Sunday, December 25, 2011

Stasia Ward Kehoe Guest Post

In celebration of my "End of the Year Madness" event, author Stasia Ward Kehoe wrote a guest post about a fun book tour she participated in this year called Stages on Pages.

Guest Post written by Stasia Ward Kehoe

Along with the excitement of lauching my debut novel, AUDITION (Viking/Penguin 10-13-11) this October, there has been incredible end-of-year madness for me involving a book tour I put together called STAGES ON PAGES ( Since I grew up as a dancer and actress, I've always loved books about the performing arts. For the tour, I connected with authors who not only write YA about the arts but who ARE ACTUAL AWESOME PERFORMERS! And I came to learn that there are many ex-dancer/actor/musicians in the writing world. It's a tremendous tribe. We started the Stages on Pages tour in Los Angeles, meandered up to Seattle, made our way through New York, and finished in New Hampshire, sharing stories about our teen years as performers, and how we now write about rock music and violins, show choirs and ballet slippers. We had lots of laughs and some amazing creative moments. Here are just three:

--The amazingly talented violinist and VIRTUOSITY author Jessica Martinez jamming with guitar-playing ADIOS, NIRVANA author Conrad Wesselhoeft at A CHILDREN'S PLACE BOOKSTORE in Portland, OR. Two beautiful novels about very different string instruments and music styles, but both with incredible heart and soul. Great reads!

--Students from El Segundo Middle School acting out scenes from AUDITION (by me), POSSESS by Gretchen McNeil (cuz, um, there's a choir scene), and MY LIFE, THE THEATER & OTHER TRAGEDIES (techies against actors, oh yeah!) by Allen Zadoff. Best moment: When Allen told the kids in the audience that Gretchen would sing an opera song in ANY language they could name. Talk about glare-of-horror from Gretchen! Luckily, they picked French :)

--Speaking to an audience of television performers, stage actors, musicians and dancers at Books of Wonder in New York City (whose owner, btw, is the most amazingly informed theater person I have ever met--he's in the middle of the picture surrounded by us writer-people). Plus, we played a new game I invented called Author Roulette. It involves authors and improv and book quotes--fun beyond measure and, well, quite potentially very embarassing.

So, even if you are mired in madness right now, I suggest that, along with resolutions, you make at least one themed list of YA novels about things that fascinate you. The coolest part of all is that once you tell the world you're starting your list, the suggestions come pouring in. Of course, I recommend to you the terrific books by Stages on Pages authors Elise Allen, Sheela Chari, Kim Culbertson, Danielle Joseph, Tara Kelly, Jessica Martinez, Gretchen McNeil, Rosanne Parry, Louise Spiegler, Sara Bennett Wealer, Conrad Wesselhoeft, and Allen Zadoff. But, thanks to some of the folks I ment on tour, I've also got THE FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB by Anthony John and Jennifer Donnelly's REVOLUTION sitting on my bedside table. Will I finish them before this mad year ends? We'll have to see. But, regardless, I'm in love with my list!

Stasia is participating in my huge End of the Year Madness Giveaway, so be sure to enter for your chance to win a swag pack from her! It includes a signed poster, bookmarks, and ballerina sticky notes.

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