Sara Polsky’s debut YA novel, This Is How I Find Her
, will be published by Albert Whitman
in fall 2013. Her fiction has appeared in Fictitious Force and Behind the Wainscot. She is represented by Suzie Townsend.
Sara is a writer and editor at Curbed NY
, and her articles and essays have appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, The Forward, Poets & Writers, and other publications. She lives in New York City.
Sophie Canon, the main character of THIS IS HOW I FIND HER, comes home after school one day to find that her mother has attempted suicide. Sophie has spent most of her time caring for her mother, who has bipolar disorder, but once she's hospitalized, Sophie moves across town to live with estranged relatives. Living apart from her mother means Sophie is alone -- but it also means she's free. Can she figure out how to balance caring for her mother with living her own life?
Thank you for joining us on YABC today! First off, can you tell us a little bit about your latest novel, THIS IS HOW I FIND HER?
I probably learn something from every book I read. A few of my favorite authors are Melina Marchetta, Jane Austen, Sara Zarr, and Neil Gaiman.
Which books or authors have inspired your craft?
I just started reading Corey Ann Haydu's OCD Love Story, which I am loving.
What book would we find on your bedside table right now?
Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing, which was wonderful.
What was the most recent film you saw?
At one point while drafting the book, I thought Sophie, my main character, might attempt to break her mother out of the hospital. So I Googled a few variations on "how to break out of a psych ward" before abandoning that element of the story.
How much research did you have to do for THIS IS HOW I FIND HER? What was the craziest search term you typed while researching online?
I don't really snack while I'm writing, but I like to bake, and I often find that I bake more when I'm trying to work out a problem in something I'm writing. I think I like the precision of baking when facing the mess of writing or revising.
What is your go-to writing snack/beverage?
Sophie is my favorite character because she just feels so real to me. Leila, Sophie's cousin and ex-best friend and one of the other major characters in the book, was much harder for me to write, but by now she feels equally real to me.
Who was your favorite or hardest character to write in THIS IS HOW I FIND HER?
I'm not sure I'd actually want to be in the scene as one of the characters, but I dreamed one of the scenes in this book after I wrote it. It's a scene late in the book when Sophie is sitting through some presentations in her English class, and I dreamed that I was in the scene as one of the students, sitting at a desk watching the action unfold. When I woke up, I felt weirdly proud that I had written a scene vivid enough to dream about.
If you could be in any scene in your novel, which would it be?
I have more information about the book on my website, www.sarapolsky.com.
Where can our readers go to learn more about THIS IS HOW I FIND HER?
Every time I hear from a reader who connects with the book, I feel delighted and amazed all over again.
Last but not least, what has been your biggest SQUEE! moment since becoming a published author?
Thank you so much, Sara, for taking the time to talk with us!
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