If life's about the journey, does it matter how many bathroom breaks you take along the way?

I’m beyond excited and honored to interview YA writer extraordinaire and all-around incredible person, Sarah Ockler, for my post today. Sarah is the author of Twenty Boy Summer, Fixing Delilah, and most recently, Bittersweet, and on top of being a talented and successful novelist, she’s really, really nice. So if you’re an aspiring writer, you’re not allowed to hate her for picking up an über-agent immediately after finishing her first novel, selling it within weeks, and polishing novel number four as this blog posts. She’s the living, breathing, hormone-channeling, textbook case of how to do everything right in young adult fiction, plus she’ll actually answer any non-creepy questions you ask below!

Speaking of questions, the great thing about pretending to be an interviewer is that I can ask the most ridiculous ones imaginable and pass them off as real. Technically, they don’t even have to make sense, so that’s pretty fun. The amazing thing about being Sarah Ockler, YALSA Teens’ Top Teen Nominee, Girls’ Life Top 100 Must Reads pick, and a New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association Book Award nominee, is that she’s Sarah Ockler. Plus she has the option of ignoring all of my stupid questions and chatting via Skype with impressively famous literary people instead. Or watching Toddlers and Tiaras. The choice is hers, which in my world is the definition of P-O-W-E-R.

Anyway, the fantastic thing about following my blog is that I’m only on the hook for twenty questions, and you get the chance to ask number twenty-one in the comments section. Not only will Sarah pick her favorite and answer it, she’ll sign a copy of Bittersweet and send it to you for being so smart, creative, witty, reflective, or weird.

So here goes.

SC: In Bittersweet, you open each chapter with irresistible, carb-loaded descriptions of super-yummy cupcakes. Women my age like to smell cupcakes, but not necessarily eat them. Unless we’re stalking them in a serious battle with PMS, and then we inhale them by the baker’s dozen, but only in the dark. Did you ever consider using another hook, like organic vegetables, to better connect with the fortyish, lactose-free, lululemon, YA mom market?

SO: Of course! But my buttercream-frosted beets were kind of a bust. The chocolate cherry Brussels sprouts faired only slightly better, but carrot cake aside, organic veggie desserts garnered meh reviews across the cutting board.

Confession: I had to Google lululemon. But I did not have to Google cupcake or carb-loaded. Draw your own conclusions!

SC: Speaking of baking, what non-writing activities, like music, inspire your writing? The entirety of Muse would be waiting tables at an overpriced restaurant in Brentwood and running from OJ Simpson right now if it wasn’t for Stephanie Meyer, so I’m just curious.

SO: Crying. Really. Tragedy is the best muse. Sometimes I listen to Pandora in search of music to help me reconnect with my inner emo. I also like to go outside. But it’s harder to get your emo on when you’re panting for oxygen on a high-altitude hike, so, you know, it’s all about balance.

By the way, I love Muse. But not so much for writing.

SC: Now that we’re on the topic of L.A., as a YA insider, you’re connected to agents, publishers, and Hollywood Royalty in ways that people like me can only dream of, and often do. Do you have any super-secret tips on querying that you’ve never shared before and are guaranteed to get my book published?

SO: People are always looking for the magic bullet here, but really, it’s not a one-stop shopping kind of deal. Most people aren’t willing to put in the work. It’s really a combination of strategies, including but not limited to:

  • Letting them know how much your mother and Aunt Bea adored your book, and how they’ve already signed up to buy at least 25 copies for their bridge club.
  • Reminding them that you’re the next Suzanne Collins, J.K. Rowling, or Stephenie Meyer, and that if they pass up on this once in a lifetime opportunity to represent you, they’ll be sorry when those big bucks start rolling in.
  • Enclosing chocolates, wine, gift cards, and other bribes.
  • Enclosing nude photos of yourself*
  • See also **

* This is the tricky one, because people’s tastes in nude photos are sooooo subjective! Seriously. One agent’s Lindsay Lohan is another’s Anthony Weiner. Do you really want to take that chance?

