Interview + Giveaway: Sarah Dessen!

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Houston was thrilled to have Sarah Dessen visit…and on her birthday, no less!  Wherever Sarah goes, her devoted fans will follow and the Houston stop was no exception.  Sarah even admitted that some of her more ardent fans can sometimes stump her on trivia questions from her own books!

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The great people at Blue Willow Bookshop hosted a wonderful event, as usual, and I was lucky enough to have a few minutes to sit down and talk to Sarah about her new book, The Moon and More.

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Kate: You did an interview with Penguin Canada and you said that “I find with my writing that the beginnings are usually from real life.” So, was there a real life beginning to The Moon and More?

Sarah:  Yes! I finished What Happened to Goodbye. Well, I finished the draft and then I set it aside and we went on vacation. Usually when I finish a draft I’m so tired and I really don’t want to write.  We were in Emerald Isle, which is my Colby, and I was sitting out by the pool and this pool guy walks up.  He was this typical Emerald Isle pool guy with no shirt, really cute, dragging all these hoses, very friendly.  He said “Dude, what’s up?” So we started talking and he started telling me all about how he’s from Emerald Isle and he works on a charter fishing boat and he told me what he really wanted to do with his life and what it was like being from there and having the vacationers come in every season.  When he left I said “Well, there’s my next book!”

Kate: And that was Luke

Sarah: Right! I knew I didn’t want to write a book just about Luke, but that’s often where it starts; something small like that.

Kate:  You started writing before you became a mom, so how did motherhood change the way you write about parents?

Sarah:  I think I have a lot more sympathy for the mothers than I used to. I used to write as a daughter and now I write as a daughter and a mother. So, it’s definitely changed. I used to think “well, that’s the mother character and she’s controlling and overprotective and she’s trying to quash this teen’s individuality” and now I think, “she’s just doing the best she can!” I just didn’t know what it was like. You get this little person and you’re in charge of them and in charge of keeping them alive as they toddle around and try to stick things in their mouths. So, of course I’m not going to let my daughter go out the door and get in the car with someone I don’t know. It’s given me a lot more sympathy.

Kate:  I thought the dynamic between the Dad and the Father was interesting.

Sarah:  I think I’ve done so much with the mothers. I’ve done a lot with the mother daughter thing. My mom read the book and  said “Thank you for finally taking on the dads!” I like the idea that, as a parent, you realize that you can be a parent biologically and not be a hands-on parent. So much of parenting is the day-to-day being there. It’s not just about being genetically linked to someone.

Kate:  There are a lot of adults reading YA right now.  Why do you think his has become such a trend?

Sarah:  I think that there’s so much good YA out there right now. There was Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games. All were very tightly written, suspenseful books and it didn’t matter where you found them on the shelf because they would appeal to anybody. They appeal to you if you were ever in high school, or a teenager, or if you are now. I have yet to meet anyone who went through high school and doesn’t have an opinion about it. It’s a watershed experience whether your high school was 20 years ago or 20 minutes ago. You will remember that time in your life when everything is changing.

Kate:  When I saw the name Emaline I immediately thought about a Ben Folds Five song that nobody knows about on an album called Naked Baby Pictures.  Do you know it? 

Sarah:  That song is my ring tone! It’s not one of those songs of his that everyone knows. Well, originally, I wanted to name her Esmé because I was listening to Michael J. Fox’s memoir and that’s the name of one of his daughters. Then I found out there was a character in Twilight with that name, so I didn’t want to repeat it. I was looking for another good E name and I heard his song on the radio.

Thank you, Sarah!  There was a great crowd at the signing and everyone was very excited to get their hands on The Moon and More!  (Such a gorgeous cover.)

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Since it was Sarah’s birthday, there was cake!  It wasn’t just any cake, though…..it was a book cake! Happy Birthday, Sarah!

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If you can’t make it to one of Sarah’s tour stops, you can order signed copies from Blue Willow Bookshop.  You can also see Sarah in September at the Austin Teen Book Festival!

