drey: Hello Sarah! Welcome to drey’s library! I appreciate your taking the time to visit us this month.Everyone, find Sarah online at her website, http://www.sarahjio.com/, on facebook, and on twitter.
Sarah: Thank you so much for having me, Drey!
drey: Tell us about yourself...
Sarah: I’m a Seattle-based magazine writer-turned-novelist. I’ve written for Glamour, Redbook, O, The Oprah Magazine, Cooking Light, Self, Health and many other magazines, and for the last three years, I’ve been the health and fitness blogger for Glamour.com. I’m incredibly excited about a new direction in my career, too, as a novelist. My first novel, The Violets of March, is out this month from Penguin (Plume), and I recently sold my second, The Bungalow, again to Penguin, and it will release in April 2012. I’m also hard at work on a third book. Oh, and last but not least, I’m also the mom to three little boys--Carson (4), Russell (2), and Colby, our newest addition, born in January.
drey: Congratulations on your newest addition! I have no idea how you manage to write, with three under 4 in your house!! I am in awe! *grin* Oh, and congrats on the books, too--I can't wait to read The Bungalow.
How old were you when you started writing? What made you decide to continue?
Sarah: I wrote my first “book” when I was in first grade, and I’ll embarrass the heck out of myself and tell you the name of it, “A Tug Boat’s Dream.” (I had a little fascination with tug boats back then.) So, yes, I was obsessed with writing books from an early age. The dream has stayed with me since.
drey: Tugboats are cool! My son loved 'em for all of two weeks or so...
What is the ONE reason you’d never give up writing?
Sarah: Because I would be incredibly unhappy without it. I write every day, and I can’t imagine a day, or a life, without it. I always tell people that I feel so lucky that when I sit down to work, it oftentimes feels like play.
drey: Describe The Violets of March. Where did you find the inspiration for it?
Sarah: The Violets of March takes place in two time periods, present day and 1943 on Bainbridge Island, Washington, a small and storied island just a ferry’s ride away from Seattle, where violets bloom out of season and secrets drift in the salt-drenched air. It is here where a recent divorcee finds an old red velvet diary tucked into the guest bedroom of her great aunt Bee’s home. It is only when she reads this diary, written by an anonymous woman, and unlocks its secrets (long-kept since 1943), that she’s able to heal the wounds in her own life and find love again.
I have always loved Bainbridge Island, where the book is set. In fact, I grew up just a few miles from its shores and spent many happy hours there as a child. So, the book is partially inspired by the island, and also inspired the most beautiful jazz song by the late Susannah McCorkle called “The Waters of March.” I head the song years ago and began to think about what type of story I could create that would fit the song. (You should download the song on iTunes—you will love it)
drey: I will definitely have to check out that song--especially if it inspired the very lovely story in The Violets of March!
What do you do for fun?
Sarah: I love to cook, especially for friends and family, and I adore gardening. I’m also crazy about running, and have been slowly starting getting into races. I have my eye on a 10K later this summer. (I recently had a baby, so we’ll see how that goes!)
drey: Good luck with the races if you're doing them this summer. I'm tired just thinking about it! :P
Smackdown: Pick two favorite characters to face off in a cage match. Who are they, who wins, and why?
Sarah: Oh this is so funny to think about! Hmmm. I’d pick Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables and maybe Nellie Olson from the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. Anne would win of course. Her wit and red hair give her the advantage.
drey: I never liked Nellie much anyway, so go Anne!!
What’s up next for you?
Sarah: I recently sold my second novel, The Bungalow, to Penguin, and I’ll be gearing up for its release in April of 2012. I’m also hard at work on book #3, which I’m so very excited about and can’t wait to share more about!
drey: Ooooh! Yet another book!! Hurrah for us readers! *grin*
And, last but not least, the quickie 5:
Thank you so much for stopping in for a visit, Sarah. I really appreciate the time you're taking to do this!
- If you had to pick one, which 80’s fad would you resurrect?
Crimped hair. Don’t laugh.
- What single thing should every aspiring author have in their arsenal?
A good coffee maker.
- Board, video, or card game?
Cards, all the way!
- Jazz or alternative rock?
- Best ice-cream topping?
Lately I’ve been putting cocoa nibs on vanilla ice cream. Yum!
Sarah & her publisher have a lovely giveaway for you, if you live in the US. One lucky duck will win a copy of Violets of March, and trust me--it's a lovely lovely story indeed! To enter, fill out this form before 6pm CST May 25th! One entry per person, multiples will be disqualified (you may want to comment after filling out the form so you know you've already entered)...