(Scroll down if you're looking for book-specific questions.)


What's next for you?

My next release is a contempoary YA horror novel called There's Someone Inside Your House, which Dutton will publish in fall 2017.

What happened to all of your old blog entries?

For various complicated reasons, I had to switch blogging platforms. You can still read my old blog (May 2005 through March 2016) at

Will you write more stories set in the Anna/Lola/Isla universe?

Maybe. Perhaps. Not for a while, at least. I do have an interest in some of the other characters, but there are more intriguing projects on my mind right now. I love so many ideas and so many genres! And I only have so much time.

Are you more of an Anna, Lola, or Isla?

I am all of them. I am also all of the other characters.

Will your books ever be turned into movies?

I would love for my books to be turned into movies. Unfortunately, it's not up to me. Hollywood has to want it, too. (Call me, Hollywood!)

What actors do you picture as your characters?

I'm sorry, but I never answer this question. I don't want to interfere with who you—the reader—imagine.

Where do you get your ideas?

From everywhere and everyone. If you want to be a writer, be interested in the world. Be obsessive. Ask questions and listen carefully. (Also, try combining multiple ideas into super ideas.)

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? 

Read as much as you write. Never forget that Jane Austen and Charles Dickens never took a creative writing class. They learned how to write novels by reading them. Read good books and pause periodically to ask yourself why they're so good. Read bad books and pause periodically to ask yourself why they're so bad. Pull them apart and look at their seams. If you get stuck in your own manuscript, find a book that has a similar passage and study how that author did it. The books and authors that come before us are our best teachers.

Also, you have to WRITE. It sounds obvious, but I can't even begin to say how many people have told me about their amaaaaazing idea for a fantasy series—complete with maps and histories and genealogies—but when I ask, "How much have you written?" . . . they admit to me that they've written nothing.

You aren't a writer unless you actually write. Okay?

And it takes a long time to be good. That's normal. Keep writing and keep revising.

What's your writing process?

It changes depending on whether I'm writing, editing, or revising, but this is my basic schedule: I wake up around eight o'clock in the morning. I get out of bed at nine. I toddle around and eat breakfast and exercise and shower and listen to podcasts and play with my cat. I sit down at my desk at eleven. I work for four hours, taking a five-minute break at the top of each hour to stretch my legs. At three o'clock, if the writing is going well, I work for one more hour. If it sucks, I stop. 

I take note of where I'm stopping—where I should start work the next day—and write it down on a legal pad that I keep beside my laptop. (I also use this legal pad to keep track of my progress on whatever project I'm working on.) And then I eat a late lunch. After that, I'll catch up with other work online or do research until my husband gets home from work. Then we hang out until bedtime, which is at midnight. I don't work on weekends or holidays unless I'm on a deadline.

I work much, much, much better with a schedule. Without one, I hardly work at all.

Don't wait for the writing to feel easy or inspired. For most writers, these feelings are (unfortunately) rare. If you want to be a published writer, treat it like a job. Show up. Do the work.

Here's the equation: Time + Work = Novel

It really is that simple.

Did you always want to be a writer?

Yes and no. I've always loved story above everything else, and novels have always been my favorite type of stories. And I was a good writer. But it wasn't clear until my freshman year of college when I took a journalism class—my attempt at a serious form of writing—that I realized I was in the wrong building. I didn't want to interact with real people. I wanted to create characters! After that, there was nothing in the world I wanted more than to be a novelist.

What's your favorite book? Who are your favorite authors?

It depends on the day you ask, but my favorite book is probably Francesca Lia Block's Weetzie Bat. Lola would not exist without Weetzie. I'm also a huge, huge Harry Potter fan. Nobody creates characters like J.K. Rowling. I'm pretty obsessed with her Cormoran Strike series, too.

Jane Austen is tremendous. I adore Oscar Wilde. Roald Dahl was my first favorite author, when I was a very young child, and I still love his work. David Sedaris makes me laugh harder than anyone else. Meg Cabot, John Green, and Maureen Johnson were hugely influential when I was figuring out what type of novels I wanted to write. Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier is my idea of a perfect book. Blankets by Craig Thompson is another perfect book. As an adult, I've probably read and re-read Role Models by John Waters more than anything else, but it's definitely not for the faint of heart! And I love Kiersten White. She's one of my dearest friends, and reading her novels makes me feel like we're hanging out.

