I’m Gwen Stephens, writer, runner, elementary schoolteacher-turned-“lunch lady” (yeah, really), wife of the funniest guy I know, and mom to a ‘tween and young teen. I started blogging at The 4 A.M. Writer in 2012 to connect with others chasing the same crazy obsession, and what a rewarding journey it’s been.
Apart from a 5-year stretch my family and I spent in Europe, I’ve lived in the Great Lakes region of the U.S. my whole life. For the past 23 years, I’ve been proud to call Chicago my hometown. The Windy City, a place known for its ferocious winters, unscrupulous politicians, and deep dish pizza. I suppose we have a little history of organized crime here, too. But the tenacity of my people makes this city what it is — a progressive, sophisticated melting pot with down-to-earth Midwestern values.
As the name of my blog suggests, my days begin in the early morning hours with a steaming cup of coffee, my Mac, and a host of imaginary friends. Through lots of trial and error, I’ve discovered I feel most at home writing stories about ‘tweens and teens. Perhaps years of working in a school environment helps the writing come naturally, albeit not easily. I believe writing is a craft that’s never mastered. There’s always room to improve and something new to learn, but that may be the greatest joy of this art.
Thank you, Jill, for inviting me here today, and for the chance to consider my answers to this engaging mix of questions.
If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?
I’d want to meet the so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, the men who framed the Declaration of Independence. They were brave and radical thinkers who challenged the most powerful monarchy on Earth and declared independence from it. How cool is that?
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Nothing within the scope of saving the world or anything. I’d just learn to read faster. There are so many good books waiting to be read, and I’m a painfully slow reader.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Without a doubt, moving to a foreign country at 7 months pregnant with my first child. Newly unemployed on a new continent, in a new culture, as a new mother, trying to learn a new language. Hmm…how many major life changes is that all at once?
If you could visit any place in the entire world, where would it be?
The islands of the South Pacific. So completely different from my corner of the world.
What do you think the greatest invention has been?
Electricity. Imagine the impact on our modern civilization if it suddenly ceased to exist.
Thanks for taking the spotlight, Gwen! I’m with you, living in the South Pacific would be heavenly. Up next week is Hollis Hildebrand-Mills.