Jacqueline West, Writer

Bestselling author and poet

About Jacqueline

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Appetizer bio:

Jacqueline West is the author of the NYT-bestselling middle grade series The Books of Elsewhere, the Schneider Family Award Honor Book The Collectors, the YA horror novel Last Things, the Minnesota Book Award-winning middle grade mystery Long Lost, and several other odd and twisty books for young readers. Her poetry and short fiction for adults appear in a variety of publications. She lives in Red Wing, Minnesota.

Entree bio:

Jacqueline West is the author of the middle grade fantasy series THE BOOKS OF ELSEWHERE. VOLUME ONE: THE SHADOWS was a Publisher’s Weekly Flying Start, an Indie Next List Top Ten Pick, a Junior Library Guild selection, a New York Times bestseller, and the winner of the 2010 CYBILS Award for Fantasy.

Her other books for middle grade readers include the Schneider Family Book Award Honor Book THE COLLECTORS and its sequel, A STORM OF WISHES, THE STORY PIRATES PRESENT: DIGGING UP DANGER, and the mystery/ghost story LONG LOST, which is a Junior Library Guild Selection and an Indie Next List pick. 

Jacqueline’s first YA novel, DREAMERS OFTEN LIE, braids Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and A Midsummer Night's Dream into a modern-day teen's life. LAST THINGS, her 2019 YA horror novel, is a modern-day Minnesotan metal retelling of the legend of a musician who may have sold his soul to the devil, and was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Awards and longlisted for the Bram Stoker Awards.

Jacqueline's short fiction for adults and children appears in a variety of publications. Her poetry has received many honors, including three Pushcart nominations, three Rhysling Award nominations, and a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg prize. Cherma, her series of poems about Wisconsin's Bohemian immigrants, was published in March 2010 by the University of Wisconsin's Parallel Press chapbook series. Candle and Pins: Poems on Superstitions, her first full-length speculative poetry collection, appeared in 2018 from Hiraeth Publishing.

Jacqueline loves dogs of all shapes and sizes, is sadly allergic to cats (though she manages to write about them without developing a rash), and is at least a little bit afraid of all fish larger than a hot dog bun. If you are sharing a pizza, she will ask for the crust pieces. Don't get her talking about Nine Inch Nails, Northern Exposure, or Sylvia Plath, or you'll be sorry. Jacqueline lives in Red Wing, Minnesota with her family.

Contact Jacqueline West

Frequently asked questions. Other questions, comments, speaking invitations, etc. at: Jacqueline is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Mail can be sent to:
Jacqueline West
P.O. Box 204
Red Wing, MN 55066

Jacqueline West is represented by Danielle Chiotti of Upstart Crow Literary.
The Books of Elsewhere are illustrated by Poly Bernatene.

Reading and Activities

The Collectors

Digging Up Danger

The Shadows - Chapter One

The Shadows - Chapter Four

Last Things

A Storm of Wishes


March 2023: The BiblioFiles (podcast), a production of Cotsen Children's Library/Princeton University Library

May 2022: 36 Finalists Blog (Minnesota Book Awards)

March 2021: KDWA Radio -- the writing process, LONG LOST, pandemic life, and more (mp3 file)

October 2020: Jacqueline is a guest on Reading With Your Kids podcast

August 2020: Video chat with author Kim Ventrella covering Jacqueline's work from The Books of Elsewhere to Last Things, as well as ghostly encounters, teenage poetry, and where ideas come from.

Colleen Anderson's Blog: Women in Horror Month -- poetic influences, inspiration, and themes

October 2019: Book Birthday Bash - A STORM OF WISHES (How I would throw the perfect party for THE COLLECTORS, VOL. 2!)

October 2019: A STORM OF WISHES (Sequels, the big umbrella of fantasy, and writing with synesthesia)

September 2019: Ginger Nuts of Horror: Jacqueline West Talks about Her Last Things. Fear, writing challenges, and one question no one ever asks me

May 2019: The Page 69 Test: A sneak peek at page 69 of LAST THINGS (and how it represents the book as a whole)

May 2019: Confessions of a YA Reader: LAST THINGS top ten lists -- top ten bands, top ten books with a creepy forest setting, and top ten movies/TV shows for readers

May 2019: LAST THINGS inspiration, insight into characters, and what I'd do if I could spend a day in Anders and Thea's world

May 2019: A New Look on Books: The story behind the cover of LAST THINGS

May 2019: Literary Meanderings: LAST THINGS characters, inspiration, and favorite scenes

May 2019: Twilight Reader: Official LAST THINGS playlist!

