Friday, July 19, 2013

Author Interview: Sarah Tregay

Sarah Tregay, YA Author, LOVE AND LEFTOVERS a novel in verse
Sarah Tregay. Author of Love and Leftovers
About Sarah Tregay
Raised without television, I started writing my own middle grade novels after I had read all of the ones in the library. I later discovered YA books, but never did make it to the adult section. When I'm not jotting down poems at stoplights, I can be found hanging out with my "little sister" from Big Brothers Big Sisters or stressing over performance classes at a model horse show.
I have both a Bachelors and Masters of Fine Art in graphic design, and my obsession with typography and layout naturally translates into formatting poetry on the page.
I live in Eagle, Idaho with my husband, two Boston Terriers, and an appaloosa named Mr. Pots.
I had the pleasure of being able to read Sarah's debut novel, Love and Leftovers, this past summer. It was a great novel and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay in stores now
You can check out my review of Love and Leftovers here.

Interview with the Author, Sarah Tregay:

1. What are 5 fun facts about yourself?
I grew up in Buffalo, New York, home of the chicken wing.
I own an Appaloosa named Mr. Pots. He lives in my backyard and mows the grass.
I collect plastic horses, also known as Breyers, and I resculpt and paint them.
I was a reluctant cheerleader for one season of high school basketball. I have no rhythm.
I moved to San Diego after I graduated from college and experienced my first winter without snow.
 2. What is the best thing about being an author?
Being an author has given me opportunities to meet people I may not have met otherwise—from readers to librarians to other authors—and we have a connection, loving to read or write.
3. If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Oh, this is a hard one. I’m so bad at titles I’m hoping my publisher will name my next book.
4. What was your favorite book as a teenager?
HOMECOMING by Cynthia Voigt was one of my favorites.
5. What do you prefer to do in your free time when you are not writing?
I enjoy riding my horse, gardening, and playing ball with my Boston Terriers. I collect model horses and paint them with pastels. I dabble in illustration.
6. Did you always know you were going to be a writer? If not what did you want to be when you were growing up?
I started writing novels in fifth grade when I imagined that I had already read all of the good books in the library. But I didn’t pursue becoming an author for two reasons. First, my stories were intensely private. I let friends read them, but I didn’t want them published. Second, my mother was an artist and I understood how hard it could be to make a living in the arts.
When it came time to choose a major in college, I chose graphic design—a creative field where you can earn a living—but I didn’t give up my love for writing, I just write in the evenings and on weekends.
 7. What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Any tips?
Writing isn’t easy, and it’s never perfect the first time. So don’t give up. Keep writing. Do read other books and stories like yours to see how it’s done. If you have a chance to learn more about writing, grab it! I’ve learned tons from conferences, workshops, and talking to other writers.

I think this tip works for both types of writers, meaning those who outline and those who “write by the seat of their pants,” but I am a complete “pantster” so I’m not one hundred percent sure.
Since most stories take place over time, make use of a calendar. (It can be a paper one or a software version.) Write down what happens to your character on Monday in the Monday box, then the same for Tuesday, etc. Pretty soon you’ll have a summary of your story. And if you need plot points A, B, and C to happen before the homecoming game on Friday, you can plan ahead before you write.
This technique is good for catching mistakes, too. For example, you don’t want your story to have two Thursdays in the same week.

My wish
is to fall
cranium over Converse
in dizzy, daydream-worthy
(If only it were that easy.)
When her parents split, Marcie is dragged from Idaho to a family summerhouse in New Hampshire. She leaves behind her friends, a group of freaks and geeks called the Leftovers, including her emo-rocker boyfriend, and her father. By the time Labor Day rolls around, Marcie suspects this "vacation" has become permanent. She starts at a new school where a cute boy brings her breakfast and a new romance heats up.
But understanding love, especially when you've watched your parents' affections end, is elusive. What does it feel like, really? can you even know it until you've lost it?
Starred Review From School Library Journal:The author does a terrific job of keeping the plot moving by using poetry to her advantage. Reluctant readers will appreciate the brevity while poetic souls will appreciate the format. full review
–Kimberly Castle-Alberts
Stark County District Library, Canton, OH
From The Horn Book Guide:
The first-person verse narration wrought with satisfying angst makes Marcie’s woes and joys palpable. full review
From Booklist: This first novel may make teenage readers’ hearts beat a bit faster. full review
— Ann Kelley
From Publisher's Weekly:
With multiple shredded relationships and friendships, there’s more than enough angst to go around, as Marcie rages against the decisions her parents have made, as well as her own. full review
From Kirkus Reviews:
A verse novel with real depth to accompany all that white space. full review
From VOYA:
Although the words are simple, the themes of Love and Leftovers are not. full review
—Ed Goldberg
From the Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books: [Marcie's] story is thus as credible as her voice, and readers will relate to her complicated but accessible heartbreak, as she, like her parents, makes mistakes and struggles to fix them. full review—Karen Coats


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