Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sarah Pekkanen is walking on air...plus a book giveaway

Sarah Pekkanen really doesn't need much of an introduction these days. From her debut in 2010 to a cozy spot in the chick lit community four years later, she has climbed to the top of the ladder with her warm and relatable novels that speak to women of all ages and backgrounds. While you may not recognize her with her new hair color, you'll know her name from The Opposite of Me, Skipping a Beat, These Girls and The Best of Us. She also has three novellas that tie in to one another. Her latest novel, Catching Air, comes out next week. Whether it is your first experience with Sarah or you've been following her all along, you definitely will NOT want to miss this one! She's currently hard at work on her sixth novel and we're already anticipating its arrival on our book shelves!

Thanks to Engleman & Co, we have one copy of Catching Air for a lucky US reader!

Visit Sarah at her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

While I understand the reason behind the title of Catching Air now, did you have any alternate titles in mind when you started writing it?
It's funny, because CATCHING AIR is the only book I've titled - my editor thought of the titles for the other four! Titles are usually my weakness, but I knew I wanted a term that related to snow and ski resorts, since my book is set in Killington, Vermont, so I began researching skiing terms. Catching Air caught my eye immediately, because it conveyed hope and could be a metaphor for my characters' struggles. I suggested to my editor that we use it as a placeholder, but she liked it so much she thought we should use it for the actual book!

What is the best compliment you've received about any of your books?
Being compared to Jennifer Weiner and Emily Giffin is always an enormous thrill! And there isn't anything better than a note or Facebook message from a reader who says my books have touched her. I adore chatting with readers on Facebook and Twitter, so please come find me there!

Now that you've had five novels published and are about to publish a sixth, how do you feel your writing style has changed or developed over the past five years?
I'm still a student of writing, and hope I always will be - one of the greatest things about my job is that there is always room for growth. I think I've gotten better at inserting tension into my plots, and it's a little easier for me to see the entire arc of a book now when I sit down to write. But most days it still feels like I'm trying to wrestle a giant, struggling octopus into a shopping bag!

We had so much fun reading your casting ideas for The Best of Us for ICLM last year, that we'd like to know who you'd cast in a movie of Catching Air.
Kira would have to be played by Reese Witherspoon, who not only looks the part but could channel Kira's whirlwind, type A personality. I'd love Jennifer Lopez for Alyssa, because Jennifer seems to have been through a lot in her personal life, and she could tap into the intense emotions Alyssa goes through during the course of the book. And for sweet, innocent Dawn it would be a dream to cast Emma Stone, who'd be wonderful at showcasing the inner strength Dawn discovers after a shattering experience.


Since your story is about a bed and breakfast, tell us what your go-to breakfast item is every morning.
I make these yummy oatmeal/banana muffins and freeze a big batch, then pop a couple in the microwave with a cup of tea every morning. I use the recipe on chocolatecoveredkatie.com but I add walnuts, flaxseed and cinnamon. They're so delicious and SO healthy! I always have these with a cup or two of English Breakfast tea with a splash of milk and spoonful of honey. Mmm...


I know you are a champion of other authors, just like they have been for you. (We love how supportive the chick lit community is!) What was the last book you read that you would highly recommend?
Isn't it amazing, all these women supporting other women? I love it too. I just blurbed a terrific book called FIVE DAYS LEFT by Julie Lawson Timmer. Initially I was a little nervous to read it, thinking it might be depressing, since it's about a woman who has an incurable disease and decides to take her own life before the disease can claim it. But it was just beautiful, and while there was sadness, it made me more appreciative of the blessings in my own life. And I got a sneak peek at Jennifer Weiner's new book ALL FALL DOWN and it is spectacular. Gripping and visceral, yet funny and relatable.

I'm also going on my first big book tour (starting in my suburban DC home town)- to New Orleans, Lexington KY, Mobile AL, Memphis, Baltimore, Arlington VA, and Chicago - and I'm going to try to shake things up a bit. Instead of reading from my novel, I'm going to tell stories about the writing and publishing process and play a few games with audience members. Winners of the games will be given a book by a new author that I adore! Audience members might win a copy of AFTER I DO by Taylor Jenkins Reid, TILL THE WELL RUNS DRY by Lauren Francis Sharma, and YOUR PERFECT LIFE by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke. I'll be handing out one copy of each book at every tour stop (along with a few other surprises). It should be a lot of fun and I'm really looking forward to promoting these books by such wonderful women writers.

Thanks to Sarah for visiting with us again and to Engleman & Co for sharing her book with our readers.

~Introduction and interview by Melissa Amster

How to win:  Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


US only. Giveaway ends May 4th at midnight EST.

21 comments:

AiringMyDirtyLaundry said...

I can't wait to read this book. Sarah seems like a fabulous person--and now I want a muffin.

To answer the question, I loved The Opposite of Me. I loved it so much that I passed it onto my MIL and friends, who also enjoyed it!

Janine said...

I haven't read any of Sarah's books yet. I still want to read The Best Of Us after seeing it back when Hoda was talking about it on her's and Kathie Lee's show. The new book sounds really great too.

pascale said...

I have not read any, though I own The Best of Us... its on my to read list.

Suzanne said...

I started with The Best of Us, after hearing about it from you!! I loved every bit of it. Sarah writes in a way that you could imagine yourself right there with the group of people she writes about. Soo looking forward to the next book!!

S.Sabia said...

These Girls is my favorite Sarah Pekkanen book so far. I can't wait to read Catching Air!!

WhitneyDIneen said...

Looking forward to this one!

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to reading this one from Sarah. Enjoyed the interview and thanks for the give-away.

Ann Ellison
abilene_nana@yahoo.com

Ro said...

Catching Air

Jennifer Huelsebusch said...

She is a new to me author and I would love to read this one!

Bonnie K. said...

I'm sorry to say that I haven't read her books yet. The most recent I put on my to-read list is The Best of Us.

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

Kimberly V said...

The Best of Us

Rita said...

I haven't read any yet but Catching Air sounds great and I have added it to my read list.

Linda Kish said...

I haven't read any yet but have wanted to read The Opposite of Me.

Melanie Backus said...

Catching Air seems like a great book but since this is a new author to me, I would love to read any of her books.

mauback55 at gmail dot com

bn100 said...

Haven't read any yet; catching Air sounds interesting

Hailey Fish said...

Sarah Pekkanen was one of the first Chick Lit/women's fiction authors I really enjoyed reading. She creates characters that you feel as if you've known them your entire life. I'm looking forward to reading Catching Air.

fishiegirl22@yahoo.com

Bridget O'Neill said...

I've read all of her books (including the novellas), and I've loved them all! My favorite is probably These Girls.

Suzy said...

I have all of Sarah's books on my bookshelf but just haven't read them yet. I know, I know. I need Catching Air to complete the collection. : )

SuzyQ4PR(at)aol(dot)com

JROSEN60 said...

These Girls is my favorite so far - I've read them all!

Marissa A said...

I did read 'Skipping A Beat' and it was just a real touching novel. That's the only one I've read so far. I'm really interested in this novel because it takes place in an area I would like to visit, Vermont :) Thanks for the chance!

Pia Bernardino said...

Skipping A Beat is my favorite!