Random Q&A: Sarah Dessen

So this week brings us Sarah Dessen, bestselling author of teen books such as Someone Like You, Just Listen, and now Lock and Key. In fact, two of her books were made into a movie (How to Deal, with Mandy Moore). When she’s not writing or jetting off to NYC to go to parties for her publisher and imbibing in gourmet pigs in a blanket, she’s taking care of her newest edition to the family, Clementine.

1) Is there one book of yours you wish you could rewrite?
I actually don’t, because each of the books represents exactly who I was at the time I wrote it. There may be parts I don’t like as much as others, but it’s like changing your past. You can’t do it. Have to take the good and learn from the bad.

2) Is there one huge regret you harbor from your young adult/teen years?
I was pretty hard on my parents. Made them worry a lot, put them through some stress. I’ve apologized quite a bit, but I still feel bad about it.

3) Which of your heroines is most like you?

I think Halley from Someone Like You is the most similar to how I was in high school. Kind of quiet, hanging back a bit, with a dynamic friend she lets do a lot of the talking. Remy from l is the way I wish I was then, and now, more outspoken and confident.

4) What is the most extravagant thing you’ve bought with an advance?
I sold my first book when I was waitressing and making NO money. I spent a big chunk of it on a laser printer, and back then (1995 or so) they were pretty expensive. But I was so tired of having to turn off my old dot matrix when it got too hot from printing out manuscripts!

5) How do you balance baby and motherhood?

Well, the truth is…I’m not sure I do. I mean, some days it just flows well, because I have great help and try to stay organized. But today, the baby was up at 4 am, then at 6, and my babysitter couldn’t come, so I’m not getting much done. I think the trick, for me, anyway, is being happy with whatever little bit of writing I can get in, when I can get it. Is that enough? Maybe not. But it has to be.

For more of Sarah, visit her website and her blog.

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