Authors Are Rockstars: Author Guest Post

I am so very excited to be a part of the Authors Are Rockstars Tour hosted by Fiktshun and Two Chicks on Books. These ladies are also rockstars to me! I am so thankful for the opportunity to do this tour and getting to feature...

Myspace Glitter Graphics -
That's RIGHT! I pulled out the sparklies!
So creative! So beautiful! So smart! 

So, what makes Stasia Ward Kehoe a ROCKSTAR to me?

She is creator and a supporter of the Arts. Hooray for all forms of ART!

Dance is one of the most expressive forms of art, in my opinion. And when you can add music to a dance, it can cause so many emotions in a person. I would honestly love to see some of Stasia's choreography.

It is said that when someone wants to write a book, you should write about what you know. Stasia has definitely done that with AUDITION. She has created a verse novel (my first!) that flows perfectly! She graced us with a beautiful debut about a young girl trying to figure out what her dreams, aspirations, and her own voice were.

Stasia is also PRO-LIBRARIES!!!! Check out this YouTube video here. She has some wonderful tips for published authors to help educators and libraries.

If you have not read AUDITION, I say run, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore! Be ready for more of Stasia's work! I'm sure it will be a-m-a-z-i-n-g!

The topic for Stasia was "Writing AFTER the debut novel"

Here's what she had to say about it:
Before my debut novel, AUDITION, pubbed last year, people told me to “enjoy this time” because it was the “honeymoon period.” I laughed.  I’d been in agony since the book deal had been done. Revisions, edits, prepping for the blog tour, worrying about the “big day”…  How could this be a honeymoon?

Now I know that it was.  Not just because of the reality that publication proved my book to NOT be the NYT-best-selling, soon-to-be-a-movie runaway hit of which my mother was certain. (Don’t get me wrong, got some nice reviews and lots of readers seem to like it, but that’s not the same as earning out your advance, you know?)

The real reason that BEFORE-PUBLICATION feels like a honeymoon is because WRITING gets so much harder after you have reviews, sales figures, and a public identity as a certain type of writer in a certain type of genre.  Suddenly, you see yourself in phrases like “mid-list,” “contemporary-fiction” and “verse-novelist.” You’re in a tight little box surrounded by questions of whether the next book should be similar to the first, whether you should change your style in response to criticism, and whether your publisher will even print another book by you since on the first roll of the dice you didn’t exactly hit snake-eyes.

Writing has probably taken a back seat to promoting the book for a few months and when you get back to your desk, you discover that you don’t seem to be writing for YOURSELF, telling the stories that are in your heart, and focusing on your craft and your characters. As you try to resist the desire to repeatedly check your Bookscan stats and Goodreads ratings, your writing becomes strategic.  It’s not much fun anymore.  If you’re me, you probably even write a couple of hundred strategy-laden, heart-lackingly craptastic pages (cuz, um, those are words).

Don’t get me wrong.  Nobody succeeds in this business (despite the occasional weird braggy story you hear) without spending A LOT of time in front of a keyboard.  Write, revise, REWRITE, RE-REVISE, submit to your agent, RE-RE-REVISE…  This is not always a party.  But, in addition to being a job and a craft, writing is also a bit of an art.  And the rest cannot succeed without the artist in you being set free from the cages of strategy, criticism and Amazon rankings.

So, after some time (for me, sadly, months and not weeks), you take a long hard look in the mirror and ask yourself the BIG QUESTION: “Now that I’ve checked ‘publish a novel’ off my bucket list, do I really want to do this anymore?”  Another way to consider this: “If you were guaranteed that no one would ever publish your work again, would you still keep writing—and why?”

I was lucky enough to have a moment of clarity.  To remember that I’d been writing poetry and stories since eighth grade and gone unpublished for decades.  I wasn’t going to let a little thing like PUBLISHING A NOVEL destroy the essential writer-part of me.  I got back to my keyboard.  And I’m writing.  The next novel is still a bit of a work-in-progress but I know what I’m doing now.  Or, at least, I understand why I’m sitting here.
Stasia Ward Kehoe is the author of AUDITION (Viking) and a contributor to the upcoming anthology DEAR TEEN ME: AUTHORS WRITE LETTERS TO THEIR TEEN SELVES (Zest Books, October 2012).  She lives with her husband and four sons in Western Washington where she continues to write and choreographs the occasional musical.  Visit her online at or @swkehoe on Twitter.

I want to thank Stasia for giving us such a great interview to read. It has been an honor to host you on my little spot on the web!
Also, a huge thank you to Rachel, Jaime, and Patricia for putting this tour together! Rock on!


  1. Yay Lisa! Love the post and thanks for being one of our tour stops :D


  2. Great guest post! I remember eyeing this one a while back ... I love books about dance! :)

  3. Awesome post! Love this stop. Thanks for being on the tour! :)

  4. The "honeymoon period". That's hilarious and very true. :D

  5. Great post. I really enjoyed it. :)

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  6. Great job! See you did great!! :)

  7. Thanks so much for having me here at your blog, Lisa, and for your terrific support of books, reading and libraries. IMO, book bloggers are total rock stars, too! - Stasia

  8. I can imagine how hard it would be writing after seeing all the reviews and feeling pressured to write for a certain audience. I will definitely be reading Audition in the future. :)

  9. great interview! I love getting to know a little bit more about authors! :)

  10. Great article, Stasia! I can relate to everything you described as I pretty much went through (and continue to go through) the same stages of elation and "what now?" syndrome after my own debut novel publication. Your novel, "Audition" was beautiful and I can't wait to read your next work!

    Joshua Cohen

  11. I haven't read it yet!! This is an awesome post. :)

  12. great interview! need to read it soon

  13. Awesome interview! I love Stasia's insight into the writing process and how she felt during the whole process. I always appreciate an author who opens up their world for us!! Thank you!!!