1. What is your favorite food? Cheesecake or fresh fruit
2. Do you prefer chocolate or vanilla ice cream? Vanilla because then I can cover it in all sorts of delicious toppings.
3. Where did you grow up? All over. We moved often when I was growing up back and forth between Utah and Alberta.
4. Is there a book that changed your life? The Book of Mormon, of course. One of my favorite books is The Angels of Morgan Hill by Donna vanLierre. I don’t reread many books, but this one keeps drawing me back.
5. If you go back in time, where would you go? I’d love to visit Victorian England.
6. What one place would you like to visit that you haven’t? Scotland. My daughter and I keep talking about going there someday so we can see where our family came from. Of course we want to sleep in a castle too.
7. What is your favorite thing about yourself? I am a fast learner. Usually, I can figure something out with good directions and I like to work on something until I get it.
8. Do you like to sing? Yes. When I was growing up I loved to gather around the piano with my family and sing. It has become even more enjoyable for me in the last few years as my daughters like to stand around the piano and sing with me.
9. What are three adjectives that best describe you? Quiet, curious, patient.
10. What is the strangest food you ever ate? Chocolate covered ants. My dad (who was also my grade 6 teacher) brought them in as part of an outdoor education class he was teaching. He was trying to show us that in some circumstances you can eat insects to survive. I could never figure out where I would find chocolate to cover the ants with if I was stranded in the wilderness.
11. What was a favorite childhood memory? Some of my favorite childhood memories are of sitting in my grandmother’s living room and just being with her. We talked, she taught me to sew, and we just kept each other company. They were such peaceful cozy times.
12. What are your hobbies? I’ve dabbled in many different things, but the things I really love usually involve needle and thread. I learned to do embroidery when I was six and I haven’t put down the needle since. For many years I supplemented our family income by working as a seamstress. When I realized that I wasn’t enjoying the craft anymore, I retired. Now I love to
take a few moments and sew an outfit or a piece a quilt. I love doing all types of embroidery, tatting, and crocheting. But I don’t knit. Knitting needles and I just don’t get along.
13. Are you a 'morning' or 'night' person? I am a night person which doesn’t work very well in our home. Only one daughter shares that trait with me but everyone else likes to get up with the sun. During the school year I get up much earlier than I want to. It wouldn’t be too much of a problem if I would only learn to get to bed earlier.
14. Are you a collector of anything? I’ve always collected books. In the last few years I’ve started collecting signed books.
15. What color shoes are you wearing? Tan moccasins
16. Do you like your handwriting? Yes. Someone once told me I didn’t have very nice writing, so I spent many years working on it. Now I am told I have beautiful handwriting.
17. What are you favorite smells? Lilacs and fresh bread
18. What book are you reading now? Chocolate Roses by Joan Sowards
19. If you could have a dinner with three people (real of fictitious, dead or alive), who would you choose and why? My grandparents. (I’m going to sneak a fourth one in). I would love to visit with them as an adult when I could appreciate their experience and wisdom.
20. What is the best gift anyone has ever given you? One year when my husband was unemployed and we were struggling to even put food on the table, my three little children made me a birthday gift. They filled a paper lunch bag with hundreds of little pieces of paper. On each piece they wrote things they loved about me. I kept all of them as a constant reminder that the best gifts come from the heart.
21. What was the best decision you’ve ever made? To ignore my insecurities, follow my dreams, and write.
Stephanie and her children
I write to express myself. As a teenager, writing was a way for me to cope with all the confusing emotions that accompany high school. Most of that writing was poetry filled with teen angst but that poetry phase taught me how to use words wisely to be able to get the most power out of them.
I write for the thrill of discovering the plot and becoming acquainted with the characters. I am not one of those writers who has endless story ideas fighting to be told, but I have enough and when I sit to start something new, there is always an idea that begs for attention. Once a story idea takes centre stage, I can’t put it away until it is done.
I write for my children. I want them to see that their mother takes her talents seriously and that they, too, can accomplish anything they set their minds to. I also want to tell stories that they can read and that don’t have to be censored. I want them to see that a good story can be told without challenging the moral standards we have in our home.
There have been days when I try to talk myself out of being a writer. The reasons are varied, but it is an argument I never win. That urge to write is too strong. There is an inner voice that tells me to write, that assures me it is what I am supposed to do. The short answer is that I am compelled to write. It is what I do and I can’t imagine life without a story to tell.