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Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | Writing Chapter Books: Interview & Cover Reveal with Stephanie Faris

Writing Chapter Books: Interview & Cover Reveal with Stephanie Faris

Stephanie FarisToday I’m helping Stephanie Faris celebrate the cover reveal for the third book in her Piper Morgan chapter book series. What’s fascinating to me is that this cover reveal is happening before the first two books are even released — which led to me having a few questions about the world of chapter book publication. This is outside my realm of experience. Luckily, Stephanie was willing to enlighten us!


  1. Hi, Stephanie! Tell us about your published books and your upcoming releases.

I have two middle grade books with Simon & Schuster’s Aladdin M!x line, 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses. Piper Morgan is a four-book series and it’s my first chapter book series.

  1. Who is Piper Morgan?

Piper Morgan is an eight-year-old girl who lives with her single mom. When her mom loses her job, she accepts temporary work that has her leaving home behind to travel. This means Piper gets to hang out with her mom as she works with a circus, a school, an animal rescue shelter, and at a pool and spa store.PiperMorgan bk1

  1. I see that this series is with the same publisher as your last two books. Did the series idea come from you or from them?

I owe my amazing agent a big thanks for letting me know publishers were looking for chapter books a couple of years ago. After reading every single Junie B. Jones and Magic Tree House book, I came up with the idea of a precocious young girl who gets to go on extraordinary adventures.

  1. The first two Piper Morgan books come out together in August. Piper Morgan to the Rescue comes out in November. What is the strategy behind these release dates, and when does the fourth book come out?

Chapter books often come out close together, since children like to be able to read as many as possible in a series. I’m sure even August to November isn’t fast enough for some kids! I believe the strategy behind books one and two releasing the same day is that many kids/parents will buy both books together. I know when I sign at events, kids tend to often buy both of my middle grade books together and they aren’t even a series! The fourth book started as the third, actually—but that book is set in a pool and spa store. The publisher moved it to spring, when minds are more likely to be on swimming, and moved Piper Morgan to the Rescue up to November, making that one book number three.Piper Morgan bk2

  1. Tell us about writing chapter books. How is it different from MG?

The age difference is huge. The books are much shorter—around 8,000 words for each—and the writing is far younger. Eight-year-olds obviously have less sophisticated vocabularies than 12-year-olds, but I also have to keep in mind that children as young as five or six could be reading these books and try not to overcomplicate the way I describe things.

  1. What’s next for you?

Good question! I have a middle grade under consideration, so fingers crossed on that one! I have an idea for a middle grade series, but I’m having a hard time getting a complex issue to fit into a fun storyline. So I’ll be twisting my brain into knots on that one for a while.


And now for the cover reveal …

Piper Morgan bk 3

Piper Morgan to the Rescue: Piper is super excited to help out at Bark Street, a local animal shelter in town. Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by adorable puppies and dogs all day? And when Piper sees Taffy, the cutest dog she has ever seen, Piper is determined to find a way to bring Taffy home. But it won’t be easy—especially when she finds out someone else wants to make Taffy a part of their family, too!

Congratulations, Stephanie, on all three of these adorable covers!

Below you will find a Rafflecopter giveaway for an ARC of Piper Morgan Joins the Circus. And if you don’t already know and follow Stephanie, you can find her at all these places.






a Rafflecopter giveaway

29 Responses to Writing Chapter Books: Interview & Cover Reveal with Stephanie Faris

  1. Two books released on the same day – that is just wild.

    • They’re only 40 (manuscript) pages each, so not too hard to read. Even the revisions haven’t been too bad since even together, two books are half the length of one of my middle grades–and those are only 40,000 words!

  2. Awesome how Stephanie’s agent knew her publisher was looking for this type of book. Congrats on her new cover!

  3. mshatch says:

    Congratulations to Stephanie 🙂

  4. Tiana Smith says:

    They look adorable 🙂

  5. Stephanie’s covers are always so colorful and fresh! Congrats to her on this one.

  6. Ann Bennett says:

    I know Piper Morgan is a fun read. Great name for a character and the illustrations are so pretty.

  7. Your agent is sharp. I love her already. The cover is so beautiful and thanks Steph for giving us a peek into the MG and Chapter book writing world.

  8. That is really fascinating, but I totally get the buying both books at once. When I was a kid and I liked a series, I just hang out in the library and read them all. 🙂

  9. I’m so happy for you! The books look great, and it seems you had a lot of fun writing them. I’m sure they are going to do very well. 🙂

  10. Hilary says:

    Hi Dianne and Stephanie – this is great .. and shows what can be done. So pleased for you. The series idea makes sense … good luck with all your books – cheers Hilary

  11. Anna says:

    I’m so excited for you Stephanie. Best of luck in your latest adventure. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  12. It’s such a super cute series and when my baby gets a little older, it’s one I’ll have to pick up for her. Yay!

  13. OMGOODness! Your books are adorable! I love the last one. Too cute!

  14. Robin says:

    I had no idea what Chapter Books were, either, so thank you for the enlightenment! Congrats Stephanie!!!

    I also read your previous post. It made me smile. Remember when Charlie Brown would say he heard a cookie calling him? I think that story is your cookie. So, did you go back to the old WiP and rework it???

  15. Interesting – I’ve heard of chapter books and recognized them as the sort of stuff I read when I was younger, but I hadn’t given any thought to how differently they were handled on the publishing end. Getting to release two books at once does seem very cool, though. ^_^

  16. The covers are adorable, and this sounds like a fun series for kids to read.(And for Stephanie to write!) I must admit; I agree with the kiddies. I don’t like having to wait a looooooong time for sequels to come out, either. 🙂