May 2019: Susan Heim on Writing: Guest post on why LAST THINGS wouldn't exist without coffee shops

April 2019: The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club: LAST THINGS inspiration, favorite characters, and book recommendations

January 2018: "Write On! Radio," KFAI 90.3/106.7 Minneapolis-St. Paul - Reading aloud from THE COLLECTORS, plus some in-depth writing discussion (audio only - click the listen or download button)

December 2018: Crossroad Reviews - THE COLLECTORS and more, the path to writing, and some fun quick-fire questions

Novenber 2018: A Glass of Wine Book Reviews - Hear me describe my forthcoming YA novel LAST THINGS in GIFs, words, and coffee drinks!

November 2018: A Worthy Reader - THE COLLECTORS, writing kids' feelings, and noticing the small things

October 2018: MG Book Village - THE COLLECTORS, middle grade and YA fiction, and why I wanted to write about wishes

September 2018: Bridget and the Books Blog -  An interview by one amazing young reader, for other amazing young readers

October 2016: Reach and Teach Bookstore Blog: Elsewhere is Everywhere - Magic, memory, reality, and growth -- and why I love Halloween

August 2016: Booksnob Blog - DREAMERS OFTEN LIE, inspiration, and some of my literary favorites

June 2016: New Richmond News - What's next for author, River Falls native Jacqueline West

June 2016: Hello Jenny Reviews - Author Spotlight: DREAMERS OFTEN LIE by Jacqueline West - Coffee, Shakespeare, and tough choices

May 2016: YA Books Central: Author Chat with Jacqueline West: Writing surprises, YA recommendations, and not-so-super superpowers

May 2016: Book Club for Kids Podcast: Starting THE SHADOWS, naming the cats, and other BOOKS OF ELSEWHERE insights

Bookhounds YA: Favorite words, current reads, and things that make me cringe - April 2016

Book Stop Corner: Research, character creation, and the writing journey - April 2016

Nerdy Book Club: Guest Post - "Over My Head: Falling in Love with Shakespeare as a Kid" - April 2016

Adventures in YA Publishing - Writing DREAMERS OFTEN LIE, inspiration, revision, and "Aha!" moments - April 2016

Log Cabin Library: Guest Post - "Hearing Voices: Moving from THE BOOKS OF ELSEWHERE to DREAMERS OFTEN LIE" - March 2016

Voices in the Valley radio show/podcast, hosted by The Shire Literary Center and KLBB radio - The writer's routine, getting started (and keeping going), and DREAMERS OFTEN LIE - January 2016

Respect the Books - Research, inspiration, and favorite things - March 2015 - The path to writing, major influences, and coping with writers' block - December 2014 The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe - Gateway books, guilty pleasures, and favorite fictional villains (among other things) - June 2014

St. Paul Pioneer Press - 'Elsewhere' series author inspired by creepy River Falls house - June 2014

Literary Rambles: Jacqueline West Interview - Inspiration, evolution, and ending a series - May 2014

The Page 69 Test: The Strangers - A sample from Volume Four and some thoughts on themes - July 2013

Coffee with a Canine, Part 2: Brom Bones, Breakfast, and The Books of Elsewhere - July 2013

Middle Grade Ninja: 7 Questions for Author Jacqueline West - February 2013

The Other Side of the Story podcast, hosted by author Matt Myklusch - December 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Agents, awards, and best-seller lists - July 2012

Cracking the Cover: Exchanging music for writing - July 2012

The Enchanted Inkpot: Paintings, cats, and mathematicians - June 2012

Pots 'n Pens: Writing, recipes, and foodie/literary metaphors... September 2011

1 Bookshelf: "Jacqueline West's Bookshelf" - September 2011

Writing Raw: "The Seven Question Interview" - September 2011

Examiner: "Interview with Jacqueline West" - August 2011

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Must-Reads for Middle Schoolers - July 2011

The Word Asylum: Jacqueline's advice to young writers - July 2011

Coffee with a Canine: Writers. Dogs. Coffee. Love it. - July 2011

Minnesota Reads: "Six Questions We Always Ask" - March 2011

Cynsations: New Voice Interview - October 2010

Guide to Literary Agents Blog: "Seven Things I've Learned So Far" - September 2010

Daily Pie - June 2010

BookPage - June 2010

MBWCreates - May 19th, 2010

The Tuesday Visitor (Susan Colebank) - May 25th, 2010


© Jacqueline West