** Okay, in all seriousness, don’t do any of those things. There is actually a magic bullet, and here it is: write a kickass book. Query agents who represent your genre and subject matter. Don’t give up. That’s all there is to it! Much easier than posing for those tricky photos! 😉

SC: Another important question since you’re so in the loop. Any chance of resurrecting Friday Night Lights for a sixth season? Either way, is it totally inappropriate for me to be crushing on Taylor Kitsch? If so, do I need to see a therapist? I realize these last questions may qualify as more “personal” than “interview-oriented,” but I’m new at this, so please don’t judge me.

SO: As someone who owns a pink Dillon Panthers t-shirt, and as someone who just dropped a few Tim Riggins references in her latest manuscript, and as someone who refused to see the John Carter movie because I never want my image of Tim Riggins to stray from that last moment in Friday Night Lights… I forgot the question. Oh! What I meant to say was, I really am not qualified to answer this question. Texas Forever, Stacie. Texas Forever.

Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

SC: Since your first novel, you’ve maintained the amazing pace of producing a book a year. How do you do this? Do you have poor personal hygiene? I ask because I haven’t even finished the first draft of my first novel, and sometimes pick at the dirt that’s now shellacked under my fingernails and just cry.

SO: Stacie, I do have separate “sleeping pajamas” and “working pajamas,” for your information. And really, how many showers does a person need in a year? You say poor personal hygiene, I say… an eco-friendly personal care policy.

I won’t sugar coat it—the pace is insane, and sometimes I do wish I had a bit more time between deadlines. But I’ve been writing full time for about four years now, and I’ve gotten much better at discipline. Writing every day (even if it’s just for a few minutes), outlining first, cutting down on television time—all of that helps. When writing is how you pay your bills, it becomes both an art and a business. If I don’t find ways to stay on track, I can’t afford cupcakes. It’s really that simple. 

SC: Now that we’re on the subject of pain, what’s the biggest obstacle you had to overcome in getting your first novel finished, I mean, did you have to fight real zombies or anything?

SO: I did, actually! Corporate zombies! That was my biggest challenge—spending all day in gray, windowless cubicleland, desperately trying to protect my creative soul from utter annihilation. Committee meetings, Blackberries, the office cafeteria, the shared refrigerator, team building activities, gah! It was all I could do not to fwump on the couch in a pile of boneless nothing when I got home at night. But still, I knew I wanted to write, and I had to find a way. Once I got through it, the opportunities opened up like paths lit by the angels. And by angels I mean the company that acquired mine and laid me off two months after I sold my first novel. Sweet, sweet serendipity!

Sarah’s Former House of Pain

SC: How do you deal with writer’s block? You know, that feeling that no matter what you write it will suck and that you are doomed to live in the stifling confines of Suckville dressed in a sucky, white, linen clown suit that’s impossible to iron for the rest of your life?

SO: Writer’s block is not the same thing as that feeling about sucking and clown suit-wearing. I deal with writer’s block by working on other stuff—free writes, blog posts, journal entries, anything to keep those words flowing on the page, even if they’re not part of my current manuscript.

The sucking feeling, on the other hand? That actually doesn’t go away. You just learn to live with it, to accept it as part of the package that comes with putting your work out there for public consumption and review. Even the most traditionally successful authors (what we’d consider traditionally successful—big book sales, making the bestseller lists, movie deals, rabid fan base, “Team whatever” t-shirts, SNL skits based on the characters) struggle with that fear, that little voice inside that tells us we’re frauds, that this is all just temporary success, that eventually everyone will figure out how much we suck. That feeling can be crippling, and it can derail an otherwise promising writing career before it even gets of the ground. It’s still with me, but now I just try to see it, accept it, and move on without giving it too much attention. Like, yeah, I see you, you useless little imp. Why don’t you just go on over there in the corner and play with your little Sauron action figure and leave me the hell alone!

SC: Speaking of clowns, how do you feel about mimes? Have you ever considered using a mime as a protagonist? Do you miss the era of silent film?

