Jeffrey Scott: What can you tell my readers about your Piper Morgan series?
Stephanie Faris: Piper Morgan is a spunky seven-year-old who gets to travel the world with her mom. In the first book, Piper Morgan Joins the Circus, her mother gets a temporary job with the circus. Later books have her working in a school, at a pool store, and at a veterinary clinic.
JS: What inspires you most before you start writing anything new?
SF: I find I get my best ideas while reading other books. That’s why you’ll see me reading so many children’s books! The funny thing is, usually what I’m reading has absolutely nothing to do with the idea that hits me. Something about reading fiction just gets those wheels turning!
JS: What sort of research do you do to prepare?
SF: I do a lot of online research. For Piper Morgan Joins the Circus, I was desperate to go to a zoo but the zoo never came to town while I was writing! So I watched a ton of YouTube videos of circuses and spent hours reading behind-the-scenes articles about it.
JS: Do you create an outline or do you utilize something else to prepare?
SF: I’m not an outliner. I usually have to get those first couple of chapters down before I even have a grasp on the characters and the story. Then I’ll usually stop and write a synopsis to help myself understand where I’m going with this.
JS: When did you decide to become a writer?
SF: As a child, I read constantly. I remember reading advice that if you wanted to be a writer when you grew up, you should read and I figured, “Hey, I have that part down!” But to me, writing isn’t something you really consciously decide to do—it’s a talent you hone. I began experimenting by writing really cheesy poetry starting at the age of 13. I still have those poems somewhere. I probably should burn them!
JS: What authors have influenced you the most?
SF: Like many authors of my generation, I grew up on Stephen King novels. I think he’s had a huge influence on the writing community as a whole. As a writer for young readers, the person whose career I admire the most is Meg Cabot. I love that she’s been able to have so much success writing for just about every age group.
JS: What advice would you give aspiring writers?
SF: Read, read, read. I also have found that writers’ groups are very important. I was very active in Romance Writers of America when I first started and without the workshops and conferences I attended then, I probably wouldn’t be published today. Writers are among the most helpful, friendly people you’ll ever meet.
JS: Do you like your book covers? Are you always happy with them?
SF: I have been so lucky with my book covers! They’re always so fun and eye catching. I know that isn’t always the case, but I’ve never even had one thing I would change about any of them!
JS: How important do you think the cover of a book is for potential readers?
SF: Extremely important, even in an e-book era. Many bookstores place all the new books face-out and kids will look at the entire wall and go directly to the most eye-catching covers. Even with e-books, I’ll often scroll through books and see which covers catch my eye.
JS: Where can we buy your books? Or get additional information about you?
SF: 25 Roses and 30 Days of No Gossip are on Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com. The Piper Morgan books don’t come out until next year, so they aren’t available for pre-order yet, but I’ll let everyone know when they are!
I'd like to thank Stephanie once again for stopping by.
Make sure to say hi to her in the comments below.
As a special treat, she's provided some additional information about her new book and contact details:
Piper Morgan Joins the Circus
Cover illustration by Lucy Fleming.
When Piper Morgan has to move to a new town, she is sad to leave behind her friends, but excited for a new adventure. She is determined to have fun, be brave and find new friends.
And after learning her mom’s new job will be with the Big Top Circus, Piper can’t wait to learn all about life under the big top, see all the cool animals, and meet the Little Explorers, the other kids who travel with the show. She’s even more excited to learn that she gets to be a part of the Little Explorers and help them end each show with a routine to get the audience on their feet and dancing along!
But during Piper’s grand debut, her high kicks and pointed toes don't go quite as planned. After causing a dance disaster, she has to prove to everyone--especially queen of the Little Explorers, Lexie--that she belongs in the spotlight.
Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.
Stephanie is the Simon & Schuster author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses, as well as the upcoming Piper Morgan series. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive.