Name: Stacy Ward
What you Write: Young Adult
Agent: Natasha Morris
Why BookEnds? Signing with BookEnds feels a little cosmic. And a whole lot lucky. To have such a well-established agency that also has HEART to represent my work is a gift. One that I plan to use well.
What genres do you write? Read?
Because I write YA (mostly contemporary) I also read a lot of YA. I think the coming of age aspect of this genre is most appealing to me. I hope no matter how long I live I never outgrow the discovery process of coming of age myself.
As a veterinarian, one of my favorite science words is pluripotent. It is a word that applies to cells, but it defines how I think of my readership. Pluripotent: capable of becoming more than one thing—not fully defined. It’s a time of life where every scenario for the future is possible. Unknown. It’s exciting and scary. I hope I always remain a little pluripotent and unfixed myself.
Plotter or pantster?
Ugh. Pantster!!! I was a pantster before I knew what this was. I have found that heavily plotting a story kills something in me that wants to know how the story ends and makes me less creative. I think that thing is my internal reader. If I plot too heavily, I feel like I’ve told myself the story already. I tend to write key scenes and try to know generally where I want to take the character in terms of their emotional journey and then kind of just go for it. Which of course ends up in a first draft that is a fat mess. But I’m still learning myself! I hope I always learn and refine this process. I’m suspicious it will be different for every book.
Synopses, love them or hate ‘em?
Not a fan. It’s a process of distilling and how do you leave out so much good stuff?? But I like synopses better than queries. Or pitches. Shudder. Distilling your story further and further seems like taking out the magic. But in truth, that difficult distillation process is about finding the magic of your story.
Do you have a writing playlist or a vision board? If so, what’s on them?
My entire house and office are kind of my vision board because I surround myself with weird things that mean something to me. World globes and fossils and drawings of DNA and whales and dogs and things I found washed up on the beach or dug out of the ground. And words. I have giant letters that spell out BE THE CHANGE on the way up my stairs which my kids and husband have warped into like 27 entirely obnoxious meanings. Vibe killers.
Drink of choice when writing? When not writing?
Coffee, Water, Hard cider. Repeat.
Day or Night writer?
Day! I used to be a night owl when I was younger. I got my best studying done in college and veterinary school between 12a and 3a. But now if I am up between 12 and 3 my brain is just doing evil, not good. Honestly, I sometimes wake up with a ‘brilliant’ idea and write it down only to find out the next morning that 1) my idea is entirely illegible or 2) it is in fact in no way brilliant.
If you could meet any author, living or dead, who would you want to meet and why?
Madeline L’Engle. She is a spiritual STEM girl like I am, and her stories raised me. She had a deep understanding of human consciousness and the universe and how it might all kind of be the same thing. To her, religion, science and magic are all variations on a theme—the theme which is the reality of the human experience. Also, her books were banned in certain sectors which is kind of awesome.