Interview with Author Sarah Pekkanen + Giveaway

*Now that we’re all trapped inside of our houses due to the eternal blizzard, this is the perfect time to check out our Sarah Pekkanen interview and comment for a chance to win her novel, The Opposite of Me!

Sarah Pekkanen is a fabulous author of three novels: All Is Bright, The Opposite of Me, and Skipping A Beat. Starting from an early age, Sarah lost no time at all in pursuing her passion for writing by demanding a publisher look at her manuscript…all written on Raggedy Ann stationary when she was a little girl!

While it didn’t propel her to fame status right away, she’s here to tell her how her story ended up with her becoming a published author anyway!

1)  So how did you become a published author?

The real trick is having the faith and commitment to actually write a book, because agents won’t take you seriously unless you have a polished manuscript in hand. So I wrote The Opposite of Me, showed it to a few folks, rewrote it, and once I felt as though it was in good shape, I started submitting query letters to agents. I heard back fairly quickly from a bunch of agents who requested a sample of my novel – and that was surprising to me, but I’ve since learned many good agents are constantly on the lookout for new talent. I went to New York to meet the agents who’d expressed interest in The Opposite of Me and ended up signing with Victoria Sanders.

2) Agents. Something most writers need…sigh. I sense a funny story though..?

Actually, that’s a really funny story and you can hear me tell it here!

3) Who has been your biggest influence?

In terms of a career I admire, it has to be Jennifer Weiner. She’s so funny and friendly and accessible – and she turns out a terrific book every year. She’s incredible. I especially admire the way she invites everyone to the party – she has a big presence on Facebook and Twitter and she writes frequently about her experiences in publishing. It’s like getting to peer though a little window into the life of a best-selling author.

4) What has been your favorite author experience so far?

Probably my very first booksigning, at my hometown Barnes & Noble. When I walked up to the podium and looked out to see dozens and dozens of friends and family members it brought tears to my eyes. I was so thrilled people who were important to me showed up to celebrate with me.

5) Are there any hard parts to being an author with all that glam?!

Truthfully, there’s nothing that is terribly hard. I feel it’s an enormous privilege to be able to write novels and connect with readers, and I try to enjoy every moment.

6) Now you’ve made all aspiring writers envious. What tips do you have?

Try to carve out the time to write one page a day, and you’ll have a book in a year. There really isn’t any trick or secret to it; most books are built on sweat and some tears as well as joy.

7) When you’re writing, what must you have next to you?

Coffee, my iPod, and, if I’m at home, my black Lab, Bella.

8 ) Coffee. My fav! Tell me about your novel, The Opposite of Me:

It’s a story about twin sisters who are complete opposites in every way – or so they think! Lindsey is the smart, driven, overachiever and Alex is the gorgeous one who glides through life on the strength of her looks. But life as they know it is about to change for both sisters….

9) How did you come up with the idea to write a novel about twin sisters?

When I was a kid, I used to fantasize about having a sister. I imagined she’d be a lot like me, and that we’d be best friends. As I grew up, I noticed my friends had much more complicated relationships with their sisters than the idealized version in my mind. So my thoughts moved in a different direction: What if I had a sister and we had nothing in common? And what if we were twins and were constantly being compared – how would that shape our relationship?

10) You also have another novel out soon too?

Skipping a Beat will be published on February 22, and I’m really excited. Emily Giffin just read an early copy and praised it as “Original, soulful and engaging”! In fact, I think the Library Journal review also offers the best insight into what its all about: “Pekkanen offers a wonderfully compelling, compassionate, and complicated portrait of the marriage of Julie and Michael Dunhill. Meeting in high school, the two were both determined to leave their hometown behind and make something of their lives, contrary to how they were raised. With Michael’s colossal and unpredicted financial success, these once loving sweethearts drift apart and find different foci for their passionate energies—Michael is completely absorbed in his DrinkUp company and Julie in her party-planning business. When Michael collapses on his office floor and dies for four minutes and eight seconds, their whole world changes, and both are left to reevaluate what they thought was important in life. For Julie though, this is a struggle to overcome the disappointment, sense of abandonment, and misunderstandings she’s harbored against her husband for years. VERDICT: In this compelling and satisfying read, Pekkanen offers relatable characters that move you and an ending that surprises and pleases. Highly recommended.” —Library Journal, starred review

11) I’m sold. I can’t wait for the book to come out! If you could meet any author, who would it be?

