Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Author Interview with Steph Bowe

It was a beautiful day in Twifty land, as some of us (uh, Race) experienced a light snowfall, Christmas music, baking, gift wrapping… and an awesome interview with an awesome author: Steph Bowe, who's a teen herself.
Visit her at and enjoy the interview!

TWFT: Describe your novel in a single sentence?
SB: When Jewel saves Sacha’s life, they are both forced to confront pasts they’ve so carefully concealed – a lost brother, an empty space where a mother should be, a debilitating illness, fractured families and buried secrets.
TWFT: Do you usually try to follow an outline? Any process you normally go through?
SB: I don’t follow an outline, I just write the novel without a plan, start to finish. It works pretty well for me, though there are a lot of things that have to be cleaned up in editing (stuff like character-arcs and getting rid of pointless scenes, which are things I might have avoided had I outlined).
TWFT: Do you consider yourself a writer or a story teller?
SB: I don’t really consider myself either (I just love to write). I do tell stories, but I think that’s what a writer does, anyway.

TWFT: Do you write what you know?
SB: I do, and I don’t. I think it’s the same for a lot of writers. I write the emotions that I know well, but I don’t write my own experiences. Writing allows me to explore things I haven’t experienced first hand, but also be introspective at the same time.

TWFT: How do you discover your characters? Or do they discover you?
SB: A bit of both. Sometimes I start with a name, sometimes with a trait (garden gnome thief, science genius), sometimes the whole character appears fully-formed in my head, with a story they deman be written. It really does vary from character to character, though they always come easily.

TWFT: Did you have a soundtrack for your novel, or any particular type of music you listened to while writing?
SB: Yes! I have a soundtrack for all my major writing projects. My soundtrack for the last novel was made up of songs by The Killers, Kings Of Leon, Regina Spektor, the Kinks and Aussie band Augie March (look up One Crowded Hour on YouTube - brilliant song).

TWFT: What first inspired you to become a writer? Career-wise, did you always want to be an author?
SB: Ever since I was very small I have loved writing, and since I was about seven, I’ve aspired to sell a book so that I could buy my family a house. This has not yet happened, but it will! Someday!

TWFT: Favorite novel or writer? Why?
SB: Can’t pick one! My favorite writers are John Green, Sarah Dessen and Melina Marchetta, and my favorite book right now is a tie between Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell and Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson.

TWFT: Now, I know you have a the guest post coming up (We’re so excited!), and you will be discussing the industry and teens. But, in general, if you had a few words on your experiences with querying for the first time? Any advice for our readers?
SB: My experience of querying was very quick, but still incredibly stressful. My advice to writers querying for the first time is that they should try and keep a good sense of humor through the entire process, and not automatically accept if one agent offers (it’s a big decision, there’s no rush, and if one agent offers and there are others still reading fulls, you might get another offer).
TWFT: What annoys you about the perception of teen writers?
SB: That we can’t actually write and only get published because of the novelty of our age. The reality is that age is irrelevant: it’s all about your book. Don’t let the meanies get you down.
And TWFT’s official interview question – What is your favorite flavor of jelly bean?
SB: Buttered popcorn!

Now, you have to admit to the awesome.
Thanks, Steph!

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