Monday, July 1, 2013

Sara V. Olds Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview

Sara V. Olds has been telling stories for as long as she can remember. One of her favorite memories is of unfolding a tale for friends while they were all bundled in sleeping bags watching a comet shower in the Uintah Mountains.

Mother of three: Large, Medium and Small, she welcomes her newest role, that of mother-in-law.

Life has taken her from thither to yon and back again—she's moved 22 times during her marriage. She breathes to travel. Longs to fulfill a lifelong dream of owning a horse. Is an addictive reader. Enjoys swimming, skiing, violin and movies. Wonders if she'll ever get to SCUBA dive again. And has found a calling that fulfills her in ways she never could have imagined—teaching history to—wait for it—8th Graders.

Her stories consume her. There's nothing she'd rather do than spend all day, all night and the next day conversing with her latest set of characters. History, adventure, action, romance, humor. Adults, YA and kids. Yep, she does it all. Looking for something to enjoy on a quiet rainy afternoon? Or wanting a pulse-pounding, stay up all night turning pages adventure? Or a you've-GOT-to-be-kidding romp? You'll find them in her pages.

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Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?

When I was 4, I actually remember sitting on the steps inside our house waiting for the bus to take me to London, where I worked on a “lamp camp” (remember I was 4). That’s when I knew I had stories bursting out of me. Then when I was in fourth grade, I had a friend who was an incredible artist. She would draw pictures and I would write stories to go with them. So, long and short…it’s been something I’ve known forever.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us? 

Not only does it let us visit new places, it lets us meet new people and explore new ideas all from the safety of our own lives.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre? 

Okay, this is tough. I have several favorites of all time. King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry was the first. My mom read it to me in Second Grade and I checked it out of the Library and stayed up late in the night and re-read it—like three times. It was the first book I ever loved. But I have collections of Walter Farley (horse books), Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes), and John Buchan (the 1st espionage books) all which I love. ALL writers should read John Buchan to understand what lyrical writing is all about.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author? 

Write the book of your heart. There people who are try to write and sell to a market. But the best books are books you want to write. Books you love. Books you’d love to read.

In your book; My Life As A Lumberjack or How I Fell For the Wrong Guy(s), can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it? 

Mercedes “Benz” Bennion and her best buddy, Conor Perry, need summer jobs—preferably something interesting. When they find an advertisement for 14-18 year olds to work for the US Forest Service, they leap at the chance. With mountains, camping, Forest Rangers (be still her heart handsome)…what could possibly go wrong? For these two friends, it’ll be a summer to remember!

For those who are unfamiliar with Benz, how would you introduce her? 

Benz is a bit of a Tomboy but slightly boy crazy. She loves theater, music, swims like a fish, loves to laugh, and can’t stand mean or fake people. She’s also more of a leap-before-she-looks kind of a person. And, she is just a bit lazy so working outside for the Forest Service, may not be the best choice her.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us? 

I have several I’m working on at the moment. First, I’m in the polishing phase of my first traditional YA fantasy and romance called The Slumbering Heir. It has lots of adventure, lots of romance, a splash of humor and even a dragon. And I’m re-writing one of my WWII romances from a multiple POV to just two and that’s tough! And I’d really like to finish drafting a middle grade scifi-time travel.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why? 

Oh, Benz would want to meet Deerslayer (the main character) from the book by James Fenimore Cooper. She thinks Dan-Dan the Mountain Man is amazing? She’d need CPR after meeting him.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie? 

I never answer my age (I just smile) but I do lie about my weight. However, recently, I hit a weird situation. I weigh less than I lied about on my driver’s license. I’m almost tempted to go in and a new one, so I can lie about that one.

What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style? 

 Read and read and read. Decide what you like and then figure out why you like it. Is it the characters? The way they talk? The setting? What exactly. Then write. And write. And write. Put those things you like into your writing and you will find your own voice.

What's the most memorable summer job you've ever had?

Chuckle. The US Forest Service.

Who was your first boyfriend? 

Darrel in Eighth Grade. We suffered in Algebra together and he used to bring me White Chocolate Mints—sorta truffly things. He was very sweet, but we went to different schools the next year and not being able to drive we lost touch.

Tell me about your first kiss.

I kissed a boy in 5th Grade in a pool—underwater so we wouldn’t get caught. We thought it was so romantic. We were with about 50 kids at the pool during a school outing and so obviously it was just thrilling. Not. Chuckle.

What would be harder for you, to tell someone you love them or that you do not love them back?

I’ve actually done both. I think it’s harder to tell someone you don’t love them back.

When was the last time you cried? 

Today. I saw a brief clip about a family whose 15 year old daughter was killed by a train. Not only am I a mother of teenagers, but I remember when it happened and some of my students knew the girl. It really shook them up. As a teacher, it’s like having a 160 teenagers. Seeing that video really choked me up. And before that? Two days ago! I watched a show on the Normandy invasion and I had the chance to visit there a few years ago and that brought back all those memories. Yep. I’m a softy.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager? 

Oh boy. You have utterly stumped me. I seriously have thought and thought and can’t figure it out. Whew! Crazy.

What is your greatest adventure? 

I love that you used “is” instead of “was”. Teaching is my greatest adventure. I pour so much of myself and my creativity into trying to make a difference for my students.

Where can readers stalk you? 

Blog: Facebook: twitter: saravolds website:

Me, Mercedes Bennion? Working for the US Forest Service? I’ve never thought of myself as the outdoorsy, hard-working type. But one quick glance at those mouth-watering forest rangers and oh, baby, sign this seventeen-year-old up for a whole summer of fresh air, mountains and starry, starry nights!

Astraea Press will be releasing in May 30, 2013 by Sourcebooks.
You can pre-order My Life As A Lumberjack or How I Fell For the Wrong Guy(s) 
at the following Retailer:


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