Stephanie Morrill+Giveaway

-2Today YA author Stephanie Morrill is joining us. She's also giving away a signed copy of So Over It, so stay tuned for instructions on how to get a hold of that book. And don't forget Monday's blog, where Nicole O'Dell is giving away a book as well. Lots of free stuff around here. And also don't forget, if you comment on all posts during

Stephanie is a twenty-something living in Overland Park, Kansas with her husband and two kids. According to her, her only talents are reading, writing, and drinking coffee, so career options were somewhat limited. Fortunately, she discovered a passion for young adult novels 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. She enjoys encouraging and teaching teen writers and does so on her blog www.GoTeenWriters.com, a GREAT site for inspiring writers.

Okay, Stephanie, what is your inspiration for So Over It?

In So Over It, Skylar gets an opportunity for a fresh start in Hawaii. I wanted to write about that because I've found the concept of a “fresh start” is just an illusion. Your personal junk always comes with you, and a new location and new faces can't change what's on the inside of you. In the first two books – Me, Just Different and Out with the In Crowd – Skylar tends to blame her reluctance to change on her friends. In So Over It she's forced to face the facts that she has some stuff on the inside to deal with.

Little known fact, but my last Charmed Life book was titled So Over It. I discovered you were calling your third book the same thing, and we all rushed around and changed the title at the last minute, and So Over My Head was born. You know, you do an awesome job of writing about flawed characters who have problems that aren't neat and tidy. How do we see this in SOI?

Wow, what a nice compliment. Thank you! This was the hardest book in the series to write because so many of the characters are struggling with problems of the “what's done is done” variety. There's no changing the consequences. Like Skylar's 16-year-old sister has a 4 mSoOverIt_R2.inddonth old. And Skylar and her best friend have to face the facts that they've done some mean things to each other in the past. So Over It deals with the idea of accepting God's forgiveness for your past and finding hope in your future.

Tell us about your average day as a writer.

I have two kids, ages 3 1/2 and 11 months so I'm usually lucky to get 90 minutes of work time, except for the days when grandparents take pity on me and come over. I spend most my work time responding to emails and working on my blog, www.GoTeenWriters.com. If I'm in decent shape with email and the blog, I get to write.

When I originally fantasized about being a writer, I pictured myself writing a story, mailing it to my editor, and then starting another one. There are certainly seasons when writing gets to be the priority, but often I have to be very intentional about scheduling time for my stories. I'm not “me” when I'm not getting to write. When I'm being cranky, my husband will usually ask me some form of, “When did you write last?”

What's a book you wish you'd written?

The Passion of Mary-Margaret by Lisa Samson. Looooved it.

I love the cover for that book. So what inspires you to write for teen girls?

I wish I had a really smart answer for this, but the best reason I can come up with is I enjoy them. I think they're a lot of fun to interact with, and for whatever reason my writing voice naturally bends toward YA.

What are some of the challenges of writing YA?

A big challenge of writing YA is having to sell it to adults first. I was 22 when I went to my first Christian writers conference, so I'd only been out of high school for a couple years and felt pretty in touch with modern high school life. I'll never forget sitting with an acquisitions editor who thought my story was way too risque. “I have a 14-year-old daughter, and she would never do any of this stuff. She's still very innocent.” While that might have been true, and while Me, Just Different certainly has some mature plot lines, it's a far cry from Gossip Girl, which has sold quite well. Not that I'm aspiring to write the next Gossip Girl, of course, since I don't feel like a book should be risky or edgy for the sake of buzz. But I never want to compromise on being real.

Ideal dessert?

Peanut Butter cup cheesecake. Or really anything that involves the divinely inspired combo of peanut butter and chocolate.

Famous person you'd like to meet?

I have sworn off meeting famous people. (Jenny aside, of course. I would still like to meet you in person!)

You have really got to set your sights higher. I mean genuine famous. For reals famous.

A couple years ago when I was employed by a meeting planning company, I worked a program where celebrity chef Tyler Florence was speaking. I love cooking, so I was really excited about getting to meet him and having him sign my cookbook.

Early that morning, he came in to do a sound check. I saw him walking toward the ballroom and realized this was my chance to say something. I called out, “Good morning Mr. Hilton!” He turned to me, hesitated a second, then said, “Good morning…”

I had no idea what I'd done until my coworker turned to me and said, “Who was that?”

I gave them an incredulous look. “Are you kidding? That was Tyler Florence!”

They said, “Well, I thought so … but do you realize you just called him Mr. Hilton?”

