September 19, 2010


Comic writer Stacy Kramer plays many roles in the world of entertainment. Having spent time at major film studios Paramount Pictures, Columbia Pictures, and Twentieth Century Fox, Stacy broke into the industry as a story editor and worked her way to the top of the chain as a producer, creating classic indie hits The Last Seduction, Jawbreaker, and Igby Goes Down. After years in production and the births of her three children, Stacy decided to retire her producer’s hat and challenge herself to begin writing. From magazines to books to television, Stacy flourished and her career took off: a humor column for the Village Voice, comic pieces for Elle and Marie Claire, episodes for TV show Lizzie McGuire, and the Warner Brother’s TV-movie starring Lindsay Lohan, Labor Pains. And Stacy's latest focus? Writing to entertain the complicated and sassy "tween" demographic. Together with long-time friend and coworker, Valerie Thomas, they wrote and released the hit pre-teen novel, Karma Bites this Fall 2010. Stacy confesses there aren’t any vampires in the novel, but she and Val have been bitten by the charms of the young adult market, where the book has received sparkling reviews.

We know Stacy has the formula right when her humorous, smart, and often sarcastic writing makes both tweens and adults laugh in unison. 

What directs your career path?
The desire to tell a story that will make people laugh and think.

The highlight of your career thus far?
As a producer, having my first film premiere at Sundance Film Festival to sold out audiences and then open at multi-plexes throughout the U.S. As a writer, selling the first movie I ever wrote to Twentieth Century Fox and seeing my first novel on the shelf at Barnes and Noble. That being said, I’m a "glass half-empty" kind of girl, so mostly the lows come to the fact that my daughter hated my most recent film, Labor Pains, and asked me not to mention it in front of her friends.

Do you remember the first thing you ever wrote?
A really off-the-wall short story in ninth grade. It was so bizarre that my English teacher told me I’d never be a writer. Guess I got the last laugh. Or maybe she did, depending on what she thinks of my work.

What phrase or word do you most overuse?
“You know?” or “do you know what I mean?” I guess I’m feeling constantly misunderstood.

What is your biggest grammar pet-peeve?
People using “who” instead of “whom” and my daughter constantly saying “Me and Lily went to…” instead of “Lily and I.”

Describe the “tween” demographic in one sentence.
Eleven going on thirty.

What captures their interest?
Tweens are at a great age. They’re open to everything and anything, fiction-wise. They can roll with magic, romance, comedy, adventure. It’s a dream for a writer because the playing field is limitless.  

Why are they especially difficult and/or exciting to write for? 
They’re extremely fun to write for as they’re sophisticated enough to appreciate humor and intricate plotting, but still young enough to crave wacky and wild stories that don’t necessarily hew to reality. The only drawback to writing for this demo is that they’re difficult to reach. They’re not really finding their books through the internet or their parents. They’re hearing about books through friends and librarians. It’s a bit of a marketing conundrum.  

Do you have kids? How old?
I have three kids. A five year-old boy, a nine year-old boy and an eleven year-old girl, who is my tween guinea pig (though not for long, which is why my next book is an older Young Adult novel).

Do you read your critical reviews?
I read everything. Over and over again. I’m a bit of a glutton for punishment (see under "glass half empty").

How does one handle criticism well?
I find a bottle of Chardonnay helps the criticism go down. There are times when well-articulated critical reviews have helped me to improve my writing, when at the end of the day, I’m grateful for the thoughtful commentary. But then there are the other times (and I’m not mentioning any names, New York Times) when the reviews are mean and nasty and not constructive in any way.

What talent would you most like to have?
Jon Stewart’s brain. Is that a talent? If not, I’d just take his comedy chops.

Best remedy for writers block:
Virtual or actual shopping.

Your idea of perfect happiness:
Walking a major European capital with my hubby. Sorry, kids--I love you, but Paris is just more fun without you.

Where is your favorite place to write in New York?
In my bed. But my back doctor tells me I’m slowly destroying my spine, so I’m trying to stick with the desk and the ergonomic chair...but it’s not nearly as fun.

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