REGINA: Hi, Stephanie, it’s so nice to have you today. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
STEPH: I was born in Manchester, NH but live in Castaic, California with my husband, Brent, and two sons, Andrew and Joseph. I have fond memories of Manchester, but have made California my home. I earned a BS in political science from California Baptist University in 1995.
I have been writing since I was 5, first making homemade comic books. Now, I work on creating short stories and novels. I spent 11 years in the US Army and over 7 years in Germany. Writing is a passion that still challenges me. The Giving Meadow is my first book with 4RV Publishing.
REGINA: “The Giving Meadow” is a children’s book. Is this your first children’s book? Why?
STEPH: Yes, it’s my first children’s book. I kind of lucked into it. I help to teach Sunday Preschool at my church, Blessed Kateri Catholic Church. Since I’m a writer, I wrote the Easter play for our preschool program “The Giving Meadow” in 2009. The kids loved it. I showed it to Vivian (Gilbert Zabel, publisher, 4RV Publishing) for her feedback and she offered to published it. It was a nice, unexpected surprise.
REGINA: What was the inspiration behind his book?
STEPH: I always write the Easter play for the preschool program. My other 3 year old teachers, Shirley and Maureen, helped to give me input. We wanted to use nature as our backdrop. Also the change a caterpillar goes through into a butterfly is a wonderful way for children to understand the mysteries of Easter.
REGINA: I’m not sure people would be able to see how a “fur and fangs” author like yourself would have the range to do a piece like this one. Could you address that for us? Did anyone else talk to you about that?
STEPH: No one else talked to me about it. I write everything. I wrote Destination: Berlin as a “sweet” military romance, but I didn’t want to be limited by any romantic sub-genre. After Berlin, I decided to cut my teeth writing short stories and exploring other romantic sub-genres. It’s been very rewarding. I’m very comfortable writing horror, fantasy, thriller/suspense, romance, mainstream, and children’s writing. My mainstream/literary short story, “Spontaneous Decision” won 8th place in the 77th Annual Writer’s Digest Competition.
REGINA: What did your sons say when you read them this fun and fabulous work?
STEPH: Andrew was impressed I mentioned him in the dedication, but he’s 8 and he was like “That’s nice, Mom.” Joseph liked it and wanted me to read it again.
REGINA: How long did it take you to write “The Giving Meadow?” Then re-write it?
STEPH: Well, when I showed Vivian Zabel it was in script form. She asked me to re-write it in a manuscript form. It took a day. Surprisingly, there was no other edit. It took maybe a week to write after Shirley, Maureen, and I fleshed it out.
REGINA: And how about publishing this piece? What time frame did that take?
STEPH: I signed the contract back in May 2009. In August 2009, I picked the illustrator. I’m not too sure how storyboarding the book goes and then the design of it, but I’m sure that took time. It was published in June 2010.
REGINA: Please share 3 things we would never imagine about you that you really enjoy.
STEPH: Well, I got married in Denmark in 1991. I like to play racquetball, but I don’t have a racquetball partner to play with. And I have an extensive comic book collection of X-Men, Teen Titans, and Legion of Superheroes.
REGINA: Now it’s time – what are we to expect in any other children’s books you’ll be releasing.
STEPH: I submitted this year’s Easter play, “The Accidental Garden” to 4RV back in June and I’m waiting to hear back from them. I have an 11-14 year old/(Tween) Young Adult story due out from 4RV Publishing early next year. It’s called “The First Flag of New Hampshire.” High school Juniors Alyssa Rydell and Miguel De Soto have to solve the mystery of the first flag of New Hampshire as a school project.
REGINA: Outside of writing, is there something you would like to advocate through your writing?
STEPH: Sensory Integration Dysfunction, Hemophilia, and I support our military along with law enforcement.
REGINA: What are you doing this summer?
STEPH: Blog tours! LOL!! I just finished up a blog tour for my book, “Destination: Berlin.” This month I’m touring for “The Giving Meadow.” I’m also working on a novel called “Victorian Scoundrel.” It’s a Steampunk. Modern royals, Edmund and Alice Windsor, travel back to 1851 England. Edmund is a mischief maker and is up to no good. It’s up to Alice to sabotage him. They meet their great grandparents (4x)Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and fall in love with the mostly unlikely people. There’s a lot of coal dust in this one. –grin-
REGINA: Thank you so much for sharing with us, Stephanie. Good luck with your releases and please come back soon.
STEPH: Thank you for having me, Regina. Hope the summer is treating you well up in Providence, RI.
The Giving Meadow is about a caterpillar who hatches from his egg in the middle of a meadow. As he travels through the meadow, he meets new friends who learn the value of sharing.
“The Giving Meadow” is wonderfully illustrated by Stephen Macquignon. Stephen primarily works in the medium of pen and ink and color digitally. He has had the privilege to work with Director Michael Sporn of Michael Sporn Animation Inc. He is also a monthly contributor for Stories for Children’s magazine.
Stephen’s children’s books with 4RV Publishing include Angeline Jellybean by Crystalee Calderwood and Colors by Dana Warren.
GOODIE TIME: Leave a post here on the blog. I’ll pick two lucky winners to receive an autographed postcard of the cover. I’ll also be giving out an autographed copy of the book to kick off the tour. Winners will be drawn out of a hat, and I’ll return on 3 AUG to announce them.
BARNES & NOBLE:
STEPHANIE ON THE WEB:
STEPHANIE ON AMAZON:
STEPHEN ON THE WEB:
STEPHEN ON AMAZON:
Romance Under the Moonlight
BE MUSED, APRIL 2010
THE HUNGARIAN – MAY 2010 Desert Breeze Publishing