I had the pleasure of interviewing Sarah Pekkanen. Please help me welcome her to LCR!
LCR: You have a remarkable way of weaving simple yet complex relationships in your novels. Where do you get inspiration for your stories?
SP: Thank you! I'm fascinated by relationships and all of my novels center around the important ones in a woman's life: my first book, The Opposite of Me, was about sisters; my second, Skipping a Beat, was about a marriage; and These Girls is about friendship. My ideas form slowly - I'm not one of those authors who gets zapped by a lightning bolt of inspiration and suddenly envisions the entire outline for a book. I tend to ruminate on an idea, add a bit to it, take a little out, let it stew a while longer.... my subconscious is actually my partner in inspiration, because it does a lot of work while I tend to mundane tasks like putting away laundry and walking the dog.
LCR: Now, I can't wait to read your other books! Where do you write your stories?
SP: Forget the idealistic vision of an author sitting in a little beach cottage, writing with only the sound of the waves for company. Though it sounds like a dreamy experience, I've got three kids and they're my priority, so I fit in writing around the margins of their lives. Sometimes it means piling up pages in my minivan while I sit at soccer practice; other times I've rewritten scenes in the back row of a movie theater while my kids watched the new Disney release. I've learned to write on the fly, out of necessity, and I'm actually glad because now I never waste time - if I'm traveling by train or bus, I've got my laptop and I'm working.
LCR: Yeah...I've written some of my scenes at the park and while supervising bathtime. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
LCR: Your answer makes me think of the movie Midnight in Paris. What’s the latest book you’ve read and loved?
SP: I just finished The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler, and thought it was beautiful. She examines the lives of quiet, quirky people and somehow makes them the most fascinating characters you've ever encountered. I'm in awe of her grace as a writer, and I love her humor. When I turned the last page of the book, I just sat there in stunned silence for a few minutes - it was that good.
LCR: I love books with those kind of endings. What is the most difficult thing you’ve encountered as an author? The best thing?
SP: Blurbs are tricky. I don't like asking for them, and I feel awful when other authors ask me to blurb their novels and I'm unable to for various reasons. But luckily, there are so many best things about being an author! I love going into a bookstore, finding my novels on a shelf, and just staring at them. The thrill remains every bit as exciting as the first time I spotted my books in a store, and I hope it always will be.