SO: I’m ambivalent on mimes. I think it’s the suspenders. I don’t know, I always picture mimes with suspenders, and that reminds me of these Mork and Mindy rainbow suspenders I had as a kid, and that reminds me of all the ways in which my mother let me mortify myself during the awkward middle school years, like when she let me Sun-In my hair without supervision and it turned orange, and that reminds me why I know have to write YA to deal with my own traumatic adolescence, and… can you pass the gin? Wait, what was the question?

SC: Are you comfortable in your role as teen (and fortyish, lactose-free, lululemon, YA mom) romance Goddess, or do you see yourself branching out? If so, where do you want to go (another BOGO question!)?

SO: YA Forever, Stacie. YA Forever.

SC: As an avid Sarah Ockler reader and carnivore of all three (soon to be four!) of your novels, I would like to paraphrase your definition of true love. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not….wait a second. That’s the bible reading my dad recited at my wedding. Let me try again. Love is a slow burn. It’s something that teases and taunts and tests and tantalizes all the while growing, often against incredible odds, to become the most intensely gorgeous feeling in the ROYGBIV range of emotions.  Right? Do I so get you? Can we be BFFs?

SO: Wait… are we talking about Tim Riggins again?

SC: Have you personally felt the beautifully portrayed Sarah Ockler definition of love, and if so, how does it manifest itself in your work? In other words, who is your muse (ignore this question if, like Stephanie Meyer, your muse is Muse)?

SO: You’ll have to read the book(s) to find out. No, seriously. The acknowledgements say it all! 😉

SC: You’ve alluded to the difference between writing as a hobby with no external expectations and writing as a profession with very clear expectations from your publisher and agent. Can you expand on the differences? Do you ever feel like George Foreman now that you have deadlines?

SO: I just spent seven minutes trying to figure out the George Foreman reference. I mean, I don’t have kids, I don’t eat meat, I’ve never been TKOd, so… is it because I’m an adorably bald black man? Wait, that’s not it either. Stacie, this question is hard!

The difference is that once you sell your novel to a traditional publisher (and eventually, to bookstores and libraries, and then ultimately to readers), your “art” becomes a “commodity.” It’s still your story, but you give up certain creative control, like the packaging (title, cover, jacket copy) and how it’s marketed and positioned. Then, once you start getting reviewed, your baby gets kicked around by total strangers, and that’s harder to deal with than when you’re meeting with your friendly (and hopefully supportive) critique group. There’s a lot of pressure to be “on” and “out there,” particularly with social media.

And I still don’t get the Foreman thing, but yeah, you’ve got deadlines to meet, and you don’t have the luxury of letting ideas marinate between revisions. You can’t just sit around and wait for inspiration anymore. You have to stalk it and hunt it down and stake it to a tree, and then you have to skin it and gut it and make something out of the bones. Not a cupcake or anything. A story.

And I’m a vegetarian, so that’s saying a lot.

But it’s still writing. It’s still telling stories. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

SC: Thank you, Sarah Ockler, for agreeing to answer my take on twenty questions. I have every expectation that the twenty-first will be much tighter, with proper pacing, amazing tension, and an immediate hook, and I’ll be out of a job. But that’s O.K., Toddlers and Tiaras comes on in about twenty minutes, and even though I should take a shower, I have a little time to spare.

SO: But… I want my ni-ni!

Bittersweet features hockey boys.

If you’re in Denver, Sarah will be signing and reading from her latest novel, Bittersweet, on Monday, April 2 at the Castle Pines library, at 6:00 p.m. Rumor has it that super-yummy cupcakes will be served.

You can find more great information about Sarah Ockler on her blog, including some amazing, witty writing advice from posts such as Just Make the Bed: Overcoming the Problem of Writers’ Resolutions and How To Query Lit Agents: 6 Overlooked Steps.

34 thoughts on “Twenty-Oneish Questions With YA Superstar Author, Sarah Ockler

  1. Laura says:

    Loved this interview! Witty and entertaining questions as well as responses. makes me want to be a writer! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Love your comment, but where is your question? You ARE a writer BTW!

      1. I second that emotion!

  2. springfieldfem says:

    I loved reading this! She came here for Banned Book Week because one of our school libraries has a…..bee in its bonnet about “Twenty Boy Summer”. I didn’t get to go to the panel, sadly, because I have to save lives everyday from 1-10. Great interview, Stacie!

