Book Giveaway & Author Interview: My Very Unfairy Tale Life by Anna Staniszewski

Welcome to Author Anna Staniszewski

Author Bio: 

Born in Poland and raised in the United States, Anna Staniszewski grew up loving stories in both Polish and English. She was named the 2006-2007 Writer-in-Residence at the Boston Public Library and a winner of the 2009 PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award. Currently, Anna lives outside of Boston with her husband and their adopted black Labrador, Emma. When she’s not writing, Anna spends her time teaching, reading, and challenging unicorns to games of hopscotch. Her first novel, My Very UnFairy Tale Life, was released by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky on November 1, 2011.


What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
I’m a sugar addict so I’ll eat and enjoy pretty much any type of ice cream, but nothing beats a bowl of classic chocolate ice cream with a dollop of whipped cream on top. Excuse me while I go mop up some drool…

What inspired you to want to become a writer?
I’ve been writing since I was in elementary school. My father loves to tell stories about how I would climb a tree with a notebook in hand and spend hours up in the branches writing poetry. Writing has always been a part of my life, but it wasn’t until I went to study Children’s Literature at Simmons College that I got serious about trying to get published.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
A few days ago, I got an amazing email from a mom whose daughter had just finished reading my book. The mom informed me that until that point her daughter hadn’t been interested in reading. Now she can’t wait to get her hands on more books. I can’t imagine a more satisfying feeling than knowing that my story might have turned a non-reader into a book enthusiast!

What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen? 
I loved books that transported me to different worlds, whether real or imagined. Some absolute favorites were Anne of Green Gables, A Little Princess, and Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH,

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Learn to love revising! It took me years to realize that writing is 90% revising. The first draft is the first step in a long and involved process, one that might be painful at times but that will ultimately make your story a million times better.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
I had three goals when I was a girl: to be a teacher, a writer, and a ballerina. I would spend hours typing away on an ancient Polish typewriter, composing stories that were essentially rip-offs of the books I was reading. Then I’d take all my dolls and gather them around an old chalkboard my parents had bought me at a yard sale and teach my toys how to read. And finally, I’d put on classical music and dance around the house for hours, pretending to be a prima ballerina. All these years later, I’m a teacher and a writer, so I guess I can’t complain about never becoming a dancer.

What’s your favorite season/weather?
I’m cold-blooded, so summer is my favorite time of year. I love soaking up the sunlight and going for long walks with the dog. Summer always feels so full of possibilities.

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
I was having dinner with my writing group when my agent called to say my book had sold. I was in total shock after I hung up the phone, so my writing group members were the ones celebrating while I tried to process the information. I can’t imagine a better group of people to have around me at that moment, though, than my writing buddies!

What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you’d be embarrassed to admit?
I’ll admit it: I love watching “Say Yes to the Dress.” On the one hand, I hate how the show makes the dress out to be the most important part of the wedding (I’d say the relationship between the couple is probably a tad more important) but I love looking at all those pretty dresses!

In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with?
I would die happy if I could ever collaborate with Lois Lowry. She is my absolute idol. Hopefully some of her writing brilliance would rub off on me!

My Very UnFairy Tale Life: 

Is your magical kingdom falling apart? Twelve-year-old Jenny is on the case, whether she likes it or not. Saving the world might sound exciting, but for Jenny it’s starting to get old — even staying in the real world long enough to take a math test would be a dream come true! And when you throw in bloodthirsty unicorns, psychotic clowns, and the most useless gnome sidekick ever, Jenny decides that enough is enough. She’s leaving the adventuring business and not looking back. Or…is she?

Giveaway Details:
1 paperback copy & 1 ebook
Open Internationally
Ends 1/23/12

PAPERBACK: Katie (SnapDragon)
EBOOK: Donna (Happy Booker)