I would like to quickly congratulate the Irondequoit Public Library for getting the "green light" to construct a new library; the best place to find great books to read.
Did you guys realize that TBF is 22 days away?! That's little bit over 3 weeks!
We're very lucky to have TBF author, Sara Zarr come back to Rochester. I remember meeting Sara at TBF 2009, my first year coming to the festival. I thought Sara was so sweet and pretty awesome after I found out she wasn't a big fan of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea (keep in mind that every reader likes different types of books, authors or genres). I'm happy to see her at TBF 2013!
Miranda Reads: The one book you encourage people to read is How to Save a Life because of Ravi and Dylan. How did these two people inspire you to write How to Save a Life?
Sara Zarr: Ravi and Dylan weren't really planned - they were both characters that sort of walked onto the page as the boys/men the lives of the two narrators, in different ways. I mentioned them as reasons to read because I think they're both just really great guys. Dylan is like the old comfortable boyfriend you stay friends with forever even after you break up. Ravi represents something new and unexpected that Jill needs as she gets over the death of her father.
MR: Your latest book, The Lucy Variations, is coming out in the spring. What is it about?
SZ: Lucy Beck-Moreau is this super privileged, super talented sixteen-year-old concert pianist who, before the book starts, has completely walked away from music for various reasons. Her little brother still plays, and he ends up getting a new piano teacher, Will. Will is cute and nice (and older and married), and he and Lucy bond in a way that makes her want to play again. DRAMA ENSUES.
MR: If I remember correctly, you said that The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway was one of the books you didn’t like reading in high school. What book did you enjoy/tolerate reading in high school?
SZ: Some of the books I remember really connecting with: THE JUNGLE by Upton Sinclair, LES MISERABLES by Victor Hugo, and JANE EYRE. I expected to love THE CATCHER IN THE RYE but I kind of hated it! I need to re-read that and see what I think now.
MR: What advice do you have for an inspired writer who wants to write a stand-alone novel?
SZ: Write it! Read a lot of books, and try to read like a writer. That is, pay attention tohow the author is doing whatever she or he is doing. Also pay attention towhy you don't like the things you don't like, and how you would change it. I think watching a lot of movies is good, too, just to get a sense of what makes a story, how subplots and side characters fit in, how to use setting to help tell the story. The fact that it's all visual just helps it sink in in a different way, I think.
MR: One of your five fun facts says that you met your husband when you were 16. Can you tell us the “love story”?
SZ: A girl in my drama class was working at a local community theater as the stage manager. She asked for stage crew volunteers, and I'd recently gotten my driver's license and it just sounded fun. The play was PINOCCHIO, and my future husband was in it as the evil puppeteer. He was a bit older, but it was kind of love at first sight, or at least very quickly knowing we probably would get married.
MR: What author are you most looking forward to meeting at the 8th annual Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival?
SZ: So many of my friends that I don't get to see often are going to be there! I'm excited to see them all. The YA author community is pretty awesome. We do know how to have fun.
Thanks Sara. See you soon!
Be sure to come back to the blog as Elizabeth and I countdown the days until TBF!