    1. Being on the banned book list makes her extra-cool. Ask a question and be in the running for her latest, Bittersweet. It’s AWESOME!

    2. Sarah Ockler says:

      Yay! The people of Republic and Springfield are awesome. I had such a wonderful time there. 🙂

      1. springfieldfem says:

        Well, I am glad! Love your work and am super excited you got to come here (even though I didn’t get to make it). Next time, perhaps? Cupcakes and coffee on me!

      2. springfieldfem says:

        PS: I think you might have met my most favorite professor in the world, Katie Gilbert while you were here.

  3. crubin says:

    You had me at the cupcakes. But you made me nervous at the “book a year” pace. This is not a win-worthy question for Ms. Ockler, but I am wondering if she uses Scrivener or other writing software to help pull off the book-a-year feat. I guess to make it wittier, I could ask if she also jumps up and runs around the house naked while waiting for the software program to boot. Oh, wait. That would just make the question weird and inappropriate…

    1. You are the only official question at the moment, so that puts you squarely in first place, which is a good position to hold if you ask me. =)

    2. Sarah Ockler says:

      Hi crubin! Yes, I do in fact use Scrivener and it’s immensely helpful (I daresay I can’t live with out it now!). I also do a lot of pre-writing (character interviews, plotting, etc.) so that once I start, I can focus on getting the story down rather than generating ideas.

      Now, I *have* tried the jumping up and running around naked while Scrivener boots up, but it’s problematic on two levels: 1) It only takes about point five seconds to boot up, and it takes me longer to get out of my chair than that, and 2) Running. Just, eww. Really anything that requires wearing a bra in the house is wholly unappealing to me.

      -Sarah (putting the “pro” in “inappropriate” since the eighties)

      1. crubin says:

        Yes, getting out of the chair can prove difficult at times, but I am thrilled to hear you are a pro at inappropriateness. 🙂

        Thanks for responding to my question. I’ve just started using Scrivener myself and so far really like it. I just hope I don’t encounter any problems when it comes time to format it.

  4. Erin Moroni says:

    Dear Sarah,

    My question is “Do you dance?” I live by Stacie and am reserving our HOA building to host a mom WII Dance Party in early May because they have a large screen projector which will make it easier for some inexperienced bunco playing mamas to follow “Tonto”. I need a celeb in attendance and you sound waaaaaaaaaaaay more fun than the Kardashians. I am having a trophy made for the winner (which admittedly I will probably win) but I will make sure you get to crowd surf.

    I am happy to provide my fingerprints should you care to run a background check in case I sound like a stalker. (Heavy Breathing kidding, just kidding, kidding!) I assure you there is only a speeding ticket I hid from my husband and a dog I bought at the mall, lied about and said I found so he would let me keep her.

    I will talk Stacie into covering your airfare and accommodations. I can’t wait to read read your book! Rock it out Sista!

    Erin Moroni

    1. I will refrain from commenting based on baseball arbitration and the need to play fairly.

      1. Erin Moroni says:


        I feel strongly that my question is deserving of your ethically questionable review. Seriously, how cool would that be if she came to dance with us? I swear I will not embarrass you and booty dance on her. This would however, increase my list of celeb sightings to Sarah and what I am pretty sure was Dan Rather (still alive?) walking through the Waldorf Astoria in NY. Did I tell you I think you probably look pretty today and have a pleasant personality?


      2. OMG I swear I saw that dude from Hawaii Five-O at the fish store yesterday. He was complaining that his tuna was pumped up with CO2 or something. I was like “Whatever, can I just have your autograph so I can get back to the beach and leatherize my skin?”

    2. Sarah Ockler says:

      I don’t dance while sober, that’s one thing we should just get out of the way right now. But that doesn’t necessarily preclude me accepting an invite to a mom WII Dance Party, nor does it preclude me from using any and all WII-dancing moms in a future YA novel, nor does it prevent me from confirming that you and aforementioned moms had something to do with inspiring the dance party mom scene in Stacie’s book… oh it ALL makes sense now!

