My dear readers, I'm honored to be joined today by a very special guest, who has the ability of painting with words. Her memoir is a wonderfully descriptive and evocative work of art and I am totally in love with it.
Please welcome Sarah Stonich, author of an absolutely breath-taking novel, Shelter!
SS: Sarah Stonich
E: Welcome to Bookish Sarah! Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
SS: I’m a full-time fiction writer, and an editor and founding member of WordStalkers.com, a freelance editing and publishing services consortium. I’ve worked in and around publishing for 20 years.
E: Who or what inspired you to start writing?
SS: I had a job that required me to read the best books submitted to a program by small and mid-sized literary presses across the US and Canada. In that role, I was really surprised to see that half of what was considered the ‘best of’ didn’t really grab me – not necessarily anything I wanted to read. So I sat down to write something I would really like to read, just to see if I could – in the process I realized I could be a writer.
E: Do you mind telling us how long did it take for you to write your memoir, “Shelter”?
SS: About a year. It was a book I wrote during the paralyisis in big publishing, when I had no agent and was writing two big novels but was unable to publish them. I turned to small publishing and deliberately wrote what feels like a small, intimate book, hoping it would at least appeal to regional readers. Turns out it’s a bigger book than I thought it would ever be.
E: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
SS: As Tom Waits says, you’ve got to get behind the mule and plow. Writing is work. It’s trial and error and perseverance and determination. Get behind the mule.
E: Where is your favorite place for writing? Do you have any special writing rituals?
SS: I believe rituals and ‘places’ can limit one as a writer. There is no right time or place - if you’re really a writer you write and it shouldn’t matter where the mule is standing. I work from 7am to early afternoon, five days a week. If I didn’t treat my career seriously, my work would reflect that lack of commitment.
E: What genres do you like to read in your free time?
SS: Mostly fiction – I work my way down the lists of winners and finalists and long-list authors on the Booker Prize, The Orange Prize, Whitbread… Those alone could keep me reading indefinitely.
E: Which of your favorite novels would you recommend everybody to read?
SS: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
E: Do you have any other hobbies that you enjoy?
SS: Training my aussie shepherd/border collie. Hiking, Asian cooking.
E: What are your biggest pet peeves?
SS: Women that change their names when they get married (and this has nothing to do with my knowledge that you have) The decision to do so baffles me. My generation worked hard to make it okay to have hyphenated names, or children with different last names. Our names are our identities – why do we so blythly disregard them? Imagine a woman named Vivienne Robichaud becoming “Mrs. David Johnson” So sad. My other pet peeve are opinionated people that don’t back their stances with knowledge, facts, honesty or reality (ie., Michelle Bachman, George Bush).
E: Tell us five random facts about yourself.
SS: I’m left handed. Keep birdfeeders just outside my office window. Am afraid of dying in a fiery car crash. Like cheap candy. Living in coastal BC is on my bucket list.
- white or dark chocolate? Dark- coffee or tea? Tea- favorite fictional character? Scout Finch- favorite movie? Babette’s Feast- favorite song? Barber’s Adagio for strings, or, It’s Raining Men.- favorite TV show? Six Feet Under, Mad Men, Big Love – whatever has smart writing.- Spring or Autumn? Autumn!- printed copy or eBook? Both – it can no longer be either/or. I hate to think of the appreciation of books becoming a bi-partisan arena.
Sarah, thank you so much for joining us today!
I'm looking forward to reading and reviewing your next books!
I hope you guys enjoyed the interview, for more information about Sarah and her books, please visit her website: Sarah Stonich or/and read my review of Shelter.
If you're wondering where to get Shelter, here are the links:
*Barnes and Noble
And now, for the GIVEAWAY!!!
Sarah generously provided us with a printed copy of her wonderful book, Shelter! This beautiful and evocative memoir is something you simply HAVE TO read!
Giveaway ends on Friday, June 3rd and is open to US/Canada addresses only (sorry Internationals!).
All you have to do to Enter is be a GFC follower of my blog and fill out the form below.
For extra entries:
+1 follow me on Twitter @SeoEvie
+1 be my friends on Goodreads
+5 be Sarah's fan on Goodreads
+5 leave a comment on this post
The winner will be picked with Random.org and emailed by me.
Thanks Sarah! And good luck everyone :)