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
Jenny - July 1, 2011

Fresh from the oven homemade chocolate chip cookies with milk for dipping, of course. There really is not a more perfect dessert in my mind.

The Passion of Mary Margaret is also a favorite of mine. Lisa Samson has an amazingly distinct voice & some of the best casts of characters. That book made me fall in love with Jesus all over again.

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Alyson - July 1, 2011

My favorite dessert is probably anything Chocolate. I love Chocolate. Chocolate brownies, ice cream, cake, bars, and anything with the word chocolate in it.

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macy muray - July 1, 2011

I LOVE anything chocolate!! I love chocolate chip cookies! LOVE chocolate fondue! Chocolate cake is scrumptious too 🙂 But my all time favorite is my friends uncles cookies and cream cheesecake cups! He owns a cheesecake bakery in Georgia here I live and I LOVE it! (haha can you tell I have a major sweet tooth :P)

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Laura J - July 1, 2011

I’m a cupcake lover! I live in a suburb of Houston, but I will drive all over Houston trying new cupcake shops. 🙂 It’s worth the gas money, even with these high prices.

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Cheryl Olson - July 1, 2011

Oh man- I agree with Stephanie- I adore anything that is Peanut Butter and Chocolate, so I’ll go with my standby- Tillamook Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream- I just know that it will be in heaven someday (minus the calories of course!) 🙂

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Catrina - July 1, 2011

How can I pick just one??? I love Cheesecake! But I also love anything with Cookie Dough or Oreos in it… I’m also a big Tiramisu fan 🙂

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Erin McFarland - July 1, 2011

oreo Blizzard. or McFlurry. or the oreo stuff in a gallon from Breyers. Or Dreyers.
And Stephanie, you are in good company with the verbal blunders around famous people. I just seem to forget that I have verbal capabilities and stare in a stupor. Then if words come out, it’s somewhere along the lines of your “Good Morning Mr. Hilton” 🙂

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bookwyrm14 - July 1, 2011

Hahahaha…you see, here’s the rub. I don’t eat sweets. (Yes, now you may insert the gasps of horror.) I don’t eat candy, chocolate, cupcakes, brownies, ice cream, etc. I tried a McFlurry once, and I really liked it, but I never ate it again. Don’t know why. I’m weird that way.

And I met Siri Mitchell once at a book signing at my local Christian bookstore (the author of A Constant Heart and Love’s Pursuit) and I don’t remember exactly what I said, but the minute we got in the car afterward, my little sister looked at me and said, “You realize that you acted like a starstruck idiot, right?” Yeah. The truth was harsh. So I totally relate, Stephanie.

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Allison - July 1, 2011

I love anything chocolate. But my ideal dessert is a warm brownie right out of the oven with vanilla ice cream that’s slightly melting and chocolate syrup on top. It’s a lot of calories, but completely worth it. 🙂

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Helen Loss - July 1, 2011

Double Chocolate Andes mint cookies! I need to make some asap!

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Sarah - July 1, 2011

Anything w/ an unhealthy amount of chocolate (:

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Bethany Ellis - July 1, 2011

My favorite desert is vanilla bean cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory. Mmmm.. Heaven in a bite.

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Suzanne Schaffer - July 1, 2011

I think anything from Ben & Jerry, with the exception of Chunky Monkey.

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Kelly - July 1, 2011

French Silk Pie – I have a friend that makes it from scratch, and it is the best dessert I’ve ever had.

I met the Afters once, at a youth event, and I love their music. I had them sign a poster for our youth group, and they were very friendly and kept asking me questions – but I was completely blank and I’m pretty sure they thought I wasn’t all there. I was disappointed later because I could have actually had a conversation with them and didn’t.

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Tonya - July 1, 2011

I’m a chocolate & peanut butter girl too. Honestly I have a had time seeing anything as dessert if it doesn’t have chocolate in it!

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Rachelle Rea - July 1, 2011

Stephanie,

You’re absolutely right: chocolate and peanut butter. I want to shake the hand of whoever put those two together for the first time.

I’m also not myself when I haven’t been writing and just like you, those around me notice. 🙂

That’s neat that you like Racheal Ray. So many people do a double take when I introduce myself or they see my name on my card…and yes, I do love to cook.

Great interview!

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Stephanie Morrill - July 1, 2011

Jenny, thank you so much for having me on the blog! I had no idea So Over My Head was originally So Over It! That’s the only title of the Skylar Hoyt books I can take credit for. And when I suggested it, they said, “Well … we have another book in the pipeline that might end up with that title…” Apparently mine won out? I don’t know.

