Monday, March 30, 2015

Author March Madness: Stephanie N. Pitman

Day 16: Author Stephanie N. Pitman  
1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? I am a middle child, whatever that means, and I am married to a great man and together we have two boys, both of whom are quickly becoming young men and I am not ready for that. I LOVE to read. My favorite book is one I can’t put down. I am drawn to fantasy, but I’ll read anything fiction and some non-fiction.
2. What do you do when you are not writing? As I mentioned I love reading, so I read a lot. But I also love to be physical. I enjoy running, biking, swimming (I’ve competed in 6 triathlons) doing yoga, learning new Zumba songs to teach to my students. These are the things I love to do, but have to squeeze into my crazy life of mom, wife, daycare provider, fitness instructor, spa owner, Sunday school teacher, etc. I don’t know how to say “no”
3. What is your favorite smell? I love the smell of fresh clean laundry. I could bury my nose in it forever. My love of it kind of reminds me of that commercial where Tina Fey is locked in the laundry room smelling dryer sheets, though it doesn’t always unlock my inner muse.
4. When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book? I first began writing in grade school, but self-esteem issues kept me from pursuing it until I was married and pregnant with our first son and I just had a story that was crying to be told. It was about a piranha cat dog and hopefully will someday become a picture book. My first novel, Honorable Disgrace, I began 5 or 6 years ago and finished it about a year ago. It was just published February 2, 2015 and I am so excited about it.
5. If you had 24 hours to live, excluding spending time with your family, what would you do? This is a tough one. There are so many things on my bucket list, but not many of them can be done in just 24 hours. The most important thing to me in my life is my family, so I would spend every moment with them, playing games, talking, hugging, kissing, crying, laughing…oh wait, you said excluding family…I can’t honestly think of anything I’d rather do.
6. Do you ever experience writer’s block? All the time. Aargh!!!
7. Do you work with an outline, or just write? It really depends on my story and how much I know about it. I do some outlining, but it is mostly organic, and a huge mess until I get through the first draft and that’s when I get excited because I get to shape and mold it into hopefully something fantastic that people can’t put down.
8. What is your favorite kind of cheese? Gouda…because it’s good-a. ☺ Costco sells this amazing smoked Gouda that is creamy goodness.
9. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you growing up or as an adult? No, there is not one particular author, but there are several that inspire me and who’s writing and imagination spurs me on to be my best. A few of them are J.K. Rowling, Julie Kagawa, John Grisham, Brandon Mull and Stephen King. I can only aspire to be in the same class as them one day.
10. Would I find anything growing in your refrigerator right now? It is possible. But I just cleaned it 2 weeks ago, so not at this point. When I cleaned it, there definitely were a few questionable items.
11. How would you describe yourself in three words? Determined. Loving. Capable.
12. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination? Honorable Disgrace is based on my own experiences as a teen. It was not a book I ever thought I’d write, nor did I ever imagine I’d share some a personal, horrific event with so many. But I felt strength and healing in the writing of Honorable Disgrace and I can only hope others who read it can find the same through Angie’s strength. I only wish I had been as strong as her at that time in my life.
13. Who is your favorite author? Since most of you will probably say me ;) please tell me then, who is your second favorite author? Again, I don’t have a favorite. But if I was forced to pick, right now I’d choose Julie Kagawa. Her stories are brilliant and engaging and original.
14. What was your favorite part of writing and why? My favorite part of writing is the same for me as with reading. I love escaping to another world and with writing I get to create that. I love my life, but I love the escape, the out of this world quality it brings. The possibilities are endless when you are the one behind the story. I would say controlling the story, but more often than not, the story is the one steering.
15. Chocolate or Brussels sprouts? This shouldn’t be a tough question, but it really is. I know that is superbly weird. It should be no contest, but I really love brussels sprouts. Cut in half, sautéed in a bit of coconut oil and sprinkled with a mix of tarragon, chive and sea salt and pepper. Yum. But it would definitely have to be followed up with a serving (or two) or dark chocolate.
 16. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? So far, I have had great reviews and support since becoming published, but prior to that, when I was just getting started, the toughest criticism came from my husband. 
17. What has been the best compliment given to you as an author? This also came from my husband. Since the beginning when he was not the most positive or helpful critique, I never asked for his opinion again. But he started to read my book, and he is not a reader, at all. And he said it was very well written. From him, that is huge.
18. What is your least favorite smell? 
 19. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers? Writer’s write. So make time to write and never give up. You have a story to tell and you are the only one who can tell it.
 20. Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers? Every single one of you is appreciated. While I write for myself, ultimately I write for you and without you there would be no one to read my stories, so thank you so much.

Author Bio
Stephanie N. Pitman is a writer of fiction and nonfiction.  Her first novel, a YA Contemporary, Honorable Disgrace, is based on her own story of overcoming the ugly side of life, betrayal and rape.  She is a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature and an active member of the SCBWI.  She has taught preschool for over 12 years and is a motivated entrepreneur, currently operating two successful businesses with her husband, Travis.  Stephanie enjoys spending time with her husband of 16 years, and their two boys, visiting the beautiful splendor and diversity of their home state of Montana.  Along with being an avid reader and dedicated writer, she enjoys pushing herself to her best by competing in triathlons, relay races, and half marathons as well as being a Zumba and Yoga Instructor. 

Stephanie N Pitman’s Links:
  Amazon | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

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