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Today we are excited to share an interview with Stephanie Keyes, the author of The Star Child which is released Friday in paperback and ebook formats. The Star Child is the story of Kellen St. James and the girl of his dreams who comes with family issues and a prophecy.
When did you first start writing? What made you want to be a writer?
I’ve always written for as long as I can remember. It just seemed to be a part of me. Even before I knew how to write, I was making up these vivid stories. I even did my own script for a series of Clinique commercials, which I held in the bathroom. Naturally, the company didn’t endorse them.
What inspired you to write your book?
Many things inspired me to write, but most of all, my husband. I knew I had a book in me, many books, actually. However, I was acting like a chicken about it. When the storyline for The Star Child came into my head, I knew I had one that I really wanted to follow through with. My husband told me “you have to write this book, it chose you”. So I did!
Are you a pantser or a plotter?
I’m a hybrid. I’ll plot out the entire book but then something will come to me and I just go off and follow that idea. I’m not afraid to completely throw my outline out the window if I need to, but I usually have one that keeps me in line.
Do you have any writing rituals or special processes you complete before sitting down to write?
I put the kids to bed, grab my headphones, and get coffee! My personal rule has always been that I like the kids to be sleeping when I’m writing. That way I don’t feel guilty about spending time away from them. Now that I’m home with them all the time, I’ve relaxed that a bit and my husband will take them so I can get my writing time in. However, regardless of the time or situation, I always have tunes and caffeine.
What authors inspire you?
So many. Everyone has something good to offer, in my opinion, and if we all wrote the same way, it would be absolutely tedium. A few who stand out to me are O.R.Melling, T.H.White, Melissa de la Cruz, J.K. Rowling... I could go on and on. Every book I pick up inspires me, even if it’s because it gives me an idea of a different direction to go in.
If you could only write in one genre for the rest of your career, what genre would you choose? Why?
The genre that I write in now, Young Adult/Fantasy would have to be my pick. This is so funny, I was just thinking about this in the car. For me, I just love the idea that there is something magical out there, just beyond our reach. That’s what Fantasy gives you. A great fantasy book can take the everyday and open up a whole new world to you. Young Adult especially appeals to me. When I was younger there weren’t as many options in the genre as there are today. I like to think that I am helping the cause.
Which of the characters in your current release is your favorite? Why?
In The Star Child, it’s definitely Kellen. His sarcastic humor is just fantastic – I love that about him. I know I am talking about him as if he is a real person, but he is to me. Whenever, I go through my day, I think, “What would Kellen think about this?” What’s nice about him is that he is just a regular guy with no latent powers or abilities, other than being extremely bright. He uses his own knowledge to get himself out of situations, which I respect. Knowledge is power.
Are any of your characters modeled after real people? If so, which ones?
No. Everyone once in awhile, I’ll give a character a trait that I’ve seen demonstrated by someone I know. It’s rare though. One time I’d been in a business meeting and someone was asking me an excessive amount of questions. Then I had that trait in the book and the person, who read The Star Child, came back and asked me if it was modeled after her. I told her that it was, which is the truth, however, I probably won’t do that again. It’s easier to start fresh.
What music was on your playlist while writing your novel?
Fix You, Coldplay
Winter '05, Ra Ra Riot
Boy Lilikoi, Jónsi
Bigger Stronger, Coldplay
Map Of The Problematique, Muse
The Salt Wound Routine, Thirteen Senses
How My Heart Behaves, Feist (Kellen and Calienta’s Wedding Song)
Science In Violence, The Rifles
The Kids Don’t Stand A Chance, Vampire Weekend
Postcards From Far Away, Coldplay
Caring Is Creepy, The Shins
Into The Fire, Thirteen Senses (Kellen and Calienta’s Love Song)
Thank You Very Much, Kaiser Chiefs
Misguided Ghosts, Paramore
Night Of The Hunter, 30 Seconds To Mars
This Modern Love, Bloc Party
Stormy Weather, Kooks
Vaporize, Broken Bells
In The Morning, Razorlight
MK Ultra, Muse
Terrible Love, The National
Go do, Jónsi
Dreamworld, Rilo Kiley
Break the Same, MUTEMATH
Help I'm Alive, Metric
End of the Day, Beck
Something Good Can Work, Two Door Cinema Club
Carry Us Away, Circa Survive
We Are Broken, Paramore
Somewhere Only We Know, Keane
Morning person or grumpy bear?
I used to be a grumpy bear, absolutely. However, that was when I was working outside of the home. As soon as I started to work out of my house, it was a completely different story. I’ve been getting up at four am and working and just loving getting a start on my day. My husband can’t believe it.
Tell us one thing it would surprise us to know about you?
Oh geez. I was once an Accounting major. It lasted for one semester and then I changed it to music without telling my parents. I failed… bad. It just wasn’t meant to be. I’ve continued to be challenged by numbers.
What is next for you?
As of today, I am close to completion on the first draft of my second novel. This is the sequel to The Star Child and is entitled The Fallen Stars. I started mapping it out late last year, but started working on it seriously in April. The second book continues the story of Kellen and Calienta.
Do you have any unique skills or talents? If so, what?
Mmmh. I’m pretty good with decorating and color combinations. People are always asking me to help them decorate their houses. I also work as a graphic designer in my spare time and am a musician. I definitely can’t keep up with the latter as much as I would like, but I play the saxophone, clarinet, and sing. I was in a number of jazz bands for years. In the last few pages of The Star Child, I included some short pieces that I wrote about various characters.
If I were to look in your closet right now, would I find frills and lace or denim and tees?
A little bit of both, I think. I’m not a frilly dresser, but I have some girly pieces in my closet. I dress in clothes that suit me and I what I’m doing at the time. I like to have options.
Thank you Stephanie for sharing your insights and a little more about yourself. Don't forget that The Star Child is available for pre-order right now!
The world is about to be cloaked in darkness.
Only one can stop the night.
Kellen St. James has spent his entire life being overlooked as an unwanted, ordinary, slightly geeky kid. That is until a beautiful girl, one who has haunted his dreams for the past eleven years of his life, shows up spinning
tales of a prophecy. Not just any old prophecy either, but one in which Kellen plays a key role.
Suddenly, Kellen finds himself on the run through a Celtic underworld of faeries and demons, angels and gods, not to mention a really ticked off pack of hellhounds, all in order to save the world from darkness. But will they make it in time?
9/18/2012 09:49:04 pm
Oooh, I love your song selection.You can play the clarinet, Saxophone and can sing? I'm feeling abit envious,Steph! :) Congrats on completing the first draft of the second book. :)
9/19/2012 11:19:36 am
Thanks CeCe! Ha! Tell that to my kids who have to listen me sing all day long. :)
9/18/2012 11:05:04 pm
Lovely interview, Stephanie. Good to get to know a bit about a fellow YA writer!!! Stunning cover!!! Very, very good luck with this! I shall be tagging and retweeting for you!
9/19/2012 11:20:54 am
Hi Carol! Thank you very much. It's nice to get to know you as well! Thank you very much all around. I am so pleased with the cover. It makes me smile every time I see it. Thank you very much!
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