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Q and A

Mar 19, 2007; Elizabeth Asks:

I'm really fascinated by book covers. Do you as the writer have much (or any) control over the design? If you hate what they come up with, will they change it? Also, I just want to point out that I *loved* the cover for My Date with Satan. That Jello mold in primary colors is truly mesmerizing...

Stacey answers:

Hi Elizabeth. I don't have much control over the image on the cover...I think I have something in my contract referred to as "input," which means that if I really hate what they come up with, they'll probably change it.

As it happens, I did hate what they came up with initially for My Date With Satan--I think it was roses, a sort of feminine hygiene-like blur of roses. But when the designer found the Jello mold with the jewels in it, I was thrilled. I'm glad you like it too.

Mar 19, 2007; Tippy Asks:

Do you ever wear leg warmers? If you do (or even if you don't - feel free to hypothesize), what color would you choose?

In an effort to make the Q and A more about writing, feel free to rewrite the question to read "Do you ever wear leg warmers while writing?"

Stacey answers:

Tippy my friend, I sense that you want me to make up a snappy answer but I'm going to tell the truth: I have a pair of black leg warmers in the back of my drawer and I never wear them. But if I had a friend who could knit, Tippy, and he knit me a pair of leg warmers, I would wear them all the time, proudly. I like red.

Mar 19, 2007; Taffy Asks:

Why isn't there a photo of you on your website? Come to think of it, why isn't there a photo of me on your website? Please rectify the situation.

Stacey answers:

Taffy! If you click on the button that says "interviews," then click on the Song and Memory option, you'll find a big picture of my face. Alternatively, if you click on the button that says "stories," then look at the links bar to the right and click "my Myspace page," you can see even more pictures of me, and also pictures of how to do vasectomies.

Here's a picture of you right before the aliens got you:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Mar 19, 2007; Pickles Asks:

Why does your website not include a link to a compendium of the film reviews you've done? WHY?

Stacey answers:

Hi Pickles. I like your name because it makes me think of a happy little dog. It never occurred to me to put up the film reviews, maybe because a lot of them are sort of bad since I wrote them in an hour or two, while drunk. But here's a link for you, Pickles, if you're interested: http://weeklywire.com/ww/archives/authors/tw_staceyrichter.html

Mar 16, 2007; BJ McKay and his Best Friend Bear Asks:

Hello Ms. Richter a (female) biology teacher informed me the other day that women have more blood circulating through their brains then men...so when they are confronted with an issue more parts of their brain are availiable to contemplate the issue...so they endlessly ponder ramifications to events whereas males treat things as problems and attempt to find solutions. I could not help but remember one fine day past whence you informed me about the triptophane in whey transgressing the blood/brain barrier so I was wondering what you thought of these notions. I value your opinion highly. I am writing a similar email to Doctor Laura simply to see how wrong she can be. Excelsior!

Stacey answers:

Hello BJ & your little bear too. Yes, I've noticed that men like to find answers quickly while women like to wallow in ambiguity for a while. Sometimes this manifests itself in Male Answer Syndrome, which is when a man answers every question put to him whether he knows the answer or not. M.A.S. is annoying, but so fun to ridicule! You don't have to be a male to have male answer syndrome, which I prove as I write this by writing this. Men like answers, they like concrete solutions, they like grassy and tobacco smells, whereas ladies like feelings and shoes and floral scents. Nonetheless, your biology teacher sounds nuts. I don't think many scientists believe that circulating blood equals circulating thoughts, or that black bile causes melancholy for that matter.

They now sell tryptophan in capsules at the health food store, if you need to cram some serotonin into your brain. And who doesn't.

Mar 15, 2007; Liam from MySpace Asks:

You were right in your MySpace bulletin, your website does have a kick-ass design. Anyhoozle, here's a question for you: As a title for a book of short stories, how does the following grab you?: "Clever Boys and Weathered Girls"? What kind of stories would you expect from a collection with that title? Is it heinous? Personally, I feel pretty negatively toward it. Next question: Should I have used "towards" in that last sentence, or was "toward" correct? I await your response with bated breath.

Stacey answers:

Liam! Hi! I like the way "Clever Boys and Weathered Girls" sounds. It has a nice rhythm and trips off the tongue--and Liam, I just want to warn you that if you ever write a book you'll have to say the title over and over again to all sorts of people, like your dental hygienist, and it's truly a drag when people can't understand what you're saying. "Twin Study" is hard to enunciate, and I have a little lispy voice that no one can understand anyway. Even my father has taken to calling my new book "Twin Story." Which, by the way, is just freshly published and availble to buy! Twin Story! I'm so excited! I still haven't seen one in a store yet but I hear they're there. You really should get one before they all sell out.

Anyway, the main problem I have with the title is that I can't think of a single situation I've ever been in that has involved a clever boy and a weathered girl. I envision this: a pair of college boys are driving through the south, their car breaks down, and a toothless (yet strangely sexy) babe wanders into their life and steals their cellphones. Without their cellphones, they wither and die.

Both "toward" and "towards" are correct, in any situation, though American English favors "toward."

Mar 12, 2007; mike Asks:

how are you stacey richter?... well i just got done reading your work of "A Case study of Emergency Room Procedure..." and i was wondering if you can explain it to me because i found it a bit confusing... what tone are you aiming at?

Stacey answers:

I am fine, thank you. That story is based on the style of a research paper published in a sociology journal. These papers, like the story, are divided into sections, typically with an intro and conclusion, and feature copious citations. Of course my story is a fairytale and most sociology papers are not, though in the course of my research into methamphetamine addiction, I read quite a few papers where the research subjects seemed to have made up funny names for the drugs they were taking, which the researchers primly noted and then published in journals.

Mar 11, 2007; quixola Asks:

Skeleton goes into a bar... orders a beer and a mop.

Stacey answers:

That's a sad story.

Mar 11, 2007; bastard son of liarpants' longlost mother Asks:

If a dog eats asparagus, does it make their pee smell like asparagus?

Stacey answers:

I don't know.

Mar 10, 2007; Sock Loser Asks:

Stacey, are you one of those people who think lost socks go into another dimension? Maybe its called Lost Sock World. You should write a story about it! I�m wondering because I just did laundry and I swear that I put in a pair of orange socks but only one came out. They were my favorites, and now my day is ruined.

Stacey answers:

Loser, I'm sorry to hear about your sock. I don't think it's entered an alternative universe. I think it's probably stuck to something or else shoved under the dryer.

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