September 1, 2016

Q&A With Author Stephanie Faris, Piper Morgan Book Tour + GIVEAWAY!



I am super excited today to introduce all of my readers and friends to my phenomenal friend and children's author, Stephanie Faris. Stephanie is an incredibly inspiring woman because she is basically living my dream - she is a successful published author!

Photo Credit: Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is currently launching two new books in her Piper Morgan series. Piper Morgan is a delightful character who moves to a new town excited for an adventure. She is determined to have fun, be brave and make new friends.

 


I agreed and am honored to be part of her press tour. If you are here from Stephanie's blog, thank you for stopping by!

Q&A with Author Stephanie Faris

Photo Credit: Stephanie Faris

Mili Wifey: When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?

Stephanie: I always wanted to be one, but I wasn't sure I had what it took. Both my mom and dad write though, so it it's a genetic trait - I was born this way! My senior year of high school, my English teacher chose a limerick I wrote to read to all of her classes as an example of what she wanted from them. That was the first time a teacher made me feel as though I might have something.

Mili Wifey: Why and when did you decide to write children's books?

Photo Credit: Stephanie Faris

Stephanie: When I first decided to write a book in the mid-90s, I wanted to write the young adult novels I loved so much as a child. I learned there was no market. I auditioned to write for Sweet Valley High twice, then gave up and tried writing romance. In the mid-2000s, when there was a young adult market again, I tried writing those again. I was told my voice was "too young" because young adult is much more sophisticated than when I was a child. An agent said my voice was better suited to middle grade, and I've just gone younger from there!

Mili Wifey: Did you have any teachers in school or professors in college who inspired you to become a writer and keep writing?

Stephanie: I was a broadcast journalism major; I worked at both the campus newspaper and TV station. I think both of those jobs helped me learn to produce a large amount of writing in a short period of time, which has been a useful skill to have as a freelance writer.

Mili Wifey: How difficult was it to get your first work "noticed" and published?

Photo Credit: Stephanie Faris

Stephanie: My first book was a young adult novel and I learned only afterwards there was really nowhere to send the book. So, I wrote a romance novel that was horrible. I only received a form rejection. Then, I discovered Romance Writers of America and learned I had no idea what I was doing.

Mili Wifey: Let's talk about the dreaded word "rejection." What was your first experience like dealing with rejection? How do you handle criticism and rejection?

Stephanie: It's hard and something I deal with at least once a week. I'm constantly pitching editors at online publications for freelance work. Those rejections hurt, especially when they are cruel. Most of the time you hear nothing at all or get a canned response. When I was trying to get a book deal, the hardest thing was getting so close to a deal, only to have it fall through. Before I sold my first book, I had a phone call with an editor at a major publishing house who was interested in my ghost hunting series but wanted revisions. I did them, she sat on the book for nine months, then said too many similar books were out by then. This was one of the toughest gut punches I have ever experienced. I still wish someone would buy my ghost hunting series. I loved that one!

Mili Wifey: What has been your most rewarding experience as a writer?

Photo Credit: Stephanie Faris

Stephanie: I could name accomplishments like getting book deals, but honestly, there's nothing better than an email from a young girl who just wants to let me know she loved one of my books. That's one of the best things about writing for children. I remember some of the books that I read as a child and I can only hope that my books make a similar impression on at least a few young people.

Mili Wifey: What was your inspiration for creating Piper Morgan? Do you relate to her in anyway?

Photo Credit: Stephanie Faris

Stephanie: There's a lot of me in Piper Morgan; her spunk and rebelliousness is definitely me at that age.

Mili Wifey: What message do you hope to bring young children who read your books?

Stephanie: I hope that after reading my book maybe a child will feel a little less lonely. It can feel hard to fit in when you are young. Books have the power to show you whatever you're feeling, chances are, someone else has felt that too.


Mili Wifey: What is the best piece of advice you would give any new writer?

Stephanie: Find a writers group as soon as possible, preferably a local one that meets in person at least occasionally. Online groups are great, but there's something special about that in-person group of fellow writers throughout your journey.

Mili Wifey: Now, let's answer some fun questions! If you could have dinner with any three famous writers, dead or alive, who would they be and what would you ask them?

Stephanie: I'd choose the writers I've enjoyed reading throughout most of my life: Stephen King, Judy Blume and Meg Cabot.

Photo Credit: MegCabot.com

The latter two actually live in Key West and hang out sometimes! I would be curious what life is like for an author at their level. How do they handle the pressure to write, write, write rather than scrambling like the rest of us to try and get people to buy their books?

Mili Wifey: What is your guilty pleasure book?

