She is the author of Twenty Boy Summer which came out on June 1st. A little summary on the book:
According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in ZanzibarBay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy ever day, there's a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there's something she hasn't told Frankie---she's already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie's older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.
Now a little on Sarah (from her website):
Sarah Ockler wrote and illustrated her first book at age six—an adaptation of Steven Spielberg’s E.T. Still recovering from her own adolescence, she now writes books for young adults. Sarah has a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of New York at Buffalo and also studied creative writing
through Denver’s Lighthouse Writers Workshop.
After several years of wandering between New York City and Denver, Sarah and her husband Alex live in Upstate New York with an ever-expanding collection of sea glass (hers) and dinosaurs (his).
TWENTY BOY SUMMER is her first novel.
Quite nice for a debut novel uh? A few questions below...
Where did you get the inspiration for 20 boy summer?
I was inspired to write Twenty Boy Summer while working for the National Donor Family Council (www.donorfamily.org), an organization that supports families whose loved ones died and donated organs or tissues. I wanted to share and honor the stories of the teens I met through the Council's programs and events who'd lost a brother, sister, or friend. Their courage and hope remains with me to this day, even years later. They are never far from my heart.
What is the most difficult part about the process of writing?
Finishing. :-) Seriously. I'm so obsessive, constantly questioning whether I used the right words, said the right things, described everything in a way that perfectly translates what's in my head to what goes into the readers' heads. Finishing is scary and painful, and whenever I send a manuscript to my editor, it's like I have to really talk myself into hitting that send button, even if I know I'll have another chance to make changes. It's a long road. The last mile is always the hardest, right? And my second favorite part, on a less philosophical note -- writing the synopsis. I might rather have a cavity filled! Argh!
How much of your life is in this book?
Not as much as people think! I get this question all the time -- often from friends and family who swear they recognize themselves in the characters or hear my voice as their reading Anna's narrative. When I write about teens, of course I go back to my own teen years, remembering my best friends and first loves and all the crazy stuff that happens at that age. And from those memories, I take the essence, the feelings, the ups and downs, and use them to inspire the characters and their relationships and actions. Did I ever meet boys on summer vacation? Yes. But not exactly like Anna and Frankie. Did I ever lose someone I loved? Yes. But not a sibling or boyfriend. And I think that's the point of good fiction -- not to replay experiences exactly as they were, but to recreate their essence, that one bit of emotion or memory that all of us can remember and connect with. So no, Twenty Boy Summer is not about my life. It's about love and loss and friendship and hope. In that way, it's about *all* of our lives.
Jack Kerouac, Anais Nin, Tom Robbins, Sarah Dessen, Melina Marchetta, Laurie Halse Anderson, J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, Libba Bray, Laura Resau... and that's not even including the 2009 Debutantes! There are just so many wonderfully talented and passionate writers out there. It's a great time to be a reader. :-)
On the Road, Jitterbug Perfume, The Handmaid's Tale, Red Glass, Jellicoe Road
The interview was small, quick, but awesome. I hope you guys like it. I know I did.
If you want to know more about Sarah and/or Twenty Boy Summer just go to her main website.