      I would love for you and Stacie to connect and discuss fundraising opportunities for my airfare and accommodations. I live about 15 miles away, so the corporate jet might be best. I’ll leave that to you!

      PS Booty dancing upon me is always encouraged.

  5. Hi Sarah,

    I’m the proud recipient of the title, “Stacie Chadwick’s Blogging Bestie” – and it was our shared love of each other’s blogs and of writing for kids tall enough to ride the roller coaster at the fair that drew us together.

    First, I have to give props to Stacie for offering up some of the funniest questions I’ve read in awhile. Sure, people often have the liberty of being humorous in an answer, but making the question a giggle-worth affair is a true talent. Bravo, my friend!

    Second, I can’t offer you the lure of a flight and accommodations that regularly accompany a WII Dance Party at an HOA (Erin, will that be televised? Just curious.), but I do have many questions that I’d love to ask you. Winning is not a priority, but I’m interested to know your responses nonetheless.

    1) What role, if any, have organizations like SCBWI and RWA (or YARWA) played in your career?

    2) Would you tell us the story of how you got your agent? How far away could your screams of delight be heard when said agent said that he or she wanted to represent you?

    3) What drew you to write YA instead of adult fiction? Or porn?

    4) What do you feel is the greatest challenge in writing YA instead of adult fiction?

    5) Who were your favorite YA authors growing up? How do you feel that YA has changed since you were a kid? How many times did you read, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret?

    6) Describe your writing process? Are you extremely organized and scheduled or do you write only when inspired or drunk? Do you outline and prepare character studies or do you just go with the flow and see where your creativity takes you?

    7) What’s your favorite curse word? Have you used that word in any of your books? How many times did you use it today? Okay, that’s enough…this is a family blog, not a free love, say what you want, hippie blogfest.

    8) How do you feel about swearing, drugs, sex and rock ‘n roll in YA?

    9) Is Stacie as really as nice in person as she seems to be? If deep down, you actually think she’s a little creepy, just use the code word “interesting” when describing Stacie in your response.

    10) If you could emulate any particular author’s career, who would it be and why? Somehow, I have the feeling that it’s not me. And that’s okay. For now.

    Whew! I know you’re only obliged to answer one question – period – but I’d love to know the answers to any and/or all of these. Especially number 9. Because Stacie talks about you…a lot. You know, in an obsessive kind of way. In fact, I’d suggest that you spend your next advance on some extra security, if you know what I mean. I’m personally considering installing some hidden cameras, maybe a snare. After all, Stacie is coming to my neck of the woods for a visit later this year. Can’t be too careful. She seems like just a normal soccer mom unfairly blessed with supermodel good looks in the blogosphere and sounds like a sweetheart on the phone, but you’ve met her in person. She doesn’t carry around dog-eared copies of Catcher in the Rye with her wherever she goes, does she?

    Thanks, Sarah. Looking forward to hearing your response to any question. I’ll be hoping for your continued success!

    Warmest Regards,

    Cristy Carrington Lewis

    1. BB,

      Just because I feel (strongly) that Holden Caulfield and I are from the same intergalactic light family does not make me a crazy person.

      AND even though I followed Sarah home one night after a reading and set up my “Occupy Ockler” tent in her front yard doesn’t make me a stalker.

      ALSO I’ve read The Hunger Games and could so trip your snare with the dead rabbit I cleaned and gutted while hitching a ride to Florida to harass, I mean, visit you.

      So what I’m trying to say is, answer away, Sarah, but be careful.

      1. I’m half way through The Hunger Games. I will learn to defeat you.

        (In my best Shatner-esque voice) Chaaaadddddwiiiiiick!

    2. Sarah Ockler says:

      You are so thorough in your questions, Cristy, that even as I read them, I feel wholly unproductive. I mean, I *did* put on a bra today, but it was for the special occasion of going outside for some desperately needed sun exposure.

      Still, your questions deserve answers, so I’m temporarily coming out of post-revision post-deadline slackerdom to respond and (this counts as writing, right?) up my daily word count!