Stephanie: I love the old Sandra Brown romances when she wrote for Harlequin and Bantam Loveswept. She had a talent for creating a love story.

Mili Wifey: What is your favorite book adaption of a movie? How about least favorite?

Stephanie: The miniseries version of Stephen King's The Stand because that is my favorite book and they allowed Stephen King to oversee the project.

Photo Credit: Stephen King Wiki

Least favorite? Gone Girl.

Photo Credit: People Magazine

Ben Affleck was the wrong choice, I think. In the book, you were not sure if the main male character was good or bad. Ben Affleck felt too "guy next door."

Mili Wifey: Lastly, if you could choose any actress to play you in the movie of your life, who would it be?

Photo Credit: Touchstone Pictures

Stephanie: Reese Witherspoon. She's a former Nashvillian, so it fits!

You can find and follow Stephanie at:

Stephanie's Amazon Page - BUY PIPER MORGAN SERIES HERE!

For all of my blog followers who are teachers, please check out this link to receive free guides to her books for your students.

Guide For Teachers

If your class reads Stephanie's book, they can sign up for a FREE 20 minute Q&A Skype with Stephanie! What an awesome resource for your students!

Stephanie is also holding a generous giveaway that everyone should enter. You can enter the giveaway here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for allowing me to interview you Stephanie. I wish you much success on your book tour! I hope ALL of my readers check out Stephanie's links and enter her giveaway. She is one of the sweetest and most humble women I have met in the blogging world.

Learning so much from my talented friend Stephanie, I am,






79 comments:

  1. Reese would fit you perfectly.
    Success at that level would feel like so much pressure.
    Don't give up on the ghost hunting series. You just never know...

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    1. I still have it. And every October, I still marathon old Ghost Hunters episodes. We also go on ghost tours every time we visit a city. When writing Ghost Patrol, I had an excuse...now I just call it a hobby!

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    2. I'm going to let you come to my parents home and hunt ghosts. Lol. The place is terrifying after dark. I refuse to sleep downstairs in their home. No thank you!

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  2. So much to think about after reading this. The ghost hunting series sounds like a fun television show.

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    1. It's interesting...I've heard many times over the past few years that the "ghost hunting trend is dead." Maybe because there were too many reality shows about it in a short space of time? They're still on the air, though--and ghost tours/hunts are HUGE in most tourist towns. We just did one in Gettysburg where we had to choose between five different tour companies offering tours the same night. So people are still fascinated with ghosts...and I'll figure out how to put that into a book someday!

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  3. Great interview ladies and I love all the photos of you Stephanie. I agree with Alex, Reese would be perfect to play you. I especially like what you said about youngsters reading your books and feeling less lonely. Wishing you much success.

    Thoughts in Progress
    and MC Book Tours

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    1. She did SUCH a great job with all the photos, didn't she? I spent ten minutes figuring out how to squeeze four of them into one composite for Twitter. This is my favorite compilation of photos in a blog ever!

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    2. I loved that line too. Books are a great escape; they were for me when I was bullied. The Judy Blume books were escape for me as a child, as was Sweet Valley. Movies helped me escape too. Hats off to all the great authors and directors.

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  4. Thank you SO much for hosting me today and I had a BIG smile when I saw the Meg Cabot/Judy Blume photo! I read where Meg Cabot said she goes over to her house sometimes but I didn't realize there were actual pictures. Now they just need to invite Stephen King over and all my favorite authors will be in the same room. (I'm sure they'd be more than happy for him to come hang with them!)

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    1. I found this picture last night! I thought it was perfect! Thank you for letting me do the interview! This was such a fun and different post for my readers!!

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  5. Stephanie - may you have continued success and I am so buying these for my two grand daughters. As an author I related to so much of this. I remember my husband calling me from the UK (there on business) and he said "your book is on display!". I was so excited and then he starts chuckling and says "and there's a sign next to it that says "also by this author", which puzzled me as my second book was still being edited. He sent a photo the other book by "this author, LB Johnson" It was on "Erectile Dysfunction". NOT this author!! My publisher made a hasty phone call to the book store (a UK equivalent of Barnes and Noble), but my husband teased me about that for weeks!

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    1. I just spit water reading that. Lmao!!

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    2. That is awesome! I wonder if any readers of the erectile dysfunction book have clicked over and bought LB's book because they thought it was the same author? It could earn some more readers!

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    3. Thanks for the smile Stephanie. Just today I checked the availability of one of my books in the library system and they show it was written by Livingston Basil Johnson who died years ago.

