Author Interview: Stasia Kehoe

Friday, October 7, 2011

Stasia Kehoe
Website / Blog / Twitter

  • Audition
When high school junior Sara wins a coveted scholarship to study ballet, she must sacrifice everything for her new life as a professional dancer-in-training. Living in a strange city with a host family, she's deeply lonely-until she falls into the arms of Remington, a choreographer in his early twenties. At first, she loves being Rem's muse, but as she discovers a surprising passion for writing, she begins to question whether she's chosen the right path. Is Rem using her, or is it the other way around? And is dancing still her dream, or does she need something more? This debut novel in verse is as intense and romantic as it is eloquent. 

Describe your book in 5 words or less.

The audition is only the first step... (Okay, that's seven words. Sorry. Hard question!)

What has your road to publication been like?

When I tell the short-form of the story--queried short-list of agents on a Monday, had four offers of representation within a week, agent with whom I signed sold my book in four days--people tell me that my road to publication has been ridiculously easy. The long-form involves decades of writing my own fiction at night while working by day for trade publishers, including Random House and currently Simon & Schuster. It involves attending many SCBWI conferences, joining critique groups, taking playwriting classes (highly recommend these for honing dialogue), and writing countless manuscripts that will never see the light of day. I think the first turning point for my writing came when I really began to grasp the concept of revision and found the discipline to stick with one story through MANY drafts. The second turning point was summoning up the courage to submit stuff. So, you know, my journey took two weeks plus twenty years!

The cover is gorgeous! What was your reaction when seeing it for the first time?

Before the book design process began, I had been living with Sara and Remington for a long time, watching them dance in my imagination. So that first moment of seeing a photograph of ACTUAL PEOPLE was very surreal. Honestly, the guy on the cover was much hotter than the Rem I envisioned (seriously, where did they find him?)! Once I caught my breath, though, I really liked the cover--especially the tension between the two characters and the way the designer floated bits of verse behind the photographic image.

What do you hope to accomplish during your time as a writer?

All I hope is that I have the opportunity to write more novels and that I give the process my best effort every day. The rest of it, honestly, is out of my hands.

What's something surprising about yourself that most people wouldn't think was true?

As a teen, I proclaimed that I would never marry, never have kids, and would live only for art. My husband and I just celebrated our nineteenth wedding anniversary surrounded by our four awesome kids, so I imagine folks who know me now would find this surprising. Lesson: Stay open-minded about your future and if a cute guy from your acting class invites you out for a drink, prepare to revise proclamations!

If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what book would you choose? Why?

I love to read plays, so I would choose Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. Its theme--the relationship between artist and subject--fascinates me. It is one of the things I wanted to explore in AUDITION. I think it's cool that Shaw wrote a bunch of different endings to Pygmalion (as a now-chronic reviser, I totally get that). The play was also made into a musical, My Fair Lady, so (if no one's around to listen) I can sing the story, too!

Is there anything you would like to tell your readers?

For me, a novel comes to life in the interaction between writer and reader. The journey from the printed page through the eyes (or ears or fingertips) to the brain is eternally individual, unique and special. The narrative is a product of my words and the reader's personal experience. So, thank you for all that you bring to Audition by reading it!

Thanks Stasia!!



STASIA WARD KEHOE grew up dancing and performing on stages from New Hampshire to Washington, DC. She now writes books for young adults and choreographs the occasional musical.


OCTOBER 13 from 8:30 - 10 PM
Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Nightcapper Event
Holiday Inn Portland Airport, Portland, OR

OCTOBER 18 at 6 PM
AUDITION Launch Party at B&N Woodinville, WA!

OCTOBER 20 at 5 PM
Stages on Pages Book Tour Kicks off its California at Mrs. Nelson's Book & Toy Shop, La Verne, CA

October 22 at 2 PM
Stages on Pages Book Tour stops at Barnes & Noble Manhattan Beach, CA

OCTOBER 23 at 2 PM
Stages on Pages Book Tour stops at Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, CA

OCTOBER 26 at 7 PM
SCBWI Fall Inside Story at Sunset Hill Community Association, Ballard, WA
Meet lots of Western Washington authors and learn the stories behind their books!

November 3 at 7 PM
Stages on Pages touches down in the Pacific NW at The Secret Garden Bookshop, Seattle, WA

November 4 at 4 PM
Stages on Pages Book Tour stops at Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA

November 5 at 4 PM
Stages on Pages Book Tour stops at Orca Books, Olympia, WA

November 6 at 2 PM
Stages on Pages Book Tour stops at A Children's Place Bookstore in Portland, OR

November 10 at 6 PM
Stages on Pages Book Tour stops at Books of Wonder, New York, NY

November 11 at 4 pm
Stages on Pages Book Tour stops at The Voracious Reader, Larchmont, NY

November 12
Stages on Pages Book Tour stops at Dolphin Bookshop, Port Washington, NY

November 13 at 4 PM
Stages on Pages Book Tour stops at Oblong Books & Music, Rhinebeck, NY

November 15
Gibson's Bookstore, Concord, NY, with Rosanne Parry

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