Today I am so pleased to have Stasia Ward Kehoe, author of the YA novel Audition, stop by for a round of 5 questions. I loved Audition, Kehoe’s debut YA novel about a young ballerina. Stick around after the interview to read more about Audition and to learn about a great contest Stasia is hosting over at her blog!
5 Questions With Stasia Ward Kehoe, Author of Audition
WRW: Audition is a unique YA novel because it is written in verse. When reading Audition, I was blown away by the intensity the verse form added to the story. Was it hard to stick to the verse format? Do you think you will write your next project in verse form?
Stasia: I have always loved reading and writing poetry but Audition was the first novel I tried to write in verse. I chose to do so because I felt it would be interesting to use a lyrical writing form, verse, to try to capture the beauty and rhythms of ballet. The challenge in writing verse is not to lapse into simple, split-line prose and to find the right images, the right metaphors to convey things that, in prose, you might choose to just quickly describe. It requires a great deal of discipline, not unlike ballet itself. Regarding my next project, I love writing in verse but I am not sure that it is the right form choice for every story. I have written my current w-i-p in both prose and verse, so basically I’ve written two complete, separate novels with the same characters. Guess I’m a glutton for punishment! (I hope both WIP’s get published!-WRW)
WRW: One of my favorite things about Audition was that I learned so much about the technical aspects of ballet that I didn’t know before reading the book. I know that you studied dance throughout your youth. Did you always know that you would one day write a book that takes place in the ballet world?
Stasia: I had no idea that I’d write a book about dancing. But, I must admit, I very much enjoyed writing in that space. I feel that I can bring some personal knowledge and create an authentic ballet world that, I hope, is accessible to non-dancers, too.
WRW: I grew attached to Sara, her friends Bess and Bonnie, and the Medrano family while reading Audition. Do you think you will ever revisit any of the characters in a future project or follow-up novel?
Stasia: I’m delighted that you connected with the characters! I’m working on something totally new right now, and have no plans to write about them again. But thanks for asking!
WRW: I read that Audition is your debut novel. How much time passed between completing the manuscript and publication? What is something you learned during the publication process that will help you next time around?
Stasia: While I had very good, quick luck getting an agent and a book deal, I had been writing for almost twenty years before I found the courage to properly submit my stuff, to respond effectively to revision, and to be ready to jump into the craziness that is book publication. And, oh my goodness, I have learned so much. I think the most important thing is to really think hard about whom you want to be as a writer and how you want to participate in the book community. If you feel solid about this, the journey feels a lot less arduous.
WRW: What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Stasia: Don’t be afraid to be brutally honest in your writing. Write until you get the shivers. Put it all on the page. You don’t have to publish everything you write but typing your guts onto paper will help you realize if this business is really for you—and what you can do if you take big risks! (I love the phrase “typing your guts onto paper.” It’s especially accurate when writing about intense themes like the ones in Audition! – WRW)
Thanks so much for letting me stop by, Mandy!
Thank you for stopping by Stasia! I can’t wait to read what you write next!!
About Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe: When high school junior Sara wins a coveted scholarship to study ballet, she must sacrifice everything for her new life as a professional dancer-in-training. Living in a strange city with a host family, she’s deeply lonely-until she falls into the arms of Remington, a choreographer in his early twenties. At first, she loves being Rem’s muse, but as she discovers a surprising passion for writing, she begins to question whether she’s chosen the right path. Is Rem using her, or is it the other way around? And is dancing still her dream, or does she need something more? This debut novel in verse is as intense and romantic as it is eloquent. (Summary provided by Viking.)
Buy The Book: Amazon
Click here to read my review of Audition and to watch the book trailer!
*Super Awesome Contest Alert!* Click here to enter a giveaway that Stasia is hosting on her blog. You could win a signed copy of AUDITION, one of three ballerina swag packs (arm warmers, sticky notes, signed bookmarks), or one of 3 signed Audition posters. Enter up to once a day (each completed form counts as one entry but you can earn extra entry points below). For every 50 entries, ANOTHER PRIZE will added. Updates on FB at “Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe” and on Twitter @swkehoe. Contest runs 10/1-30/11.
Make sure you check out all of the stops on the Audition blog tour!
OCTOBER 1 Eve’s Fan Garden
OCTOBER 3 Good Books and Good Wine
OCTOBER 4 YA Bliss and Arts in YA Feature week at The Page Turners Blog
OCTOBER 6 The Book Cellar
OCTOBER 7 Princess Bookie
OCTOBER 9 Missy Reads Reviews
OCTOBER 10 G Reads
OCTOBER 11 The Book Scout
OCTOBER 12 Author Spotlight at YA Contemps
OCTOBER 13 More than Just a Book & Confessions of a Bookaholic
OCTOBER 14 The Story Siren
OCTOBER 15 & 16 Debut feature at Badass Bookie
OCTOBER 16 Red House Books
OCTOBER 18 The Well-Read Wife
OCTOBER 19 Good Choice Reading
OCTOBER 20 Bloggers (heart) Books
OCTOBER 22 Books Devoured
OCTOBER 23 Reclusive Bibliophile
OCTOBER 24 Literary Rambles
OCTOBER 25 The Hiding Spot
OCTOBER 26 The Undercover Book Lover
OCTOBER 27 Novel Novice
OCTOBER 28 A Good Addiction
OCTOBER 29 Bookalicious
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