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Interview with Steph Bowe

November 23, 2009

Steph Bowe is a young YA author (young as in fifteen years old) and blogger (Hey! Teenager of the Year!). I mentioned one of her posts in my “Short Writing History“. She’s ridiculously witty, funny, and all-together likable. I’ve been reading her blog for a bit less than a month and have skimmed over a majority of her posts, delving into the depths of her “Archives” and whatnot.

I emailed Steph to ask if I could ask her more questions, and she graciously agreed. I warned her that I had never before interviewed a living soul (I had, however, imagined doing so). Being a newbie, I relied entirely on the examples of others, and Steph herself, who seems to have a knack at interviewing millions of authors.

Anyway, Steph (with the help of her agent, Ginger Clark) recently signed a book deal, and my excitement is unquenchable. I can’t say that I’m all that surprise; her blog is so amusing, clever, and thoughtful that her YA novel must be above average. I’m incredibly eager to read it when Text Publishing plops it onto bookshelves in September of 2010 (not a long way away – I was startled)! (For more information on the deal, read Steph’s announcement: I Have a Book Deal! I’m Just as Surprised as You Are.)

Here’s the interview!


ME: I’ve seen you’ve been the subject of many online interviews – and the host of even more – any specific reason you enjoy them so much?

Steph: I love getting to know people. You can’t usually quiz people like you do in online interviews (or print interviews) in real life, and I love finding out about other people – especially writers – and interviews are a good opportunity for that! As well as letting your readers know about a blogger or writer they might be interested to watch.

ME: We know you’re a remarkably young author (15 years old), but how old were you when you began writing your novel, before all this hubbub?

Steph: I began writing the novel I got my agent for earlier this year, but I’ve had a couple of practice novels and many, many unfinished projects before now.  

ME: What was it that started you along the writing path? Books? A literary family? A first grade teacher?

Steph: My family aren’t literary at all, and I’ve never had teachers who’ve particularly impacted me. Though I’ve always loved reading and learning and looking at the world in different ways, and I’m lucky enough to have been encouraged by family, even if they weren’t literary types at all!

ME: When you finally finished your book, how did you feel, and what did you intend to do with it? How far did you expect it to go in our big world?

Steph: I felt good! But honestly, I didn’t have a plan.

ME: I read on another interview that your novel is titled THESE BONES, can you reveal to us what enticed you to choose this title? Or is it the result of a major factor in the plot line and, consequently, must remain secret?

Steph: That was just something I came up with that was a weird reference to two things that are themes in the novel – 1) the characters have ‘skeletons in the closet’ so, um, there are bones there and 2) there’s a character that’s anorexic, so bones there as well. But the title is still subject to change, dependent on the publisher. 

ME: Now that you’re temporarily finished (I know there’s the whole tedious editing process to go through someday) with THESE BONES, have you taken on a new project? If so, how much progress have you made (I won’t be impertinent and ask what it’s about – but feel free to tell me if you feel like it…)?

Steph: I’m working on the first draft of a new novel! And I’m highly superstitious about these things, so I can’t tell you what it’s about yet. But when it’s done, trust me, you’ll find out!

ME: Do you have any wonderfully insightful writing tips – on anything: query letters, constructing paragraphs, word choice, etcetera?

Steph: Write what you want to write, write what you love, work hard towards your goals. There’s no race to being published, and you’re certainly not competing with other writers (at least not yet). Be willing to accept advice and critique, but know what works for you and only take on board the things that people say that are constructive (if you’re decent, lesser people will put you down. Don’t listen to them). Do your best, don’t compare yourself to others, write write write. That wasn’t exactly insightful, but I hope it helps!  

ME: Before you sent your MS to agents (and asked for beta-readers), how many revisions did put your novel through?

Steph: Three.

ME: Do you have a specific, personalized writing process?

Steph: I write a first draft in a couple of months, then I revise like crazy. I think a lot of other people do that too. I tend to write at home, in my room, on my laptop and mainly at night.

Thank you all for checking this out, and I recommend learning more about Steph Bowe, because I’m sure we’ll be hearing much of her in the future!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 31, 2009 1:02 PM

    At 15? WOW! I mean double WOW! Thanks for this heads up. There are so many great YA books out now.

    I’m a little behind on my blogging, but thanks for coming by Madeleine!

  2. November 24, 2009 8:35 PM

    Hi Madeleine & Steph! This is a lovely interview and Steph does sound like a likable person. I’m going over to check her blog now. Thanks!

  3. November 24, 2009 11:16 AM

    Great interview! Steph is completely awesome and I’m a huge fan of her blog, so I know I will love her book(s)!

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