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Friday, October 9, 2009

Chick Chat: Stacey Kade

Stacey Kade is the author of The Ghost and the Goth, coming summer 2010 from Disney Hyperion. For more information on Stacey and her book visit her website here.
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Did you always want to be an author? If so why? If not what did you want to be?

This will probably make me sound remarkably dumb, but when I was growing up, I never really thought about where books came from. I loved reading and telling stories of my own, but it didn't dawn on me for a long time that I could BE an author. My childhood ambition, therefore, was to be a librarian so I could get first dibs on all the new and interesting books. :) I also, at various times, aspired to be a psychologist and a casting agent, neither of which I pursued, but I can now see both of those as being part of the same motivation that drives me to write--understanding people, giving a face and a personality to words on a page.

Is being an author what you expected?

I'll be honest, when I started seriously writing and working toward publication about ten years ago, I had no idea what I was doing or what to expect! I had stories I wanted to tell and I hoped someone else would think they were worth sharing. I love what I do, and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to do it! The joy of a character whispering in your ear for the first time...I still delight in that, more than anything. The most surprising and pleasing part about being an author has been meeting other authors, finding friends among them and really enjoying that sense of community.

What was your road to publishing like?

All the advice suggests starting with short stories and articles to build up writing credits, but I just sort of jumped in with both feet. I wrote my first novel over the course of about two years. I had no idea what I was doing, so it took me a long time but I learned a lot. At the end, I decided I couldn't possibly send it out. I'd learned enough to recognize it wasn't publishable without a LOT of rewriting, and I had other ideas clamoring in my head. So, I started another book instead. Once that book was finished, it took another two years of rejection letters to find it a home. Then...my publisher closed! So, I had to start over again. I had three adult novels out (two science fiction romance and one mystery) under my "real" name with an independent publisher, and then last year, I signed with my fantastic agent, Laura Bradford, for this book, THE GHOST AND THE GOTH, and we sold to Disney-Hyperion. I am still so excited and thrilled!

What inspired you to write THE GHOST AND THE GOTH?

I love reading YA. LOVE it. And one day, when I was working on another unrelated book, a voice just kind of popped into my head (yep, sounds crazy, but I love it) and said in this really privileged and disgusted tone, "Just because I'm dead doesn't mean I can't have a life." Or something to that effect. I knew she was in high school, she was dead (but not a vampire or zombie) and she was one of those high school princess-type girls I never got along with. :) I was immediately intrigued, but had to finish my other book first!

Looking back on it now, I can see big influences from Mean Girls, particularly in the way Alona dies, and the classic John Hughes film, The Breakfast Club.

Most writers have a close friend and/or family member that gives them support and criticism. Do you have anyone like this in your life? If so how have they contributed to your writing?

My friend and mentor, Linnea Sinclair, has been invaluable to me, providing expert advice and a shoulder to cry on when needed. I also have a group of good friends, mostly from college, with a variety of backgrounds who read first drafts for me. One of them in particular, Ed, I rely on to help me fix my weak science/technical areas! My whole family--including all the various branches of it--has been very supportive, but my sister, Susan, has been a great help especially.

Many teens dream of becoming authors. What advice would you give to writing teens?

If this is something you really want, if you love writing, don't give up. EVER. Keep learning, keep trying, keep challenging yourself. Try all different kinds of writing until you find what suits you best. I wrote my first book (which is in a drawer, never to see the light of day!) in third person point of view, and on a dare to myself, I wrote the next one in first person point of view and found that I liked that better. Also, don't be afraid of trying and failing. I know that's easy advice to give and hard advice to follow, believe me! But if you don't try for what you want, you're definitely not going to get it. Surround yourself with people who believe in what you're trying to accomplish, and ignore the naysayers. :)

Would you rather see your book turned into a TV show or a movie?

I'd be excited either way, but if I had the choice, a movie. We're all big movie buffs in my family, and I cannot imagine what a thrill it must be to see people who once only existed in your head come to life on the big screen!

If you could cast anyone to play your characters what would your dream cast be?