And there are so many more. Hundreds more. Thousands more!

Could I please get a signed copy of your book(s)?

Yes! My local bookstore Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe sells signed copies of ALL my books. You can purchase them online or over the phone. During online checkout, please leave a note telling them that you would like the book(s) signed. If you would like them personalized, I can do that, too. Make an additional note.

Could I please get a signed bookplate?

I'm sorry, but I'm not currently doing this.

Would you please do an interview or guest post for me?

I don't do many, but you can always ask. Please contact my publicist, Lauren Donovan:

Would you please attend my event?

I don't attend many events, but you can always ask. Please contact my publicist, Lauren Donovan:

May I please send you something that I've written?

I'm honored that you asked, but I don't have the time. Try forming a critique group. I think two to four people is a helpful number—any more and the work becomes overwhelming, any less and you'll miss out on some great input. You can find other writers through online writing communities (like message boards or blogs), by posting a notice at your local bookstore or library, or by taking a creative writing workshop and finding classmates with similar tastes.

How did you find your agent?

It's a long, untraditional, not-helpful-to-you story. I recommend that you go about it the normal way. Follow agents on Twitter and read their blogs for the best advice.  Write practice queries (a query is the letter that you submit to an agent explaining why they should represent you) via their wise guidance. And do tons of research about each agent before you start querying them. Don't query an agent who isn't interested in the type of book that you wrote. Look for authors who have written books similar to yours and read the acknowledgements in the back of their books—authors usually thank their agent!

Also, yes. I do recommend finding an agent before approaching a publisher. An agent will get you a better deal, a better everything. They are also amazing cheerleaders.

What do you think about self-publishing?

Self-publishing is a lot like regular publishing—they both have pros and cons. Consider what goals you want to achieve by being published. Do your own research to see where your work might thrive.

Who designed this website?

I designed it on Squarespace. The font at the top is Janda Stylish Script Regular by Kimberly Geswein.

I’m doing a book report on you, and I need more information. Help!

Everything that I want people to know about me has already been made public, so try searching online for "Stephanie Perkins interview."


Do I have to read Anna before Lola or Isla?

No. They're companion novels. This means that some of the characters overlap, but each novel is its own complete story. They were written to stand alone, but you'll probably enjoy them even more if you start with Anna, because it does come first chronologically. Lola comes second. Isla comes third.

Where did you get the idea for this book?

The idea arrived in a dream—a beautiful boy with a French name and an English accent, sitting on the steps of the Panthéon—and it was impossible to resist. Or, more accurately, the boy was impossible to resist!

Have you ever lived in Paris?

No, but I was fortunate enough to rent an apartment there on the Île Saint-Louis for the entire month of January 2010. It was magical. I still ache for the pâtisseries (cake shops), boulangeries (bakeries), and les BD (bandes dessinées, comic books).

Do you speak French?

Unfortunately, no. I'm like Anna—I learned Spanish in school, not French. Writing this novel required an insane amount of research (of the language, city, culture) and endless help from people who are fluent. It's embarrassing, but I still can't pronounce most of the French words in my own novels. I did take a beginning French class at my local community college, but I am far from proficient.

Did you ever go to a boarding school?

Nope. From elementary school through high school, I attended public schools in Arizona.

How do you pronounce "Étienne St. Clair"?

Étienne is pronounced Eh-t-yen. Think of the upward sound the "é" makes in "café."

St. Clair can be pronounced several ways:

American = Saint Claire

French = Saun Clai (You can make a slight throaty French "r" sound or drop it completely.)

English = I've heard it pronounced both of the above ways PLUS "Sin Clair" AND "Sink Lur"

I pronounce it the American way. The characters in the book most likely pronounce it as something between the American way and French way. But, really, any of these are okay!

Exactly how short is Étienne?

The answer is in Isla and the Happily Ever After.


Is Lola a sequel to Anna?

No, Lola is a companion novel. This means that some of the characters overlap, but the story is firmly Lola's. The novel was written to stand alone, although it might be more enjoyable if you've read Anna first.

