blo Teens Read and Write: Author Interview: Stasia Ward Kehoe - AUDITION

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Author Interview: Stasia Ward Kehoe - AUDITION

We love author interviews and today is no exception! Please welcome Stasia Ward Kehoe, author of AUDITION! Stasia has an extensive background in dance which is why she has the chops for this dance-themed drama! 

1) Sara has to make a some serious life choices in AUDITION. As a mom, what advice would you give her?

As I hear from folks who have read the arc of Audition, I've discovered that it resonates with moms whose kids who are very committed to an art or sport.  They are proud and want to be supportive, but often they are unfamiliar with the level of commitment and the world into which their child has entered.  Sometimes, the parent doesn't know how to advise the kid.  That was something I was trying to get across in the Audition.  I also think a tough thing about Sara is that she is afraid to admit her worries--to be open to conversation.  As a mom of four myself, I know that it is difficult to give advice to someone who hasn't asked for it.  I have one son who is a pretty serious actor--he's done tons of plays and auditioned for movies and all that--and I always want to make sure that he is the one in the "driver's seat" of this dream and not me. I also want him to be safe.  I think my advice would really be more for the mom than for Sara and that would be to visit more often and know the people who are spending time with your daughter.

2) What is your favorite line or scene in AUDITION?
I think the most powerful line is when Rem tells Sara that the dance he choreographed with her is not her dance.  In terms of enjoyment, I loved writing about specific dance moves and pieces of choreography.

3) Having the male love interest be several years older than the teen female protagonist is somewhat unusual in contemporary YA. How did you come to that decision? 
I wanted to write a realistic story and I thought that a teenage choreography prodigy felt a little bit unbelievable.  Honestly, though, older love interests aren't particularly novel in fiction.  Consider Lydia Bennett & Mr. Wyckham in Pride & Prejudice, or a certain rather senior vampire who romances a dark-haired high school girl on page and screen!  Twilight wouldn't work if Edward were an ordinary teen-aged teen.  Neither would Audition work, I think, if Rem were just a senior or something.  The story needs to be the story.

4) What is the most surprising thing we would find in your purse?
I've always got a baggie full of matchbox cars for my youngest son to play with--and I carry Tic-Tacs because I'm a coffee drinker but I like to have minty breath. I guess I'm not all that surprising, purse-wise.

5) What YA novel do you think would make a fun musical and who would you cast in the lead roles? 
This is a more of middle grade, but I think Selling Hope by Kristen O'Donnell Tubb would make a fantastic musical with its vaudeville references and the big splashy party at the end.  In the interest of strong singers with younger looks, I'd cast Miranda Cosgrove as Hopeful and Zac Efron as a young Buster Keaton, though maybe he's a bit too old.  Of course, there's always the Biebs.  Definitely a modern-day vaudeville type!

Thanks so much for having me here today!

That does sound like a fun musical! And great mom-advice - being there and interested is so important! Edward was older? We thought he was just seventeen...for a while.

Thanks for the fantastic interview, and for more on this great author, visit Stasia's website!

Author: Stasia Ward Kehoe
release: Oct 13, 2011
genre: Teen Fiction, Contemporary, Dance

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.


Tales of Whimsy said...

Matchbox cars? Too cute! Great interview :)

Jenny said...

I'm so excited to read this one! I really like that the love interest is a little bit older in this one (maybe because I'm a bit older;-) Looking forward to the scene she mentioned about it not being Sara's dance, sounds like it might be an emotional moment and I love that!

Jenny N. said...

I remember when I first heard about Audition, what drew me in was that Rem was older. Can't wait to read this myself.

mary said...

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