Bridget: Tell us a little about the character of Stanley and how he first came to you.
Ilana Waters: I know this sounds silly, but Stanley (both the character and the book) came to me in a dream. I woke up and knew the basic plot and three of the main characters—Stanley included. The rest of the book is loosely based on equal parts life experience and wish fulfillment.
Bridget: How did the concept of The Adventures of Stanley Delacourt come about?
Ilana Waters: I’m cheating on this answer, and just saying “see above.” ;-)
Bridget: Which job would you prefer, librarian or apothecary?
Ilana Waters: Ooo—this is hard. Librarians get to be around books all day. But apothecaries get to mix various substances—some of which might be explosive. Sigh. I guess I’ll have to go the safe route and say “Librarian.”
Bridget: What made you decide to become a writer?
Ilana Waters: I’ve wanted to be writer since I was six years old. My first grade teacher said I was good at writing, so I figured that’s what I should do (this really tells you something about the power of labels).
Bridget: What surprised you the most about writing The Adventures of Stanley Delacourt?
Ilana Waters: How many revisions it went through! You’d be very surprised to see the first draft of the novel. *mumbles* Not that I have it, or would show it to anyone if I did.
Bridget: What are some of your MUST HAVES for writing?
Ilana Waters: Silence, privacy, and caffeine—not necessarily in that order.
Bridget: Three things that are on your desk right now.
Ilana Waters: crumpled post its, circular stains, and a cat. Although I’m not wearing my glasses at the moment, so one circular stain could just be in the shape of a cat.
Bridget: Favorite TV show
Ilana Waters: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (past), and Castle (present).
Bridget: If you could be a vampire or witch, which would you be and why?
Ilana Waters: Again, you ask the tough questions! I guess I’d have to say witch, because they’re probably more powerful. They can use magic to do most things vampires can’t. Plus, they don’t have to hurt living things to survive. Although I guess you could be a vampire who just uses a blood bank. But it’s unlikely.
Bridget: What was your favorite childhood book?
Ilana Waters: My favorite book was/is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith. It’s the story of a bookish girl (!) who grows up in poverty, but manages to overcome her circumstances. The author doesn’t gloss over the hardships faced by the characters, but always offers hope and a chance at redemption.
Thank you so much, Bridget and Annabell, for having me on your blog.
Bridget: Thank you so much to you, Ilana, for hanging out on TeamNerd Reviews today!
Synopsis: Ten-year-old Stanley Delacourt loves his quiet life in the peaceful village of Meadowwood. At least, he does until his best friend is killed. Then the town library—where Stanley lives and works—is burned to the ground. The individuals responsible for both tragedies are a nasty group of soldiers. They work for the kingdom’s new leader, Christopher Siren. With the grown-ups too fearful to take action, Stanley vows to confront Siren. He plans to get answers and demand justice. Little does he know that his journey will involve sword-wielding knights, kidnapper fairies, and dark magic.
Stanley has only two allies back home: a witch named Meredith, and a young apothecary called Sophie. Can they help him discover the reason behind Siren’s crimes and end this terrible reign? Or is Stanley set to become the next victim in the tyrant’s evil plot?