Friday, August 17, 2012

Author Interview with Sarah Weeks

The DMS was lucky enough to interview Sarah Weeks, author of the middle grade novel PIELizzy recently reviewed this delicious book, and it was great to share our thoughts about it and hear yours! We are excited to learn a little bit more about the story behind the story. So, without further ado... take it away, Sarah! 





What inspired you to write Pie?


The inspiration for PIE was twofold. I have always loved baking, and thought it would be fun to write about a baker, and I also wanted to write something about writing. The dedication of the book sums up my feelings pretty well: “To my faithful readers, because a book is like a pie.  The only thing more satisfying than cooking up the story is knowing that somebody might be out there eating it up with a spoon.” I grew up in the midwest, and my mother was a home ec major in college. We did a lot of sewing and cooking at my house.


How long did it take you to write Pie?

Start to finish I think it took about two years. I probably did four complete drafts of the book, and then a whole lot of tweaking. I don’t tend to outline my books, because it makes me feel penned in. I want the story to lead me somewhere, rather than deciding beforehand where I’m going to go with it. The downside of that is that it sometimes takes me a very long time to figure out what I’m trying to say. It wasn’t until I was close to finished with PIE that I realized what a major theme gratitude would play in the story.


What are some of your favorite books from childhood? Were there any specific authors who inspired you?

As a little, little girl I loved to be read to. My dad read to my sister every night, and my mom read to me. Big favorites were Harry the Dirty DogThe Lovely Summer, and Charlotte’s Web. Later, I became an avid reader. I loved Nancy Drew, the Little House books, Freddy the Pig, My Side of the Mountain just to name a few. When I was in Junior High, which is what we called Middle School, I fell in love with books like To Kill a Mockingbird, and Lord of the Flies. That was right around the time I was first thinking about being a writer. I was never much of a fantasy buff, and I’m still not, which is why I’m surprised that one of the ideas I have been kicking around lately is kind of a sci-fi thing. Should be interesting.

Where did you come up with the characters Polly and Alice?

Some people believe that we are every character in our dreams, and every character in the books we write. Parts of Polly are based on my mother, and parts are based on me. Alice is a lot like me – feisty and interested in songwriting, but so is Nora Needleman, who’s kind of a brat. Charlie Erdling is the boy I would have had a crush on when I was Alice’s age. He’s a sweetie.


If you could befriend a character from any of your books, who would you befriend? Why?

Gosh, that’s a hard question.  I tend to like all of my characters, or most of them anyway. Bernie, from So B. It is someone I think would be interesting to spend time with, and like I said, I’m kind of sweet on Charlie Erdling. If I could spend an afternoon in the pie shop with Polly and Alice, that would be pretty cool. I guess this is a longwinded round about way of saying that I feel I befriend every character I write.  It’s part of bringing them to life and making them feel real. I explore their personalities, and their hearts and I seek out what’s good about them and forgive them for the ways in which they’re flawed.

Where do you like to write? Do you listen to music while you are writing?

No music. I like it to be really quiet. Even a drippy faucet, or a whiney neighbor can drive me crazy. Sometimes I write at my desk, sometimes I write with my laptop in my lap, sometimes I flop on the bed and write that way. I can’t write in public places, like coffee shops or libraries because I get distracted people watching. The most fruitful time of day for me is first thing in the morning. I get up around 5:30 and it’s SO peaceful. Sometimes I write all day, sometimes just for a few hours, when I’m really on a roll I don’t pay any attention to the time at all. That’s one of the best feelings in the world.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?

I actually love where I live. I have a house in the woods in the Catskills where I spend my summers. There’s a swimming pond, and a gazillion trees and the dog can run loose – though not quite as freely since she got quilled by a porcupine. The rest of the year, I live in the top half of an old Victorian house in Nyack. I love to have my family around – my fiancée Jim and my sons Nat and Gabe. I do a lot of traveling during the school year, visiting schools and speaking at conferences. I’m met some wonderful people and have been to some beautiful places, but my favorite place to be is H O M E.

We have to ask... What is your favorite pie to make? Favorite to eat?

