Book Nerd Vlog Post
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Blink (February 7, 2017)
"Morrill delivers a story that has it all - mystery, the mnafia, and a heroine you can't help but root for. If Veronica Mars met the Roaring Twenties, you'd end up with The Lost Girl of Astor Street!" Roseanna M. White, The Lost Heiress
What was your first introduction to YA literature, the one that made you choose that genre to write?
I was already writing YA literature, I just didn’t know it was a thing. I thought of it as “stories about teenagers.” This was in the early 2000s, so YA lit wasn’t nearly as big as it is now. But as I was looking for other books like mine, I found Sarah Dessen’s This Lullaby. (I wrote contemporary YA at the time.) I fell in love with Sarah’s voice, her main character, the conflict, everything. That was the first time I knew what YA literature was capable of being.
Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
I’m sure every book I’ve ever read has played a part in my storytelling style. I already mentioned Sarah Dessen, but a few other writers who inspire me are Ally Carter, Maggie Stiefvater, and Joanne Bischof.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Tender-hearted, organized, and driven.
Did you learn anything from writing THE LOST GIRL OF ASTOR STREET and what was it?
Oh, I could talk for ages about all the things I learned from writing The Lost Girl of Astor Street! I had never written a historical or a whodunit kind of mystery, so I learned loads about my craft. When I started the story, I didn’t know much about the 1920s, and I wasn’t prepared for how I would fall in love with the decade. Teens living in the 1920s were the first generation to be targeted by advertisers from such a young age, and it fascinated me to see how many parallels there were to their struggles and those of modern day teens.
For those who are unfamiliar with Piper, how would you introduce her?
I think Mariano describes her the best. “You’re a force, for sure. A hurricane, really. But there’s a part of you that’s surprisingly tender. Mushy, even.”
What part of Lydia did you enjoy writing the most?
The conversation between Piper and Lydia in chapter three, which is the first time we see that yes, Lydia is gentle and proper, but she’s also very strong.
If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
If Piper could time transport to meet Veronica Mars, I think all the troublemakers in Chicago and Neptune would run for cover!
Which character have you enjoyed getting to know while writing THE LOST GIRL OF ASTOR STREET?
They’re all special to me, but Piper is my favorite. She felt very complex to me from the beginning, and I loved exploring Chicago with her.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
There are so many, it would be hard to pick! Any of the writers I’ve mentioned so far—Ally Carter, Sarah Dessen, Maggie Stiefvater, Joanne Bischof—have taught me a lot with their storytelling.
How many books have you written?
I’ve lost track of how many I’ve actually written, but The Lost Girl of Astor Street is my seventh published title.
You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
In a world that’s intensely critical, quick to point fingers, and highly Photoshopped, I believe we can make the biggest impact by being empathetic, loving, and comfortable with our imperfections.
Who was your first boyfriend?
My first date was actually with the boy who grew up to be my husband! Ben and I met our freshman year of high school. We broke up a couple times, but dated almost all of high school, and got engaged right after graduation.
When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper?
Just last week! My nine-year-old daughter likes to leave notes on my pillow, and I write her back.
Where did you go on your first airplane ride?
Boston, Massachusetts from Sacramento, California when I was eight-years-old. I’ve wanted to go back ever since!
What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
The 20s, for sure! Mostly for the hats and the dresses.
What is your greatest adventure?
Parenthood. I have three children ages nine, six, and one, so life is chaotic and fun.
Where can readers find you?
INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | FACEBOOK
Ten Quotes from THE LOST GIRL OF ASTOR STREET
1. “I am many things, Detective Cassano, but safe isn’t one of them.”
2. “There’s only so much a man can do to disguise his true identity.”
3. “Grief is not weakness. And I would never accuse you of it, Piper.”
4. “My archenemies in this world are children, dogs, and my Home Economics teacher, so if we could please move faster.”
5. “You’re a force, for sure. A hurricane, really. But there’s a part of you that’s surprisingly tender. Mushy, even.”
6. “I’m a terrible dancer.”
“I don’t believe that.”
“I am. I always try to lead.”
Mariano huffs a laugh. “Now that, I believe.”
7.“Piper, my girl. To love anyone is to risk.”
8. “In a perfect world that’s how things would work. But this isn’t a perfect world. This is Chicago.”
9. “You said that you didn’t know any other way to play the game except to give it all. To leave it all on the field. That’s how I feel about Lydia. I don’t know how to do anything else but leave it all on the field.”
10. “Piper’s creativity blossoms when it comes to finding new ways to get herself in trouble.”
Lydia, who’s never broken any rules, except falling in love with the wrong boy. Lydia, who’s been Piper’s best friend since they were children. Lydia, who never even said good-bye.
Convinced the police are looking in all the wrong places, eighteen-year-old Piper Sail begins her own investigation in an attempt to solve the mystery of Lydia’s disappearance. With the reluctant help of a handsome young detective, Piper goes searching for answers in the dark underbelly of 1924 Chicago, determined to find Lydia at any cost.
When Piper discovers those answers might stem from the corruption strangling the city—and quite possibly lead back to the doors of her affluent neighborhood—she must decide how deep she’s willing to dig, how much she should reveal, and if she’s willing to risk her life of privilege for the sake of the truth.
From the glitzy homes of the elite to the mob-run streets of 1920s Chicago, Stephanie Morrill’s jazz-age mystery shows just how far a girl will go to save her friend.
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