I'm excited to be part of Stuck In Books Favorites Giveaway Hop! Check out this post for more details!
I was lucky enough to get to meet local adult author, Sarah Addison Allen in January for the release of her new book, Lost Lake.
See, proof! Fun fact: Her books are the only adult books I have read! I love all her books, but my all time favorite is her debut, Garden Spells. Fun fact 2: She is INCREDIBLY nice and it was a wonderful experience to meet her (despite how timid/nervous I was). I was lucky enough when I was at the event to be able to ask her if I could email her some interview questions. Much to my surprise (and glee) she said yes! And lo and behold, I give you, an interview with Sarah Addison Allen AND a giveaway for a signed copy of her novel, Garden Spells!
Besides Garden Spells and Lost Lake, Sarah has three other novels: The Sugar Queen, The Girl Who Chased the Moon, and The Peach Keeper. I recommend reading ALL of them. I read her books a couple years ago and haven't been able to forget about them since!
Go to the bottom to see the giveaway!
Q. What originally drew you to writing?
A. My dad is a writer, so I grew up surrounded by his writings and the countless books he would read. Whether it's true or not, I always assumed I had some writer DNA in me.
Q. What's the hardest part of writing?
A. Procrastination. The hardest part of writing is actually sitting down to do it.
Q. What's your daily writing schedule like?
A. I always block a few hours out a day to write, not edit, just write and get words on the page. Then I edit later.
Q. Do you take parts of yourself and/or others and put them in your characters?
A. Not consciously, but there's a certain level of emotional truth I try to put into all my characters. I ask myself, How would I react to this, or that? How would someone else react? I think novels are essentially very cloudy mirrors, and you can always catch a glimpse of the author in them.
Q. What was your favorite book(s) as a child vs now?
A. The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes was one of my favorite books as a child. I think To Kill a Mockingbird is my all-time favorite book as an adult.
Q. I hear that you're writing a sequel to Garden Spells (*squeals*). Can you tell us anything about it?
A. I'm still writing it, so it's still evolving! I will say that it takes place ten years from when Garden Spells ends.
Q. Describe your most recent novel, Lost Lake, in five words. How about Garden Spells?
A. Lost Lake: Follow the mysterious alligator home.
Garden Spells: Don't eat the magic apples.
Q. What inspired you to write within the magical realism genre?
A. I first read magical realism in college, and it helped shape who I am as a reader. Who I am as a reader, in turn, helped shape who I am as a writer. Magical realism was part of my evolution.
Q. Which of your characters is closest to your heart? (Don't worry, I won't tell the others)
A. It's a tie between Evanelle in Garden Spells, Grandpa Vance in The Girl Who Chased the Moon, and Bulahdeen in Lost Lake!
Q. Last, but not least, do you have any advice to aspiring authors?
A. Be kind to yourself. Don't compare yourself to others -- you are the only person with your unique voice. Research the business. And, most importantly, FINISH! Finishing the story is one of the most important parts of writing!
Born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Allen grew up with a love of books and an appreciation of good food (she credits her journalist father for the former and her mother, a fabulous cook, for the latter). In college, she majored in literature -- because, as she puts it, "I thought it was amazing that I could get a diploma just for reading fiction. It was like being able to major in eating chocolate."
After graduation, Allen began writing seriously. Her big break occurred in 2007 with the publication of her first mainstream novel, Garden Spells, a modern-day fairy tale about an enchanted apple tree and the family of North Carolina women who tend it. Booklist called Allen's accomplished debut "spellbindingly charming." The novel became a Barnes & Noble Recommends selection, and then a New York Times Bestseller.
You Can Find Her At:
The Waverleys have always been a curious family, endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders even in their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina. Even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers. Generations of Waverleys tended this garden. Their history was in the soil. But so were their futures.
A successful caterer, Claire Waverley prepares dishes made with her mystical plants—from the nasturtiums that aid in keeping secrets and the pansies that make children thoughtful, to the snapdragons intended to discourage the attentions of her amorous neighbor. Meanwhile, her elderly cousin, Evanelle, is known for distributing unexpected gifts whose uses become uncannily clear. They are the last of the Waverleys—except for Claire’s rebellious sister, Sydney, who fled Bascom the moment she could, abandoning Claire, as their own mother had years before.
When Sydney suddenly returns home with a young daughter of her own, Claire’s quiet life is turned upside down—along with the protective boundary she has so carefully constructed around her heart. Together again in the house they grew up in, Sydney takes stock of all she left behind, as Claire struggles to heal the wounds of the past. And soon the sisters realize they must deal with their common legacy—if they are ever to feel at home in Bascom—or with each other.
Enchanting and heartfelt, this captivating novel is sure to cast a spell with a style all its own….
You Can Find it At:Amazon