I’ve had the pleasure of reading Sarah’s novels for many years; I remember picking up a copy of Skipping A Beat and, after devouring it in one sitting at the beach, knew I had found something special. I’m grateful to be a part of “Sarah’s Street Gang”, a group of women on Facebook who help market her books in the real world- think requesting her books being carried in our local libraries/bookstores, creating online promotional graphics for book sales, and all around brainstorming for ways to help get Sarah’s books out there. I never knew I would find such a special group of women in the process, some of which have become my biggest supporters in my own ventures (I’m looking at you Sara Harrison and Megan Linney!) 🙂 I was delighted when Sarah agreed to a little spotlight feature to help promote her newest book, The Perfect Neighbors, and am positive you are going to want to buy this one straight away- its that good! If you missed it, you can find my review HERE.
1) The Perfect Neighbors is a juicy and suspenseful novel about the secrets women keep and begs the question “how well do we really know the people we see everyday outside our house?”. Where did your inspiration for the story come from?
I once heard Sarah Jessica Parker say that New York City was the fifth character in the hit series “Sex and The City” and I was transfixed by that concept. So when I sat down to write The Perfect Neighbors, I knew I wanted to create not just four vibrant and complicated female characters, but I also wanted the area in which they lived to come alive and seem tangible and real. Because Tessa, Kellie, Susan, and Gigi – my characters – are all hiding pretty big secrets, I created the fictional Newport Cove and gave it the designation as being one of the twenty safest communities in the country. The irony is that safety can be a complicated concept. Sure, there aren’t any muggings or break-ins in Newport Cove, but how safe are the women, truly, when they are hiding truths that could upend their lives?
2) Do you have any funny routines or rituals that enhance your writing process or help break through writer’s block?
Chocolate! And if the words aren’t flowing well, I go for a walk or sometimes watch a movie. Being lost in someone else’s story sometimes makes the path of my own more clear. But I’m not a big believer in writer’s block. If I get stuck in a chapter, usually I need to figure out where I got off track earlier in the book. Once I go back and fix the story line, the writing tends to come more easily.
3) What is one piece of advice you would give aspiring writers that you wish had been passed to you in your early days?
Don’t be afraid to write horrible first drafts. Just get into a routine and write – whether it’s a thousand words a day, or a single page. You can’t edit a blank page, but if you type some words you can always make them more beautiful.
4) Can you share a little about any future book ideas or stories you have planned for the foreseeable future?
I’m about to start writing my next book, and like all my others, it will focus on the rich, complicated, deep relationships of women – with themselves and with others. It’s funny, but I didn’t realize my books have been following a pattern until my publisher at Atria Books pointed it out. My first novel, The Opposite of Me, was about sisters. My second was about a wife. My third was about new friends, and my fourth was about old college friends reuniting. My fifth was about sisters-in-law, and my sixth was about a wife and ex-girlfriend of a police officer. So I’ve been unconsciously exploring all of the important relationships in women’s lives – the roles we play, and the ways we relate to one another. I definitely plan to continue that!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sarah is the mother of three young boys, which explains why she writes part of her novels at Chuck E. Cheese. Sarah penned her first book, Miscellaneous Tales and Poems, at the age of 10. When publishers failed to jump upon this literary masterpiece (hey, all the poems rhymed!) Sarah followed up by sending them a sternly-worded letter on Raggedy Ann stationery. Sarah still has that letter, and carries it to New York every time she has meetings with her publisher, as a reminder that dreams do come true. At least some dreams – Brad Pitt has yet to show up on her doorstep wearing nothing but a toolbelt and asking if she needs anything fixed. So maybe it’s only G-rated dreams that come true.