I later had a chance to apologize, and he was very gracious about the whole thing. But still, I would prefer to never again meet anybody I greatly admire.

If I could be guaranteed that I would not act like an idiot, I'd love to meet writers Lauren Winner and Sarah Dessen. And the foodie in me would like to chat with Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman) and Rachael Ray.

Great picks. I think both would be fun to hang out with. Especially if they were doing the cooking. Stephanie, tell readers where all they can find you.

You can read sample chapters of all my books at www.StephanieMorrillBooks.com. If you're a teen writer, please stop by www.GoTeenWriters.com for a chance to meet other young writers, discuss craft, and enter writing contests.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Stephanie. Blog friends, to win a signed copy of So Over It, leave a comment between now and Friday July 8th, that answers the following question: What is YOUR ideal dessert? Winner announced July 13th.


AND don't forget, if you comment on all six MYFASE blog posts (June 27-July 11),  you'll be in the running for an ARC of There You'll Find Me AND a $25 dollar Barnes and Noble card, in addition to any other books you win these two weeks of book/author fabulousness.  Come back Monday when we'll be talking to Lisa Tawn Bergren, author of Cascade and Waterfall. Woo!


Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 67 comments
Casey - July 5, 2011

Hmmm, my ideal desert is a pudding desert my mom makes: brownie bottom, layered with whipped cream and pudding. Yummmm!

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Lauren - July 5, 2011

Ideal dessert: Giant chocolate chip cookie (like at Red Lobster) with chocolate in the middle…with chocolate drizzled all over it…and with some vanilla ice cream. That spells sugar rush I think. 🙂

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Jenn Calling Home - July 5, 2011

Cream brulee or a molten lava cake. Yum!

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Joy Andrea - July 5, 2011

It would have to be double chocolate cookies! They are to die for!!!!

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Katie P. - July 5, 2011

I’d have to say the extreme boring thing: chocolate chip cookies!!! YUM!!!!

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Madi A. - July 6, 2011

Chocolate raspberry truffle ice-cream from Brusters. LOVE ITTTT <3

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Carla - July 6, 2011

I try something everywhere I go but cannot resist Chili’s Paradise Pie. The cookie, brownie, gooey combination with ice cream. I’m always disappointed I didn’t just go to Chili’s if I chose somewhere else. If I know desert is going to happen…I know to go to Chili’s! Just take a look at how tempting it is!
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_I8SyiXYp9zc/R8HX5pN2xaI/AAAAAAAAAas/Nb9Hi7dkBdo/s320/chilis%2Bchocolate%2Bchip%2Bparadise.jpg

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Becky Tidberg - July 7, 2011

Tiramisu. Or fresh baked choc. chip cookies (straight from the tube) placed straight on a bowl of vanilla ice cream.

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Paige McQueen - July 7, 2011

Ohh I could go on forever! Maybe a homemade icecream sunday with every chocolate and carmel toppping imaginable along with peices of chocolate chip cookie dough. *sigh* I like to dream big 😉

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Hannah - July 7, 2011

Aww just one? Well mine is the White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake from Olive Garden. Best. Cheesecake. Ever.

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Kate Meyer - July 7, 2011

Just about anything chocolate, to be honest!!! The best I’ve ever had was an expensive chocolate cake with a name I can’t pronounce. 🙂

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Lisa Carter Sweet Tea with a Slice of Murder - July 8, 2011

A cake made by Cake Boss, Buddy, for me. Lots of chocolate. Me in a pith helmet. Lots of 3D depictions of exotic places I’ve traveled. I’ve already put in this order for my next big birthday number, but I don’t think my family is hearing me.

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Cara Putman - July 12, 2011

You’ll love this because it is so not chocolate: Dutch apple pie made by a local Christian school in one of their fundraisers. So yummy!

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amani - July 14, 2011

I love Cookie Dough and anything with the word Coffee in a dessert and Coffee it’s self!! I love Chocolate (who doesn’t and if someone doesn’t like Chocolate they have a major problem and need to get checked out!) The problem with dessert is all the calories and fat it gives you (Why do you have to be so bad but so good!!!)

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amani - July 14, 2011

Also another favorite of mine would be strudels and pastries stuff like that specially Apple Strudels. I tell ya lock me in a bakery with pastries is NOT a good idea!!!! at all!!!

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D Elizabeth - July 16, 2011

Red Velvet Cake!!! With a real Italian Capuccino!!!!

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Katia - July 7, 2012

My favorite dessert is either my mom’s chocolate molten cakes, or my dad’s peanut-butter, double chocolate cookies.

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