Jacqueline West, Writer

Bestselling author and poet

Frequently Asked Questions

Photo of author Jacqueline West

Where can I buy your books?
Lots of places! You can ask your local bookstore to get them if they don’t already have them on the shelves, or you can order them online from the independent bookseller of your choice (check out to find options). You can also order them from, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Google Play, or Amazon,. Audiobooks are also available via Audible, Amazon, and Apple iTunes. Signed copies are available for online order from Rivertown Games.

Will you sign my book?
Yes, I most certainly will. Ways you can get signed copies of my books:

- Come to an event! You can find a schedule of upcoming appearances on my website, under Events/Schools. I'll happily sign and personalize just-purchased or much-loved copies.

-Purchase a copy online from Red Wing, Minnesota store Rivertown Games.

-You can contact me via email ( and we may be able to make arrangements to send/return a book by postal mail.

Will you visit my school/library/bookstore/house?
Your house…probably not. Unless you kidnap me. (Please don't kidnap me.) Your school/library/store: maybe!

I love visiting with readers, and I frequently give talks/readings/writing workshops at schools and libraries. If you are a young reader, please ask your teachers, librarians, or administrators to get in touch with me if they are interested in arranging a visit. If you are a teacher, librarian, administrator, or bookseller, feel free to send me an email. Check the Events/Schools page for more information

Will you read my book/short story/screenplay/epic poem involving dragons, ballerinas, and lasers?
I wish I could, and I really love dragons and ballerinas, but I just don’t have time to read and respond to other writers’ work the way it deserves. Joining a critique group, taking a creative writing class, or attending in-person or online writers' workshops would probably be far more helpful anyway, and a quick online search should give you lots and lots of leads.

Can I send you an actual, old-fashioned, on-paper letter/drawing/collage/other wonderful creative thing?
I love getting actual mail!  You can send it to me at:
Jacqueline West
P.O. Box 204
Red Wing, MN  55066
--Or you can share it with me online. Check out the Contact page for more info.

What's your favorite book?
Ooh, I have far too many favorite books to name just one. I'll give you a list of somefavorites instead.
For young readers:

- The Bunnicula series by James Howe
- The Calvin and Hobbes collections by Bill Watterson
- The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
- Everything that I've read by Eva Ibbotson (Which Witch? might be my favorite)
- Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes
- The Girl and the Ghost by Hanna Alkaf
- The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
- The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson
- Everything by Frances Hardinge

For adults:
Carmen Maria Machado, Shirley Jackson, Neil Gaiman, Kelly Link, Hanif Abduraqqib, Ray Bradbury, Poppy Z. Brite, Kurt Vonnegut

For writers:
- Stephen King's On Writing
- Ray Bradbury's Zen in the Art of Writing
- All of Annie Dillard, especially The Writing Life
- The Poet’s Companion by Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux

Where did you get the idea for THE BOOKS OF ELSEWHERE?
There was this strange old house in my hometown that my bus used to pass on the way to middle school.  It was three stories tall and more than a hundred years old, with peeling paint and windows that were always dark.  The man who lived in it was an inventor, so the overgrown lawn was full of his weird, wind-powered contraptions. I used to look out the school bus window and imagine what life inside an old, haunted-looking house full of modern, scientific people would be like—and eventually, those daydreams turned into the Dunwoodys and the old stone house on Linden Street. 

Are you hard of hearing, like Van from THE COLLECTORS?
Van, the main character in THE COLLECTORS and A STORM OF WISHES, identifies as hard of hearing rather than deaf (or Deaf, meaning part of the Deaf community). He attends mainstream schools and communicates in spoken English rather than ASL.
Like a lot of people, I have mild hearing loss. Many of the things that Van experiences I have also experienced. However, I didn’t grow up with hearing impairment, I don’t wear hearing aids, and my hearing loss is less profound than my character’s. While writing these books, I relied on research, expert readers, and input from lots of DHH students and teachers who were kind enough to share their insights with me. I’ll be grateful to them forever.

Is the town (and the library) in LONG LOST a real place?
Nope! Lost Lake, Massachusetts, is made up—although it was inspired in part by several small New England towns I’ve visited. Its fabulous library, which is housed in the mansion of a now-dead town heiress, is imaginary too (unfortunately!). However, there are libraries throughout the US that are or were based in incredible mansions, including the Zona Gale Memorial Library in Portage, WI and the public library of Weehawken, NJ.

Contact Jacqueline:   Email   •      •      •      •   Mail

© Jacqueline West