Author Interviews: Jessica Haight & Stephanie Robinson

We're rounding Feature Week out with our weekly dose of Author Interviews. It's a real treat to have gotten the chance to interview these lovely and always encouraging ladies. I'm excited to share their interviews with all of you. I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I did. If you'd like to read more about them click here.

To my readers: Many thanks for always showing your support to my guests.

To Jessica and Stephanie: It's been a real pleasure. I wish you both blessings and success on your writing endeavors.

Brief Bio of Jessica Haight (first photo) & Stephanie Robinson (second photo):

  • Jessica: Jessica is a quintessential New Englander, harboring a desperate need to be near the ocean and a personal desire to experience the four seasons every year. Now at the age of 38, she lives in New Fairfield, CT with her wonderful boyfriend, James, her dog, Jack, and her cat, Bill. 
  • Stephanie: Stephanie is a 5th grade teacher and currently lives with her husband in a quiet town in Connecticut, though not as quaint as Ashpot. When she isn't working, she spends her time writing, reading, and traveling.

 1.) What made you want to be a writer?

  • Jessica: I have always loved stories, for as long as I can remember. I would say after I got over the devastation that I was probably not going to be an astronaut (terrible at math) becoming a writer was the only other thing there was for me to be.
  • Stephanie: Since I was a little girl I have loved reading and creating stories.  When I was younger I thought I would be a teacher during the year and spend the summer writing books (yes, that is plural).  I obviously didn’t understand how much time teaching and writing would actually take.

2.) How long have you been seriously pursuing a career in writing?

  • Jessica: I started looking for a literary agent for my children’s story, Ruby Begonia and the High-Heeled Sneakers about five years ago. Since the story has transformed into the middle grade book, The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow, the pursuit has become much more involved.
  • Stephanie: Ever since Jessica asked me to co-author The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow with her I have been actively pursuing my dreams of being a writer.

3.) If you had to choose three words to describe your writing nook/office, what would they be?

  • Jessica: Fun, inspirational, musical
  • Stephanie:  Clean, organized, inspirational

4.) Where do you draw most of your inspiration from?

  • Jessica: I would say that situations or events that have happened to me in my life, as well as the stories and characters I’ve read about that have really moved me.
  • Stephanie: Dreams, experiences, and the world of books has helped me to create Fairday’s world. 

5.) Give us a one sentence pitch for your first novel.

  • Jessica: Follow along with Fairday and her friends, as “spooky” meets “lovely” in this twisting tale of dark secrets and hidden pasts.

6.) What are some of the projects that you are currently working on completing?

  • Jessica: Almost all of my time is currently devoted to the promotion of The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow. However, Stephanie and I are also currently working on book two in the Fairday Morrow series, The Talking Library.
  • Stephanie: Along with what Jess said, we are also continuing to review books, interview authors, and showcase local bookstores in our newest feature. Visit here for more info.

7.) What are some of your recent publications?

8.) Are you an outliner or a seat-of-your-pantser?

  • Jessica: By the seat of my pants is how I roll : )
  • Stephanie: Mostly the seat of my pants, but we both spend hours talking about our ideas and characters. So technically, we do a lot of verbal outlining and occasionally we map out our ideas on paper. We change things as we write though!

9.) If you could only own one book, what would it be? Why?

  • Jessica: Stardust, Being a Romantic in the Realm of Faerie by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Charles Vess. It is the most magical story I have ever read.
  • Stephanie:  Harry Potter- if I could have the whole series. Otherwise I would have to select Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  Reading with Harry is magic.

10.) Favorite childhood book/books?

  • Jessica: The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Anderson and The Twelve Dancing Princesses by the Brothers Grimm.
  • Stephanie: As a child I read everything I could get my hands on.  I was a huge Nancy Drew fan and read the whole series. I also loved Roald Dahl, Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, and Madeleine L’Engle.

11.) If you could meet any author, living or dead, who would it be? Why?

  • Jessica: I have to say J.K. Rowling. I would turn into jello, but I would have to pick her. She is the master of her craft.
  • Stephanie: Sorry to be boring- but I would also have to meet J.K. Rowling. First of all because I am in awe of her writing. Secondly, because if Jess met her and I didn’t I would be green with envy (I would probably cry).

12.) If you could meet one character in a book, who would it be? Why?

  • Jessica: Morpheus or Death from the Sandman Series- it would be so cool to meet one of The Endless.
  • Stephanie: Hmmm... That’s a hard one- I want to meet so many of them. I think I would pick Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games. She is so strong, clever, and brave. 

13.) Where do you hope to be as a writer in five years?

  • Jessica: Finishing up book five in the Fairday Morrow series.
  • Stephanie: Ditto!  :)

14.) Favorite quote/personal motto:

  • Jessica: You love it!
  • Stephanie: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” ~Wayne Gretzky

15.) If you could give any advice to other writers, what would it be?

  • Jessica: If you believe in yourself, and dedicate your time and energy to pursuing what you want, it will happen.
  • Stephanie: Write because you love it and you have a story to share. Once you have your work down on paper it may be a long road to where you want to be. Believe in yourself because if you don’t then no one else will.  If you don’t try, you won’t succeed!


Jess @ The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow said...

Hi Vanessa! Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to showcase our middle grade book. Stephanie and I enjoyed participating in this interview and are honored to be featured on The Writer's Block!
~ Jess Haight & Stephanie Robinson

Claudine G. said...

Wonderful interview! Jess & Stephanie are really encouraging and warm people. And we share so many favourite authors/books! (Beverly Cleary, Neil Gaiman, Old Hans, Roald Dahl, Judy Blume ...) Very best of luck with the Fairday Morrow series! I'll be ordering their book to read during June. Looking really forward to it.

Jess @ The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow said...

Hi Claudine! Thank you for stopping by to check out our interview on The Writer's Block. Stephanie and I truly appreciate your support! ~ Jess

Vanessa Eccles said...

Jessica and Stephanie, I'm happy to show my support!

Claudine, thanks for stopping by and giving your encouragement. It's much appreciated. :)