Where did you get the idea for this book?

It's difficult to remember. I actually worked on it for several years before Anna; it was originally a (terrible) adult novel. The characters first appeared to me while I was living in San Francisco, all the way back in 2000. I remember that I got the name Lola from the movie Run Lola Run, and I got her surname years later while watching the end credits to The Prestige. For a long time, Cricket was a botanist. But he always had a twin sister, and there was always a not-so-great musician boyfriend named Max. I love movie theaters and figure skating and costume design. I used to work in the Castro district. My mother bakes incredible pies. I attended San Francisco State University, but I have fond feelings toward Berkeley. Because Lola was originally a failed novel, I ended up shifting several of its themes and locations into Anna. It was still on my mind. Later, when my agent and editor were asking me about my next project, it seemed obvious how naturally these two novels might connect. And it also gave me the opportunity to revive these characters that I truly, genuinely loved. For all of these reasons, this book holds a very special place in my heart.

Have you ever lived in San Francisco?

Yes, I lived there for a year. My husband proposed to me at the bottom of the crooked part of Lombard Street. In my eyes, the city will always be one of the most romantic in the world.

How do you pronounce "Calliope"?



Is Isla connected to Anna and Lola?

Yes, it's the final companion novel. This means that some of the characters overlap, but the story is firmly Isla's. The novel was written to stand alone, although it might be more enjoyable if you've read Anna and Lola first.

Where did you get the idea for this book?

While working on Anna, I developed a strong crush on Josh. I knew there were a lot of secrets that he wasn't sharing with his friends. I created Isla (she has a tiny part in Anna), because I wanted someone who could help draw him out during his senior year. So I always knew who Josh was, but it took three more years for me to figure out Isla. I ended up letting it be a part of the character's struggle—she's not sure who she is, either. And that can be frightening when you're having to make such enormous life decisions, like college or relationships. I think a lot of my readers can relate to these sorts of pressures and fears. I certainly do.

How do you pronounce "Isla"?

There are a few ways to pronounce it, but my character is Eye-la (like "island" without the "nd").


Where did you get the idea for this anthology?

The seed appeared over a delicious brunch in Charleston, SC with my friend Myra McEntire. We both love the holidays—the traditions, decorations, movies—and we were lamenting the fact that there weren't enough young adult books that took place around them.* A week later, this was still bugging me. The idea took shape and then quickly snowballed into reality. Within a month, all twelve authors and two publishers (USA and UK) were on board. Less than a year later, it was published. Everything about this project felt like a gift.

*For more, I recommend: Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle and Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan.

What was it like working as an editor for the first time?

The best. The absolute best. I've always loved editing, and it was thrilling to be able to do it in such a public way. I'm so, so, so grateful for the other authors for trusting me with their work. The entire process was a pleasure and a joy.

Is the Christmas tree lot in your story a real place?

No. It's inspired by one in Arizona that I went to every year as a child, which was the only place in my very desert-y childhood where it felt like winter. That made it magic, of course. However, Asheville—where I currently live and where the story takes place—does have an endless supply of delightful Christmas tree lots. And there are dozens of Christmas tree farms within easy driving distance of my house.

Will you ever write about Marigold and North again?

Yes! You'll find the continuation of their story in Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories.


Where did you get the idea for this anthology?

I had so much fun making My True Love Gave to Me that I had to give it another go! And summer is such an exciting time when you're a teenager—summer vacation, summer jobs, summer school, summer romance. It made sense to balance out the winter anthology with one for summer.

With the first anthology, I'd already worked with several of the authors as critique partners. That made it easier to convince them to participate. With this anthology, I asked a lot of authors whom I admired but didn't personally know quite as well. Again, I'm so grateful (and so blown away!) that they trusted me. It was dream getting to work with these tremendously talented writers, and I learned a lot from all of them. I feel very fortunate.

Is your story connected to the one that you wrote for My True Love Gave to Me?

Yes. It's about the same characters, Marigold and North, and it takes place half a year later.

Is the funicular in your story real?

No, I just thought it would be fun to write about. I've always really liked incline railways. But everything else about Mount Mitchell is true.

Will you ever write about Marigold and North again?

Most likely not. I'm happy with how I left them.

Back to Extras