Welcome to our weekly special feature post, Author Of The Week!!

Each week we will be interviewing a different YA author and highlighting their upcoming release!

We will also be hosting a giveaway of the book we are highlighting!!





Introducing Lauren DeStefano, YABC's Author of the Week!!

Lauren DeStefano

It's impossible to pinpoint the moment I considered myself a writer. It's more poetic for me to believe that writing was something encoded into my DNA from the moment I first existed, that it hid quietly in my bloodstream and waited patiently for me to learn my ABC's so it could strike.

My mother always carried a pen and paper in her purse to keep me entertained during car rides or long waits at restaurants, and one day I began writing on the back of the kids' menu at Friendly's, filling the leftover pages of my school notebooks with stories to keep myself amused. It never occurred to me what I was doing, only that I enjoyed it.

In the fifth grade, I was blessed with a wonderful teacher who assigned enough writing assignments to make the class groan with dread. Every class has a student like me--You know the one, who writes three pages (front and back, no less) in response to a one-page writing assignment, and then subjects a room of fidgety elementary school students to sit quietly as those pages are read aloud. I even made up a fake book report or two.

It was my fifth grade teacher who introduced the idea that writing could be more than a hobby for me.

At first I thought she was kidding.

"Is writing even a real job?" I asked. To which she replied, "Of course. Someone has to write all those books."

Looking back, this moment was both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it made perfect sense at an age in which so few things make sense, and a curse because that was the day I promptly lost interest in virtually everything else. My grades plummeted. I was a girl obsessed.

The obsession has never died. More than a decade after that fateful day with my fifth grade teacher, I am still wholly devoted to my writing. In high school I won the first and only writing contest I would ever enter: The Thornton Wilder Award, to which I submitted a short story entitled Orange Blood (it's buried deep in the dusty tomes of my notebook pages, perhaps never to be seen by daylight again). I received a check for my efforts, and the opportunity to hear my work read aloud. When my parents asked what inspired me to write such a piece, my response was, "I wrote it during math class."

I won't tell you what my math grade was that year.

College did amazing things for my writing. I majored in English with concentration in Creative Writing, and so many wonderful professors at Albertus Magnus College helped me to hone my writing on new and more challenging levels. Finally, a place for me to spread my writerly wings and focus on my one true passion. I looked forward to the roundtable workshops, critiques, peer-editing, and yes, even the red pen marks. It was in my late college years that I began my first novel. Though I'm still unsure if that novel will ever see the light of day, it taught me what I needed to know: I was capable of starting and finishing a whole body of work.

In 2007 I graduated and left the college world behind me. My writing is represented by Barbara Poelle of The Irene Goodman Literary Agency.




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Meet The Cursed Sea!


Wil, the exiled princess of northern Arrod, must do what she never thought possible: return home to discover the origins of her own curse.

But home is very different from how she left it—Wil’s unpredictable elder brother Baren is now king, leading a war against the Southern Isles. And with time running out, Wil must navigate the dangerous secrets within her family to find the truth.

Nothing goes as planned, and suddenly Wil and her allies are fighting for their lives as the Southern king is out to ensure neither of his children will survive to take the throne. Traveling across cursed seas and treacherous kingdoms, Wil and Loom must make peace with their pasts if they hope to secure the future of their world.

But when their plans lead them right back to evil marveler Pahn, and to Baren—who is more dangerous than ever—can Wil and her friends outsmart their enemies, this time for good?




Amazon * B & N Indiebound




 ~ Author Chat ~


YABC:   Who is your favorite character in the book?

My favorite character was Wil’s brother, Gerdie. He evolved and changed so much over each draft, going from the genius brother to a formidable battle ally for Wil. I loved their friendship as the two youngest spares in a large royal family, and their dialogue came very naturally to me.



YABC:  Which came first, the title or the novel?

The novel came first, followed by several titles, followed by several drafts, and so on.



      YABC:   What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll just say I’m most proud of a scene towards the end in which Espel and Loom finally understand themselves, and each other, and are able to work together for once.



YABC:   What do you like most about the cover of the book?

I love, love, LOVE the color scheme!



      YABC:   What’s up next for you?

I have my first ever children’s picture book coming out in 2020, titled THE UNICORN CAME TO DINNER… AGAIN; this is the first time I’ll have an illustrator, and we’ve found someone who’s wonderfully talented and the early sketches are brilliant.



     YABC:   Is there anything that you would like to add?

I’d estimate 3000 gallons of tea and 500 pounds of honey were consumed by me during the drafting of THE CURSED SEA.



     YABC:   Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?

Almost anything between Wil and Loom. I love their dynamic, but they’re both so stubborn and hesitant with their feelings, and that can be frustrating. I just want them to admit how they really feel about each other.



YABC:   Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?

Espel, Loom’s sister. She was an enigma for much of the first book, and here was my chance to finally give her time in the spotlight. I wanted to make sure I understood where she was coming from, and that took a lot of time and revisiting.



YABC:    Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising? Revising!

I love seeing my work come to life.



     YABC:   What would you say is your superpower?

My superpower is probably the same one that all writers need in this industry, which is my ability to pull myself back up and get back in the game.





The Cursed Sea

By: Lauren DeStefano

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Release Date: December 18th, 2018







One winner will recieve a copy of The Glass Spare & The Cursed Sea (Lauren DeStefano) ~ (US Only)



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