Thursday, June 16, 2011
Rock This! Thursday with Sarah Littman
Praise You by Fatboy Slim
I love the dance troupe in the official video. They dance either a) like I dance or b) the way my daughter sees me dance through her teenage eyes when I think I’m being really cool on the dance floor. Not sure which.
What was the first idea that sparked Want to Go Private?
Supervisory Special Agent Tom Lawler, from the New Haven Office of the FBI, came to my son’s school to give a presentation about Internet Safety. I was speaking to him after his talk, and he told me about a case in CT. I talk about it in this video:
I know some authors have playlists of their novels, did you make one for this one? If so, could you share a few tracks with us?
I really envy those authors with their interesting playlists, because can’t write to music with lyrics. The only time I write to music at all is if I’m in a public space and there are people talking annoyingly loud – then I tend to put on classical music because there are no lyrics to distract me from the words in my head.
What did you find most difficult writing Abby's story?
The most difficult scene to write in WTGP is one of which only small fragments appear in the book. When my editor sent back the first round of revisions, she told me it seemed like Abby and Luke “just went for a car ride.” I realized she was right and the problem was that I didn’t know what happened because I didn’t want to think about it. I was a victim of childhood sexual abuse myself and I have a daughter about Abby’s age, and I really just DIDN’T. WANT. TO. GO. THERE. But as a writer, “going there” is one of the most important parts of my job description.
I started to write the scene of “What Happened in the Motel Room” and immediately began having horrible nightmares. I was afraid I’d have to go back into therapy. So I stopped, and just kept revising the rest of the book. But then I got to the point where I couldn’t continue revising until I opened the door to that room and faced what happened to Abby there. So one day, after my kids left for school, I sat down and turned the handle.
Let’s just say that if I hadn’t had to drive a carpool that afternoon, I would have hit the scotch afterwards. And I don’t even like scotch!*
*And alcohol is not a substitute for dealing with problems. But I was shaking so much, I could have used a glass for “medicinal purposes”.
You're given two golden concert tickets to see any show from any era. The only catch is that you have to take a character from one of your books with you. Who are you taking and who are you two going to go see?
Callie from PURGE and I are going to see The Clash and you can find us in the mosh pit. We’re going to dance out some of our problems with suppressed anger.
Is there any genre you don't think you'll ever write?
One thing I’ve learned at my vast age (!) is to never say “never”. I’ve been told I’m difficult to “brand” because all of my books are so different. But writing for me is about learning and discovery, as well as love of words. I don’t want to write about the same type of thing all the time, because I’d get frustrated. While it might not be the best decision for my career, it’s the best thing for my intellectual development and sanity.
What's the one thing you want people to take with them when they read Want to Go Private?
That Internet predation doesn’t just happen to “bad kids” who have “bad parents.”
Tell us five random facts about you:
1) I’ve been told I drive like a man. I’m not sure if it was meant as a compliment.
2) I lived on a dairy farm in a small English village for 10 years. I am probably one of the few people in Greenwich, CT who can talk about the lactation yield curves of dairy cows. Unfortunately, it doesn’t often come up at cocktail parties.
3) I have a bad habit of leaving my iPhone on the kitchen counter and it doesn’t have a password. So if you read a Facebook status update that involves poop or my deep love for any right-wing political candidate, chances are my delightful progeny are messing with me.
4)Over a million people have seen my blue-haired cartoon alter ego in “Q and A,” the animation based on the StoryCorps interview my son did of me when he was 12. I think I look almost as good as Marge Simpson. What do you think?
5) I was a Deadhead hippie chick who ended up joining a sorority (KKG) my junior year at Duke. Like I said, “never say ‘never’” ;-)
Have you experienced any 'rock star' writing moments?
At the New York Teen Author Festival this year I was part of the Five Borough Read at the Bronx Library Center. When we walked in, a group of girls asked who was Sarah. My first reaction (thinking as a political
columnist) was “Who wants to know?” But I ‘fessed up to being me, and it was awesome. They’d all read PURGE and were so excited to meet me! Fortunately I’d brought a bunch of bookmarks with me and was able to personalize and sign them. It was the first time I really felt like a “rock star”.