Hey Everyone! Today I am so excited to be interviewing one of the the most influential writing mentors I have. I started following Stephanie Morrill’s writing blog Go Teen Writers about six years ago, and soon afterward became a part of the on-line writing group she started. I have learned an incredible amount from her, and have been inspired more than most people can imagine by the writing group.
Today is the release date of Stephanie’s seventh book, and her first historical fiction novel, The Lost Girl of Astor Street. Stephanie kindly allowed me to read an ARC copy so I could review it (the review is coming tomorrow so yay!), so I’m pretty thrilled I get to ask some questions about the different characters and her writing process. I’ve enjoyed all of her novels over the years, but this one is probably my favorite, so double yay!
First off Stephanie, would you tell us a bit about yourself?
Wow, that’s such a kind introduction. Thank you! I live in Kansas City with my husband and our three children, so my life is very full and chaotic. I spent most my childhood wanting to be a writer, and my idea of a vacation involves my laptop, my work in progress, a lovely setting to write in. (Don’t I sound fun?) I’ve published five young adult contemporary novels, one nonfiction writing book, and The Lost Girl of Astor Street is my first YA historical mystery.
And now on to my questions:
1. What was it that inspired you to write The Lost Girl of Astor Street?
My initial idea for The Lost Girl of Astor Street came while I was putting away laundry, of all things. My mind was wandering (as it often does during chores), and I started thinking about different stories I like. I thought about Veronica Mars for a while, and then something triggered a thought about Downton Abbey, and I thought, “I wish there was something out there that was like Veronica Mars but in a Downton Abbey kind of setting. Oh, maybe I could do that!”
2. What was your favorite part of the writing process?
Oh, that’s hard for me to choose. I love all of it. The brainstorming always feels like the least amount of work and the most fun, because you’re just throwing out ideas and exploring potential. I haven’t had the chance to mess anything up yet! The most rewarding part, though, was all the work I put in to editing the climax of the novel. I had never written an action sequence like that or any sort of strong villain character, so I rewrote and rewrote and rewrote. I’m really proud of how it turned out.
3. Which character is your favorite? Why?
I know it’s a bit lame to pick Piper, but she is probably my favorite character ever that I’ve written. I loved writing a girl whose super power was love. She loves Lydia so deeply that the idea of not taking action when she goes missing doesn’t even feel like an option.
4. And, because we share a name, I have to ask: What made you choose the name “Lydia” for the main character’s best friend?
I’ve always loved the name Lydia. It’s a beautiful, and every Lydia I’ve known (you included) has been a sweet person. And I thought it had a traditional, ladylike sound to it, which juxtaposes well with Piper’s name.
(Aww, thanks, Stephanie!)
5. What is the most interesting information you stumbled upon while researching for The Lost Girl of Astor Street?
I didn’t expect to love the research process so much. Before writing The Lost Girl of Astor Street, I often said that I would never write a historical because I “knew” the research required would be too much for me. But I fell in love with the 1920s as I worked on this book, and it didn’t feel like a chore at all to study it.
There’s loads of fascinating things about the 20s, but something I found really interesting was that women’s healthcare, particularly conditions for childbearing, really improved during the decade. The reason is because women now had the right to vote, so politicians grew interested in what mattered to them.
6. Do you think you’ll write another historical fiction novel in the future? Why or why not?
YES. I intend to camp out in this genre for a while. I imagine I will even stay in the 20s. The social and political climate have endless story possibilities, and I have a long list of ideas I want to explore!
Thank you, again, Stephanie for doing this interview! I really enjoyed hearing some of the “behind the scenes” for The Lost Girl of Astor Street.
Congratulations, Stephanie on the release of your new book! Remember, everyone, to check back tomorrow for the long awaited book review!
If y’all want to take part of the clue hunt Stephanie is doing, you can find out more about it on her blog, here, or check out the links below!
The clue from my post is: is.
Clue 1: Stephanie Morrill
Clue 2: Some Books Are
Clue 3: Gabriella Slade
Clue 4: Page by Page, Book by Book
Clue 5: Pens and Scrolls
Clue 6: Singing Librarian Books
Clue 7: Heather Manning
Clue 8: Annie Louise Twitchell
Clue 9: Noveling Novelties
Clue 10: Kaitee Hart
Clue 11: Classics and Craziness
Clue 12: Zerina Blossom
Clue 13: Rebecca Morgan
Clue 14: Keturah’s Korner
Clue 15: That Book Gal
Clue 16: Anna Schaeffer
Clue 17: Hadley Grace
Clue 18: Lydia Howe
Clue 19: Ramblings by Bethany
Clue 20: Matilda Sjöholm
Clue 21: Lydia Carns
Clue 22: Broken Birdsong
Clue 23 & Clue 24: The Ink Loft