Friday, October 12, 2007

Who is Stephanie Hale?

Hmm...well, I'm a woman of many faces. A daughter, sister, friend, author, and most importantly, a wife and mommy.

I have loved to read my whole life but never once considered becoming a writer until about five years ago. I got laid off from a job I'd had for about ten years. One day I was watching Oprah and she had an author, Po Bronson, on the show. He had written a book called, What Should I Do With My Life? A few of the people interviewed for the book were on the show and they had given up six figure jobs to pursue their dreams. They looked SO happy. I drove straight to the mall and bought the book. I'm pretty sure I read the whole thing that night. The book was excellent, and the stories were so inspirational, but when I turned to put the book on my nightstand, I couldn't help but be a little disappointed. I guess I had expected to get to page 100 of the book and it would say, STEPHANIE HALE, YOU WOULD BE VERY HAPPY WORKING AS AN ONION FARMER! Which is totally ridiculous, because as anyone who knows me would tell you, I dispise onions. And I don't even know if there are specific farmers just for onions. I was jealous of the people in the stories. I didn't think that I would ever feel happy about WORK. I tried desperately to think of things I loved. My husband, my son, pizza, Coca-Cola, expensive makeup, but none of these things seemed to translate into a clear career path.


Tired and depressed, I reached over to switch off my bedside lamp only to knock over the ever-present tower of books on my table. Then it hit me.


BOOKS. I LOVE BOOKS. I LOVE TOUCHING THEM, SMELLING THEM, HOLDING THEM, and READING THEM. Why couldn't I write a book?


And that was it. The next day I started writing an adult chick-lit called The Perfect Man, I know, original title, right? It got some requests and some nice rejections. After that, and having a second baby, I started what I thought was a young adult but was probably a middle-grade called Living Doll. It has a cute premise and someday I might be able to revise it. While I was shopping LIVING DOLL around, I started Revenge of the Homecoming Queen.



I knew immediately that this book was different from my first two books. It poured out of me pretty quickly. I was getting some very positive requests on LD and felt I was very close to getting an agent, but not my dream agent.


So I did what any impulsive writer does and started querying my dream agents with the Revenge premise. All of them wanted to see it, including Queen Bee Agent, who I had my heart set on getting to represent me.


Okay, long story short. Queen Bee loved my story but wanted to see it fleshed out more and wanted to see it again if I chose to do this. I took one month and completely revised the book and added 20k. I resent to Queen Bee and waited. Queen Bee loved my additions, signed me, and sold my book very shortly thereafter. YEAH!


Getting a book published has been just as amazing as I always dreamed it would be. It is amazing to love what you do and get paid for it. I just hope that I can keep doing this forever.


My second book, Twisted Sisters, comes out on April 1st. Aspen and her Comfort High peeps go to college in this one. Aspen has another mystery to solve while trying to fit in with her new sorority sisters.

I have lots of ideas for new mysteries for Aspen, as well as new characters, that are just waiting to be written. It sounds so cheesy, but now I know, dreams really do come true. Don't ever give up on your dream!


xo,

Steph


Revenge of the Homecoming Queen, OUT NOW!

6 comments:

Brooke Taylor said...

Steph,

I'm so glad you chose Publishing over Onion Farming. Not many people know this, but Onion Farming is a very subjective and difficult business... wait, no--that's Publishing! Well, whatever--you made the right choice. Can't wait to read Twisted Sisters.

~BT

TinaFerraro said...

Steph, back in high school, I took a career placement test and the result was that I'd make a great Funeral Parlor Director. I see that about on the same wavelength of you and onion farmer! :)

I'm so glad you found the one career that delights you, because bonus for the rest of us: it delights us, too. I can't wait until April for the next Aspen adventure!

bethany said...

Hey, how come I didn't get to be in your life story?

And then I met the best critique partner in the world, that's how I would write it....

What I meant to say was, Cool story, you're like an inspiration and stuff :)

Tera Lynn Childs said...

I think the important question is: "What would you have done if that book had told you to be an onion farmer?" Besides learn to not hate onions, of course. Thank goodness for that toppling tower of books on your nightstand! Otherwise you might be making pizza-flavored Coke or expensive makeup for men. [Okay, clearly I've lost it, but I think you get my meaning.] =)

Wendy Toliver said...

Onion farmer? LOL! I'm so glad you chose to be an author. :)

Heather Davis said...

Although you would have grown (delicious?) great onions, you are a rockin' writer, Steph. Good career choice.

xxo