Hmm, good question! I'm not sure. I've always pictured Will Killian as sort of a mix between a younger Cillian Murphy and a younger Tom Welling. Alona Dare is a mix of Hayden Pantierre (Heroes) and a younger Becki Newton (Amanda from Ugly Betty--nobody sneers like that woman and I love her for it!)

Besides writing and reading what else are you passionate about?

We have three rescued greyhounds at home. I would have more if I could! They're beautiful, smart, and gentle dogs who deserve good homes. I've recently taking up running again (ugh!) and I love taking them with me. The youngest, Pansy (her racing name was She Wears the Pants, isn't that hilarious?), is just two and loves to go bounding along beside me while I'm desperately trying to catch my breath. I also LOVE watching television and movies.

What are your favorite TV shows and/or movies?

Oh, so many! I loved Veronica Mars, especially the first season. I'm a HUGE science fiction geek (and proud of it), so I am still crying over the end of Battlestar Galactica this year. I adore The Big Bang Theory, too. True Blood, Psych, Burn Notice, Castle, How I Met Your Mother, Lost in Austen, Dollhouse, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, ...yes, I watch a lot of TV. Thank goodness for Tivo and DVDs. I'm also really excited for the reboot of "V," coming in the fall. Can't wait to see how that turns out. Movies...I could not possibly think of them all, but here are a few, in no particular order: Pride and Prejudice (the 1995 version with Keira Knightley), The Breakfast Club, Disturbia, GalaxyQuest, Ghostbusters, Star Wars (IV-VI), Never Been Kissed, Star Trek IV (the one with the whales), Serenity, Mean Girls, Sixteen Candles, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Replacements, The Matrix..the list goes on! We also enjoy going to see movies in the theater, so I've seen the new Star Trek movie twice (fabulous!) and the Hangover three times. :)

Are you working on anything new? If so, what and when can readers expect to see it in stores?

The Ghost and the Goth will be out in June 2010, so I'm still working on minor edits and such for that. But I'm also working on the sequel to The Ghost and the Goth, which is tentatively titled Princess Poltergeist. It's due out in 2011.

5 comments:

  1. Well, yeah, but Stacey teaches me things too. Like, "you have permission to write... um, less than perfect." ;)

    I never read YA until I critted Stacey's GHOST AND THE GOTH, and surprised myself by how much I totally loved the book and the genre. It's certainly not the stuff I read as a teen (back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth). Much edgier. I'm super excited for her book to come out in June. I know some of what she has planned for the rest of the books, as well as new projects, and it's amazing stuff.

    Of course I must note she did edits on GHOST in my kitchen in Florida. I have to dig out that photo. It must be the lucky kitchen--she sold it right after that. ;) ~Linnea

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  2. Hey Stacey! THE GHOST AND THE GOTH sounds like a great read. Can hardly wait until it hits the shelves. I certainly enjoyed your sci-fi books. They're on my keeper shelf next to Linnea's books.

    Hi Linnea, can't believe you let Stacey sell your "kitchen." :-) Got to watch those pronouns.

    Elysa

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  3. Yo Stacey,

    Woohooo! It's wonderful to hear that you are getting more published!
    Warm Hugs :~) The Ghost and the Goth is now on my wish list.

    Admiral Mikey (aka your graphic artist support anytime you need me)

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  4. I really enjoyed this interview! It's so interesting to read an author's journey and inspirations, etc. I'm definitely going to be on the lookout for The Ghost and The Goth next year - congratulations on getting published!!

    Ohh and I loved Veronica Mars too! Sucks they cancelled it :( I also watch How I Met Your Mother and even though I never watched the original, I'm excited for "V" after watching the promos! =)

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  5. Thanks, Jessica, for the interview! And thanks, everyone, for the lovely comments! :) Linnea, I loved working in your kitchen, looking out at the pool!

    @Brodie, I was pretty young when the original "V" was on, so I just watched it again on DVD and was shocked to see how well it held up. Other than laughably bad hair styles and special effects, of course! :)

    --Stacey Kade

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