Klemstein releases 11th published book: New book ‘Dead Silence’ out now

Tress Dorfler, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Library instructional aid by day and author by night–correction– by early morning, Stacey Klemstein balances two worlds, which has led to a recent release of her 11th published book titled “Dead Silence.” 

“I get up at 5 in the morning, and I write before I come [to school]. I do all of my business stuff, like sending emails and tending to social media,” Klemstein said. “I’m [at MHS] from 8:30- 4:30, and then I’m really tired in the evening, so that’s when I spend time with my family.”

For her newly published 352-page novel, the tagline reads, “Titanic meets ‘The Shining’ since “Dead Silence,” a science-fiction horror, is set in space with the main character Claire on her last job as a beacon repair specialist when her team detects a distress signal. Because Claire feels there is nothing to lose in following that distress signal and no good reason to return home, she and her team investigate. 

The source of the signal turns out to be a long-lost luxury spaceship designed to tour the solar system. The spaceship reveals a haunting past and puts the safety of Claire and her crew at risk. 

“‘Dead Silence’ has a current feel with its pandemic, and add to that, ghosts, the wonder of space travel, tension and mystery elements, along with a romance, and this was just plain fun,” wrote one reviewer on the book review social website Goodreads.

Although new to the science-fiction/horror genre, Klemstein has previously published ten other novels. 

“‘Dead Silence’ was really different because I was trying to make a switch from what I had done before,” Klemstein said.

The first books in her work portfolio were young adult novels– for about ten years. 

“I wrote young adult novels for Disney and Simon and Schuster [two separate publishing companies] under the name Stacey Kade,” she explained. 

A short biography on the Simon and Schuster website adds that Klemstein is the author of the Ghost and the Goth trilogy, the Project Paper Doll series, “For This Life Only” and “Finding Felicity.”

Her first book was published in 2010 when she wrote for Disney-Hyperion, a publishing branch owned by Disney. 

“They did YA books; they were relatively new to doing that at the time,” she said, adding the time being 2008. “It was amazing; they put a lot of promotional effort into the books, and it was a lot of fun.”

Klemstein also has written a paranormal romantic comedy trilogy for them. The trilogy is about a ghost and a guy who can see ghosts; they fall in love trying to solve other problems. 

   When an author has a track record for a certain genre, the author can publish what’s called a proposal, which is a synopsis of the book with a few chapters. Publishing companies use this to determine whether or not a book will sell. 

   “But when you branch out into some place you’ve never been before, like a genre you’ve never written, [publishing companies] want the entire book,” Klemstein said. “So, it’s kind of a gamble a little bit because you could be spending six-eight months to a year working on something that may never go anywhere, and I have had that happen.”

   Klemstein’s agents look at a proposed book and then pitch it to a committee of publishers. 

   “[Then,] when you sell something, it has to go through multiple stages of review,” Klemstein explained. 

   There are multiple types of editors for quality control. Writing a book takes a long time, and not just because of an author’s busy schedule. “Dead Silence,” for example, took around six-eight  months to write and a whole year to be edited and published. 

   “You work with an editor, and then there’s also a copy editor, which is somebody who’s going through and making sure the facts are verified,” she added. 

   Editors also specialize in looking for grammar mistakes and proofreading. 

   “This takes more than one time around; there’s a lot of [that]. It just takes a while,” Klemstein noted.

   While Klemstein took one route in the publishing process, another published staff member at MHS–  Mundelein Family Consumer Science Teacher John Stower, who has published five books–took another route.   

   “I did not have an agent. I approached publishers of books that I was reading. I shot out 5,000-word samples and submitted to places that took submissions,” Stowers said. 

   Since the writing, pitching and publishing process can be laborious and time-consuming, authors often rely on a support group, and Klemstein was no different; she had a group of friends to help her with the writing process.

   “I’m very fortunate in that I have writing friends, so Linnea Sinclair, she writes science fiction and fantasy, and she’s been my critique partner for years. She was invaluable in that process,” Klemstein said.

   Opportunities for peer editing to publishing exist for students, too. Students all over the country can submit works to forums for feedback or to contests for publication and even monetary prizes.

   “If you’re looking to be published or just looking for ideas, I think [online publishing and contests are] a great community,” Creative Writing Teacher Meredith Teuber said. “You can find contests that will support [through] scholarships and all sorts of things, which is something that I think students don’t really know too much about.”

   Writing surrounds students at MHS, then, and students now surround Klemstein, which she finds inspirational.

   “I love working with the kids [at MHS],” Klemstein said. “I wrote teen books for a long time, so it’s super to me to be in this environment where I can interact with people I once wrote for. I do really enjoy having both of those things in my life.”

   For those interested in reading “Dead Silence,” copies are available in the school Media Center and in classroom libraries throughout the English Department. The Media Center offers access to some of Klemstein’s earlier works as well.