I might be the only teenage girl in several countries that has not read a Sarah Dessen book. I know; I’m awful. But don’t worry—I’m working on reading her newest book, The Moon and More, now, and I should come out with a review here in a couple of weeks.
Anyway, I was lucky enough to attend a Q&A that included herself, Lauren Morrill, and Jennifer E. Smith. (Their posts are yet to come). She was very interesting to listen to and very much inspiring for a young writer such as myself. One of the great aspects of these Q&A’s with authors is that they can become very personal and share a lot about their background.
|Lauren Morrill, Jennifer E. Smith, Sarah Dessen|
When Mrs. Dessen was in high school, she fell in with the wrong crowd. She wasn’t great at school or anything else for that matter, and as she says, books are really the only thing that got her through high school. She was blessed to live in a town that flourished with published authors that encouraged her to follow her writing dream. When she went off to college, she wrote a couple of unsuccessful books while working at a Mexican restaurant, which she continued to work at through the publishing of her first book. Now, she’s just published her eleventh book, ironically writing about the one time in her life that she would rather forget.
1. What do you think is the biggest misconception people have of you?
That I know what I’m doing. People think now that I’ve written eleven books, that I must know everything there is to know, but that’s not true. Every book is a new experience.
2. Do you have an inspiration food?
I keep two pieces of chocolate on my writing desk every day.
3. What are you passionate about besides writing?
Good Morning, America, which I was blessed to be on—a dream come true, and my family.
Fun Facts about Sarah Dessen:
Ø For those of you that are regular Dessen readers, you might have noticed that several of her characters have a strong aversion to mayonnaise. This stems from her work at the Mexican restaurant. Every morning she would have to prepare dressing for the restaurant—that’s a lot of dressing. And what does dressing have a lot of? Mayonnaise.
Ø She’s a control freak about everything except her writing.
Ø She is a creature of habit, who always has to write in the afternoons.
Ø She always wanted an exotic name like Veronica…Sarah just wasn’t enough.
Tips for writers:
- Figure out what works for you and stick with it.
- Don’t think too much about your second book—it’s not as natural.
- Trust your editor.
- Your opinion of your work is the most important.
- Pick your snits, as my dad always said.