Author Revealed

About Stephanie Burgis

Q. Previous occupations

A. I've been an English language teacher in a Viennese high school, a temporary assistant in a Senatorial office, and a web editor for an English opera company.

Q. Favorite job

A. Writing is definitely my very favorite job.

Q. High school and/or college

A. I went to East Lansing High School in East Lansing, Michigan; Michigan State University and Oberlin College Conservatory of Music for my Bachelor's of Music degree; and the University of Pittsburgh for my Master's degree in music history. I also spent a year studying at the University of Vienna in Austria as a Fulbright Scholar.

Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?

A. Mozart (especially "The Marriage of Figaro", which is a fabulous romantic comedy)

Q. Favorite movie

A. Sense & Sensibility (the Emma Thompson version) - I've watched it so many times!

Q. Favorite television show

A. Doctor Who

Revealing Questions

Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?

A. Thousands of books, three countries, never enough bookshelves!

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. Be kind, and don't take yourself too seriously.

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?

A. Sitting on the grass inside a gorgeous castle ruin with my husband, baby, and dog. History and love - what a perfect combination. :)

Q. What’s your greatest fear?

A. Snakes

Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

A. Sitting in a café in Vienna, drinking coffee and eating apfelstrudel.

Q. With whom in history do you most identify?

A. I can't say I identify with her - that would definitely count as hubris! - but I really admire Jane Austen.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

A. Elizabeth Peters is my favorite living writer, and a wonderful example of someone who's had a long & fabulous writing career.

Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?

A. "like" and "oh, well"

Q. What do you regret most?

A. Wasting too much time worrying about the future instead of enjoying the present.

Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

A. The ability to draw - sadly I'm totally incompetent at art.

Q. What is your greatest achievement?

A. Becoming a published writer (which was always my greatest dream).

Q. What’s your greatest flaw?

A. Perfectionism, which leads to great stress and self-doubt.

Q. What’s your best quality?

A. I had to ask my husband for suggestions on this one. He said, "being genuinely caring"...

Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?

A. I'd love to be a border collie puppy, totally playful and free from care!

Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?

A. My addiction to books - we have thousands in the house, always overspilling the bookcases!

Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

A. Amelia Peabody

Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?

A. The Master Criminal (from the Amelia Peabody series)

Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?

A. If I could meet any of the suffragettes who won women the vote through their bravery and stubbornness, I would love to be able to thank them. I think of them every time I vote in an election.

Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?

A. I grind my teeth whenever people make sweeping generalizations about people from other countries.

Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?

A. Being a mom to my wonderful baby son.

Q. What’s your fantasy profession?

A. Writer - so I'm very lucky! :)

Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?

A. Kindness, a sense of humor, and compassion

Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?

A. Garlicky macaroni & cheese

Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?

A. Adam & the Ants's "Stand and Deliver" (the theme song for A Most Improper Magick!); Hedningarna's "Räven" ("Foxwoman"); KT Tunstall's "Suddenly I See"; Hayley Westenra's "River of Dreams"; Mika's "Grace Kelly"