Monday, July 07, 2008

Interview - Author, Stephanie Perry Moore

Today I welcome author, Stephanie Perry Moore. Stephanie holds the honor of being the trailblazing author of African American Christian Teen Fiction. She has several series for pre-teens and teens and an online novelzine. She's also stretched her wings and published two women's fiction novels.
I'm excited to have you with me this week, Stephanie. Tell my readers about your most recent teen fiction project, the Perry Skky Jr. series and your other books.

The Perry Skky Jr. books is a spin off from my Payton Skky series. Perry is her enormously popular younger brother. He’s two years younger than Payton and the start of the series is his senior year. The five books takes you through a journey of Perry being highly recruited by the top division one schools and actually becoming a man has he handles the pressure of staying pure, trying to be drug free, dealing with racism, having unshakeable self esteem, and spreading the gospel.

This series is my 5th YA series. There are five Payton Skky books and five Laurel Shadrach books that deal with dating, peer pressure, racial issues, confidence and salvation. My preteen series is called Carmen Browne. With the younger readers, the goal is to give them life issues that can make their journey brighter. Those books focus on friendship, honesty, bossiness, jealousy and moodiness. In addition, tougher topics such as affirmative action, adoption, domestic violence, breast cancer, menstruation are mentioned so that the readers understand these issues from a godly perspective. The Faith Thomas novelzine series is the first book mixing a novel in a magazine format. Writing for young people I feel has been my calling.

Let me begin by telling you, my sixteen year old son (the non-reader) read each one of the books in this series in one or two days. I have never seen him enjoy books so much. Please tell me what inspired you to write the Perry Skky series and what has been the response from readers?
My husband is the team chaplain for Georgia Tech athletics on staff with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Since he is a part of the coaching staff, I get to see and know quite a lot about the inner struggles of many dynamic young men that come to school with big dreams and tons of talent. Whether you’re the starting feeling the pressure to continue doing good or the red shirt freshman desperately praying for just a chance to play, all these young men need to know there is more to this life than the world they know. So I wanted to write a series to uplift all young men. Also, I wanted to write something for girls letting them know how guys think. wink wink. So happy to hear your son was blessed by reading Prime Choice (Book 1).

I’m thinking you have to get into the psyche of a teenager to establish voice and authenticity. In the Perry Skky series you’re writing from a young man’s point of view. Tell me how you accomplish that? Just talking to so many young men, with my hubby, I was able to capture their world.

Tell me about a rewarding experience you had since writing for teens? Daily I get emails that young people write telling me how the books have moved them to want to please God more. Those type comments make my day. Bottom line, I do it all for Him and I’m so very humbled young folks are being saved after reading a Stephanie Perry Moore book.

Would you share some early insight into who you were as a teenager with your readers? Does that influence your writing? Didn’t always make right choices and had no books were I could see myself in the tiles to teach me that I could still be cool, yet do it God’s way. I was popular and all, but I also was one that could not cut up and still get my lesson. So my tough choices led me to take remedial English in the 9th grade. My teacher Ms. Pulley, told me that I had tremendous talent and could go far in life, but I had to worker harder and smarter. Thankfully, I took in her advice. I bucked down and the next year I was in advanced English and now I have over 25 books in print. Understanding wrong choices does influence my writing.

What do you hope young readers will take away from your books?
I want young people to know that staying on the right path and doing the right things on the path towards greatness. And as long as you please God then it doesn’t matter who you displease.

You’ve established yourself in two genres – young adult fiction and now women’s fiction. How do you juggle it all?
Prayer and God influenced. I’m so happy to simply write stories where people need Him.

What are some tips you have for an author who wants to establish themselves in more than one genre?
Don’t talk about it, do it and really study books and read books in the genre you’d like to write in. Do research and take time to pray. If God has it for you don’t be discouraged if it takes a minute.

Can we expect to see another series for our teenagers now that you’ve completed the Payton Perry and Skky Perry series? What’s next for your teen fans and what’s next for Stephanie Perry Moore?
Yes, in 2009, I’ll release two new series. Beta Gamma Pi and made up college sorority series and Yasmin Peace series for preteens.

You may find out more about Stephanie's books at her website

Thanks for stopping by Stephanie. I look forward to sharing your new series with the youngsters in my life.


Cecelia Dowdy said...

Thanks for posting this interview. I have a dream of writing for the teen market day! I enjoyed the Payton Skyy series. I read them while I was on vacation a few years ago.

Patricia W. said...

I love Ms. Perry's books and hope to get my teenager hooked on them. I think these might grow on him.

Sybil Barkley-Staples said...

Great interview. My daughters and I love her books. I have a goal to write for this market as well, but she does it best.

Author, Sybil Barkley-Staples
Candy for My Soul & She'll Learn

Missy said...

Fantastic review I love Ms. Stephanie and had a wonderful time with her and 11 other author at Wal-Mart Soul Expressions last year.

Thank Q for Bacall in Flame wow I miss her and umm Rory.