Kathleen Rooney on the Woman Behind the Fairies
In Conversation with Lindsay Hunter on I'm a Writer But
Welcome to I’m a Writer But, where writers discuss their work, their lives, their other work, the stuff that takes up any free time they have, all the stuff they’re not able to get to, and the ways in which any of us get anything done. Plus: book recommendations, bad jokes, okay jokes, despair, joy, and anything else going on that week. Hosted by Lindsay Hunter.
Today, Kathleen Rooney discusses her new novel From Dust to Stardust, which is based on silent film star Colleen Moore and the fairy castle she created, as well as the best kind of weirdos, nailing the unique voice of her protagonist, researching the silent film era, and more!
From the episode:
Kathleen Rooney: I grew up watching Mr. Rogers, and he would always do that thing where, instead of just saying, “we’re going to go see where the crayons are made,” he would say, “we’re going to see the people who make the crayons.” I always thought that was so cool. He always emphasized, like, this is a neat product or object or invention, but somebody put in hours to make it. I would like more of that.
Kathleen Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press, a nonprofit publisher of literary work in hybrid genres, as well as a founding member of Poems While You Wait, a team of poets and their typewriters who compose commissioned poetry on demand. She teaches in the English Department at DePaul University, and her recent books include the national best-seller Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk and the novel Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey.. Where Are the Snows, her latest poetry collection, was chosen by Kazim Ali for the X.J. Kennedy Prize and published by Texas Review Press in Fall 2022. With her sister Beth Rooney, she is the author of the picture book Leaf Town Forever, forthcoming in 2025 from University of Minnesota Press.