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  6. I've sometimes wondered who would play me should my memoir ever get published and sell enough to become a film. I don't look like too many currently popular actresses :-)

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    1. I just looked at your pics and I'm going with a young Sandra Bernhard for you! Side note: She is one of my fave funny ladies.
      I didn't think I did either, but Military Husband told me I looked like Uma Thurman when we first got together. I was like swoon because Uma is one of my fave actresses ever. And she's a badass...

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    2. I think Kyra Sedgwick, maybe? It's interesting, when they cast actresses to play real-life people, they never go for someone who is a close match. It's more a type. Reese and I both have blond hair, are short, and have Southern accents. So that would work. I have noticed as I've gotten older, I look like NOBODY. When I was younger, I'd get all kinds of comparisons. I guess because most actresses are 20-something!

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  7. Steph, Mili,
    What a great interview.
    Steph, you certainly captured the heartache of rejection. I'd like to chat with Stephen King too. I think he's fascinating. Wouldn't mind chatting with Nora either:)

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    1. And can you imagine what it's like to be Stephen King? Everywhere he goes, it's, "I LOVED your books growing up!!!" I know he stays close to home most of the time, but when he tweets about being in an airport or having visited a restaurant, I wonder if he actually gets a moment's peace. It would be hard for me to not walk up and talk to him, even though I never approach celebrities. But he's one of the few authors out there whose face is recognizable to most of the adult public.

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  8. I love this interview and the pictures are great! I can definitely see Reese Witherspoon playing the part of Stephanie in a movie. The story LBJ told about her book being displayed next to the one by LB Johnson was so funny. I'm sorry to say this, but I doubt her husband is finished with that tale. They'll be sitting in their rocking chairs at 100-years-old and he'll say, "Hey, Honey, remember back when your first book was displayed..." LOL

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    1. That story was hilarious and she always makes me lol!

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    2. At least she has a very interesting "first book sighting in bookstores" story!

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  9. Great interview. I learned so much about Stephanie. And, I didn't know there was a teacher guide for her books. Thanks for sharing that link. Being a teacher, I love that sort of resource.

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    1. Thank you for reading! I love that Steph included that!

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    2. That's great news!!! I just had them created and I wasn't sure if they'd be used. I hope so! I mentioned it in the letters I sent to all the local elementary schools and libraries, but none of them has mentioned it yet.

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  10. Well piper is our little grandpeeps name so of course we had better be looking for those books, I wonder if all pipers behalf the way ours does. heheheh stella rose

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    1. These are perfect books for her! You should get them!!

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    2. Someone named Piper Morgan friended me on Facebook. I clicked over and her husband had posted a picture of my book cover, laughing that a book had been made with her name on it. He didn't post "Piper Morgan in Charge," which would have been the funniest cover to post!

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  11. great blog stop. I did hear Stephen King in person at a Q&A. He's a strange interesting man. I'd like to meet Jhumpa Lahiri and I'd like to hang with Frances Mayes at her Tuscan home. I do like Stephanie's down to earth approach in her writing, marketing, and publishing insights. Thanks - this was an excellent interview

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    1. Stephen King was at the Ryman, 30 minutes from my house, earlier this year. I didn't get notified. Yet I got an email when Weird Al Yankovic came to the Ryman. Obviously the Ryman needs to get its analytics corrected if they don't know I'd rather see an AUTHOR in person! But his fame is so massive, he can only do events in large venues now, which seems like it would feel a little sad. You miss the experience of talking to fans in a bookstore.

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  12. Totally agree with Gone Girl. Boo that movie!

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    1. Love Rosamund Pike tho! She's got so much potential! I'm excited for Girl on the Train. I adore Emily Blunt!

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    2. Oh I DO love that actress. She looks like Grace Kelly! She made the movie. But the (SPOILER ALERT) twist in the book was SO powerful...and it just seemed to fall flat in the movie. For it to really work, you had to be drawn in to possibly believing the dude could've killed his wife. Ben Affleck...killer? Nah. I think he should've been an unknown, too, but I guess they had to have a "name" to sell the movie. When Reese Witherspoon bought the rights, I was sure she planned to play the main female character. Looks like she's just going around buying up books to make into movies.

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  13. Looks like our some of our granddaughters would enjoy these books. Thanks for the great interview
    hugs
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

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  14. What a great interview. I'm thrilled to see new children's books being written....I think children should be encouraged to read real books not from a tablet etc. They need to learn to love the feel, smell and excitement of a real book.
    Hugs Madi's Mom and Madi

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    1. Fortunately, children still gravitate toward paper-based books--especially in the elementary school years. Part of that is probably because their parents encourage paper over "screens" at that age. Also they get free books at their school/public libraries, so they learn they can read all they want for free.

