I’d like to welcome B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree and #1 New York Times Best Selling Author, Stacia Deutsch to talk with me about her book, Lucky Phoo. Stacia has written more than eighty books. In addition to her award winning creative chapter book series entitled BLAST TO THE PAST, She has also ghost written for a popular girl’s mystery series, published non-fiction texts, and penned a young adult romantic comedy called IN THE STARS. She has also written junior movie tie in novels for summer blockbuster films, including BATMAN, THE DARK KNIGHT, and the New York Times Best Seller: CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS JR. MOVIE NOVEL, and THE SMURFS MOVIE NOVELS. Newest books include HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 and LEGO ELVES. Find her at her wesbite. @staciadeutsch and Facebook . Stacia lives in Irvine, California with her three children.
Stacia, how did you discover indieBRAG?
I am always looking for ways to reach new readers. Receiving this honor is an amazing way to introduce Phoo to the world!
Please tell me a little about your book, Lucky Phoo.
Lucky Phoo was based on an idea a friend pitched to us. I was so excited to think about what would happen if these three friends thought a stray dog was lucky. We started with much more magic, and toned it down…I wanted the readers to decide for themselves at the end if Phoo is really lucky or not.
What an interesting premise! How did the idea come to you?
When our friend mentioned the idea, I was on it immediately. Sometimes books have to cook for a long time in my head. I have ideas from years ago that I haven’t even started. This one was ready from the first moment! I literally sat down and started writing the characters as they revealed their story.
Sounds like these tween girls all have challenges in their life. What is an example of a challenge they face in their friendship to each other?
When Caylie gets a job working for some girls the others believe are mean, it draws a wedge between them, even though they know Caylie desperately needs the money.
Will you describe Phoo?
He’s the cutest dog ever, obviously.
Why did you chose San Diego as the setting for your story?
I wanted a city setting where the weather was nice all the time. It had to be warm so that Sabrina could play sports year round. It’s a great city. I live close to San Diego and felt like it had everything these girls needed. Who wouldn’t want to live there?
Has writing this story impacted you personally in anyway?
These characters all have bits of me or my life in them. My daughter, like Sabrina is an athlete…with crazy athlete hours. I had breast cancer, so I drew from that to express how Lauren felt about her mom and Caylie, well, I am also divorced – I looked to my own kids to understand the challenges Caylie would feel. These are real problems that a lot of kids face now a days. It would be nice to have a magic dog to make them all disappear…wouldn’t it? Maybe?
How did you come up with the title for your book?
I’m really interested in other cultures. I don’t want to give it away, but when the girls find out what Phoo means is one of my favorite moments in the story.
Who designed your book cover?
The great team at Imajin Books. They were fantastic to work with. Isn’t that dog so cute?
When you’re stuck on a scene in your story, what do you do?
I take a shower. Seriously. Something about water is the greatest un-sticker. I tell the kids I meet at school representations to shower if they are stuck on homework or writing – it is amazing how well a little soap and water can clear a person’s brain.
Do you stick with just genre?
Kids. All kids. I believe that every story is at it’s core a mystery not matter the tale. We all want to know what happened, who did it, and what’s going to happen next. Unraveling those questions is what makes a story engaging. Sometimes I am asked to write YA, but I love writing for kids and want to stay with them.
What are you working on next?
I am always working on new books. This year alone, I have 6 projects to be released. I wrote two books for Scholastic for Lego Elves, Two Ever After High books, and a couple of Lego stories. Hotel Transylvania 2 the movie novel came out last week. I can’t decide what to do next: I have an idea for a boy spy, a superhero story, or just today I thought of one about a boy who can see the future. Pick one!
Where in your home do you like to write and what is your process?
I have an office at home. My kids leave for school at 8 and I pretend I am going to a real job…for me it is real! I don’t take calls or do anything other than write until 2, when I have to drive carpool. Well, that’s not totally true, I do eat a lot and occasionally stretch my legs. But mostly, I write. Every day. This is how I have written 150 books in the last ten years.
Is there a favorite food or drink you like to enjoy while writing?
I like chocolate chips. I keep a little bowl of them by my desk. Then, I have to be careful not to get smudges on my keyboard!
Is there a particular hobby you enjoy when you’re not writing?
This is my year to become a better cook. I’m not saying I enjoy it, not yet anyway, but I am tired of mac and cheese and quesadillas. It’s time to learn!
A Message from indieBRAG:
We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview Stacia Deutsch who is the author of, Lucky Phoo, our medallion honoree at indieBRAG . To be awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion TM, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, Lucky Phoo, merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.