Today I am very excited to be interviewing up and coming talent, indie author Stephanie Mills and talk about her book; Home Run, what’s next on her agenda, and where she hopes she will be in ten years time.
Stephanie is only eighteen, yet has already managed to grasp the intricate details of indie publishing; a small feat in itself, alongside studying and revising for exams. She is ambitious and does not allow the negative aspects of life stand in her way.
‘Home Run’ is a Romantic Suspense about a typical girl craving a normal life. But after fleeing Britain across the Atlantic in an attempt to make a new life, Emily’s life is turned upside down. When the dark shadow of her past follows her to Boston, Emily begins to wonder if the ‘normal’ life she pines for even exists. Does her Knight in Shining Armour even exist? And will he turn up in time to save her? Gosh, she hopes so.
“Not only do you care for the characters of which are produced, but you find yourself testing your own sense of will and feeling part of the adventure. A unique experience indeed.”
5 star Amazon review
It is heartfelt and funny at times, sad and thrilling at others. Stephanie Mills is definitely one young lady to watch over the next few years. I have every faith in her success.
Home Run is available at:
Read on for her open and honest interview...
MW: Welcome Stephanie to the ‘Let’s Meet’ segment. Home Run is your first book. What inspired you to write this story?
SM: I was fifteen and I had literally just put down one of those books that make you wish you was the main character- I felt a little disheartened when I realised the story was over and I craved for that feeling back, so I started typing on my laptop in a desperate attempt to suppress the feeling and then I had myself a first chapter. I did intend for this book to be an all-round girlie book but at the age of sixteen I was raped and so I took out all of my anger and my feeling out onto this piece. I couldn’t tell anyone what had happened and it felt as though I was telling people through my character Emily. And it helped. I wasn’t going to publish the book because of this reason but then I started to open up to people and found that rape is, sadly, very common and it’s an issue I don’t think is addressed enough in the media so I bit the bullet. I am not ashamed of what had happened, it is what makes me who I am and I wanted people to look at me and find comfort and learn from me that it isn’t their fault, that they aren’t alone and sort of inspire people to not let it bring them down.
MW: What an answer! How strong and amazing of you to turn your experience into something positive. It’s funny how an idea can progress. I intended my book to be a satirical account of a teenage pregnancy only for it to develop into something completely different!
MW: I love my kindle and believe it is a marvellous invention. However it doesn’t quite replace my love for the printed book; the smell, the feel of the pages, even better if it is an ear chewed second hand version! Do you have a preference for e-book formats or the traditional paper and hardback versions?
SM: I probably shouldn’t say this but I don’t actually have a kindle- all of my friends and family have one- and I have used one, but I boycotted them, it just isn’t the same, I love the feeling of the paper in my fingers, the smell of fresh print paper, I love looking at the covers. I have an OCD about the condition of my books - if I lend someone a book they get a death warning; I always say “if you crease the spine, I will kill you” before walking off calmly in a sort of sinister manner. They know I’m kind of joking and that I won’t actually kill them, but it works enough for them to look after my precious books!
MW: Nothing will ever beat a book, but I have to say being able to download huge heavy psychology textbooks while I was studying was certainly a help!
MW: What are you currently working on at the moment? Any hints or spoilers?
SW: I’m working on a Chick-Lit piece called ‘Oops… My Bad’ which is the first in a three part series (for now.) I have based the main character on myself so she is guaranteed to get herself into a bit of trouble - I am so clumsy! But that’s all you’re getting.
MW: Sounds exciting.
MW: I would love to see Home Run turn into a film or a TV series even. Who would you have play ‘Emily’?
SW: I would like to have someone who is less popular; you know to give them a break, but someone who has a similar vibe of Dianna Argon from Glee.
MW: Are you the type of person that constantly carries around a notepad to jot down ideas or are you more in the technical age and use a dictaphone or other sound recording devices?
SW: I have a notepad with me most of the time but when I do leave it at home I write a memo onto my phone so I can write it in later. There was a disaster in April this year however, (my birthday to be exact) when my car got broken into and they stole my notebook. I almost died! No joke, but I found it a few days later thank God!
MW: When it comes to editing, do you employ the services of professional companies and bodies or do you take on the task yourself?
SW: I like to edit myself although most of the time it bores me to death! After a while my attention span just disappears, what makes it worse is because I’ve written it myself so I know the plot inside out, when I’m editing anyone else’s work I’m fine and I quite enjoy it.
MW: If professional, can you make any recommendations? Or if you do it yourself, do you have any tips or software that you use?
SW: I usually just give out a few copies to friends, family or my English teacher (who luckily for me proofreads for another author, a children’s author) but if I’m doing it myself I normally change the font, size and I try to print on coloured paper- this changes the appearance of the piece and it does actually work. (I stole that tip from Jurgon Wolf’s book.)
MW: That’s a good tip! I received a good tip from Derek Haines, author of The Vandal. He told me about a little piece of free software called Calibre which enables you to convert and upload your manuscript to an e-book version for devices such as kindle. This in itself is great, but Derek Haines suggested using it as a tool when it comes to editing because for some reason errors really stand out when it looks like the finished product. I found this to be so true.
MW: You are at college. How do you balance your coursework and exams with your writing?
SW: It is hard because I’ll be at college until four then I’m working from 5 until 8 on Monday to Friday, so I end up taking my laptop into college and writing in my free’s or at dinner, or sometimes I’m up until past midnight to try and squeeze an hour of writing in after my coursework or revision. It drives me mad!
MW: How have your friends and family reacted to you being a published author?
SM: They’re all quite proud; my mum and dad were a little bewildered at first, it was bizarre for them I think. They’re all supportive though- like when I go through my insecure stages or I’m in the middle of a writer’s block I always go on a downer and start moping, saying “I’ll never be a writer, I should just give up now!” I’m such a drama queen!
MW: You have accomplished a huge thing in, firstly finishing a manuscript and secondly having the nous to get it published and read, and you are only young. Where do you see yourself in ten years time?
SM: I would like to see myself as a full time writer; I have one more year at college and then I want to go to university and study creative writing, so finger crossed all will go well.
MW: Who are your favourite authors and books, the people who inspire you?
SM: I love Meg Cabott, Sophie Kinsella, Lindsey Kelk, Jeff Lindsey and I actually really enjoy the Katie Price books, Angel Uncovered being my favourite.
MW: What is the best book you have ever read?
SM: I think it has to be I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk
And finally, just for fun...
MW: If you were on a desert island, what three things would you choose as a ‘must have’?
SM: I would definitely need my iPod, no question about that. Then my computer (with an internet dongle so I can speak to my mum, dad and my lovely fiancée) and then probably my local Chinese, I think without my Chinese I would die.
MW: Thank you Stephanie and lots of luck with your future projects.