I see a lot of cheesecake on the list. My mom makes an incredible chocolate covered cheesecake that I request most years for my birthday. Mmm…

Suzanne, you mentioned Ben&Jerry’s. YES. So, so good.

And it’s so nice to hear I’m not the only one who has issues meeting celebrities! If I were meeting Siri Mitchell, I’d be starstruck too!

Rachelle, your name is awesome 🙂 I think that’s why I spelled it “Rae” for so long.

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HopefulLeigh - July 1, 2011

Flourless Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream, or Brownie Trifle. I love dessert!

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Jenny - July 1, 2011

Even though pumpkin pie with whipped topping is my absolute favorite dessert, peanut butter cups are a very close second…seems like a bag finds its way into my cart every time I visit the grocery store. I’ve never had peanut butter cup cheesecake but it sounds delish!

Also, I’ve already read (and enjoyed) the Skylar Hoyt series so don’t include my name in the draw.

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Clare - July 1, 2011

I am a lover of all things chocolate, so when it comes to dessert all someone has to do is squirt chocolate syrup over it and i’m happy. But I think that my favorite dessert is good old-fashioned brownies. If done right, their gooey, chocolately and totally addicting.

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Mississippi Mama - July 1, 2011

My ideal dessert is my great-grandmother’s recipe for strawberry cake. I’m going to get the recipe from my aunt and make it for my birthday. It might be a little weird to make my own cake for my birthday, but I want it and there’s nobody else to make it for me!

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Rachel - July 1, 2011

Chocolate anything. Chocolate peanut butter fudge ice cream has been a recent favorite. The ice cream is all fudgey and the peanut butter has this almost crunchy texture…mmmmm. Now, to go find myself a carton…

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Kristin - July 1, 2011

Pretty much anything chocolate. I really love mint chocolate chip ice cream. And chocolate chip cookies. Not together, but that’s a thought…

~Kristin

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Faye Oygard - July 1, 2011

I love home baked chocolate cake! All soft and tender with tons of frosting.
I’ve heard so much about you latest book, Jen, and it’s on my to-read list!
Thanks so much for having Stephanie on your blog!
Please enter me in your contest:)

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Elizabeth - July 1, 2011

Homade chocolate cookies that melt in your mouth. Yum!

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Angela Bell - July 1, 2011

CHOCOLATE. CHOCOLATE. CHOCOLATE. 🙂

When it comes to dessert, I’m a more is more kinda girl. A tiny chocolate drizzle isn’t gonna cut it. My ideal dessert would be like a double chocolate chunk brownie with fudge frosting and chocolate ice-cream. Yes, I can hear the hallelujah chorus now! 🙂

Loved getting to learn more about you, Stephanie!

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Katy - July 1, 2011

HI Stephanie! I came over as soon as I could. *big wave* Although I haven’t any of your books yet (I know, SO sad!!!), you still inspire me with your wisdom in writing over at Go Teen Writers. It’s been a tremendous blessing for me as I work on my WIP. THANKS for taking the time to reach teen writers!!

And, of course I’d love to win a copy of your book! (That way I would no longer have to say “I LOVE Steph….oh, no, I haven’t exactly read her books yet…but I know she’s awesome!!”) 😛 Haha! Anyhow! My “ideal” dessert? Hmm….MUST have some kind of chocolate in it…but I’d say…probably some kind of dark chocolate ice cream with chocolate chips in it. 😀 Yummy!!

Jenny, I’ll be back on Monday, that’s for sure. Lisa Bergren’s new River of Time series is TOTALLY awesome!!

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Reagan - July 1, 2011

I love the name Skylar! Such a great name for a book character!

Ideal dessert….
Frozen yogurt, chocolate of course, with chocolate syrup, brownie bits, chocolate sprinkles, marshmallows, and mini m’n’ms all on top.
delish :]

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Joy - July 1, 2011

Hi! Love reading these interviews. They are so insightful and fun.

Fav: White chocolate cheesecake (preferably with raspberry swirled into it) with chocolate crust and white chocolate shavings on top with raspberry drizzle and whip cream. (This is a real dessert people! lol) yummy 🙂

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Alexis R. - July 1, 2011

My ideal dessert would be plain ole cheesacake. Waters in my mouth everytime! Also I love love love The Passion of Mary-Margaret. Good taste!

