Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to welcome Stacy DeKeyser to our Friday Spotlight. DeKeyser, one of our guests for our Carnival of Children’s Authors and Illustrators, is the author of ONE WITCH AT A TIME and four other books for kids. Her books have been listed among the Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best, the Bank Street College Best Books of the Year, Amazon Editors’ Picks, KIRKUS REVIEW’s New and Notable Books, and state award lists in Utah, Missouri, and South Dakota. She lives in Connecticut.
Thank you very much for joining us, Stacy! For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write? What can readers expect from your work?
I write for upper elementary and middle school kids. My latest two books are re-imagined folk and fairy tales: The Brixen Witch is my version of the Pied Piper legend, and One Witch at a Time is “Jack and the Beanstalk.” I like to call my books “the unabridged versions” of these old stories. Readers can expect fast-paced adventure and characters they will fall in love with.
What character did you love or hate the most while writing? And why?
I love all my characters in One Witch at a Time, but Susanna Louisa really surprised me. She grew up a lot as the story progressed, which was something I didn’t really plan. It was one of those things I could only learn by sitting down and writing the story.
What draws you to the particular genre or style that you write? What do you think draws readers to these kinds of books?
I love writing re-imagined fairy tales, because to me they have so many unanswered questions or lapses in logic. For example, why is Jack smart enough to outwit a giant, but dumb enough to trade an entire cow for a handful of dried beans? So I wrote my own version, to fill in the blanks and discover the rich layers that are lurking under the surface of these classic stories.
What is your favorite part of being a writer? Of the whole writing and publishing process? What do you think has been your greatest lesson in the journey thus far?
I love every single bit of it. Every new book is a new challenge, which is scary but exciting too. I love writing a new chapter, and finding out what happens next. Sometimes I’m really surprised. Greatest lesson: Nothing will happen in my writing career if I don’t sit down and make it happen.
Writers very often have furry or feathered or otherwise non-human companions to “help” them through their work. Do you? What do you have? How do they “help” (or, “not-help”) with your writing?
My dog Scout decorates my office with her toys, and she takes me for a walk every day, so I can get fresh air and exercise, as well as think through a story problem and look for birds and chase squirrels. (Well, somebody chases squirrels.)
Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)
Anywhere books are sold, in stores or online. If you don’t see it on the shelf, the bookseller can order it for you and have it delivered to your home.
How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?
Lots of ways!
At my website: stacydekeyser.com
Facebook: Stacy DeKeyser Writes for Kids
Thank you again for joining us, Stacy! We look forward to having you in person at 65 James Street this Saturday, April 11, for our Carnival of Children’s Authors and Illustrators.