Hey guys! I have another awesome author interview for you today! Today's author is Sarah Ockler. Her newest book, Fixing Delilah, recently just came out. I tried posting this earlier but my computer wouldn't let me for some reason. I have not had a chance to read the book yet, but If you guys want a review, go ahead and check out my friend Miranda's lovely book blog.
The link to her review is here: http://just-read-books.blogspot.com/2010/11/fixing-delilah-by-sarah-ockler.html
Now on to the interview!
1. Where did you get the idea for Twenty Boy Summer?
I was inspired to write Twenty Boy Summer by my work with the National Donor Family Council, an organization that supports families whose loved ones have died and donated organs or tissues. Through the Council’s programs and events, I metlots of teens who’d experienced the death of a sibling or friend, and their stories stayed with me always. When I started working on my first book, I knew that I wanted to share a little bit of the love, loss, and hope I saw through their eyes. I chose to do that by telling the story of two best friends struggling after the tragic and sudden death of someone they both loved very much. But I also wanted to show that life goes on, even when we don’t want it to — even when we don’t think it can. So in the book, while Anna and Frankie were trying to put their lives back together after the tragedy of losing Matt, they were also on summer vacation, which meant beaches, boys, makeup, best friend fights,
sunsets, toes in the sand, and all of those every day things that keep going on around us, even when our hearts are broken. I just kept thinking about how those two things would come together — tragedy and life, heartbreak and hope, love and loss — and the story grew from there.
2. Have you always been good at writing/wanted to be a writer?
I've wanted to write stories since I was old enough to read them, and I'm so glad I'm finally at a point in my life where I can do that. It took me a long time to accept that this was my destiny in life, no way to outrun it, but once I did, I haven't looked back.
3. If you could work with any other author, who would it be?
I would love to work with someone who writes really funny but serious stuff, like Josh Berk or Frank Portman. I think it would be such a fun experience to team up on a project like that. Plus Josh is one of the best pranksters I know, which means we'd never be bored!
4. Are there any parts of your books that are based on events in your own life?
Not directly, but I do let a lot of my experiences shape and inspire my work. It's hard not to! Usually the stuff in the books ends up symbolizing something from real life rather than directly recounting it. I do borrow directly from my life with the little details, though. For example, there's this whole weird thing with a dog hair sweater
and dog ashes in Fixing Delilah, and that was all true stuff that happened during my grandmother's death. In Twenty Boy Summer, the characters' favorite band was my brother's band (which broke up right before the book released).
5. How long did it take to find an agent/publish your book after finishing the manuscript?
Once I finished the manuscript and started querying, it took about 3 weeks to find the right agent. After we went on submission to publishers, we had our first offer just a few days later, and we accepted a final pre-empt offer a few days after that. It was all kind of a whirlwind, actually. Some days I wake up and wonder if it really
6. What advice would you give to people who "run out of creativity" when writing?
Copy someone else. I'm serious. If you get totally stuck, and not even a few writing prompts can help you, start copying words from one of your favorite books. Let those words take you in a new direction. At some point, your own brain and heart will kick in, and you'll be
writing something original again. Just remember to delete those copied
words before you submit your work anywhere!
7. What's your favorite part of a book?
I love the part near the end when things look hopeless. There's so much emotional tension and potential there -- things can go either way for the main character, and I'm right there with her, hoping for the best.
(Now for a couple fun questions)
8. Favorite song?
This changes, but it's usually something by Radiohead. Right now, Thinking About You, off the Pablo Honey CD. Love it. Black Star is another one. Then there's Fake Plastic Trees... I'll stop now.
9. If you were going to be stuck on a deserted island, which book, movie, food, and person(s) would you take? Book: The Lord of the Rings trilogy, since that's actually one long book, and we could entertain ourselves by acting out scenes. Movie: I usually say Lord of the Rings, but if we have the book, I think I'll bring something with Johnny Depp. It really doesn't matter which movie, as long as it starts Johnny. Food? Navratan Korma. Person(s)? My husband, Alex. He's my favorite person in the world, after all. If for any reason he wasn't available, I would take um let's see yes Johnny Depp.
10. Five of your favorite things?
Walking in the woods, falling asleep on the couch and waking up with a
blanket covering me, cheese, coffee, and my Mac laptop.
Thanks, Trish, and big group hug to readers and bloggers everywhere. I
hope you'll check out Fixing Delilah, which hits the shelves any day
Sure, you can include a link to my site at http://sarahockler.com and
twitter at http://twitter.com/sarahockler