Truman Capote, although that’s impossible since he’s no longer alive. But his book In Cold Blood inspired me in so many ways. I’ve re-read it a dozen times.

*To Enter for a chance to win The Opposite of Me:

Simply leave a comment answering the following bolded question!

Rules for this contest:

*You can enter anytime from right now up to Sunday (Feb.13). Those who comment will be entered to win. Giveaways are U.S. only (sorry!) When you comment, you will be asked for your email address. This information will not be made public. It will only be used to contact the winner. You must provide your name.

For additional entries and chances to win:

*Tell someone and have them comment here! (Make sure you have them point out they referred you!)

*Subscribe to this blog!

*Become a member on Facebook: The Write Stuff

*Follow me on Twitter

*Twitter, Facebook, or Blog about the contest (you must provide a separate comment that you did this with a link).

Every name is assigned a random number. The more you enter, the more numbers are assigned to your name. The range of numbers is put into a Random Number Calculator and the winning number is chosen! I’ll announce the winners on Feb. 14th! Once contacted, the winner will have three days to email me their mailing addresses. If I do not receive a reply within the allotted time, I will pick another winner. Good luck!

*What’s your favorite all time sister movie?

For example: Mine’s 27 Dresses with Katherine Heigl! I roll over laughing every time I see it and my sisters and I quote it all the time!

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30 thoughts on “Interview with Author Sarah Pekkanen + Giveaway

  1. Pauline Tilbe says:

    My sister and I have a lifelong love of White Christmas because of the song “Sisters”, we saw the production on stage this past Christmas season. It’s not truly a sisters movie but it was the first one that came to mind. And your answer to question #4 brought tears to my eyes. Cannot wait to read this book!

  2. karenk says:

    email subscriber 🙂

  3. karenk says:

    ‘her sister’s keeper’

    thanks for the chance to read this fabulous novel 🙂

  4. Michele says:

    I follow via email

  5. Michele says:

    I follow via facebook.

  6. Michele says:

    I follow through twitter

  7. Michele says:

    I folllow through GFC

  8. Michele says:

    One of my favorite sister movies is In Her Shoes.

  9. Colleen Turner says:

    I am a Facebook fan (Colleen Turner).

  10. Colleen Turner says:

    I am an email subscriber.

  11. Colleen Turner says:

    There are so many good sister movies out there! My favorite sister book would be Little Women (I saw someone mentioned that as there fav movie in a previous comment) but movie wise I would have to go with In Her Shoes. It so perfectly showed the frustration and often aggression sisters can have for each other, but also the love that they inevitably have at the end of the day!

  12. Nina says:

    My favorite all-time sister movie is definitely Little Women! I have 3 sisters, and the 4 of us would always joke that we are a lot like the March girls! I was slightly disappointed that being the youngest, I’d be Amy which predicted that I would marry a former beau of my older sister, but hey, it’s better than being Beth! 😉

  13. Melissa A says:

    hahaha….i forgot about “ten things…” awesome movie. totally reminds me of me and my sister. 🙂

  14. Melissa A says:

    Great interview! I’m not entering the giveaway as I own the book already. Sarah totally rocks! 🙂 I told some friends about this giveaway because I want them to win this book. 🙂

    If you’re ever out in DC, we’ll have to all get together. 🙂

    I can’t think of my favorite sister movie off the top of my head. I’m drawing a blank right now. I liked “Gas Food Lodging” a lot though.

  15. Shannon says:

    Loved The Opposite of Me! Can’t wait to read Skipping a Beat! My favorite sister movie is 10 Things I Hate About You.
    I subscribe to the blog and follow on Facebook!

  16. Alisha says:

    My favorite sister movie is probably Mama Mia. My sisters and I laugh uncontrollably during this movie. I love it.

  17. Alicia Caldwell says:

    I tweeted about the contest here: http://twitter.com/#!/aliciacald

  18. Alicia Caldwell says:

    Definitely and positively Practical Magic is my all time favorite sister movie as well as favorite movie in general. I have four sisters and have a tight relationship with them, (we also used to play witch) so that movie always gets me teary eyed.

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