Friday, November 4, 2011

Sara Grant

Sara Grant was born and raised in Washington, Indiana, a small town in the Midwestern United States. She graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, with degrees in journalism and psychology, and later she earned a master’s degree in creative and life writing Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Grant is senior commissioning editor for Working Partners, a London-based company creating series fiction for children. She has worked on ten different series and edited more than 75 books.

Of Dark Parties, her first young adult novel, Booklist noted that "it's really the heart-pounding rush of twists that will induce extreme page turning."

Recently I asked Grant what she was reading. Her reply:
Like many writers, I’m a bibliophile. I buy more books than I could ever possibly read. I try to limit myself to buying another book only when I’ve finished reading one, but with my lack of self discipline and so many truly amazing books getting published... it’s a losing battle. I have a special shelf for all the books I’ve purchased that are waiting, begging to be read. As you can see from the photo [at left], I have about forty books lined up – and this doesn’t include the ones on my Kindle.

I like to read in the age range and genre I’m writing. I think it’s important to know what’s out there. So I’ve spent a few years obsessed with dystopian novels. I do try to mix in other genres, age ranges (including adult fiction) and nonfiction. I pick up hot-off-the presses hardbacks and classics that have yet to make it on my reading list. You never know what will inspire you.

As a writer and editor, I find it difficult to just enjoy the book. I’m constantly trying to dissect the book, figure out what works and doesn’t, and learn from the wealth of truly amazing talent out there. Here’s a sampling of books that have recently inspired me and a few that are on my immediate ‘must read’ list.

Nothing by Janne Teller is disturbing, powerful and thought provoking. It was so distressing at times that I had to put the book down and walk away from the story for a moment. But it is a real ‘meaning of life’ book that is challenging and beautiful and continues to linger in by brain.

I’ve only recently discovered that I *heart* Libba Bray. I read Going Bovine and Beauty Queens this year. She’s crazy brilliant. The books are wild and imaginative and layered. As soon as I finished them, I wanted to go back and read them again because there was simply too much to appreciate in one reading.

I’m sometime lucky enough to purloin an advance copy of some books. I spent one glorious day reading 15 Days Without a Head by Dave Cousins cover to cover. Dave’s book doesn’t come out until January in the UK. Dave and I are in the EDGE, a group of UK-based writers who focus on teen fiction. This is his first novel and it’s stunning. If you like edgy teen fiction, check out our site for other EDGE books and also our edgy reading list.

I’m currently reading A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. It’s breath-taking and I wish I had more time to read and reflect on this novel.

I’ve started writing on my third novel. I’m reading Lesley Levene’s I Think, Therefore I Am: All the Philosophy You Need to Know. I’m reading this as a refresher of my college philosophy class and so that I can build a more in-depth reading list.

I recently made a midnight purchase on my Kindle of There is no Dog by Meg Rosoff. Firstly because my second book Half Lives considers the nature of faith. Secondly, I’ve read all her other books – Americans in the UK unite! And, finally when I checked my email that night I learned that Meg had an event cancelled because of this ‘blasphemous’ book. Well, nuf said! I want to know what the controversy is about, but, more importantly, at the hint of a banned book I feel compelled to do my small part for free speech.

So....enough of this writing, I need to get reading!
Visit Sara Grant's website and Facebook page.

My Book, The Movie: Dark Parties.

--Marshal Zeringue