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Q and A

Apr 22, 2007; Curious Asks:

Dear Stacey, I'm sorry for the flip question, especially since it didn't garner real attention from you. Let me try again: Could you say a bit about your interest in twins, okay cavemen, and others in your stories--What attracts you to these characters, etc.?

Stacey answers:

Curious, I try to write about the things that I love or that fascinate me, and my main motivation is to not bore myself. I don't think: what would be wacky? but rather: what would be interesting to me? I realize there's a sub theme of same-but-different in this book: twins, clones, coyotes and dogs, the two string players, and, on a more species-wide level, cavemen. There are a lot of reasons why this theme is interesting to me, but mainly I feel it on a non-intellectual level, which is perhaps just another way of saying I like it.

I also sort of feel like, you know, who doesn't like identical twins and cavemen and clones without brains? I've sort of assumed that that everyone is fascinated by these things the way that everyone is fascinated by rainbows, dinosaurs, Ferris wheels, and serial killers.

Apr 22, 2007; expectant mother Asks:

Dear Stacey, I'm going to have a baby boy in July--very exciting! Do you have a suggestion for a strong, unique boy's name?

Stacey answers:

Spartacus, Sparky for short. Congratulations!

Apr 16, 2007; William Clifford Asks:

Hi Stacey, Whew, talk about hype. (You don't have to actually talk about it.) I'm afraid to finish my question now because it's so, um, basic (ie lame). But, I once heard there was no such thing as a stupid question (the man who told me that later went to prison, but that's a long, sordid story). So -- is the word "she" missing on pg. 260 (the last page, last sentence!!!)? Right in-between the words "since" and "was"? Yes, a fairly obvious question, but I think any reader who cares, who gives a damn, who hangs on to every word for dear life! would want confirmation. Stacey,can you confirm for me your editor's flaming oversight? All that beautiful momentum boobytrapped by a little ol' "she". Thank you. Sorry about the delay in responce, it took me several thousands of hours to fly from Chicago to NYC. PS One more question -- are you looking for blurbs from no-name authors (common people)? If so, I've thought of one for "The Land of Pain" which I will proudly give to the paperback edition of Twin Study. Just say the word.

Stacey answers:

William! You've returned! Thanks for pointing that out--I hadn't noticed the error. Almost every book has a typo or two but I wish this one wasn't the last sentence of the last story. But at least you read the whole book! That's good. Now that I know I can correct it in future editions which is important, so that wasn't a stupid question at all. I'm just a little depressed now.

Sorry it took me so long to answer. The website was being a bed website.

Apr 16, 2007; Curious Asks:

Dear Stacey: What's this with all the twin stories? Do you have an evil double?

Stacey answers:

Yes.

Apr 15, 2007; OCD reader Asks:

It's driving me crazy that William didn't finish that sentence. Please, William, or someone else, maybe Stacey, finish the thought before I'm forced to do something nutty like pluck tissues out of the box one by one and space them at exact, measured intervals around my bedroom to make up for the disharmony in the universe caused by that unfinished question.

Stacey answers:

I know, it's driving me crazy too. I emailed him and asked him to finish it--but maybe he never intended to finish it. Isn't that diabolically brilliant? OCD, would you like to finish it? I challenge you.

And speaking of OCD: ducklings!Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Apr 15, 2007; JL Asks:

Dear Stacey: I am constantly consoling my gay friend who repeatedly falls for straight or taken women. I care about my friend a lot, but I'm getting worn down by the drama--and I'd love to talk about other things--like the Boston Red Sox' new pitcher Dice-K or the pollen count or Darfur--How can I respectfully ask my friend to lighten up on her girl chasing woes? How can I ask her to be my friend and talk about other things that are going on in both of our lives without making her defensive? Please help!

Stacey answers:

Hi JL. There's no good way to tell her. No one wants to hear that they're a narcissistic buzz-kill, and no matter how sweetly you say it, she's going to know that's what you mean. Instead, make her think you're going crazy in a way that's only tangentially related to her. Grab your temples and moan, "I can't take any more talk of forbidden love!" Then suggest something fun to do instead. "Let's go play mini-golf before my head explodes!"

Apr 13, 2007; William Asks:

Hi Stacey, I'm vacationing from NYC, a week in the midwest by the quiet Mississippi, and just inhaled your new book. (I was a huge admirer of My Date With Satan and have been waiting impatiently for your follow-up, which, if you don't mind me saying, not only matches your maiden voyage MDWS in swiftness and depth, but roars above it on a narley 10-footer. Here endenth all ass-kissery and bad useage of metophor.) So -- my Q: Is the word

Stacey answers:

ladyfinger? churlish? rookery?

Apr 12, 2007; Pink Lady Asks:

obviously by what i'm about to ask i haven't cracked your book open yet, but that is definitley not to be taken like i don't love you, it's absolutely just because i'm savoring it and afraid to start and not have time to finish because i'm going to be so happy in richterland and i'm a procrastinator too...anyway my question is where do i start i mean do i start any where? i'm guessing you'll say start from the beginning, but do i have to? i don't want to even sneak a peek and spoil one sentence until i know what i'm doing.

Stacey answers:

Hi Pinkie. The stories are in a particular order cooked up by me and my editor in order to create a pleasing reading experience--the first and last stories, for instance, are both about pairs of women and have a nice symmetry. But it's fine with me if you want to hop around. Nothing bad will happen. I trust you. Good luck.

Apr 10, 2007; Lost in Space Asks:

I noticed that Twin Studies does not have a table of contents. Or at least, my copy of it doesn't have one. Was this intentional, or did you get jacked by your publisher? Maybe I just have a faulty copy? The lack of table of contents makes me feel kind of weird and uncertain.

Stacey answers:

I got jacked! It's weird and uncertain, yes, sort of floaty and free form, in a bad way. Sorry. Your copy is not any faultier than anyone else's, if that makes you feel any better.

Apr 09, 2007; Heffalump Asks:

...and what makes a good collection title? Any tips on how to order the stories? I'm figuring on putting the best stories first, burying the crappy ones in the middle, and finishing up with an experimental bang. Le sigh. Three more days.

Stacey answers:

Heffalump, I think you have the order of the stories about right. Start with the strongest and the easiest to read, and end with a good one. Also, it's kind of like a mix tape where you want one to flow into the next with a pleasing sameness or a pleasing jolt. It's better to take the crappy ones out altogether than to bury them in the middle, if that's possible.

I like the title "Tales of the Heffalump".

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