      Here goes:

      1) What role, if any, have organizations like SCBWI and RWA (or YARWA) played in your career?

      None. 🙂 But that doesn’t mean they’re not worthwhile! I hadn’t heard much about them until after I’d sold my novels, and at that point, I had already gotten involved with groups like Lighthouse Writers in Denver and the 2009 Debutantes (other YA novelists with debut books launching in 2009). I’ve heard anecdotally that SCBWI and RWA are great for networking and moral support, and some of them even offer grants. I’ve also heard that it totally depends on your local chapter — some of them are very supportive and wonderful, and others, not so much. If your’e thinking about joining, do some digging and try to chat with some of your regional members to see if the groups would be a good fit for you.

      2) Would you tell us the story of how you got your agent? How far away could your screams of delight be heard when said agent said that he or she wanted to represent you?

      I’ll let my June 29, 2007 blog post speak for itself!

      3) What drew you to write YA instead of adult fiction? Or porn?

      I kind of suck at porn. I mean… wait… um… oh!

      Yeah, the voice just kind of comes to me that way. Likely I still have a lot of unresolved high school hangups that insist on reliving themselves on the page. I just know that I love writing about teens and the challenges and issues they face. They’re so passionate and crazy and amazing, and everything about them makes for awesome stories. Grownups are all fiber bars and mortgages and stuff. Gross! 😉

      4) What do you feel is the greatest challenge in writing YA instead of adult fiction?

      I’ve never written adult fiction, so I can’t compare directly, but here’s my guess.

      Teen readers are much more discerning and honest than adult readers. They’ll tell you exactly what they think (online and offline), they can sniff out bullshit a mile away, and they won’t slog through wandering self-indulgent prose in hopes of a big plot payoff later. They’ll stop reading. You really have to nail the voice and authenticity with teen characters without sounding like the old broad at the party trying to be hip. I think adults are much more forgiving readers.

      The second greatest challenge of writing YA is dealing with adult readers of YA who want to know why your prose isn’t wandering and self-indulgent enough. Or why your books don’t “teach these young people a lesson.” Groan.

      5) Who were your favorite YA authors growing up? How do you feel that YA has changed since you were a kid? How many times did you read, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret?

      YA didn’t exist in the way that it does today–that is, as a huge, bookstore-dominating marketing category with tons of new authors and books coming out every few months. We had Aunt Judy, Babysitters Club, Sweet Valley High, and a few others, and then we had adult books. So I went very quickly from AYTG?IMM to Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark, Dean Koontz, V.C. Andrews, and then a whole bunch of adult romance novels I snuck out of the library and kept in a plastic Super Duper bag under my bed so I could read the juicy bits with a flashlight after everyone else was asleep.

      Back then, books for teens were still largely focused on teaching lessons. Like how it’s bad to sneak sexy books out of the library and hide them under your bed. That’s one way that it’s changed. Today, it’s all about story and character, and there are NO taboos when it comes to YA (including incest which gave me nightmares in the Flowers in the Attic days). I don’t think our YA forefathers and foremothers had that kind of freedom, and I commend them for blazing the trail.

      6) Describe your writing process? Are you extremely organized and scheduled or do you write only when inspired or drunk? Do you outline and prepare character studies or do you just go with the flow and see where your creativity takes you?

      The last time I tried to write something while drunk, I live tweeted half my manuscript one sentence at a time, and then I deleted a bunch of scenes that I had to reconstruct later.

      I used to write with the flow, but now, contract deadlines have robbed me of that luxury! I’m grateful for it though. I need the discipline. To make the most of my time these days, I do extensive character studies and plot outlines in advance (just ask Stacie about my scene tracker spreadsheet!). However, I always keep an open mind in case the muse wants to shove me in another direction. I try to be on the lookout for surprises, even if it means breaking from my outline. It’s kind of the best of both worlds. Only with less alcohol than the best of any world would likely offer. I mean, if my office had a swim up bar, I’d be pretty set.

      7) What’s your favorite curse word? Have you used that word in any of your books? How many times did you use it today? Okay, that’s enough…this is a family blog, not a free love, say what you want, hippie blogfest.


