Jacqueline West, Writer

Bestselling author of The Books of Elsewhere and Dreamers Often Lie

Release date approaching…

October 1, 2013    Tags: , , , , , , ,   

Just one week until STARRY-EYED hits shelves!  Kirkus really liked it:

Sixteen stories of performing are each paired with anecdotes about life behind the scenes and in front of the footlights.
Even a teen with only a pang of stage or screen hunger will be fascinated by this book, with its various accomplished contributors, from the introduction by Clay Aiken to stars from television shows such as Modern Family and Glee. The stories run a rich and varied emotional gamut… Each story is followed by a first-person anecdote by a noted performer, which is itself followed by a brief biography. Teens needn’t be star-struck to enjoy this collection, as under the hubbub of the theater world are themes that deal with common teenage issues such as insecurity, jealousy, the fear of coming out and young love.
Definitely worthy of applause. (Anthology. 12 & up)

You can read the whole review here, at least for now.

The school visit season is kicking into high gear.  Events are lined up in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Louisiana, and Missouri, with Tennessee and Illinois as additional possibilities. To find out where I’ll be, keep an eye on,and I’ll do my best to keep it up to date, I swear.

It’s October, my very favorite month of the year. It’s time to reread some of my very favorite books and rewatch some of my very favorite movies and listen to the fallen leaves whisper along the curbs. And later, there will be miniature Milky Ways and Twixes.  (Twixices? Twixi? Is Twix already plural?)  The only way this month could be better is if it lasted twice as long. And if Twixes were calorie-free.

Right now, I’m rereading this particular favorite book…
something-wicked new
…although it’s this cover, which was on the copy that I checked out from my middle school library twenty years ago, that left its mark on my mind for good.
something wicked hardcover

Now back to the copy-edits of STILL LIFE. Nearly done…


A glass of Dandelion Wine

June 7, 2012    Tags: , , , ,   

Ray Bradbury died yesterday.  The thought of him being gone followed me throughout the day, turning the whole world a different, darker color.   I never met him in person, but his work had such a profound impact on my life that I’m not sure I could separate it from myself now, from the way I think, the way I write, the way I look around me.

There’s the powerhouse that is Fahrenheit 451, of course, and the gorgeous nightmare of Something Wicked This Way Comes, and the classic Martian Chronicles.  “A Sound of Thunder” is still one of the most memorable short stories I’ve ever read, and “Zen in the Art of Writing” is packed with inspiration and wise advice.  But it was Dandelion Wine, which I first read when I was twelve, that turned me upside down.  The way it depicts the inner and outer worlds of a child growing up in a small Midwestern town (just like I was), and makes those worlds so rich with magic and danger and romance and wildness, was a revelation.  It showed me that everything–a new pair of running shoes, a jar of fireflies, an unusual flavor of ice cream, playing shadow tag, even mowing the lawn–was layered with life and meaning and possibility.  I reread it every summer, and when I’m done, I look around with brand new eyes.

Thank you for this, Mr. Bradbury.

I’m currently in the middle of week of school visits in Fairfax County, just south of Washington D.C.  (Eagle View and Laurel Hill: Thank you!  Union Mill and Fairfax Villa: I’ll see you soon!)  This means I get to visit with wonderful relatives and wander the city in between book events.  Here I am on the National Mall…


…and at the Hirshhorn Museum, about to be eaten by one of Ai Weiwei’s Zodiac Heads.

Yesterday afternoon, I stopped by Politics & Prose to sign their in-stock copies of The Shadows and Spellbound.  If you’re in the D.C. area looking for a signed book of your own, this is the place to find them (and you should stop in even if you don’t want my books, because the store is absolutely amazing).  While you’re there, you could pre-order The Second Spy.  Just 28 days to go…



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