought it would. I’ve learned to embrace the editing process!
6) What tips do you have for teen/tweens?
There are so many that I started a blog for them! GoTeenWriters.com grew out of
the joy I felt when I got to interact with teen writers and share what I’d learned on my
journey to publication.
Something I wish I had been better about as a young writer is not getting hung
up on everything being “perfect.” I put a lot of pressure on myself to write perfect stories
the first time through, which is impossible. I’m a much healthier, happier writer now
that I’ve embraced the messy process of creating a story!
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Jill Williamson is a chocolate loving, daydreaming, creator of kingdoms. She writes weird books for teens in lots of weird genres like, fantasy (Blood of Kings trilogy), science fiction (Replication), and dystopian (The Safe Lands trilogy). Find Jill on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or on her author website.
1) What are the titles of your books?
I have several books. My first books are the Blood of Kings trilogy, which is a medieval fantasy story. By Darkness Hid is book one, To Darkness Fled is book two, and From Darkness Won is book three.
Replication: The Jason Experiment is a stand alone science fiction story.
Captives is the first book in The Safe Lands series, a dystopian series. Outcasts, book two, releases this November.
The New Recruit is the first book in The Mission League series. It will have seven books when it's complete. So far there are three: Chokepoint: Mini mission 1.5, and Project Gemini: Mission 2, Okinawa
And I co-wrote Go Teen Writers: How to Turn a First Draft into a Published Book with Stephanie Morrill.
2) How did you come up with these stories?
Each one has a different tale. For By Darkness Hid, I was walking with my son and saw a burned down house. There was a tree in the yard that was half burned/half still living. That got me thinking, "What if there was a land half cursed in darkness?"
For Replication, I was going to pick apples with my sister and we were driving a long ways. We passed farm after farm, and I got thinking, "What if there was a farm that grew people? Clones? They could call it Jason Farms!" And that was the beginning of that story.
I tell the story of how I got the idea for Captives here: http://www.youtube.com/
3) How long did it take you to get published?
It took me about four years of seriously hard work. It took about three years to write and rewrite my first book. And toward the end or that I started writing other books. It was the sixth book I wrote that was first published.
4) Do you have any tips for young writers?
Finish the entire book, then rewrite it. Write messy first drafts. Fix the book in editing. Rewrite it until you feel it's done, then, while you're submitting that book to publishers, write another book and another and another. Only by writing a lot will you improve your craft. It takes time and patience. You can do it!
:) Thanks Jill and Stephanie for doing this!!! :D