|Stacey Heather Lee, winner of the 2014 SCBWI Book Launch Award|
I contacted author Stacey Heather Lee, winner of this year's award for her novel, UNDER A PAINTED SKY, to find out more...
Lee: Congratulations on winning the 2014 SCBWI Book Launch Award!
Stacey: Thank you. I am quite honored to be chosen!
Lee: You won the award to help promote and market your young adult novel, UNDER A PAINTED SKY. Tell us about the book.
Stacey: A Chinese girl and a house slave disguise themselves as cowboys to run from the law, seek revenge for a murder, and find freedom in the California Gold Rush frontier. It was pitched as a Young Adult Thelma and Louise.
Lee: Sounds great! With $2,000.00 in funds from winning the award, and the book launching on March 17, 2015, what are your marketing and promotion plans?
Stacey: I hope to partner with museums which focus on 19th century history, in particular the Oregon Trail, and western expansion, the California Gold Rush, as well as the history of the Chinese and African Americans in the U.S. I'll also be creating supplemental materials for schools and libraries to use in conjunction with my book. Finally, I hope to attend a few conferences like BEA and ALA, not only for my book, but on behalf of We Need Diverse Books, a cause I'm passionate about.
Lee: How long have you been a member of SCBWI, and how has it helped you on your journey?
Stacey: I've been a member since 2007. In 2012, I decided at the last minute to attend my regional conference at Asilomar, my first SCBWI conference. I'm so glad I did - my manuscript ended up winning the Golden Gate Writer's Award, and after incorporating some of the feedback given to me from publisher Arthur Levine, and editor Sara Sargent, I queried it and got my agent, Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency. Equally important, I met some wonderful people at this conference, including a critique partner. Every year, I look forward to meeting new friends and learning more about the craft at the annual conference in LA.
Lee: What are your thoughts on finding the balance between promoting the book(s) that are out or about to be out and writing new work?
Stacey: This one's a hard one, and I must admit, I'm still trying to find that balance. If I'm on a deadline, I'll shut off the Internet. Remember Lucy in her psychiatrist booth with her 'The Doctor is IN" sign? I need a sign that says "The Storyteller is IN" just to remind myself that storytelling is what I do, above all.
Lee: Thanks for answering my questions, and good luck with the launch of UNDER A PAINTED SKY!
Stacey: Thank you so much for having me!
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You can find out more about Stacey Lee at her website here.
Would you like to apply for the SCBWI Book Launch Award yourself? Check out the guidelines here, and good luck!
Illustrate and Write On,