I like making apple pies. I love the smell of the spices, and the way the crust looks when you lay it over the mound of cut up apples. In terms of my favorite kind of pie to eat, it’s easier to tell you what kind of pie I DON’T eat. Banana cream and pecan. Ugh.

Where can we purchase your books?

On my website 
there is a BOOKS page with links to places to purchase my books.  I am a HUGE fan of independent bookstores, so that’s the first place I always send people.

Amazon Barnes and Noble 


Sarah Weeks & Stephanie Robinson
We were able to chat with Sarah Weeks at the 2011 Connecticut Book Fair. It was great to meet her in person, and listening to her stories about all of the kids that she's met in her travels was fascinating!

Connect with Sarah Weeks!
Author WebsiteBlog ☟



Read the reviews!



26 comments:

  1. Thanks to both yourself and Sarah for some great questions and answers. I love the book cover.

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    1. Hi Petty, Thanks! She is so fun! It was great to interview her : ) ~ F

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  2. This was wonderful! I love peeking behind the scenes of books and into authors' brains. Charlie Erdman is my choice as a friend too.

    Sarah, my daughter and I read Pie aloud together earlier this summer. She ADORED it, as did I.

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    1. Hi Barbara, It is so fun to see where the ideas come from. Pie was an excellent story- thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us! ~ F

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  3. Great interview! I have read some of her books, so it was fun to learn more about her. My teacher read Oggie Cooder to us and we go to chard cheese. It was awesome. I like apple pie and hate banana,too.

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    1. Hi Flex, Oggie Cooder was a great book! Thanks for mentioning it. Great to hear from you! ~ F

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  4. Lovely lovely interview...I have seen this book before but now I have to read it!

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    1. Hi Patty, I think you will enjoy it- very fun story. Thanks for stopping by : ) ~ F

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  5. I am hungry for pie! It is perfect for pie season here in Oregon with all the fresh fruit coming into season! I really like Banana Cream and Pecan. This is a new book for me, but it sounds fun and delicious! Thanks for sharing,

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    1. Hi Heidi, I seriously want a piece of pie now- lol! Oregon must be absolutely beautiful right now. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us : ) ~ F

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  6. I loved Nancy Drew, too. I loved to curl up with some mint tea and cookies. I should make some pie soon.

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    1. Hi M Pax, I have to nudge someone else into making a pie for me- no one wants to eat a pie that I've baked- lol! Thanks for stopping by : ) ~ F

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  7. Great interview. Harry the Dirty Dog was one of my favorites too. Now my daughter loves it. Best of luck to Sarah.

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    1. Hi Kelly, That's great that your daughter loves Harry the Dirty Dog too! Thanks so much for stopping by : ) ~ F

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  8. Loved the interview. I liked the author's choices in books. What a fun name for a book.

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    1. Hi Donna, It's such a great title- you can't forget it, even if you try! Great to hear from you : ) ~ F

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  9. I love PIE! (food AND book!) I reviewed Pie on my site and made the chocolate cream pie in the book as part of the review :) I loved this interview and learning about Ms. Weeks :)

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    1. This Kid Reviews Books- I am right there with you! Pie is gread in both forms. I bet the chocolate cream pie you made was great. If you send her a picture of the pies you make- she puts them on her blog. I think that is pretty cool. So glad you enjoyed the review. ~L

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    2. Cool! I'll send Ms. Weeks a picture of the pie we made!

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  10. Pie sounds like a very good read. I also love apple pie but it must have lashings of custard.

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    1. Barbara- Pie is a really fun read. I have never had apple pie with lashings of custard. I must try it! ~F

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  11. Oh this sounds like a book I'd enjoy. Pie? Theme of gratefulness? Yes please. :0)

    And my favorite place in the world to be is home as well. :0)

    M.

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    1. M. Christine- I think this is a book you will love. I bet you will be baking pies afterwards! :) I guess Dorothy had it right, "There's no place like home." :) ~F

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  12. I just read this one with my 7-ear-old last week. We both loved it! And we loved the chocolate pie we made afterwards.

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    1. Michelle- How wonderful that you and your 7 year-old read Pie and enjoyed it together. I bet the chocolate pie was the perfect way to end the book! ~F

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