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Jacqueline West, Writer

Bestselling author of The Books of Elsewhere and Dreamers Often Lie

Summer of the Workshops

May 4, 2016    Tags: , , , , ,   

Hello, hello, hello.

I can’t believe it, but DREAMERS OFTEN LIE has been out in the world for nearly a month now. (Haven’t read it yet? You can enter to win a signed hardcover over at Bookhounds YA — or you can make me extra happy, and ask for it at your local library or bookshop. And if you have already read it, please consider writing a review on Goodreads and/or Amazon. Especially if you actually liked it.)

Dreamers cover and petals

April and all of its attendant Shakespeare celebrations is over, but fun things are still turning up — like this piece from the New York Daily News, which includes DREAMERS in its list of new Bard-inspired books, and this article on Bustle, featuring 13 Shakespeare-inspired YA novels. It’s been a busy month online, but a strangely quiet one for real-life events. However, during this month and the next, things are REALLY going to kick into gear: Three school visits, two radio shows/podcasts, a book club visit, four writing workshops, a library festival, and–finally–some more bookstore events. Which are, of course, free and open to the public. Which means all of you are invited. Which means please come.

Upcoming public events (more info can be found on my appearance calendar, as always):

  • May 20: Authors After Hours, Valley Bookseller, Stillwater, MN. 6:45 p.m.
  • May 21: Reading, chatting, and signing DREAMERS OFTEN LIE, Fair Trade Books, Red Wing, MN. 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.
  • June 4: Hudson Area Library Summer Reading Kickoff, Hudson, WI. 9:00 – 12:00. MG/YA panel at 11:00 a.m.
  • June 11: First Annual “B-Fest” Teen Reading Festival: Barnes and Noble Galleria, Edina, MN. 1:00 p.m.
  • June 14 – 16: Minneapolis Young Writers Workshop (evening keynote speeches and book signings are open to the public; visit http://www.mplsyoungwritersworkshop.com for more)

And if you are a young writer in MN/western WI and you’d like to study with me, this summer is your chance. Upcoming workshops include:

  • June 14 – 16: Minneapolis Young Writers Workshop
  • June 23: Teen Writers Workshop, Fox Den Books, River Falls, WI. 3:00 – 5:00. Contact the store for details/to register.
  • June 28: Teen Writers Workshop, Dakota County Heritage Library, Lakeville, MN. 10:30 – 12:30.

I’ll also be visiting with the young writers in Red Wing Public Library’s Summer Writer’s Camp on June 29th. The Writer’s Camp is a two week program for grades 5 – 8 (sessions run from June 13 – 29), and I know past attendees have LOVED it. If you’re in the Red Wing area, check it out: http://redwing.lib.mn.us/summer-reading-2016/

 

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One Day More

April 4, 2016    Tags: , , , , , ,   

(Yes, that’s a Les Mis reference for all my fellow theatre nerds out there.)

So…DREAMERS OFTEN LIE will be released TOMORROW.
You can preorder it right now from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or better yet, you can request it at your favorite indie bookstore. Best of all, if you’re in the Twin Cities area, you can come to the release party at the Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul (6:30 p.m., Friday, April 8) and eat cake, play Shakespearean Mad Libs, listen to the baby’s animal sounds, and get a signed and personalized copy of your very own.

If you can’t make it to the release but want to know where I’ll be next, keep an eye on my events calendar; new things are being added all the time.

