The Best of us is Sarah’s fourth novel. She decided to go a different direction by
bringing her characters to the beach in Jamaica
bringing her characters to the beach in Jamaica
Dwight’s wife Pauline has put together the ultimate celebration for his birthday. A trip to Jamaica to a beach house with his college friends. Pauline has experienced them before but will do anything for him to make him happy. Tina is the young mom in search of a break who is encouraged to go by Allie who is the ray of sunshine and seems to have a perfect life. Then there is Savannah the single about to be divorcee. Can she be trusted? Will this trip be what everyone hopes it will be?
I am always excited to get one of Sarah’s novels. I was especially excited that it would be a beach read this time around. She writes characters that we can all identify with. The mom who is overworked and needs help. The wife who wonders if her husband will really be there for her? Or the friend who is going through a divorce and having to pick up the pieces.
Who doesn’t need a break? What would make the perfect getaway to you?
Sarah how would you answer these questions:
“Veg out in front of a movie or watch "The Voice" and crush on Blake Shelton. On a nice day, a long walk with my sweet lab Bella will also do the trick.”
What trip would make the perfect destination getaway?
“Some place that's family friendly, and features water slides for my kids so they can splash around and get tired. I also like a good pina colada so if there's a lounge chair next to the pool, everyone would be happy!”
What makes a vacation a vacation? Are you a planner who likes to do a lot of activities like Pauline or would you rather lounge around like Tina?
“I like a mix. For me a perfect vacation includes a massage, but I also like to have my kids around, so we'd need to have some fun activities. Recently we rented a beach house with two other families for a long weekend and it was wonderful. One of the dads is a terrific cook so he made us all dinner, and we rented bikes and played on the beach. That was pretty blissful.”
Past tense is used many times in this novel. I was wondering if you could explain to our readers how you would use it in your novels?
“I use it a lot in flashbacks, which were necessary for this novel because the setting takes place over the course of a single week while my main characters are on vacation. So through flashbacks, I could give insight into the characters and show how their relationships in the past affected their interactions on the vacation. “
I was wondering why writers tend to use it for breaks in the story to flush out details about a character?
“I think it's too tough to reveal everything you need to know about a character when you're writing solely in the present tense - by delving into the background events that shape a character; you can truly understand him or her. Otherwise you'd have to weave things into dialogue, like, "So, Samantha, when you attended the University of Virginia, your parents didn't visit you a lot - was that hurtful?" It's so much more effective to craft a scene from the past and use it to gain insight into a complex, multi-faceted character.”
Any hint on what your next novel will be about?
“Yes, I'm revising it right now! Here's the short description:
A chance to run a B&B in snowy, remote Vermont – it’s an offer Kira Danner can’t resist after six soul-crushing years of working as a lawyer in Florida. As Kira and her husband, Peter, step into a brand new life, she quells her fears about rooming with the B&B’s co-owners: Peter’s sexy, irresponsible brother Rand, and Rand’s wife Alyssa, who is essentially a stranger.
For her part, Alyssa Lopez-Shaw sees taking over the B&B as the latest in a string of adventures. Plus, a quiet place might help her recover from the news that she can’t bear children. But the idyllic town proves to be anything but serene: Within weeks, the sisters-in-law are scrambling to prepare for their first big booking – a winter wedding - and soon a shy, mysterious woman shows up on their doorstep, clutching the help wanted ad they placed in a local paper. Dawn Zilcoski is hiding something; that much is clear. But what the sisters-in-law don't know is that Dawn is also hiding from someone.”
What would you say has changed the most for you since your writing career has taken off for you?
“Probably the demands on my time. With my first book, I only focused on writing the novel, but now I need to divide my time to include attending to the business side of publishing. For example, last week I needed to write the description of my fifth novel that you just read above - it's just one of the dozens of smaller tasks I tackle as a published author. But I'm not complaining!”
Anything fun planned for this summer?
“Probably a trip to the West Coast, which will be exciting, because we can visit family, and I'll finish up revisions on my fifth novel, and then take off a little bit of time and begin dreaming up the next book. I love those lazy, languid days when ideas for plots begin to weave through my mind and I wait for one to catch fire! “
Please visit Sarah for more on her facebook page, twitter, or her website.