Welcome, Stephanie. What made you start writing?
I've been writing as soon as I learned how to write . . . maybe before. I've actually found some things I wrote that are completely unintelligible—and no!—I'm not talking about now!
How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?
I sold my first book in 2005. Before that I'd written about five different sci-fi/ fantasy books. Yeah, a little different than chic lit, but I figure chic lit is just as far out there.
What type of writer are you? Do you plan ahead/plot or do you simply fly by the seat of your pants?
I'm always plotting. I keep a notebook with me everywhere I go and I'm always thinking of plot ideas, especially when I hear people's real life adventures. You do know that real life is crazier than fiction? It means I have to come up with about a million and two acknowledgements, but it's worth it. Sometimes I wish I could fly by the seat of my pants. I think it would be a whole lot more fun. Maybe easier too.
How do you choose your characters' names?
I think of the hottest guy names and write them down . . . and girls?—well, I think of my favorite friends. I figure it's a little like naming kids.
What type of writing schedule do you have?
I work part time, and I'm SUPPOSED to come home and write until five (like a regular job), but either I get carried away and write too much or get so busy that I don't write enough. I'm working on better self-discipline. As always I work better when I have a deadline or there's someone breathing over my shoulder (literally).
How do you characterize your genre? It is Mormon Chic Lit, right?
Yep, it's Mormon chic lit, which means . . . um, it's like watching a chick flick, but reading it. And it's Mormon because it's super hard to put my feelings out there without putting ALL of my feelings out there, religion included.
What one thing do you like most about writing? Least?
I love that I can reach out to people when I write. It's like talking to a hundred people at once. But there's the irony, when I'm writing I can't talk to anyone, and that gets sad fast.
What have you always dreamed of writing, but haven't yet?
Well, I want to write some mainstream (and I will and have, I just HAVE to get it published). I've been writing some plays, children's books, screenplays, and YA lately. The trick isn't writing it, the trick is publishing it. Yikes, the plight of all authors.
You've done some film-making. Tell us about those adventures.
Well, my little brother is a genius director (if I may say so myself). And he's always making films (sadly, with no girls). So, when my sisters and I went home (for the year to keep him company for his senior year which he didn't need at all), he asked me to write the screenplay for his Macbeth school project. My sisters were just as enthusiastic as he was . . . even more, poor guy. And so we made costumes and props. Uh, and he made bloody scenes. It was super fun, and I even got to play an evil Lady Macbeth because he had a hard time trusting his girlfriends to do it. His friends who starred in the film are now quite the celebrities at school, and people quote lines to them that they don't even remember saying.
What is your next project?
I'm supposed to keep quiet about it (which is the hardest thing in the world for me), but I'll tell you this much, it's a musical and it takes place in the regency era. Reading all those regency romances have paid off. Yeah!
I'm also writing some screenplays with my sister, Jacqueline. And we're having a blast doing it. We've been volunteering with filmmakers around the area to get more behind-the-scenes experience.
I'm also writing Prank Wars—another LDS chic lit novel, which my friends are especially excited about, since they've been feeding me prank war ideas for years.
What is your advice for other writers?
Never never never give up! And back up your words with writing! AND know how to get connections in the writing business, so that you can actually put your skills to use and get published. Build your writing resume now (even if it's just contests, magazine and newspaper writing).
Tell us about your new book, Meet Your Match.
Of course, Jacqueline is outraged. She makes a wager with Britton that the flirtiest girl in the ward will go for Christian (not that Christian would be stupid enough to ACTUALLY fall for her). Britton agrees with her terms and they set out to prove each other wrong. Britton takes on the role of jerk, and Jacqueline must do everything in her power to make Christian look good (despite being a Nice Guy). Except, the worst thing happens, Jacqueline's plan starts to work too well. And now she's afraid she'll miss her chance to win her own Mr. Nice Guy.
What else have you written?