Sarah’s website: http://www.sarahpekkanen.com
These Girls page on S&S.ca:
"In her third novel, internationally bestselling author Sarah Pekkanen examines the lives of three women working and living together in New York City and shows that family secrets may shape us all, but it’s the rich, complicated layers of friendship that can save us.Cate, Renee, and Abby have come to New York for very different reasons, and in a bustling city of millions, they are linked together through circumstance and chance.
Cate has just been named the features editor of Gloss, a high-end lifestyle magazine. It’s a professional coup, but her new job comes with more complications than Cate ever anticipated.
Cate’s roommate Renee will do anything to nab the plum job of beauty editor at Gloss. But snide comments about Renee’s weight send her into an emotional tailspin. Soon she is taking black market diet pills—despite the racing heartbeat and trembling hands that signal she’s heading for real danger.
Then there’s Abby, whom they take in as a third roommate. Once a joyful graduate student working as a nanny part time, she abruptly fled a seemingly happy life in the D.C. suburbs. No one knows what shattered Abby—or why she left everything she once loved behind.
Pekkanen’s most compelling, true-to-life novel yet tells the story of three very different women as they navigate the complications of careers and love—and find the lifeline they need in each other."
I was happy to be invited to this blog tour by Simon & Schuster Canada as this was a very enjoyable read. The author has been compared in other reviews to Sarah Dessen and Emily Giffen, and I whole-heartily agree with the comparisons. During my late teen years (MANY YEARS AGO) I had discovered a wonderful new writer Sarah Dessen, she was writing about my friends and I . Now in my early thirties I have found another new author (new to me anyways) who is writing about so many people I know, including aspects of my own ups and downs. The characters I enjoy to read about have grown up since my teen reading days, but they need to be just as real and likable in all there own ways (and they cannot never be the perfect woman). Sarah Pekkanen has done this for me in These Girls! I highly recommend this to anyone who likes contemporary women's fiction. I now have to go out and get her first two books as I am sure I will love them too!
I am so excited that Sarah Pekkanen took the time out of what must be a crazy busy schedule to do a short interview with Mommy's Reading Too! Thank you Sarah!
1. Could you please tell us a little about yourself.
Sure! I’m a former journalist who became a stay-at-home Mom after my first son was born (now I have three boys!) I’ve wanted to be a writer my entire life, and I turned to fiction because when I left my job at a newspaper, I felt as if there was a gaping hole in my life. I loved being a Mom, but losing writing was like losing my best friend. So one night, I poured a glass of wine (for courage!) and went up to my computer and began to type. Those pages turned into my first novel, THE OPPOSITE OF ME. I live with my family and rescue lab, Bella, just outside of Washington D.C. I’m also a chocoholic. And, um, I watch more Reality TV than I should.
2. How did you first get into writing?
When I was a little girl, I used to write books on 3-ring binder paper and send them off to publishers. I can’t remember ever not writing. When I don’t write for even a few days, I feel jittery and unmoored. I think it’s the best way I have to process my emotions and feelings.
3. Could you please tell us a bit about how you first got published.
I spent a really long time writing my first book, and I took classes at a local writing center, and even read books on how to write a book! When I completed my fourth or fifth draft of my novel, I sent out a query letter to agents (a query letter Is just a one-page letter describing your book. The trick is to make it really interesting – it should read like the copy on the back jacket of a book you might pick up in a store and decide to buy). I heard back from a terrific agent, who immediately told me to rewrite the book. Twice. I did, and then we sent it out to publishers (my agent handled this aspect of it, while I helped by pacing and biting my nails). I couldn’t believe it when we got a publishing deal with my dream editor, Greer Hendricks, who also edits Jennifer Weiner and the authors of The Nanny Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada.
4. What is the story behind These Girls? What triggered the story?
I loved the idea of writing a book centering around female friendships. My first book is about sisters, and my second is about a marriage, and it made sense for my third – These Girls – to focus on yet another important relationship in a woman’s life – friendship. I love the complexity in women’s relationships. It’s such a rich, nurturing, deep bond, and I wanted to show that even though we all might have some pain and complications in our families of origin, we can create another family for ourselves through the gift of friendship.
Thanks so much for having me here today, and If anyone would like to connect on Facebook or twitter @sarahpekkanen please come find me – I’d love to chat more!