Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Author interview with WILDFLOWERS author Sally Stephenson

Sally Stephenson, author of WILDFLOWERS, a YA historical romance, is hopping onto my blog today for an author interview! Here's the blurb for her newly released debut (scroll down to the end of this post for links to where you can buy it):

100,000 Germans were persecuted for their sexuality as Adolf Hitler waged war in Europe. Their history is shared by Edith and Helena as they discover their sexuality and decide whether to fight for a life together or live a lie in order to survive Hitler's war.

Sally - tell us a bit about Wildflowers.  
Sally Stephenson

Wildflowers is a romance story between Edith and Helena, set during the rise of Hitler, just before the start of world war 2.

What inspired you to write Wildflowers?

I attended the Pride Parade in my hometown last August where the mayor was talking about homosexual persecution during WW2, I hadn't heard of this side of history before and found it intriguing.

At the time I was writing a WW2 romance between straight characters and it wasn't clicking, I changed them to gay characters and it suddenly fell into place

What is your favourite part of the book?

I think Part 3 of the book, my main characters grow and embrace their feelings as the world around them becomes a battlefield.

What was the hardest part to write?

I think the historical information, I tried to be as accurate as possible where I needed to be but I did take liberties with some of the history elements, either because I couldn't find a clear answer during research or because it provided some light relief to the characters.

What made you decide to self-publish? 

I had originally wanted to publish traditionally and got interest from two agents, however, the market is incredibly tough at the moment and self publishing is a way to prove yourself as a writer I think to agents before you query again.

Also, I believed too much in the story I had written for it to simply be forgotten and so far sales have been going moderately well, which shows that going indie wasn't a bad decision!

What’s your writing process? Are you a plotter or a pantser? 

I'm a pantser. I usually write whatever comes to mind and then edit it into something that makes sense later. With Wildflowers I wrote 2,000 words a day until it was finished. I also took part in NaNoWriMo during November 2011 and managed to write the full 50,000 words during that time. But normally I can write any time, in most positions (table, lap etc), I just need the right motivation before I start.

What are you working on next? 

I'm working on the sequel to Wildflowers and a couple fun projects as well as plotting out my next novel featuring themes relating to the American Dream.

Which authors have inspired you, now and when you were a teen? 

At the moment I'm inspired by good literary writers, the likes of Jamie Ford, Audrey Niffenegger as well as Stephen King, J.K. Rowling and Suzanne Collins. As a teen I read a lot of work by Stephen King and other fantasy writers, but he sticks in my memory the most. They inspired me because of how they manage to craft language so well and build worlds that you want to escape to, if I ever reach that as a writer then I'll be happy, till then, I'll keep working.

Who is your all time favourite YA character? 

I like Luna from Harry Potter, she's very alternative to most teens, she's a free thinker and doesn't care about other people's opinions - a very refreshing change given that most teenagers are filled with angst. It's just not something you find in Luna and she's a great relief!

I have a theory that all writers want a ‘secret’ place to write – secret attic, treehouse, room behind a hidden wall panel…where would yours be? 

I'd have a nice little cottage in some woods just by a beach, close enough to a town, but far enough away so I'm not interrupted when I don't want to be. I've always wanted to take my writing to a tropical beach, who know's? One day it could happen.

What 3 things do you need to put you in a writing frame of mind?

Motivation to write, no one else around to distract me, music or some form of background noise but I can generally write anywhere if I have the energy and drive to!


Amazon UK

Amazon US

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