Jenn Marie Thorne and Stacey Lee Talk Debuts, and Giveaways!

Two of our freshmen, Jenn Marie Thorne (THE WRONG SIDE OF RIGHT, Dial Books) and Stacey Lee (UNDER A PAINTED SKY, G.P. Putnam’s Sons) are set to debut next week, March 17!  Because they are such serious writing professionals, Jenn and Stacey decided to ask each other some very, very serious questions.  And if you make it to the end, there’s a very serious giveaway that you don’t want to miss.

Jenn interviews Stacey:

Jenn Marie Thorne: Who is your favorite classical composer?

Stacey Lee: Rachmaninoff, Debussy. Zey are zoooo romantik.

JMT: Would you rather have breakfast for dinner or dinner for breakfast?

SL: Breakfast for dinner because I love breakfast foods a little too much.  Plus, the idea of eating say, a rib eye, for breakfast is kind of gross.


Stacey’s writing cave

JMT: What was your favorite book when you were 14?

SL: JACOB HAVE I LOVED, by Katherine Paterson, which won the 1981 Newbery. It’s about twin sisters growing up near the Chesapeake Bay in the 40’s, and told from the point of view of the ‘plainer’ twin. It was one of the first realistic teen books I read, and I loved it.

JMT: What’s your astrological sign and do you think it describes you accurately?

SL: Leos are supposed to be confident, ambitious, loyal, generous, and encouraging. I’d say I got 3 out of 5.

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Ocean views inspire Stacey (Princeville, Kauai)

JMT: Would you rather travel by horseback, train or stagecoach?

SL: I would love to learn how to ride a horse one day!  Until then, I’d say train.

JMT: What decade of the 20th Century would you most like to time-travel to for a shopping excursion?

SL: 1950’s. I love full skirts, peter pan collars, cute sweaters, Mary Jane shoes.

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Selfie of Stacey at Monterey, CA for writing retreat

JMT: If you had the chance to grow a talking tree in your backyard, would you?

SL: Yes.  I would love to have a talking tree.  It’d be great at keeping burglars away.  And that is the strangest question ever, but I love you anyway.

JMT: What’s your dream writing retreat?

SL: Somewhere near the ocean with a fireplace.  I had a dream writing retreat a few months ago in Monterey, CA.  I spent a lot of time walking the white sand beaches in Asilomar and staring at waves (see pictures).

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Stacey catches the crashing waves at Asilomar Beach

JMT: Do you have any phobias?

SL: Mustard.  My well-intending dad bought me a burger at Burger King when I was a kid, and made me eat the whole thing (waste not, want not) even though it had mustard and I cried and threw up.  Now, just thinking about the stuff makes me gag.

JMT: Is there another profession you’ve secretly always wanted to try (even if just for a week)?

SL: Yes!  Sea otter rescue specialist.  I would love that.

JMT: What’s your favorite movie genre?

SL: Is there a 1980’s adventure movie genre?  Lots of great movies were made in that decade – Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back, Ladyhawke, Back to the Future, ET.

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Stacey loves collecting sea glass (Glass Beach, Kauai)

JMT: Who was your first crush?

SL: In fifth grade, there was this skinny kid who played basketball.  He had big brown eyes and never smiled, and I thought he was the cutest thing. It was unrequited.

JMT: What’s your favorite part of the writing process?

SL: I like revision.  There’s something very satisfying about making things clean and shiny. For me, plotting is the hardest part.

JMT: Are you a cold weather or hot weather person?

SL: I’m a low-70’s kind of person and anything outside of that make me grumpy.  It’s the curse of being California-born and raised.

JMT: If you had a magic satchel that could make any small object appear in it, what would you wish for?

SL: A crystal ball that can give me the winning lotto numbers!

Stacey Interviews Jenn

SL: How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

JMT: Between six and seven hours, often in three parts, due to a ten-month-old dependent who hates to sleep. I love to sleep. It’s the most wonderful thing in the world. *sobs silently*

SL: If you were stranded on an island and you only had a stick of butter, what would you do with it?

JMT: Ooh, this is a very good question, and one that highlights how poorly equipped I am with the knowledge required to survive such a scenario. I know butter doesn’t actually help burns, so I wouldn’t save it for that. And it seems like kind of a waste to use it on food. But I wouldn’t want it to spoil. Okay, not gonna lie, I just googled “alternate uses of butter,” and the most useful tip I found was that butter takes away the smell of fish on your hands, which is obviously going to be helpful. So: that!

SL: What’s your favorite city and why?

JMT: My favorite place is the California coast, but I’ve got to give New York City the edge over LA. I spent my formative years in Manhattan, and although I’m not sure I have the energy to live there anymore, I will love its verve, eclecticism, grit, polish–and even its indifference–for the rest of my life.


Jenn also enjoys the Grand Canyon, obviously.

SL: What outfit do you wear most of the time?

JMT: Jeans, t-shirt, hair in a ponytail so that my baby won’t chew on it. I’m all about the comfy.

SL: What’s the last book you read?

JMT: NONE OF THE ABOVE, by I.W. Gregorio. It was excellent–a really moving look at a teenager reeling from an intersex diagnosis gone public.

SL: What’s your guilty pleasure?

JMT: There are quite a few to choose from in the category of “pop culture,” but I don’t actually feel that guilty about them. So I’m going to go with: ridiculously long, dangerously hot showers. I’m killing the world one shower at a time.

Jenn thinks Owlpen Manor would make a nice writing retreat.

SL: What’s the scariest thing you’ve done?

JMT: Having kids is terrifying. I’m putting this out there as a PSA. I wasn’t a fearful person until I became a mother. Now I’m a bundle of worries, guilt and other neuroses. I also once moved cross-country on pretty much a whim, which I didn’t actually realize was going to be scary until I up and did it.

SL: Describe your 16 year old self.

JMT: Sheltered, stubborn, quirky, accomplished, filled with inexorable longing, prone to flights of fancy.

SL: If you could be the same age for the rest of your life, how old would you be?

JMT: I’m gonna be hopeful and say “45.” 45, when it comes, is going to be amazing. Or something.

SL: What do you admire most about your writing?

JMT: I feel that I’m fair to all of my characters. I can see everybody’s point of view, even the villains, so if I’m the god of my imaginary universes, at least I am a benevolent one.

SL: Favorite board game?

JMT: Trivial Pursuit. However, I should note that I’ve been banned from playing it by most of my friends. I am not the most competitive person in the world, but this game wakes up my dark side.


Jenn’s awesome dog and writing-companion, Molly.

SL: Have you ever had a black eye?

JMT: No, and I consider it a gross failing on my part.

SL: Coffee or tea?

JMT: I drink tea, water, coffee, water, tea all day long in rapid succession. (See sleep question above.)

SL: Taylor Swift – country or pop?

JMT: She is pop. She has always been pop. But now that she’s saying she’s pop, her pop is better pop. I’ve typed the word pop too many times and it has now lost its meaning. POP.

SL: Favorite movie hunk?

JMT: Paul Newman. He’s just…sigh. Current? I dunno. I like that Tom Hiddleston fella. My husband’s sort of crazy dreamy, though, so he kind of renders all movie stars meh for me.

 (Editor’s note: Wasn’t that fun? I mean, I already liked these girls before reading this Q&A, but now I like them even more.)

As part of the Lucky Four Leaf Clover Giveaway, Jenn and Stacey, along with , Moriah McStay (EVERYTHING THAT MAKES YOU, Katherine Tegen), and N.K. Travers (DUPLICITY, Thomas Dunne Books) are donating a hardback copy of their books and related treasures.  Enter the giveaway here!


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