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Katherine - July 2, 2011

LOOOVE stephanie morrill!!! my favorite dessert would have to be a biig piece of cheesecake with berry sauce… yuuum

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Emii - July 2, 2011

What a great interview! Really interesting questions, loved the answers! Hmm, favourite dessert? …umm… banana splits are always good. 😀 I already have the book so don’t enter me, So Over It was an awesome book though!

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Angelica - July 2, 2011

My ideal desert would have to be anything chocolate, or something with ice cream! I love eating chocolate and ice cream combined because it really is a mixture of my two favorite deserts! But really, who doesn’t love chocolate?

~ Angelica

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Anna Grace - July 2, 2011

Thankfully my ideal dessert is in existence. It’s this thing my dad makes and it is called Hoosier Cream Pie. It’s the best invention in the world for creamy sugary rich joy wrapped in the shape of a pie loving people. It’s a little like Creme brulee. Only better. Way better. I’m serious. BETTER.

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K. Floodle - July 2, 2011

homemade chocolate cake!! with chocolate icing of course 🙂

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molly - July 2, 2011

mmmm cheesecake!! specially chocolate cheesecake… ohh yummmmmm 😉

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Em Sto - July 2, 2011

Make-your-own ice cream sundaes all the way!! 😀

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Nicole - July 2, 2011

I have to agree with pretty much everyone else, I love chocolate!!!! Or ice cream, that’s always good!

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Kiersten - July 2, 2011

I am not gonna lie, ice cream has to be my all time favorite.

Instead of cake at my graduation party, Ice Cream Sundae Bar. It was awesome.

Why is Ice Cream one of the modern marvels? It can be personalized to fit any person’s tastes (excluding people allergic to milk or with cold sensitive teeth… but then if it melts it can be soup, so it’s still awesome.)

You just add whatever you want and make it yours! Chocolate syrup, sprinkles, whipped cream, cherries…

You scream, I scream, we all scream for Ice Cream! 🙂

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Emilee - July 2, 2011

My ideal dessert… Hhhmmmm.
It would probably be my Mom’s orange sherbert dish.
Pecan shortbread cookies mashed mixed in with a whole containor of whip cream, sherbert laayed on top, and cookies sprinkled over that. {In fact, we made it today 🙂 }

Other than that ANYTHING with whip cream or Eagle Brand in it 🙂

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Dakota - July 3, 2011

Since the very word dessert is the epitome of ideal, then every dessert you can imagine is ideal. So i choose them all. 🙂

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Lauren - July 3, 2011

My favorite dessert is triple chocolate cake. I am in looooove with chocolate. It is the best EVER!
I also adore anything that includes chocolate AND peanut butter together. It is just about THE best combination of sweets!!

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Liv - July 4, 2011

My nanny* makes a really, really good German chocolate cake, it’s SOOO good!

*Nanny is my grandma.

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Heather aka Dynamic Uno - July 4, 2011

Ummm…if I can pick more than one, then they would be 1)gooey chocolate chip cookies straight from the oven, and 2)chocolate fondue.
Otherwise, it would be the chocolate chip cookies. They’re portable, and if the dough never makes it to the oven, it’s still good. 🙂

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Jess - July 4, 2011

Mmmm, dessert. Mint chip ice cream cake with oreo crust. DELICIOUS!

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capillya - July 4, 2011

I’m always interested in time management routines when it comes to authors with kiddos. I always wonder, “How do they do it?! Having to feed and dress and keep little people alive?!!”

My favorite dessert — wow, this is a tough question. I’ll go with my current favorite, which is strawberry cheesecake frozen yogurt from Three Flamingos. With crushed waffle cone on top. =)

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Amy - July 4, 2011

My ideal dessert involves chocolate chip cookies, ice cream, caramel, whipped cream, a cherry…put together in all kinds of combos. 🙂

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Felicia - July 5, 2011

Hands Down! Banana Creme Pie with Vanilla Wafers crushed on top! I cant say no!

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Alli - July 5, 2011

Being the daughter of a confectionist I pratically fall in love with any dessert out there, but a new dessert thats slowly becoming popular is cake pops. there so….well I don’t even know how to describe them! Cake on a stick basically. So simple yet so delicious!

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Jess - July 5, 2011

Really anything chocolate… I am easy to please in this department!
Thanks for interviewing Stephanie. I read her series a while back and LOVED it! Can’t wait for her to write something new!

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