It's just over two weeks until I go on the Summer Lovin' 2.0 tour of California with fellow Simon and Schuster writers Sarah Ockler, Suzanne Young and Jody Casella. To celebrate Suzanne's friend at Novel Novice has made this poster for us:
Last week, I interviewed Jody Casella about her writing. Next up is Sarah Ockler. Here she is, look!
Sarah Ockler is the bestselling author of several books for teens: The Book of Broken Hearts, Bittersweet, Twenty Boy Summer, Fixing Delilah, and the upcoming #scandal. Her books have received numerous accolades, including ALA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults, Girls’ Life Top 100 Must Reads, Indie Next List, Amazon Top Movers and Shakers, and nominations for YALSA Teens’ Top Ten and NPR’s Top 100 Teen Books.
She’s a champion cupcake eater, coffee drinker, tarot enthusiast, night person, and bookworm. When she’s not writing or reading at home in Colorado, Sarah enjoys hugging trees and road-tripping through the country with her husband, Alex. In addition to her website at sarahockler.com, fans can find her on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook. Or check out her blog.
Hi Sarah! Tell us about a typical day in the life of you...
Well... there are pajamas involved. Lots of staring at a blinking cursor. Eating chocolate. Wondering where all the chocolate went. Baking cupcakes to make up for lack of chocolate. Back to the blinking cursor. Falling down an internet rabbit hole. Some kind of social media-inspired outrage. Time to eat those cupcakes. And suddenly it's dark outside! Somehow, books get written here, but I'm not sure exactly how. Surely there is magic afoot. ;-)
And how many books have you written?
I've written six novels for teens: Twenty Boy Summer, Fixing Delilah, Bittersweet, The Book of Broken Hearts, #scandal, and my latest, still untitled, due out next summer.
I just received #scandal from Simon and Schuster, and can't wait to read it. So, which authors inspire you?
All of them! Seriously, anyone who can sit at a computer or notebook all day and give words and stories to the voices in her head has my utmost respect (crazy authors unite!). But I'm especially inspired by authors who were writing YA before YA was even "a thing" -- like Judy Blume, Laurie Halse Anderson, Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and hundreds of others who continue to put out great works, even as the market continues to change and grow.
Do you plan your novels or make them up as you go along?
It depends on the book, but I've been known to create monster plot spreadsheets before typing a single word of story on the page. I'm trying to get away from that, though, to let the creativity flow a bit more organically. Now, as long as I have an idea of the general theme I'm exploring, and the kinds of characters who can best express that theme through their interactions and challenges, I'll write. We'll see how that works out! Basically, I try to just keep an open mind with each new project, because every book has different emotional and time demands, and what works with one won't work for another.
Do you have a vision of what the world will be like in 200 years? Could you share it?
200 years? I don't even have a vision of what I'm making for dinner! But I've read recently that we're running out of coffee and chocolate, so whatever it is, it can't be good. Speaking of coffee and chocolate... I think I've just solved the what's-for-dinner conundrum. Bonus!
Ha! I am in editing mode, which means noodles and coffee for dinner for me. Which book do you wish you had written?
The Raven Boys series by Maggie Stiefvater.
And finally, what are you working on at the moment?
I just turned in my latest contemp YA, so I'm expecting revision notes on that soon. I'm also working on a supertopsecret project with my husband, details to be revealed in the future. But hopefully not 200 years in the future, when we're all out of the good stuff.
Thanks Sarah! The supertopsecret project sounds intriguing. Hopefully I'll get to find out more about that when we meet in California...