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Author Interview: Sally Stephenson

While I try to recover from the alcoholic fever dream that is Worldcon, Sally Stephenson, author of Wildflowers, has agreed to come on the blog and subject herself to an interview.

Her new book is available as we speak on Kindle, so you should head on over and get it now before the word gets out and you’re left out of the cool kids party.


– When did you start calling yourself a writer?

I still actually don’t call myself a writer, I think I’m still in the phase where I’m transistioning from writing being a hobby to an actual job, but now that I’m treating it like a job I guess it’s what I am.

It’s a strange transition process, one that I liken to the US Football selection process. You start off in high school, then if you’re good enough get a scholarship to a University team and then if you’re really good hopefully get drafted into the NFL. In writing terms being drafted for the NFL is going pro, traditionally and (for me) writing a bestseller)

– What led you to write historical fiction specifically?

The nature of the story, I had previously been writing fantasy but had struggled to fully form my ideas. I like literary novels especially and wanted to write something for the literary genre. When I got this idea, it simply fitted into historical fiction rather than me choosing to write for it specifically.

– Pantser or Outliner?

Pantser, I try and outline, forget and make it up along the way – works the best in my experience, minus the whole load of editing that comes after!

– What’s the worst writing advice you’ve ever received?

“All you need is for Oprah to read your book”….really? I’ll just give her a quick call then! 😛

– Good stories come from all places. What influences your writing outside of other fiction?

I find people I know inspire me, with Edith and Helena, I realise in hindsight they’re actually like two good friends of mine who are together and have a good relationship. I’m also inspired by things I might see around me and try and think of it in a literary way and that could spawn something.

Other times a random piece of prose will pop into my head and be perfect for a story. It comes from all over the place which is one of the great things about being a writer.

– If you could pick one fictional character to do your day job for a single day, who would you choose?

Gabrielle, from Xena. I first saw the show when I was around 9 and she was writing her scrolls – as a child it showed me that even grown ups write and can work as a travelling bard – I think actually that would be my ideal job!!

About nicwidhalm (46 Articles)
Nic Widhalm is a writer based out of Colorado, and specializes in stories of change, juxtaposition, and things that go bump in the night. You can visit him at

1 Comment on Author Interview: Sally Stephenson

  1. I love the “bad advice” question and answer! Yeah… how easy would it be to get Oprah to read your book?! Great interview 🙂

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