Five Questions with Sarah M. Ross
1. When you think of your favorite books, what is it that draws you to them and makes you want to read them over and over again?
I think the thing that brings me back again and again are those once in a lifetime emotions—true love, first love, incredible heartbreak, etc. That’s why I’m such a fan of YA books. Teens often are experiencing all of these things—heightened and for the very first time, so it’s more raw. It makes for a powerful reading experience.
2. Did you consciously decide to write the genre you write, or did it choose you?
I started writing YA because I was an 8th grade English teacher, and I (sadly) realized that my students had no concept of the term “pleasure reading”. The only books they were ever exposed to were the ones I forced them to read. They didn’t know anything else on their own minus a few best-sellers like Harry Potter and Twilight. So I started by setting out to write a book my students could read purely for fun—not to analyze, interpret, explain metaphors, find similes, or anything else literary. Just read for the sake of reading.
3. If you could sit down for a drink and a chat with any writer, who would it be, and why?
Gee, that’s a tough question. I’ve been sooo blessed to already meet and do this very thing with some of my favorite authors. I guess I’d have to pick Will Shakespeare. I’ve read several of his plays, and taught them for years. To be able to write such beautiful words in iambic pentameter no less, I’m pretty sure he’d be fascinating to talk to!
4. When you are not writing (or reading) what is your favorite pastime?
I love the beach. I love sunbathing, swimming, hopping waves, digging my toes in the sand, and even attempted surfing for a little bit. It’s my favorite place to be on a sunny day in Florida.
5. At what point were you sure that your book was ready to be published, and how did you go about making it happen?
With my first book, Awaken, I signed with a publisher just a few days after finishing the first draft. So, I let them set the pace for me. When they went out of business and I got my rights back, I had a little more experience and knowledge of the industry, so I was better able to make decisions about my next books.