Monday, March 23, 2009

Chatting with the Birthday Girl: Stephanie Hale

1. What made you choose to write?
I've always loved to read but I never really thought I had any good ideas
to write my own book. But when I got laid off about five years ago and
wanted to stay home with my sons, I figured this was a good time to figure
out if maybe writing was something I would be good at. I'm happy to say that
it is working out well so far!

No complaints here. I <3 your books.

2. Where do you write best?
It doesn't really matter as long as there is complete silence.

That sounds...hard, and very limited in places.

3. Is there a topic you've always wanted to write about?
My parent's divorce drastically shaped my personality and I would like to
somehow incorporate some of those feelings into a book someday.

4. Is there one book you wish you'd written?
I think all writers have that tiny flicker of jealousy when they read a
certain book and wish they would have been the one to think of it. But to
list one specific book seems like it would somehow take away from the author
who did write it.

5. What was the last book you've read that you've been recommending to everyone?
The Next Thing on My List by Jill Smolinski

Another one to add to ever growing pile of books to read!

6. How do you get your ideas? Do you use real events in your novels and if so, can you describe one?
This is always the hardest question for me. I get a lot of my ideas in the
shower. I know that's really weird but maybe there really is something in
the water. The only real event I've used so far was when the boys in my
freshman class voted a less-popular kid to our homecoming court, which turned into Rand being named Homecoming King.

7. How many Aspen Brook novels will there be?
I think that Spring Breakup will be the last one.

I was afraid you'd say that. It's a great series!

8. Alpha Bet, your next book, sounds great. What can you tell us about it? Will it be a stand alone title or a series?
The Alpha Bet was a huge change from the Aspen books. Grace Kelly (the
heroine from TAB) and Aspen couldn't be more different. The Alpha Bet is
about a sixteen-year-old girl who graduates high school early to try and
escape her helicopter mother by leaving for college two years early. She
swears she is going to reinvent herself when she gets to college. With her
roommate's help she pledges the most elite sorority on campus, The Alphas,
and has to complete twenty-six alphabetical tasks to become a sister.
Between the tasks, trying to keep her mother off campus, the boy she's
falling for, and keeping the lie she told to the Alphas hidden, Grace Kelly
has a busy first semester!
I'm hoping that my Aspen fans will love Grace Kelly just as much.

Right now I think that this will just be a stand alone title.

So exciting. I like how the girls in your books are older. Look for this book in April of next year.

9. Name a celebrity, you'd love to have as a BFF
Meg Cabot!!! She just cracks me up.

She is a favorite.

10. Listing if your favorites:
Type of shoe- I love Born's.
Candy-Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate and Caramel squares, yummy!
Pizza topping- I'm a pepperoni only kind of girl.
Genre of books-I'm all over the place on this one.
Singer and/or Song-I like Hinder, Nickelback, Coldplay and I'm loving Poker Face by Lady GaGa
Restaurant-Monicals, it's a pizza place in my parts
TV show /Movie-These days I'm loving Castle, Ghost Whisperer, Medium,
High School Reunion, Brothers & Sisters
The best movie I saw recently was Paul Blart. A lot of people thought
it was stupid but I thought it was completely hilarious.
Color- I think my favorite color today is aqua. I change this a

I'm loving Castle too!

11. How do you come up with your titles?
They just pop into my head. I wish I could give you a really fancy
answer but one day they are just there.

12. I hear your birthday is coming up, what will you do to celebrate?
Aw, yes. The dreaded birthday. Well, it's on a Monday
this year, which is super lame, so I don't know that I'll do much of
anything. I'd like to go see I LOVE YOU, MAN because I'm a huge Judd Apatow
fan and Jason Segal and Paul Rudd are fairly easy on the eyes as well.
Hopefully there will be pasta involved and I know there will be a pink
Barbie Baskin-Robbins ice cream cake involved because I ordered it myself
the other day. Is it completely lame to order your own birthday cake? ;)

I hope you have a magically funny day and enjoy your cake!

I just finished reading Spring Breakup:
Aspen and Rand are head to Vegas for spring break along with Luke and Angel. No they're not 21 and can't gamble, but that's not going to stop them. The first night there; they eat a buffet. Here they meet Luke's ex-girlfriend Emerson (who brings out Angel's claws); she's in town to compete in Miss Teen USA. Her family desperately needs the money to save their home. Dinner ends up a disaster in more ways than one. Luke and Angel start fight and Aspen gets food poisoning. It's not a good start to the vacation. Aspen stays home from the tour the next day to recover. While watching tv, she notices her hotel is on the news. Emerson has gone missing - no note, one dress missing, and no sign of struggle. Aspen can't just stand by and watch especially when Luke asks her for help. Soon Aspen's knee deep in the pageant world becoming the next Illinois contestant so the show can go on and so she can uncover clues. Is she in way over her head, or can Aspen uncover the mystery before she loses her mind?

An excellent chapter (now wrap-up) in the Aspen Brook series. I loved how this book took the pageant world and made readers think twice about it (similar to Jennifer Lynn Barnes in The Squad). It not only opened my eyes to the many reasons behind girls in beauty pageants, but it also mentioned the hard work required before the show. Plus, Aspen's smart, funny, stubborn, and fashion-wise. What's not to love?

Stephanie blogs with other fabulous leading ladies of YA. Check out her website for a quiz between Aspen or Angel.

The first two books in the Aspen series are: Read about the cover stories


Lisa Schroeder said...

Great interview!

Happy Birthday Steph!! Your books have the cutest covers!

stephhale said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes and the super fun interview, Jen!