The Best Reader + tour

Blog Tour: Interview with Sarah Ockler

1. Can you share with us something people would be surprised to find out about you?

Through Twitter and blogs, I'm such a chatterbox online that most people would be surprised to know that I'm pretty shy in real life. It takes me a while to warm up to a crowd and most social activities leave me a bit overwhelmed — I'd much rather hang out with a close friend one-on-one. Maybe it would be different if everyone in real life was as fun and awesome as book bloggers, but I think you guys are a rare breed.: -)

2. You share a lot of"high school memories" on your blog. Can you tell us your most embarrassing high school moment?

Um, that would be the time I decided to tell my crush how much I loved him. In writing. In a four-page letter. I think I may have casually thrown in the word"soulmate." His"I'm really flattered" response was mortifying enough, but when his whole football team got hold of the letter… let's just say I had to feign the flu so I could miss a week of school until the drama died down. Fortunately we didn't have texting or the Internet back then, otherwise I think my faux pas would've gone viral!

3. Twenty Boy Summer involves a secret first love and a horrible tragedy that follows. Where did you get the inspiration for this book?

I was inspired to write Twenty Boy Summer by the teens I met through my work with the National Donor Family Council, and organization that supports families whose loved ones have died and donated organs or tissues. I wanted to share a little bit of their stories, their fears, their hopes, and their courage. But as I was writing about the tragedy, I was also thinking about how life goes on, even when we don't want it to. So even though Anna and Frankie are reeling from Matt's death, they're also still dealing with everyday life stuff like clothes and makeup, boys, best friend drama. It's all part of life, and that's what I wanted to write about.

4. What advice would you give teens who are currently struggling with high school and first love?

This sums it up right here: you're not alone. And it gets better. Just like with bullying or any other struggle in high school, things do get better. Whether you're suffering from a broken heart, dealing with harassment, stressed about grades or family stuff, or just trying to figure out where you belong in this world, you *have* to struggle with that stuff — it's part of being alive and coming into your own. When you give up, that's it, it's over. But if you fight, struggle, question things, wrestle with the issues, if you can get through it, you'll come away stronger, wiser, and ready for things to get better. I don't mean to go all"After School Special," but I truly believe that. And besides, crappy high school experiences make for awesome YA books later in life!: -)

5. Fixing Delilah deals with complicated issues between a mother and daughter. What do you hope teen girls take from reading this book?

There is something important I hope both teen girls *and* their mothers take away from Fixing Delilah, and it's this: there is an entire world inside each of us — our secrets, our hopes and fears, our dreams and wishes, our mistakes and shame, our life experiences. We can never know everything about another person, but we can assume that we have this in common: we're all capable of screwing up, and we're all capable of immense love. I hope that moms and daughters remember that and come away from Delilah's story with a new appreciation for one another, even when things aren't perfect.

6. Your books focus on new discoveries and secrets revealed over the summer. Why do you think summer is such a time of change and new beginnings?

Because most teens have summers off in between school years, it's naturally a time to reflect on the previous year and think about how things might be different in the coming year. On summer break, we're away from a lot of the people and pressures we're faced with every day at school, and having that distance often gives us a new perspective on how things are and how we want them to be. Returning to school each fall is like a forced fresh start — new classes, new classmates, new challenges — and we face it with the knowledge and experience we gained over the summer. We've all seen some of our classmates come back from a summer break completely transformed, often as if they're entirely new people. Summer just does that, I think.

7. Can you share with us any projects you are currently working on?

I'm currently working on a new young adult contemporary, but I'm not ready to share too much about it yet! I will tell you that unlike my first two novels, this one is set in the winter, and it features such things as cupcakes, ice skating, a pet hamster, and very adorable hockey boys.: -) I'll be chatting more about it soon, so you can visit my web site for updates in the next few weeks!

Thanks again for hosting me today, Jessica! I hope readers enjoy Fixing Delilah!

Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (December 1st, 2010) Reading Level: Young Adult Hardcover: 320 pages Things in Delilah Hannaford's life have a tendency to fall apart.

She used to be a good student, but she can't seem to keep it together anymore. Her"boyfriend" isn't much of a boyfriend. And her mother refuses to discuss the fight that divided their family eight years ago. Falling apart, it seems, is a Hannaford tradition.

Over a summer of new friendships, unexpected romance, and moments that test the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, Delilah must face her family's painful past. Can even her most shattered relationships be pieced together again?

Find Sarah Ockler Sarah Ockler / Twitter / Blog / Goodreads

Pre-Order Fixing Delilah Amazon / Barnes & Noble / The Book Depository / IndieBound

Thanks to the amazing Sarah Ockler for the interview and The Teen {Book} Scene for the tour opportunity!
USE GOOGLE to follow the other blogs on the tour and stop back by Tuesday, December 14th for my review of Fixing Delilah.

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Blog Tour: Interview with Sarah Ockler + tour