Interview | Sara Zarr

In anticipation of her reading/signing/party this Friday, February 1st, at 7 p.m. for her second novel, Sweethearts, we asked local author Sara Zarr to answer a few questions. And, as she’s a lovely person with a lot to say, she said yes! So here it is, a sneak preview that should whet your appetite for next Friday.

TKE: Your novels are all about the real word–no unicorns, elves, or magic here! Can you tell us a little bit about why that is?

Sara Zarr: You know, I loved fantasy when I was a young reader, and sometimes still enjoy it, but the things that intrigue me as a writer are the little deaths and resurrections of everyday life more than the sweeping epics. So often I feel like I barely understand the world around me and how to navigate relationships–I can’t even begin to think about creating and understanding a whole new world!
TKE: What was the best part of writing Sweethearts? What was the hardest?
SZ: I might still be too close to the process to come up with “best,” but “hardest” is easy! While I did most of the revisions, my first novel was out and getting really positive response. I became convinced that my second book would be a giant failure and disappointment, and almost called my agent half a dozen times to beg him to pull the plug on my contract. It was a classic case of “second book psychosis.” (Which I hope doesn’t turn into “third book thrombosis.”)
TKE: What should we be looking for next?

SZ: I’ve got an essay in an anthology on body image that’s coming out this fall (it’s called “Does This Book Make Me Look Fat?”), and I’m working on another YA novel for Little, Brown that should be out sometime in later 2009 or thereabouts.

Sara Zarr’s first novel, Story of a Girl, was a 2007 National Book Award finalist. She lives in Salt Lake and will be at The King’s English Bookshop on Friday February 1st at 7 p.m. for her second novel, Sweethearts.

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