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  15. Great interview! Stephen King is also my fave author, and the Stand my favorite (and most read) novel (I'm split on the Mini Series, loved Gary Sinise as Stu, but still have issues with Molly Ringwald as Frannie). I'll have to put the Piper books on my Christmas list for my nieces!!


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    1. Yes! I hope you get them! I love supporting fellow bloggers and amazing women!

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    2. Oh yeah, Molly Ringwald SUCKED in that role, didn't she? The miniseries doesn't hold up so well. I've tried watching it on SyFy when they air it...it's very early-90s-ish! At the time it was the most watched miniseries of all time, I think? Gary Sinise was quite a "win" for a TV movie, since he was already getting big-screen roles. They're supposedly remaking The Stand as a two-hour feature film--that was the reason it was on TV in the first place. Stephen King refused to sign off on condensing that book into a two-hour movie!

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  16. Looks like the type of books I loved when I was young and my little nieces would love those books. Great interview.

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    1. Thank you, Jenny! I would have loved this when I was a kid, too!

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    2. I know. I would have LOVED this character as a child.

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  17. This is such a wonderful post! Have a nice day:)

    irenethayer.com

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  18. I know Stephen King hated the movie version of the Shining even though most other people liked it. I don't think I ever disliked one of his work's movies/mini-series

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    1. The Shining is one of my favorite movies of all time (top 10) and Kubrick one of my fave directors so I know an enormous amount of trivial information on the film lol. I think Stephen hated Wendy's portrayal the most. Love Stephen and most of his work, but I love Kubrick and that movie for everything that it was and everything that it wasn't. If you ever get bored, watch the outtake from the movie on YouTube. It's a rare glimpse into Kubrick behind the scenes.

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    2. Yeah, it may be bad to say, but I never understood why Shelley Duvall had a career. She didn't seem to have any acting talent or screen presence. I think Robert Altman discovered her--he was always a little out there! But Kubrick has his own style and he really didn't have an interest in Stephen King's vision for the story at all. He was going to do it his way and nobody was going to stop him...because he's Kubrick!

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  19. Books have made me feel less lonely. I also started my publishing journey in the mid '90s.

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    1. We've both been at this a while! It's nice to know someone else has been writing as long as I have.

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  20. These sound wonderful and congratulations on the success! know there is nothing that makes me happier than a letter from a fan. ♥

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    1. Thanks for reading and sending Steph love!!

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  21. Great interview! These books would be cute for my daughter.
    I had envisioned Mark DuPlass as Nick in Gone Girl when I read it. And I had Amy Adams for Amy. I just finished Judy Blume's latest novel, so it was nice to see her mentioned. :)
    Thanks for the chance to win!

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    1. Oh DuPlass is an interesting choice. I wondered who everyone thought should play Nick....

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  22. Stephanie is AWESOME! I've been reading her blog for years!

    I disagree about Ben Affleck, though. I thought he did fine. Yes, probably someone else could have done it better, but I thought he did a good job. Rosamund Pike, though, was perfection.

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    1. I've always found Affleck to be kind of a jackass so it didn't bother me lol! But I see both sides. He makes a decent old worn out Batman too.

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  23. These look like such a cute series of books! I'll be looking into them for the girls!

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    1. That would be awesome! I am not being paid to share these links either! I just love and support Steph!

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  24. Oh this was excellent! Terrific Q & A and what's this about a ghost hunting series? The rejection you mentioned sure wasn't fair. You might have been one of the many 'already' out there. In fact, you were - and are! So give your clamoring fans all the best :-) Great interview, ladies!

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  25. What an amazing opportunity! What a fabulous Q&A!

    God bless,

    XO, Claire

    Http://www.littlemissfashionqueen.com

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    1. Thank you pretty! I need to do a Q&A with you one day so you can teach us your fashionable ways!!

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  26. Ooh, what fun!! How awesome is this?!?! Great questions and ok, I'm going to pick some of these books up when next in the States and give them as presents to my friends with kids...!

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  27. I love the interview! Her books look fabulous. I'm sure my daughter would enjoy them.

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    1. I know she definitely would! Stephanie is so sweet. I think I found her because of you!

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  28. Great interview - thanks for sharing Stephanie with us! Writing/publishing a book is a great passion of mine, so I love reading about successful authors. It definitely takes persistence!

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  29. I enjoyed your questions and Stephanie’s answers and agree Ben Affleck was the wrong choice for Gone girl. I loved the book but was disappointed by the film.

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  30. She is pretty awesome and I love both your blogs!

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