      8) How do you feel about swearing, drugs, sex and rock ‘n roll in YA?

      Same way I feel about those things in any work of fiction or art. If the story calls for it, it should be there. The main thing is to be authentic. Unnecessarily gratuitous sex, violence, drugs, etc. will turn readers off as quickly as a *lack* of those things if they’re necessary for the character. For example, a fucking character who drops a bunch of motherfucking fuck bombs in every fucking sentence is pretty fucking annoying. But, a gang member who says “crap” and “darn” while he’s jumping someone in isn’t gonna fly either. Again, YA writers are fortunate today in that nothing is taboo as long as it’s handled authentically.

      9) Is Stacie as really as nice in person as she seems to be? If deep down, you actually think she’s a little creepy, just use the code word “interesting” when describing Stacie in your response.

      This is a super interesting question, and there are a lot of interesting ways I could respond, some more interesting than others, but essentially, I am very interested in Stacie as both a writer and as a person. She’s super interesting. If you’re interested in learning more about what an interesting person of interest Stacie is, let me know!

      10) If you could emulate any particular author’s career, who would it be and why? Somehow, I have the feeling that it’s not me. And that’s okay. For now.

      None. While I’m super inspired by lots of authors, and I admire them, and I love learning from them, I don’t wish to imitate anyone ever–not even the most traditionally “successful” authors. If they’ve done something cool and I want to try it, I’ll try it. But all you can do is be yourself. Truly. As soon as you get into comparisons and envy and “the grass is always greener” type of thinking, you crash.

      The best thing I can do is focus on my own career and write the best books I can write. There is no place for jealousy or speculation or imitation in this biz. But there is a place for cupcakes and wine.

      See, and now I sound like a YA book from the 70s! Be yourself, kids! Be all you can be! Don’t take candy from strangers! Especially interesting strangers! 🙂

      And I totally feel productive after answering all these questions! Thank you, Cristy! 🙂

      1. Sarah Ockler says:

        Holy eff that’s a lot of emoticons! Clearly I need more wine.

  6. OMG so good! Every single pic you’ve ever used to go along with your writing is simply fab-u. Love the non-creepy disclaimer BTW- that REALLY speaks to me right now 😉

    1. Thanks Steph….blogging without visuals is a sad, sad thought.

      1. I don’t even wanna imagine.

  7. Meaghan says:

    Sarah and Stacie rock!! Go YA!

    1. Leave a question in Penelope’s voice, Meaghan!

  8. didiita says:

    I haven’t read any of her novels, but she sounds super funny, witty and nice! My type of author!! I might just have to grab one of her books!! Thanks for this!!

    SO, if I were to read one of your books, which one should I read? Which one represents you as a writer and as a person?

    1. Good question! Will see what Sarah says…

    2. Sarah Ockler says:

      Hi didiita! Personally I think you should read all of them. 🙂 Because otherwise this question is just too stressful! It’s like when I used to ask my mom which of the three kids she liked best. Even though *obviously* I knew it was me. But she could never say that out loud, so she’d be all, “Now Sarah. You know I love you all equally.” wink wink nudge nudge.

      Or maybe I just imagined the wink wink nudge nudge…

      Honestly, it just depends on what you’re in the mood for. My favorite of the three is Bittersweet. But Twenty Boy Summer is definitely the most emotional. And Fixing Delilah seems to really resonate with adult women (lots of mother/daughter issues in that book).

      Does that help at all? If you do decide to give one of them a try, I hope you enjoy it!

      1. didiita says:

        It definitely does! 🙂 Thank you for your lovely response, I’m sure you did not imagine the wink wink nudge nudge!!!

  9. Stacie! I discovered your blog today and it makes me feel like I just found a still wrapped Christmas prezzie that got wedged under the couch! Looking forward to perusing with a nice cuppa.

    What a fun interview, ladies. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

    1. Is this the same Beth Christopher from class? Your gravatar looks different than the clouded memory of my feeble mind recollects, so just checking. Either way, thanks for the sweet compliment and follow!

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