Jacqueline West, Writer

Bestselling author of The Books of Elsewhere and Dreamers Often Lie

Happy book birthday to A STORM OF WISHES (Collectors 2)

October 22, 2019    Tags: , , , , , , ,   

Today marks the release of my tenth book. TENTH. That number feels totally unreal (…like my age, and the dwindling number of days before Baby #2 arrives). But mostly it makes me feel aware of how lucky I am. To everybody who has ever read one of my books, or who has shared them with other readers: thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you times ten.

(The cover!! Thank you, Diana Sudyka!)

If you’re in/near Minnesota, you could come and celebrate with me in person: Tonight — October 22 — at 6:30, I’ll be at Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul for the official release party. And on Saturday, Oct. 26, at 1:00pm, the Red Wing Public Library is hosting me for a hometown book celebration, complete with cookies, a book raffle, and make-your-own bottled wishes. Other than a few last school and Skype visits, this is it before baby hibernation begins. Whew.

If you can’t join me at a real-life party, you can drop in on the Book Birthday Bash hosted by fellow Spooky MG author Samantha M. Clark. Hear where I’d host the perfect imaginary party for A STORM OF WISHES, what party favors would be provided, and enter a giveaway for a signed copy!

More news to come. For now, thank you again. And again and again.


THE COLLECTORS gets ready to hatch, a giveaway, and my next YA…

August 1, 2018    Tags: , , , , ,   

Just over two months until THE COLLECTORS arrives.

The final weeks of book gestation are some of the weirdest and longest. It’s less like having a baby than laying an egg (I imagine): You’ve done all the work, and then you just have to sit there and worry and try not to lose your mind, and then, FINALLY, out hatches this thing that only sort of feels like yours, because it’s been outside of you for so long.

Now it belongs to itself. And to readers.

And reviewers.

This might be the hardest part of all: when the reviews start coming in. Luckily, the couple that I’ve seen so far have been extremely nice. Booklist called it “a brilliant fantasy adventure exploring the consequences of getting what you wish for.” And according to Kirkus, the most nervous-making reviewer of all, “Readers may not wish to leave this magical world.”

So that’s pretty great.

Speaking of reviews, the book is up and running over at Goodreads, where you can add it to your to-read list (please), review it (once you’ve read it, obviously), and enter a giveaway for one of five advance copies (do it do it do it):

Tour details are still being finalized, but I can share one big piece of news: I’ll be a guest at this year’s Tweens Read Festival! It will be held on Saturday October 13, in Houston, Texas, and this year’s line-up is incredible. I feel the usual mixture of honored and sheepish to be included. 🙂 Lots more info here:

I’m planning to host a special giveaway of my own via Instagram in the near future, so if you’re not already following me there — jacqueline.west.writes — you might want to change that.

Finally, some big big news: My next YA novel, a modern-day Minnesotan retelling of the guitarist-selling-his-soul-to-the-devil legend, is coming next summer. It’s going to be called LAST THINGS, and honestly, I have never been more excited about anything that I’ve written.

Check out the Publishers Weekly announcement:


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 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:



One Day More

April 4, 2016    Tags: , , , , , ,   

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

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.


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.


  • 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.


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 ( ) 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.)


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: 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 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.



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.



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 (, 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.



A Very Merry Unbirthday

July 31, 2013    Tags: , , , , ,   


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&, 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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