The Divining Wand

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The Further Revealing of Sarah Pekkanen

February 02, 2011 By: larramiefg Category: Profiles, Q&A

Last March Sarah Pekkanen became a debut author with her wildly popular novel, The Opposite of Me. In less than a year, this author has made her presence/talent known and many (of you) eagerly await Skipping A Beat, Sarah’s second book coming February 22, 2011.

Described by this one sentence question, Skipping A Beat tells a story of:

What would you do if your husband wanted to rewrite the rules of your relationship?

And the critics praise:

“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*

“A two-hanky weepy… A tragic turn of events redirects what could have been a predictable romance into a drama on the fragility of love and marriage.” —Kirkus

The Divining Wand has scheduled a presentation/review of Skipping A Beat for Monday, February 14, 2011, however — right now — let’s be reminded of the author’s background through her “official” bio:

Sarah Pekkanen’s work has been published in People, The Washington Post, USA Today, The New Republic, The Baltimore Sun, Reader’s Digest, and Washingtonian, among others. She writes a monthly Erma Bombeck type column for Bethesda Magazine, and has been an on-air contributor to NPR and E! Entertainment’s “Gossip Show.” She is the winner of a Dateline award and the Paul Miller Reporting Fellowship. Sarah lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland with her husband and their three young sons.

Although The Revealing of Sarah Pekkanen provided insight, there is even more to learn about Sarah as she further reveals:

Q: What would you choose as the theme song of your life?
A: “Bless The Broken Road” because I love the message. No one’s life unfolds perfectly, nor should it. We learn from our mistakes and setbacks, and we keep moving forward, toward the place we want to be.

Q: Possible pseudonym?
A: My last name translates to “Peterson” in Finland, so I could be Sara Peterson. My parents spelled my name without an “h” on my birth certificate, but I added one in elementary school. So that’s my alias!

Q: Name three “bests” of being a published author.
A: Meeting so many amazing readers. Some of them have sent me letters about my books, and what the themes have meant to them, and I cherish those notes. I also love chatting and joking around with readeres on Facebook. And seeing my books in stores is such a thrill!

Q: Favorite book release season of the year?
A: I have to go with the cusp of winter and spring, which is when my books come out! It’s a hopeful time – we’re looking ahead to warm weather and flowers. And I think my books are hopeful, so that fits.

Q: If given the opportunity, which reality show would you be on?
A: American Idol. But only if I got a vocal chord transplant; I’m such an awful singer that my kids wail, “Mommmmm!” when I sing along to the radio.

Q: Favorite childhood fairy tale?
A: Cinderella!

Q: What U.S. city would you like to visit that you haven’t been to yet?
A: Savannah is on my dream list. I love the South – the warmth, the accents, the flowers…

Q: Your reward after a day of writing?
A: Hanging out with my family, our rescue lab Bella, and enjoying a cold glass of white wine.

Q: What 3 personal qualities are LEAST important to you?
A: Rigidity, Punctuality, and Skepticism.

Q: An author quote that inspires you?
A: “Writing is easy. Just stare at the computer monitor until blood comes out of your forehead!” (I don’t know who first said this, but it always makes me laugh.)

Q: Where do you like to read?
A: Where don’t I like to read? I read in the car, in bed, in waiting rooms, in lines… you name it. Now that I have a Kindle app for my iPhone, I’m never far from a book.

Q: Book or ebook reader?
A: Both! I’ll take books any way I can get them.

Q: Growing up, who was your teen idol?
A: I had such a crush on Shawn Cassidy! My favorite song was “Da Doo Run Run.” Okay, so the lyrics weren’t all that … lyrical. Shawn was cute!

Q: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
A: I’d become much more motivated about exercising.

Q: Must love dogs and/or cats?
A: Both – but I’m a dog person. Can’t imagine living without one.

Q: Which author – past or present – would you have chosen as a mentor?
A: Jane Austin. I think she’d be a lot of fun.

Q: What book did you fake reading?
A: I’ve faked a few at bedtime with my kids, when I’m particularly tired and I accidentally “skipped” a few pages.

Q: What is your favorite scent?
A: Lavender.

Q: What is your favorite movie adaptation of a novel?
A: I loved “In Her Shoes.”

Q: Name two books you always give or recommend, knowing they’ll be loved?
A: “Unbroken” by my high-school classmate and dear friend Laura Hillenbrand, and a blank journal, so the recipient can write her own story.

Q: What are five of your favorite things?
A: Assuming I can’t include people, I’ll say books, chocolate, movies, long walks with my rescue lab Bella, and a delicious vegetarian dinner prepared by someone other than myself!

If you have yet to do so, please follow the delightfully outgoing Sarah Pekkanen on Twitter and become a friend on Facebook.

* * * * *

Book Giveaway: The Divining Wand is giving away two copies of Caroline Leavitt’s Pictures of You in a random drawing of comments left only on this specific post, Caroline Leavitt and Pictures of You. Comments left on other posts during the week will not be eligible. The deadline is tonight at 7:00 p.m. EST with the winners to be announced here in tomorrow’s post. If you enter, please return tomorrow to see if you’re a winner.

7 Comments to “The Further Revealing of Sarah Pekkanen”


  1. Sarah, I love that you added the h in elementary school. And now I also don’t feel as guilty for sometimes having skipped a page or two of Skippy Jon Jones at bedtime, myself!

    So looking forward to Skipping A Beat!

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  2. How cool that she and Laura Hillenbrand are friends! Small world, eh?

    Also, Savannah is lovely — but expensive, and there’s not as much to do in the winter. I recommend it, I just include the warning (because my boyfriend was super grumpy/bored when we were there, lol).

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  3. Thank you Melissa! And Kristan, good to know….
    Larramie, I so appreciate all of your support and thank you for inviting me back this year! xoxo

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  4. Colleen Turner says:

    I just loved The Opposite of Me! I cannot wait to read Skipping A Beat…I am chomping at the bit :). I love that she gives a blank journal as a book gift to let her recipients express their own talents…that is really cool! Also love Savannah is on her wishlist to visit. I am from the South so if she came to visit and happened to do a book signing down this way I might be able to go :).

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  5. I love the review by Kirkus, it really grabbed my interest and made me want to read the book!

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  6. Colleen, I really appreciate it!
    Thanks, Suzanne! I was really pleased by the Kirkus review and felt as if the reviewer really got my book. It was a nice feeling! xo

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  7. Anita Aijala Fitzgerald says:

    Dear Sara, I love your books These Girls and The Opposite of Me and I love your friend Laura Hillenbrand. I will say I bought your first book because I knew your name was a Finnish name. I am born in the USA second generation but 100 percent Finnish probably related to you 4 grandparents that came from 12-14 brothers and sisters that had children etc. I read a lot love your writing giving the books to my daughter Alena to read she will love them. Keep up the good work but you need your books translated in Finnish they read more books than any country in the world per person zero illiteracy.
    Sincerely
    Anita Aijala Fitzgerald

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