Saturday, March 10, 2012

Kiera Stewart


Kiera Stewart is a writer for teens and tweens. Her qualifications include never having gotten wisdom teeth. She's been writing since she was five, but with titles such as "Mixed Feelings," "Old Monster, the Bees, and Karen," and the self-congratulatory, "The Amazing Story!" it's no wonder FETCHING is her first published novel. She's currently at work on her second tween novel and lives in Arlington, Virginia, with her family and her dog, Casper, who, despite shots and proper training, tends to look slightly rabid in photos.



Excerpt from an interview with Kiera Stewart

Where did you get the ideas for the novel? How did you learn about dog training?  What inspired you to (brilliantly) connect dog breeds to middle schoolers?

My dog Casper was definitely my muse for Fetching. We adopted him from a great organization called Friends of Homeless Animals. They’re located on a nice stretch of land out in Loudoun County, Virginia where you can meet and greet potential pets — even “test-walk” them. He’d come from an animal hoarder who had 126 dogs. But given Casper’s sweet demeanor, I’d guess that this hoarder was probably just a really kind person with a really huge problem.

I was actually working on a different novel when we adopted Casper and started working on training him. I took him to classes (another confession: we were obedience school drop-outs, but that’s another story). I also read some books and watched a lot of training shows on TV. What fascinated me the most was how big of a role human behavior played in dog training. Sometimes it wasn’t really about the dog, but about the owner. Self-doubt, weakness, lack of confidence — dogs notice these things and react pretty negatively to them. It’s not hard to believe that people do too.  And where is self-doubt, weakness and lack of confidence more rampant than in middle school?

Read the rest of Erika Robuck’s interview at: