Getting into writing – an interview with Stephanie Burgis

Stephanie Burgis and Pebbles

What got you interested in writing?

I’ve wanted to be a professional writer ever since I was seven years old, when I first realized that someone actually wrote the books I was obsessed with reading! I knew from that moment that it was what I wanted to do with my life.

Tell us a little about your chosen genre.

I write in two different genres – MG fantasy adventure (sold in the children’s section of the bookstore) and adult romantic fantasy (sold in the adult f/sf section). I love the sense of wonder and fun in MG fantasy; I love the richness and detail (and political intrigue!) of adult fantasy. I’d hate to give either of them up!

What are your happiest memories in your writing career?

Selling my first trilogy (Kat, Incorrigible) when I was 31, and toasting the sale with my husband; seeing my first copies of my first book; meeting the kids who’d voted it their favourite new children’s book by a British author; Skyping with book clubs and getting to chat about my characters and their future arcs.

How do you handle success and failure?

Friends! That’s the answer to both questions. It’s so important to form friendships with other writers who really understand the ups and downs of this career. They celebrate with me when things go well, and they cheer me on during bad times when it feels like things will never go well again. They are my lifeline!

What makes you write when you’re exhausted and your fingers ache?

Stubbornness, passion for my characters, and – nowadays – the knowledge that my family’s income depends on me doing the work, no matter how intimidating that might feel at the moment.

What is your advice to young and new writers?

Find friends you trust to critique your work, and make sure you send it out for several different critiques each time instead of relying on just one or two people’s personal opinions.

Are you a traditionalist or a digital? (paper or eBook)

I have a Kindle, and I do read books on it regularly, but I still prefer paper books.

Do you blog?


Do you self-publish?

Yes, I’m a hybrid author nowadays. My full-length novels have all been published by traditional publishers, but I self-publish novellas and novelettes on the side. It’s the perfect balance for me so far.

Snowspelled-Stephanie Burgis

If you have a publication or promotion – tell us.

My most recent two publications are Snowspelled, a romantic fantasy novella full of elves, trolls, women politicians, gentlemen magicians, and a heroine who doesn’t follow the rules; and The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart, a fun, chocolate-infused MG fantasy adventure about an impetuous young dragon who finds herself transformed into a puny human girl after drinking enchanted hot chocolate.

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