Stephenie is the author of Grace’s Ghosts and the Nellie Nova series. Semi-nomadic, Stephenie and her family currently live near Raleigh, North Carolina. Her kids are Texans at heart. Stephenie and her husband grew up just outside of Seattle. Stephenie writes, teaches creative writing, and homeschools her three amazing kids. Stephenie is represented by Jessica Reino of Metamorphosis Literary Agency.
What inspires you to write?
It depends on the story. Some of my books come to me in a whirlwind of inspiration, often in a dream. Other times, I want to touch on a topic that I feel needs more attention in media. Since I write for children, my own kids inspire me all the time.
Tell us about your writing process.
I usually start a story with a main character, a setting, and an idea of where I want the story to end up. I'll write the first several chapters without outlining. I need to get to know my characters in this way. After I feel like I have a good grip on who my characters are, I outline. It's a very rough outline, but it gives me an idea of where I'm going. During this process, I often realize that I need to go back and adjust something I wrote in those first few chapters, but that's fine with me. It's all part of my process. Even after I've written my outline, I am quick to abandon it if I feel like my character wouldn't behave that way or if I get inspired to take the story a new direction.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I listen to them. They tell me who they are as I'm writing. Sometimes, they fight me on my plot. They tell me they'd never do what I am trying to get them to do. And I listen.
Who are your favorite authors?
I'm a huge Harry Potter fan, so of course I love JK Rowling. Neil Gaiman is another favorite. Since I write for kids, I read a lot of books written for kids. What I love about Gaiman is that his writing for children and adults alike is wonderful. I also read a lot of thrillers. I love Ruth Ware and Karin Slaughter.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I self-published my first two books, then decided to pursue traditional publishing for my third. When I wrote my first two books, I was really worried about being forced to give up control over my stories. I learned over time that a good publisher isn't out to gut your book, just to make it shine. I'm glad I moved to traditional publishing. Having more people on my side has been a great thing. Moving forward, I plan to continue traditionally publishing my books for the most part. I plan to finish my self-published series, so the title in that series will be self-published. Otherwise, I'm happy to keep with a traditional publisher.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It's been interesting watching trends over the years. Several years ago, people were saying that print books were on the way out, but print book sales are on the rise. More bookstores are opening again. I think that e-books and self-publishing will continue to be a big part of the market, but I don't think print or traditional publishing are going anywhere.
What genres do you write?
I've published in middle grade fantasy, but I've written some middle grade contemporary and sci-fi as well. I've also written a few picture books and chapter books.
What formats are your books in?
eBook, Print, Audiobook
All information is provided by the author and is presented as it was submitted so you the reader get to hear the author’s own “voice” in their interview.