The wonderful people at Penguin are letting me give away one finished copy of The Moon and More.  Just fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win this thoughtful and poignant story.    After you’ve done that, scroll on down to hear Emaline by Ben Folds Five.  I love this song and I really love that Sarah Dessen found some inspiration in it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Kate @ Ex Libris


1,219 responses to “Interview + Giveaway: Sarah Dessen!

  1. Erica N

    Sarah Dessen’s books are the best! I loved The Moon and More, especially the dynamic between Emaline and Margo. The last paragraph was absolutely amazing! 🙂

  2. Kristi

    I think my favorite book is What Happened to Goodbye. Its usually not everyone’s favorite, but it seemed so realistic and I just loved it. However, I love almost all of her books; she is amazing! Also, thanks for the giveaway!

  3. alicia marie

    I’ve loved all of her books but I think if I had to pick a favorite I would say What Happened to Goodbye : )

  4. I haven’t read the Moon and More but it and all her books sounds so great! I have always wanted t read one of Sarah Dessen’s books. I used to work at a book store and they were always flying off the shelves but recently my like of different genres had opened up and now I can’t wait to read some of her work! Since I haven’t read one of Sarah’s books I would say that The Moon and More and This Lullaby sound like they would be favorites of mine! I just added them both to my TBR on Goodreads!

    It’s so cool you got to meet her and chat!! Eeek!

    Thanks so much for an awesome post and giveaway…I really enjoyed it!

    My email: mrsjtucker[at]gmail[dot]com

  5. I am ashamed to admit that I haven’t read anything by Sarah Dessen yet and I claim to be a lover of contemporary. I know, I know, what is wrong with me right? 😉 I have been taking recommendations and plan to remedy that VERY SOON. I might start with The Truth About Forever, or maybe just The Moon and More. Thanks so much for the chance to win!

  6. My favorite Dessen book is Dreamland, hands down. I don’t think it’s most people’s favorite b/c it’s a lot darker than her other books, but it is just so true to life and real. Caitlin and Rogerson just jump off the page…I saw her at BookPeople in Austin, and she said it was one of her faves, too 🙂

  7. SOOO JEALOUS! <3 <3 <3 Sarah Dessen and YOU. This is such a thoughtful interview, love the question about motherhood.

    P.S. my fav Dessen books are The Truth About Forever and This Lullaby!

  8. Nancy L.R.

    I haven’t read all of her books, though I do own a few. How could you not?
    My favorite book so far is “This Lullaby.”

  9. Carl

    I haven’t read any of Sarah’s other books yet but I hear that The Truth about Forever is very good. I’ll have to check them out.

  10. I’ve yet to read anything by Sarah Dessen but my sister recommended her to me recently so I picked up ‘Just Listen’ and ‘Lock and Key’ and plan on reading them soon. 🙂

  11. I’m really excited to read THE MOON AND MORE. I love Sarah Dessen. Her books were the first contemporary YA books that I really loved, so it’s been such a pleasure to devour every single one that comes out!

  12. Kai W.

    My favorite so far is Someone Like You. I haven’t read The Moon and More so my choice could change.

    Thanks for the interview and giveaway.

  13. gisellecontreras39

    all of them are excellent, but my #1 has to be the truth about forever.:)Thank you for the giveaway!

  14. My absolute favorite is The Truth About Forever! It was my first book of hers I read and I just fell completely in love with everything Sarah writes!

  15. Brynna

    I have actually never read a Sarah Dessen book, but have a pair of friends who are obsessed with her, so I’d like to get in on the action.

  16. Tiffany Drew

    Sadly, I have yet to read one of her books. I hear a ton of good things about them though, so I’d really love to start working my way through them. Starting with this one, of course 🙂 Thank you!

  17. Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite authors and I can’t wait to read her new book! It’s so hard to pick a favorite book, but it would have to be between This Lullaby (the first book I read by Dessen) and Dreamland (it made me cry).

  18. I personally LOVE This Lullaby!! I love all of her books but This Lullaby, I think is my absolute favorite..
    Thanks for the giveaway!!
    xo
    Stephanie

  19. Christine

    I always love The Truth About Forever the most, but my other two favorites would have to be This Lullaby and Along for the Ride–they’re all amazing though!! 😀

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