Oooo goody, it’s time for one of my favourite PBN features. Pull up a chair and your baked treat of choice while we have a cuppa with the marvelous blogger turned author Stephie Chapman.
Hi Stephie, great to have you here. Tell us a bit about your sites.
I started off writing imcountingufoz.com, a food/parenting/lifestyle blog years and years ago. It was a little bit of everything because I’m a) indecisive, and b) generally a bit all over the place. I had a good run for a few years and then I got distracted with writing my first novel, Getting Over Jesse Franklin. I lost interest in the blog because I had this story that I had to get out instead, and that took priority. imcountingufoz.com is pretty much defunct now, but I do have stephiechapman.co.uk, which is my author site, and focuses on my books. It’s fairly new and I migrated it over from a Tumblr site, but there are some excerpts from the books, and publication information.
What first inspired you to start blogging?
I’ve always just liked writing. It’s really as simple as that. I’ve always written stuff. When I was a young teenager I used to write fan fiction about bands I liked at the time. I would stay up until the wee small hours in the school holidays and at weekends tapping away on the computer after everyone had gone to bed. I used to embellish it with word art like the nineties adolescent I was. It was fancy! I started writing a novel when I was 19, but never finished it because I simply didn’t have the life experience to carry it off. It’s on a USB stick somewhere. Part of me wants to find it and read it, but it’s probably so bad I’d be cringing into the centre of the Earth. So, I suppose the blogging was a way to get writing out there quickly. I’m definitely more comfortable with creative writing than opinion pieces or articles, though.
What have been the highpoints of your blogging journey so far?
I’ve had a couple of lovely holidays out of it. I went on a cruise with Alice Judge-Talbot a few years ago, which was a lot of fun. More than that, though, I’ve made some epic friends through blogging and really love the community feel that there is with it. I was overwhelmed with how supportive and kind people have been about my books, too.
What do you find hard about being a writer?
I found it really hard to write in my own voice. It never really felt like I was writing for me the way that writing Getting Over Jesse Franklin and Jetplanes to Jupiter have done. I felt like I had to censor myself in a way that I never had to writing fiction. I’ve also felt less and less comfortable writing about my children as they are growing up. My daughter is a fairly private kid and only just about copes with pictures of her on Instagram. Put it this way, the transition from blog to novel hasn’t been a difficult one for me, and I’ve enjoyed disappearing off into my own little fictional world in a way I just never did with my blog.
My new book, Jetplanes to Jupiter, is published on 30th May, although it’s available to pre order now. Arrggh! It’s the sequel to Getting Over Jesse Franklin and is told through a series of flashbacks as well as present day. It’s still unabashed mushy chick lit which is my absolute favourite, and I adore writing about love. It’ll be available on Kindle and, if Amazon ever get around to sending me the proof, paperback. In any case, I really hope people like it. It was a lot of fun writing it. It delves a lot deeper into all my American characters. As I mentioned previously, there are a couple of excerpts on stephiechapman.co.uk, so click on over for a read.
What is your top tip for a new writer?
Ooh wow, that’s a tricky one. I guess, find your voice. That’s really important, and I think where I let myself down with my blog. It will certainly feel more authentic to both the reader and the writer. And I think that can be applied to people wanting to write books, too. But mainly, MAINLY, just go forth and write. The rest will come!
You can buy Stephie’s first book, Getting Over Jesse Franklin, and pre-order the follow up, Jetplanes To Jupiter, on Amazon or check out the excerpts on Stephie’s website. You can also find her on twitter and facebook.