Speaking of new things: Reviews! Giveaways! Interviews! Guest posts! Lists! A battalion of links and blurbs to share…

  • The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books has reviewed DREAMERS, saying
    “West’s use of quotes from Shakespeare’s various plays is restrained but perfectly timed, and her allowance for the characters to go off script offers both moving and humorous moments… Shakespeare’s characters really shine as they come to life in the twenty-first century.” Thank you, BCCB.
  • The Minneapolis Star Tribune ran a review in their Sunday book section; you can read the whole thing here.
  • The blogs Book Stop Corner, Log Cabin Library, and Sharing Stories have all posted early reviews. (Thanks, everyone. If you’re a book blogger who has reviewed DREAMERS, feel free to send me a note pointing me in your direction.)
  • Teen Vogue has selected DREAMERS OFTEN LIE as one of its “Best YA Books of April”; check out the whole beautiful list here.
  • Adventures in YA Publishing is offering a giveaway of one signed hardcover copy. Read more and enter, and stay tuned for a full-length interview later this week…
  • Brenda of Log Cabin Library was also kind enough to host me last week. Read my guest post about moving between middle grade and YA here.

Now I shall say good night ’til it be morrow.

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Getting ready for DREAMERS OFTEN LIE

December 6, 2015    Tags: , , , ,   

So much stuff to quickly and excitedly share:

    • Last month, I attended the NCTE convention in Minneapolis, where I signed advance copies of DREAMERS OFTEN LIE, had fun at the Penguin/Nerdy Book Club cocktail party, and talked all things YA with teachers, librarians, and my amazing editor (Hi, Jess!). Here I am with the big DREAMERS poster that now lives in my home library and reminds me that this is all actually finally happening.

DREAMERS at NCTE

  • My husband/home tech support/web designer/human firewall has been busy designing a page for DREAMERS on my website. It’s got preordering info, Shakespearean links and references (including a list of all the quotes used within the book), a theatrical glossary, and more. And it’s pretty. Go look.
  • Jaye Stuart, the protagonist/star (she’d prefer that) of DREAMERS, is starting an Instagram account of her own. You can follow her at bluejaye.dramaqueen.
  • My spring calendar is quickly filling with more events, including the much loved and recently revived Books & Breakfast (Saturday, February 13th, from 9:00 – 12:00). Visit the site for a complete list of attending authors, registration info, and more.

There. Now off to make a fresh pot of coffee and decorate a Christmas tree.

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All Hallow’s Read Giveaway

October 30, 2014    Tags: , , ,   

I’m overdue for a tour recap, but this is just a mini-post to spread the word that over at my main Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jacqueline-West/112573782122159?ref=bookmarks ) between now and noon on Halloween, you can enter to win one of two signed paperback copies of THE STRANGERS, along with some creepy books of my choice.  Go forth and comment!  Happy All Hallow’s Read!

raven_all_hallows_read_poster_by_blablover5-d7xwiid (Poster via Introverted Wife.)

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One more day…

June 16, 2014    Tags: , , ,   

…before STILL LIFE is released.

Actually, it’s not even one day. It’s one evening, one night, and the sliver of morning before bookstores open their doors.

If you can’t wait that long, you can preorder it from your favorite bookseller (and IndieBound can help you find the closest shop: http://www.indiebound.org/indie-store-finder). Or, if you’re in my part of the world, you can come to Red Balloon in St. Paul at 6:30 on 6/17, Fox Den in River Falls, WI at 6:30 on 6/20, Valley Bookseller in Stillwater, MN at 2:00 on 6/21, or Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis at 7:00 on 6/21, to buy the book and get it signed by me. And I’ll be very happy to see you there.

Samuel Johnson said, “A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.”  And I 100% agree.  Even though I was done writing STILL LIFE months ago, this week is when it’s going to finally feel finished.  After tomorrow, people will be reading it.  People I don’t even know.  They’ll be turning the words into living pictures in their minds, and everything will have finally come to a close: the ideas traveling through paper and time and distance and transforming back into ideas again.  It’s a truly awesome thing.

The Pioneer Press just ran this wonderful piece on the series from beginning to end.

And Tor.com is hosting a giveaway of THE SHADOWS — comment between now and June 20th to win!

Lots of pictures, new links, and some more coherent thoughts to come.  Til then: Thank you for reading.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

 

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STARRY-EYED giveaway (and other Halloweeny goodness)

October 14, 2013    Tags: , , , , , , , ,   

October is my favorite month.  Sweaters.  Falling leaves.  Cider.  Pumpkin carving.  An excuse to read creepy books and watch creepy movies and scatter creepy things over every household surface.

