Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Author Interview: Sarah Ockler

Sarah Ockler, author of the marvelous debut novel Twenty Boy Summer agreed to answer some of my questions about her writing. Twenty Boy Summer was released June 1, 2009.

What got you interested/started in writing?
I've been writing since I was about 5 or 6, just making up stories to make people laugh. I was fortunate in that my family and teachers always encouraged it! I've always been a writer, but it took me a long time to realize that I could actually follow my dream and do it for a living. I've been writing full time for just under 2 years now, and I can't imagine doing anything else!

What inspired you to write 20 Boy Summer?
I used to work for the National Donor Family Council, an organization that supports families after a loved one dies and donates organs or tissues. I met a lot of grieving teens through the Council's programs and events, and their stories of loss and hope always stayed with me. When I began work on Twenty Boy Summer, I wanted to share a little bit of those stories.

Who are your favorite authors and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My favorite authors include Jack Kerouac, Anais Nin, and Sylvia Plath for their passion and ability to squeeze every bit of life from their hearts on to the page, no matter how painful it was to tell their stories. My favorite young adult author is Sarah Dessen, whose beautiful, down-to-earth storytelling first opened my eyes to YA reads and inspired me to write my own stories about teens.

What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?
Well, now I get to work from home with my husband every day, which is amazing and fun! :-) I also get to connect with readers from around the world, which has been incredible and rewarding. And I'm not going to lie -- it's pretty surreal and cool to walk into a book store and see my cover on the shelf! :-)

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I've just started to hear from non-blogger readers and their emails always make my entire month. Generally they take the time to write me if Twenty Boy Summer touched them in some way, or connected with their own experiences and struggles. It's hard to hear about so many teens struggling with grief and loss, but I am grateful that they felt a little less alone when reading about Anna and Frankie in Twenty Boy Summer. I love hearing from readers and I hope that they continue to write.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I just want to thank everyone who has read Twenty Boy Summer. When I started working on the book back in 2003, I never expected that I'd be sitting here one day chatting with readers from all over the world about books and authors and the characters and stories of a book that I wrote. It's really incredible, and this journey wouldn't be possible without you. So... thank you, and happy reading!


Thanks Sarah!

For more information about Sarah Ockler and her novel Twenty Boy Summer, please check out her website here.

29 comments:

  1. Great interview, Tina! I loved Twenty Boy Summer and I can't wait for more from Sarah Ockler.

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  2. Great interview. Everyone who has read this book seems to really enjoy it. I'll have to check it out.

    elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

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  3. Great interview! I can't wait to read Twenty Boy Summer! Sarah Ockler seems kind. :)

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  4. She started the boy back in '03 wow thats a long time, I hear nothing but good things about this book can't wait to read it.

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  5. Great interview. Twenty Boy Summer sounds like a great read.

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  6. Great interview.. sounds like an interesting book to read :)

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  7. I've heard really great things about this book and can't wait to read it!

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  8. Thank you for the interview! I can't wait to read 20 Boy Summer.

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  9. Nice interview! Sounds fun and interesting! Time for look for books.

    Dottie :)

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  10. Great interview. Srah sounds really nice. I'd love to work from home too.

    mj.coward[at]gmail.com

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  11. That's very interesting about her inspiration, I can only imagine what that experience was like. Great interview!

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  12. Great interview! I didn' tknow she started working on the book in 2003.

    Amber

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  13. It was nice seeing that she has always loved writing, from the time she was a little girl. I had asked another author recently whether they always loved writing, even as a little kid.

    I envy her being able to work at home. I only hope I am able to figure out a way to do the same.

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  14. What great inspiration! I can't wait to read this book!

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  15. Great interview! That makes me want to read it even more.

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  16. I haven't read 20 Boy Summer Yet, but it looks like a wonderful book (and has a great cover which always attracts me!)

    Great author interview,
    Cheers,
    Julie

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  17. What an awesome interview. :) Her answer for her inspiration really got to me and has made me want to read this book even more. <3

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  18. Excellent interview, she sounds like she really enjoys writing and considering that I've been hearing good things about her books I'm looking forward to reading this one!

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  19. Great interview! Counseling after organ donation sounds like a tough job, no wonder that people one meet and their stories stay with you. I think it is very nice to think about their stories living on. It is really nice to know what inspired an author to write that particular novel.

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  20. Good interview :) It sounds like a really good and emotional book...

    sara

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  21. That's sweet that she works at home with her husband. :)

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  22. Very nice interview.... great book, amazing author!!!

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  23. I think it is neat that Sarah has been writing since she was so very young. Enjoyed the interview and looking forward to the book.

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  24. Nice interview. I like the question about the author's dream being realized. This would be the question I would ask most of my favorite writers. :D

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  25. It's great that what she wrote about was inspired by true stories. I'd love to read her book. :)

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  26. great interview i am excited to read the book

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  27. Great interview. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this book

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  28. Great Interview - def makes me excited to read this book. Side note: I would NOT be able to work at home with my hubby every day (we are both bossy!) More power to ya!

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