We’ve known Stephanie for a while now, a few years in fact, having first come across her on Twitter. Back in those days she was a leopard and, though times have changed, she still takes the time to give people tail cuddles when they need them.

Though she works full time – chasing bad buys – we managed to persuade her to sit down for five minutes, so we could run through a brief Q&A about her upcoming debut in the world of children’s books.

We can tell you that it’s quite fabulous, too!

Q: Tell us about the book!

A: It’s a children’s story, though adults will like it too as it’s about despair and hope and friendship and bravery. It’s called The Star Princess and The Kitchen Witch.

Q: What inspired the story?

A: Twitter. I asked online for some help and the darling Ella Risbridger (@missellabell) not only replied online but also sent a magic spell for courage in the post. I keep it on my laptop and it helps with my writing every day.

Q: What can you tell us about the illustrations?

A: They are excellent. And I’ve only seen a few pages. They are drawn by Jessica and Cameron, two children very close to my heart yet that I have never met.

Image courtesy of @ChrisFloyd

Q. Does it have a moral?

A: It is allegorical. And it does have a message. Is that the same as a moral? I don’t know.

Q: What’s the best thing about writing for children?

A: The best thing about writing for children is the best thing about writing for everyone. People, adults, children, whoever, if they read it and like it then job done. Although I write different mediums I’ve never differentiated who I write for.

Q: How long have you been writing?

A: Since I was a teenager.

Q: What inspires you?

A: Life. People. Music. Red wine. The scent on the air and the breeze on the trees. A snatched line of conversation, a dream, a whisper.

Image courtesy of @ChrisFloyd

Q: What’s your writing process like?

A: The least disciplined thing ever. I can run to my laptop in the middle of cleaning because I’ve had a brilliant idea and turn out a few thousand words. Or I can sit myself down, tinker with 3 lines, take to Twitter, and still be there an hour later. Though I do always have a phone and a notebook & pen with me when I’m out to capture ideas then.

Q: If you could give advice to inspire other writers, what would it be?

A: Write. Yes, it is the tritest piece of advice ever but it’s also true. Write. Write some more. Write differently. Oh, and read David Quantick’s books on writing. They are very good.

Q: What are you working on next?

A: Other children’s stories. A couple of romances. And, most excitingly, an anthology of One Hundred 100-Word Stories that I am hoping Cynefin Road will publish for me later this year.

The Star Princess and The Kitchen Witch is due for release by Cynefin Road in September 2016.

A very special interview with the illustrators, Cameron (age 7) and Jessica (age 5) will be published later this week.

One thought on “Interview – Stephanie Shields

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