Over at my Facebook page, I’m asking readers to share their own favorite things about October.  On Friday the 18th, I’ll pick a winning comment at random, and that winning comment-writer will receive a free signed copy of the new YA anthology STARRY-EYED (and I’m throwing in a signed ARC of THE STRANGERS too, just for fun).  Go forth and comment/share!

This is also the season of All Hallow’s Read

allhallowsread2(Supercool poster by Introverted Wife)

I’ll be in New Orleans over Halloween this year, thanks to the Louisiana Book Festival (which reminds me: Come see me talk at 1:30 on Saturday, November 2nd, at the Capitol Park Museum in Baton Rouge!), so I’m going to celebrate All Hallow’s Read a bit early by putting together a big box of Halloweeny books and passing them on to a nearby school, where I hope they’ll find their way into the hands of young readers who need or want them.  If I had enough money, I’d blanket the entire area with Ray Bradbury and Poe and James Howe books, all dropped from a Jack-O’-Lantern-shaped hot air balloon on spiderweb parachutes…

Maybe someday.

If you’re looking for some All Hallow’s Read books of your own to share, remember that you can catch me and THE BOOKS OF ELSEWHERE at the Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis at 1:00 on October 26th.

Here’s a lovely new review of THE STRANGERS at Charlotte’s Library.

And finally, here’s me, my mom, and our spiderweb cookies. October: I love you.

IMG_20131012_152005IMG_20131012_151844

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THE STRANGERS Giveaway Results

August 7, 2013    Tags: , , ,   

Thanks so much for sharing the stories of your favorite — and brilliant — Halloween costumes!  Reading them made my day.

The randomly selected winners were Taynia and Kim.  Once they email me with their addresses (jacqueline@jacquelinewest.com), the books will be signed and sent.

If you’re hoping to get a signature in a book of your own, keep your eye on my events calendar.  New events are being added all the time.

I’m currently digging into another round of revisions for Volume Five: STILL LIFE.  Can’t believe the series is nearly done…but also really (really REALLY) looking forward to what comes next.  More on that in the near future, I promise.

 

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A Very Merry Unbirthday

July 31, 2013    Tags: , , , , ,   

CONTEST ENTRY DETAILS BELOW

Yesterday was THE STRANGERS’s 2-week birthday.  I’ve been getting lots of wonderful notes from readers who’ve already finished it (and are tapping their feet impatiently for the next volume), which makes me feel happy and lucky and relieved.  I know I’ve said it before, but if you are one of those who has finished and enjoyed the book, I hope you’ll consider leaving a review or rating at Goodreads, Amazon, B&N.com, whatshouldireadnext.com or another book site.  That sort of response really helps.

And, for the second week in a row, VOLUME ONE: THE SHADOWS had made the SIBA bestseller list, where it has moved all the way up to #4!  (This may be the one and only time in my life when I’ll outrank Suzanne Collins.  I’ll take it.)

In celebration of these two crazy weeks, I’m offering two signed hardcover copies of THE BOOKS OF ELSEWHERE, VOLUME FOUR: THE STRANGERS, to be sent directly to the homes of two lucky winners and enjoyed (I hope) at their leisure.

Here’s how to enter:

As those of you who’ve read it know, THE STRANGERS begins at Halloween — Olive dresses up as a jabberwocky, Leopold is the Duke of Wellington, Harvey is the Hunchcat of Notre Dame, and so forth — so, in the comments for this entry, describe your own favorite Halloween costume.  On Wednesday, August 7 (one week from today), I’ll select two winning entries at random.

