I’m thrilled to kick this leg off with GreenBeanTeenQueen, who just happens to also be my local teen librarian. (I just heard that collective sigh of envy out there…)
I adore Sarah; we all know how lucky I am to have her in town.
I’m cross-posting our interview below in full; be sure to comment and link to the post at GreenBeanTeenQueen for a chance to win the very first signed copy of PLAYING HURT. (Check out the entry form here.)
…And be sure to follow along at GreenBeanTeenQueen, if you haven’t already. Sarah’s incredible.
I’m a lifelong, sixth generation Missouri resident. So when you ask me what I love about Missouri, I feel as though you’ve asked me what I like most about my favorite room in my childhood home. Missouri’s just mine, in the same way my family is mine. The sweet, the rugged, the frigid, the sweltering, all of it—it’s mine.
What myths of Southwest Missouri would you like to prove wrong?
The thing is, you never do know who you’re talking to. That old guy in a pair of overalls at the convenience store in some no-stoplight town in the middle of nowhere has probably had more life experiences, been more places, done more, seen more, understands far more than any of us could ever expect…probably lived far more life than any of us ever will.
In some respects, I kind of think Missouri gets seen as that old guy in a pair of overalls. But if anybody’d stop to really get to know Missouri, they’d find out there’s a lot going on underneath those Carhartts.
In A BLUE SO DARK, Aura lives in Springfield. In PLAYING HURT, the characters are in Minnesota. Was it hard to change locations for the setting?
Not so much. The older I get, the more I enjoy my time outside. When I think of my most frequented haunts right now, many of them are outdoors: riverbanks and lakesides. When I’ve been cooped up writing too long, I don’t usually want to go to an indoor public area—restaurant, movies, etc. I usually want to get outside. In my passages about Minnesota, I was able to express my love of fresh air and wildflowers, quiet lakes and sunshine.
What’s the best thing about being a writer? And what’s the worst (or hardest)?
The best is seeing my lifelong dream coming to fruition. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was little. But it’s been a long, rough, winding road…
Basically, after getting my master’s from MSU, I devoted myself full-time to my writing. Took seven and a half years to get to the first acceptance at Flux books. Sticking with a dream even when the dream is beating you up is beyond rough—so I’d have to say the waiting and the rejection and the incredible amount of time it took to just get started was the hardest part. But getting my writing career off the ground is an incredible feeling.
Seriously, what is the deal with Cashew Chicken?
Ahhh, Cashew Chicken. Sprinfield’s own faux Chinese Food. I grew up on the stuff—and have a special love for it. I even requested it for my last birthday dinner! There’s just something so homey about it. It’s the ultimate comfort food for me…the food of my youth that I still love.