photo credit: Eric Charles
Cecil Castellucci is the author of books and graphic novels for young adults including Boy Proof, The Plain Janes, First Day on Earth, The Year of the Beasts, Tin Star, Stone in the Sky and the Eisner nominated Odd Duck. Upcoming in 2015 is Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure. Her picture book, Grandma’s Gloves, won the California Book Award Gold Medal. Her short stories have been published in Strange Horizons, YARN, Tor.com, and various anthologies including, Teeth, After and Interfictions 2. She is the Children’s Correspondence Coordinator for The Rumpus, a two time Macdowell Fellow and the founding YA Editor at the LA Review of Books. She lives in Los Angeles.
Cecil Castellucci is the author of novels for young adults. Boy Proof , The Queen of Cool and Beige all on Candlewick Press. Rose Sees Red, First Day on Earth on Scholastic Press. And The Year of the Beasts, Tin Star and Stone in the Sky on Roaring Brook Press. Her upcoming novel, Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure, is a part of the Star Wars Journey to the Force Awakens series. Her first Graphic Novel The Plain Janes launched the DC Comics Minx imprint and she was awarded the 2007 Shuster Award for best Canadian Comic Book Writer. It was followed up by the sequel Janes in Love, which was nominated for the 2008 Shuster Award. Her first Picture Book, Grandma’s Gloves won the California Book Award Gold Medal for juvenile literature and Odd Duck was nominated for the Eisner Award, the Shuster Award and the Sakura Medal.
Her short stories have appeared in various places including Strange Horizons, Tor.com, Apex Magazine, Black Clock, The Rattling Wall, YARN and the anthologies, Teeth, The Eternal Kiss, Geektastic (which she co-edited), Dear Bully, Interfictions 2 and After. Her books have been on various American Library Association’s (ALA’s) lists, as well as the NYPL Books for the Teen Age, Bank Street Books, Junior Library Guild and the Amelia Bloomer list.
Cecil started her artistic education at the prestigious High School of Performing Arts High School, now known as LaGuardia High School for the Arts in New York City where she studied theater. You may know her High School as the basis for the film and TV series FAME. Classmates included Jennifer Aniston, Reno Wilson, Eagle Eye Cherry.
She then went to New York University for Film Production where her Freshman Mentor was Mo Willems of Pigeon Fame. He corralled her into his sketch comedy group The Sterile Yak where she met David Wain and Craig Wedren. Sophomore year, she broke from The Sterile Yak and started The New Group with Todd Holoubek. The New Group, with cast members that included Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter and Joe LoTruglio. After Cecil left NYU to go to Concordia University, The New Group changed its name and became beloved the beloved comedy group known as The State.
In Montreal, while studying Film Production at Concordia University, Cecil formed the all-girl band BITE playing under the name Cecil Seaskull. They were darlings of the Canadian Indie Rock scene in the early 90s. After that band dissolved she formed the band Nerdy Girl. She released numerous 7-inches and two CDs with Nerdy Girl on No Life Records.
Moving to Los Angeles in the mid nineties, she started playing under her nick name Cecil Seaskull and her album WHOEVER was released on Teenage USA Records and included cameos by Melissa Auf der Maur, Tim Armstrong and Rufus Wainwright.
A huge Star Wars fan, in 1999 Cecil waited for six weeks in a tent on Hollywood Blvd waiting for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. You can see her in the documentary Star Woids which followed the fans wait.
She was a line producer on MTV’s The Big Urban Myth Show before she moved on to writing novels full time with the release of her first novel BOY PROOF, which John Green called “One of the best books you’ve never read.”
In 2009 she was commissioned by ECM+ to write the libretto for an original opera with music composed by Andre Ristic, Les Aventures de Madame Merveille which premiered in Montreal on May 6th & 7th 2010 and features art by Cameron Stewart, Michael Cho, Pascal Girard and Scott Hepburn. It was remounted in Montreal in Winter 2011. Her second opera with Ristic, Mise En Jeu: Opera Noir will debut in Montreal at ECM+ in Winter 2017
In addition to The Plain Janes and Janes in Love, (illustrated by Jim Rugg), The hybrid novel, The Year of the Beasts (illustrated by Nate Powell) and Odd Duck (illustrated by Sara Varon). Cecil’s other comics work includes The Wallflower (illustrated by Amy Reeder) in Ghosts #1 (Vertigo), The Lighthouse- Aquaman/Mera (illustrated by Inaki Miranda) in Young Romance #1 (DC Comics), I Will Return (illustrated by Kel MacDonald) in Womanthology Space #5 (IDW), Green Lantern: The Animated Series Issue #11(DC Comics). Upcoming she has a story in Wonder Woman: Sensation Comics and a graphic novel Pearl in the Rough with Joe Infurnari (Dark Horse).
She is the recent recipient of two Macdowell Fellowships, Banff Residency and the Launchpad space science workshop.
Her first stories for children were published in the Los Angeles Times Kids Reading Room and she has been an active Read Aloud volunteer at Mayberry Elementary School in Echo Park for over a decade.
Performances pieces that she has written and conceived of include; “The Shirt and Other Awkward Stories”, “The Ladies Room”, “My Heart, The Whore”, “Seven Women/Seven Sins” and “Dear Friend.” “Spinster”, a collaboration with author / performer Jen Sincero was performed in October 2005. Her first play “Westward Expansion” debuted in Fall 2006 at the Alliance Repertory Company in Los Angeles and her play “The Long and Short of Long Term Memory” was part of the EST LA Winterfest program in 2013 and will be published in GeekTheater in Fall 2014.
She has participated in the Lincoln Center Directors Lab West and had both writing and directing assistantships at the Taper. Cecil was a founding member of the Alpha 60 film club. Alpha 60 was a club dedicated to discovering narrative voice and encouraging creative endeavors in film. She was the Director of Recreating Radio at the Museum of Television and Radio (now known as the Paley Center). In 2006 she wrote and directed her first feature film “Happy Is Not Hard To Be.” It debuted in Los Angeles at the Alternative Screen series at the Egyptian Theatre.
She currently hosts the monthly Teen Author Reading Series at the LAPL Central Library and is the YA editor for the new Los Angeles Review of Books and the Children’s Correspondence Coordinator for The Rumpus.
In addition to writing books, she writes plays, makes movies, does performance pieces, and still occasionally rocks out. Born in New York City to French Canadian parents, she is a citizen of both America and Canada. Currently, she lives in Los Angeles.
*photo by Eric Charles