Thursday, May 21, 2009

Author Interview with YA author Sarah Quigley

The Ouachita Parish Public Library's YA Department is proud to present our very first interview with YA author Sarah Quigley!

Sarah is the author of TMI (Too Much Information if you're searching for it in the library catalog) and if you haven't had a chance to read it yet, READ IT NOW! The book is about Becca, who has the tendancy to overshare EVERYTHING about her life with EVERYONE. After she completely humiliates her boyfriend, she vows that she will tell no more...at least out loud...and decides to blog her juicy inner thoughts and gossip. Needless to say, this plan bombs and the entire school finds out about the blog... So, if you wanna know more, click on the cover of the book to check and see if your local branch has a copy or to place it on hold!!! But first, here's our interview with the author herself, Sarah Quigley:

What inspired you to begin writing?

When I was in first grade, some older kids visited my class and read stories that they’d written and illustrated themselves. I thought that was pretty cool, so I went home and wrote my first book about two best friends named Rocker and Mary. There was a sequel and later a spin-off series about Amy, a cookie-baking fiend. My mom has all these books packed away somewhere.

Is TMI based off of any personal experiences?

Like Becca, I have a tendency to overshare. I am also from a small Minnesota town, where I spent much of my youth baking, knitting, and watching eighties movies. I also learned a few tough life lessons about the importance of personal boundaries. It’s probably for the best that blogs didn’t become popular until I was well into my twenties and was a bit (but only a bit) more selective about the information I shared with the world.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I live in an awesome area of San Francisco, near the beach and Golden Gate Park. The weather is almost always perfect here (which I really appreciate after growing up in Minnesota), so I spend a lot of time outside with my daughter and husband. I also love cooking and am always trying out new recipes from my favorite magazine, Cook’s Illustrated. Oh, and I’m a diehard fan of Survivor. I used to write a weekly column about the show on a fan web site.

I think it goes without saying that I read a lot in my free time, too.

What book are you reading now?

I just finished Breathing by Cheryl RenĂ©e Herbsman, a new young adult author. Cheryl’s book is as sweet and charming as she is. We had a book signing together last week with C. Lee McKenzie, who wrote Sliding on the Edge. I’m looking forward to reading her book next.

If you could pick an iPod playlist for TMI, what songs would you put on it?

Love this question! I am a huge fan of playlists and have several that I use for writing inspiration. There were several songs that I couldn’t get out of my head while writing TMI.

1. “Blue Orchid” by The White Stripes
I quote this song at the beginning of TMI: “We all need to do something/Try to keep the truth from showing up.” So very true for Becca and many others.

2. “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town” by Pearl Jam
This song was popular when I was in high school, and hearing it brings back a lot of old emotions for me. I get chills when Eddie Vedder sings, “I changed by not changing at all/Small town predicts my fate.” This encapsulates Becca’s struggle.

3. “Price I Pay” by Jane’s Addiction
I was obsessed with Jane’s Addiction as a teenager. This song is off the Strays album, which came out when I was older, but it still sends me back in time. It opens with “I always do the wrong thing but for a very good reason,” something Becca can surely relate to.

4. “Hopelessly Devoted to You” from the Grease soundtrack
Becca and her friends are in the school production of Grease, as well as her ex-boyfriend and current crush. This song fittingly describes Becca’s feelings for two boys she can’t have.

5. “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds
Becca and her friends are huge fans of movies from the 1980s. This song is off The Breakfast Club soundtrack, and I can just hear it playing in the last six pages of TMI.

Are you working on anything new?

I’m hard at work! Lots of people want to know if my next book is a sequel to TMI, but it’s something new. When I was in college, I waited tables for two summers at a swanky resort in northern Wisconsin. I’m writing something very loosely based on those experiences. All I can say is that a group of college girls + a whole summer living and working together = drama.

If you could be a superhero, who would you be?

I’m pretty jealous of Elastigirl in The Incredibles. She’s a mom who kicks butt, and she can contort herself into any shape that might come in handy: parachute, life raft, bungee cord. I’d love it if I could reach across the room with my extra-stretchy arm when my daughter puts herself in harm’s way.
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If you're curious to learn more about Sarah, check out her website at http://www.sarahquigley.com/ and make sure you check out TMI at the library today!!!

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