My own favorite Halloween costume was one I never got to wear.  In fourth grade, I was going to be Alice (from Alice in Wonderland, in case you know any other Alices).  I had a puffy blue pinafore and a white blouse and patent leather Mary Janes and a black velvet headband, and I even had a white rabbit puppet to carry in one arm.  And then, on Halloween morning, I got the stomach flu.  It was a school day, but I soldiered on, throwing up twice in the girls’ bathroom without letting anyone know — and I was the kind of kid who would totter dramatically down the hall to the nurse’s office at the onset of an imaginary headache at least once a week, so this was a genuine struggle — because if I endured to the end of the school day, I could finally put on my costume for the class party.  In the end, I didn’t quite make it.  A teacher noticed my face, which I’m sure had the color and texture of a mushroom by then, and my mother came to pick me up half an hour before the party began.  I spent the rest of that Halloween in my bedroom, so sound asleep that I didn’t even hear the friends and neighbors ringing our doorbell and shouting “Trick-or-Treat.”  Sigh…

Your turn.

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Wintry Mix

January 29, 2013    Tags: , , , , ,   

Freezing rain and fog here in Minnesota, with the roads so treacherous that schools are closed. I’d much rather have an actual blizzard…but a flurry of words and links and news will have to do.

First things first: The advance reading copies of The Books of Elsewhere, Volume Four: The Strangers have arrived at my house in their excitingly heavy box!  If you (or someone you know) is a book blogger or reviewer, and you would like an ARC of The Strangers, contact me in the comments or email me at jacqueline@jacquelinewest.com.  Obviously, quantities are limited, but I will guarantee a copy for the first three reviewer-respondents.

(For now, this offer is for bloggers/reviewers only.  I will very likely do a giveaway for readers in a few more weeks, so stay tuned!)

Speaking of book bloggers, two great reviews of The Second Spy appeared on Book Nut and Book ‘Em! Huge thanks to everyone who is spreading the word in this way.

I learned that The Second Spy was nominated for the 2012 Cybils Awards, as well as for the Minnesota Book Awards.  It isn’t a finalist for either, but both awards have been very kind to The Books of Elsewhere in the past, and truly fantastic books are on both lists.

The Second Spy also got a mention (and its picture!) in Publishers Weekly, in an article on holiday book sales.

My spring travel schedule is about to get really crazy, with more events being added all the time.   Keep an eye on http://jacquelinewest.com/appearance-calendar.php, if you’re interested.  This weekend, I’m off to booksALIVE! in Panama City, Florida.  So long, freezing rain.  Hello, Emerald Coast.

 

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Lizard-Cats and Olive Costumes (Happy Halloween!)

October 31, 2012    Tags: , , , ,   

Behold: This year’s jack-o-lanterns.  We carved them with friends on Saturday, and mine is already starting to look a bit backward-leaning and droopy (it’s the one that appears to depict a cat crossed with a chubby lizard), but Ryan’s creepy face just gets creepier as it shrivels.

If anyone’s looking for a last-minute literary costume, check out Books Together.  There you’ll find step-by-step instructions for assembling your own Olive Dunwoody costume, and links to several other book-based costume ideas.  (You can also enter to win a set of seven fantastic Halloweeny books published by Penguin, including The Shadows!  Go!  Go NOW!)

Speaking of giveaways: the Facebook All Hallow’s Read giveaway ended this morning, and I’ve contacted the randomly selected winner.  (I asked entrants to name the fictional character they’d least like to encounter in real life, and there were a slew of great responses: multiple mentions of Cthulu and Count Olaf, as well as votes for Randall Flagg of Stephen King creation, Commander Woundwart from Watership Down, Eric Cartman (I agree–he’s terrifying), and Snooki.)  Thanks, everyone.

Poetry news:  My poem, “Wendigo in the 21st Century,” was a finalist for this year’s SFPA poetry contest.  You can read the winners and see the full list here.  The SFPA is also hosting a Halloween poetry reading; visit their Halloween page to hear me reading my Rhysling-nominated poem, “Escaping the Dawn” or to listen to other great poems and poets.

And, finally, my super-cool new t-shirt:

(Here’s the local paper’s write-up.)  Two days until showtime…

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