Name: Dorothy Stacy
Age: I didn’t used to tell, but now I’m proud to say I am 73 years young.
Where are you from: Sauquoit, New York USA
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I grew up in Utica, NY and now live in Sauquoit. The mother of eight (five girls and three boys) and Nana of twenty-one, I live in a 214 year old house on four acres of land, built by the first resident in our village. A former teacher, I have a Master’s Degree in Reading and Elem. Ed. I am Vice-President of the Town of Paris Historical Society and write their newsletter. I am also a member of the Sauquoit Valley Garden Club. I speak at schools, clubs, historical societies, and to anyone fond of history. I have been a member of SCBWI for seven years.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I just published my 7th book, On Academy Street, historical friction for middle grade readers.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing when I was 7 years old. Why? Because I loved doing it.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I was a teacher at the time and I had just taken my 1st grade class on a field trip to the Erie Canal Village in Rome, NY and watched a video on the building of the canal. I realized that I had never learned about the canal when I was in school and I was fascinated by how it was built, etc. So I began researching it and it hit me that I could write a story about a girl traveling down the canal in 1840 and her adventures along the way. That is how I came to write the first book, Erie Canal Cousins. I was only going to write one book, until people kept bugging me to write a sequel. So I wrote another one, Three Weeks in Utica-Book 2. And this evolved into a series of 5 books. The others being: Albany Homecoming-Book 3, Canal Town Christmas-Book 4, and Stars Over Buffalo-Book 5. And now I have started a new series, Town of Paris Twins. It has two books in it so far: Town of Paris Twins and On Academy Street-Book2. The twins in this book are the children of the girl in my first series.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I try to keep my characters realistic; I try to fit the words to the age level without writing down to them; and I like to keep things moving and full on adventure.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It took me a long time to come up with the title of my first book. I wanted ‘Erie Canal’ in it but didn’t know what else to put with it. It had to catchy, sound good, and roll off the tongue. So I had a sheet of paper with about 50 titles on it until I finally chose the one I liked the best. With some of the other books, I knew the title before I started the book.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My main objective is to expose children to history in a fun and interesting way in a story, so they may grow to enjoy and learn more about history especially local history.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
The places and historical events in the book are real and integrated into the story. The main characters are fictional, but a few of the minor characters are real.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
When I was a kid, I wrote little stories about a girl named Rosemary in a tiny notebook and whatever I did, Rosemary did. In grade school I wrote soap operas with a friend (we had double seats and sat in the back). We would place them on the space between us and exchange them to read. And we never got caught. However the events in my now books are based on what went on in different eras in history. The personalities of some of the characters may be based on myself as a child.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
As a child, I loved reading kids biographies of famous people and stories about girls my age. Trixie Belden and Cherry Ames were some of my favorites.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Dorothy: I just finished The Mistletoe Promise by Richard Paul Evans, A Quilt for Christmas by Sandra Dallas The Half-Stitched Amish Quilt Club by Wanda E. Brunstetter.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I like Beth Wiseman’s books. I’m not sure how new she is.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I have ideas for 2 more books. I am doing research for the third book in my new series, which will be about another section of the Town of Paris, Holman City, where an asteroid hit in the past. I want to revolve the story around that. And I would like to write a biography about a little known famous local postcard artist.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I have a wonderful friend who has become the editor of my last several books. Also my friends at the Historical Society always cheer me on and will review things I may have questions on.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I guess I would call it a career, however maybe a part-time career if there IS such a thing. But I have 21 grandchildren and I don’t want to miss out on spending time with them or the rest of my family, so I limit myself to one book a year or sometimes a little longer and I pace myself throughout the year on the writing of the books.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Nope, I did a lot of changing while I was writing and editing the book to make it the best it could be, in my opinion.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
It was just always there. I think I was born with a pencil in my hand. LOL I was always a big reader, too, and walked around with a book in my hand my entire childhood.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I am not writing anything currently but am doing research for a third book in my Town of Paris Twins Series that will probably be called, Holman City Mystery-Book 3. and enjoying the holidays with my huge family. January is when I get started on a new book.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
How much and where to include historical details can be difficult because I want to put them all in. But I don’t want to create a history book. So I have to pick and choose and even leave out some of my researched items.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I love Richard Paul Evans. His writing is very inspiring, I feel part of the story when I am reading it, and can hardly put his books down. I loved his Walk Series and hated waiting between books to get to the next one.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No not at all but I have to do a lot of research, at least 2 months for each book.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
One of my daughters designed three of them and my son designed the last two. He is going to college for illustration. I did the illustrations inside the books. With my first book, another daughter and I did the boat, I drew and colored the girl, and did a sketch of what I wanted the rest of the cover to look like, and the art department at the printing place I use, put it all together.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Learning how to become the publisher of my first book and actually doing it.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?
Kids like adventure and humor, show don’t tell, and don’t use too many words. Use mostly active sentences and not passive ones. And some kids just do not like historical fiction. Bummer!
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
If you really want to write, keep at it and don’t ever give up. Believe in yourself and just keep writing.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I love you for loving my books. And I especially love to get fan mail.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I laugh at a lot more things now that I’m older i.e. a grandbaby smiling, talking to myself, something silly on TV, a funny video on Facebook …..And when I get fan mail about how much some children love my books, it brings tears to my eyes. The passing of my husband who was my greatest supporter will also make me cry. Sometime a book will too even one of my own.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
This is a hard one. I think I would choose George Washington so I could thank him for the brilliant unique way our country and government was set up by him and his people.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
I think I’d like it to say: Here is a person who gave it her all and really LIVED every day of her life. Because I believe we are all here for a reason and we must fulfill it. And not waste any of our life.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Walking, healthy eating, history, drawing, genealogy , Facebook
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Young and the Restless-soap opera, Syracuse basketball games, Christmas Specials. Peter Pan but I don’t watch too much TV.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Favorite foods: stuffed cabbage, pizza, Favorite color: red, Favorite music: Country and Polkas
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Ha, ha! I have had about 11 careers in my lifetime: mail clerk, bank teller, mother of 8, crafter of quilts, college student, teacher, author, illustrator, publisher, owner of Blackberry Hill Press, marketer, distributor , etc.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
My website is: http://dorothystacy.com/
My badly neglected blog is: Writing by Candlelight https://dorothystacy.wordpress.com/
Connection to the books is: http://dorothystacy.com/the-books/
My Author page on Amazon is: https://www.amazon.com/author/dorothystacy
Facebook pages for my books are: Erie Canal Cousins Series-The Books Town of Paris Twins Series-The Books
Pictures of my books: (First Series)