The Divining Wand

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Sarah Pekkanen: Why I Write

April 10, 2012 By: larramiefg Category: Guest Posts

[Considered one of Atria Books’ rising stars, internationally bestselling author Sarah Pekkanen (Skipping a Beat and The Opposite of Me) promises to add to her success with a third novel, These Girls, releasing today in bookstores and online retailers.

There are fortunate individual born knowing what they want in life and having the talent to do just that. In today’s guest post, Sarah explains that’s why she write.]

Why I Write

I write because, even though it can be frustrating and ego-crushing and difficult, not writing would be so much worse. I write because it can be magical and uplifting and nurturing, too. I write because it’s what I’ve wanted to do ever since I was a little girl.

Writing has always been a part of my life, except for one dark period in my early thirties. My husband and I had two young boys by then, and I’d left my job as a features writer for The Baltimore Sun newspaper to stay home with them. I’d imagined I’d be able to free-lance for the paper, but the type of stories I did for The Sun – like racing to catch a plane the day of the Columbine school shootings, and locating and interviewing a boy who transformed from the class clown into an unlikely hero who saved dozens of lives – had suddenly become impossible for me to cover. I felt completely adrift; I’ve often described the sensation as similar to discovering my best friend had moved away without leaving a forwarding address or phone number.

Then one night, I began to type fiction. The words poured out of me, like water gushing from a garden hose once a kink in its middle is untangled. I wrote and wrote and wrote, and discovered something incredible: As much as I’d loved being a reporter, I enjoyed fiction even more.

Nowadays, if I’m away from my laptop too long, I feel itchy. I write a novel every year, along with a short story, newspaper reviews and articles, and a regular magazine column. There’s rarely a day when I’m not writing. It’s completely addictive: the more I write, the more I want to write. The thing that thrills me the most about writing fiction is that there’s always room for improvement – I can toil away at this craft for decades, and still have so much room to learn and grow.

I also write because it connects me to people. I adore going on Facebook, and interacting with readers and learning about their lives. I love popping onto Twitter and exchanging jokes with folks I’ve never met. And I love being able to interview real people about their jobs and lives, then weave those details into my novels. For example, for THESE GIRLS, a magazine staffer snuck me into the New York headquarters of a glossy women’s magazine and gave me a behind-the-scenes tour that was fascinating. Much of what I observed that day made it into THESE GIRLS.

I write because I’m lucky enough to have found the job of my dreams, and I can’t ever imagine letting it go!

* * * * *

Family secrets may shape us all, but it’s the rich, complicated layers of friendship that can save us.

That one sentence describes Sarah Pekkanen’s most compelling, true-to-life novel yet tells the story of three very different women as they navigate the complications of careers and love—and find the lifeline they need in each other.

And critics praise:

“A fun and engaging romp…Pekkanen’s authorial voice is sweetly snappy, the plot is character-driven, and the book ends satisfactorily without tying up every loose end. Fans of Sophie Kinsella and Jennifer Close will enjoy this refreshingly introspective, sharply realistic, and tenderly humorous novel.” —Booklist

“Pekkanen’s characters are sympathetic and familiar, and readers are likely to identify with aspects of each protagonist. Fans of Jennifer Weiner, Sarah Dessen, Liza Palmer, and Emily Giffin will strongly appreciate this smart novel by a rising star in women’s fiction.” —Library Journal

Now “picture the book” as the author talks to six sets of best friends about the healing power of female friendships.

(If the video doesn’t appear on your monitor, please view it here.)

Sarah loves social media and can be followed on Twitter and friend(ed) on Facebook. And for your reading enjoyment, These Girls is available right now!

Book Giveaway: The Divining Wand is giving away one copy of These Girls by Sarah Pekkanen — in a random drawing — to anyone who leaves a comment on this post by 11:59 p.m. EDT tonight! The winner will be notified by email tomorrow.

12 Comments to “Sarah Pekkanen: Why I Write”


  1. Writing is a wonderful gift that I think keeps many of us sane. So happy that you moved to fiction. I remember the lost feeling when I started staying home with my children after quitting my job.

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  2. Another book I want to read.

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  3. Not sure why, but I haven’t read Sarah Pekkanen yet. Would love for this book to be my first foray into her work!

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  4. I am so looking forward to the release of this book. I have been best friends with my BFF for 30 years this summer!

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  5. Wendy Kinsey says:

    I have read her other two and loved them .I can’t wait to read These Girls.

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  6. Margaret says:

    I haven’t read anything fro this author yet so I would love to add this one to my to read list. Thanks!

    Margaret
    singitm(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  7. I’d love to read this book. I’ve read all the others so I’m just waiting to get my hands on this one. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  8. Love her books and can’t wait to read this one! Thanks for entering me!

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  9. Jane Cook says:

    Sarah is becoming one of my favorite authors, and I absolutely adored her book trailer!

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    jcsites2002 at hotmail dot com

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  10. Thanks so much for letting me visit Larramie – and I love these wonderful comments!

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  11. Has the winner been notified yet? I’m anxious. lol

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  12. This reminds me of my first experience of New York and moving there right out of college.

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