One Louder: The 11-Question Interview

Through the Fourth Writers' Platform Building Campaign,  I've been tagged by four different writers to answer 11 questions of their design.  Since I have four sets of questions to answer, I thought I would save you some time (and possibly boredom) and respond to three questions from each tagger, which brings those 11 questions to 12.  Those of you who have followed me for a while know my love of the movie This is Spinal Tap, hence the title of this post.  It's one louder.  This interview goes to 11 (well, 12).  Here goes:

From CB Wentworth:

1) What is your favorite movie adaptation of a book?  Least favorite?
Haters, don't hate.  One of my favorite movie adaptations is the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice.  I love Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy and all that, but oh, how I love the Kiera Knightly/Matthew Macfadyen combo (yeah, I had to look up his name).  And Donald Sutherland is a fantastic Mr. Bennet.  The landscapes, the music, the scene where Darcy, against his better judgement, asks Elizabeth to end his agony and accept his hand.  The pouring rain, the delivery of such finely written dialogue, the look in his eyes.  Absolute love.

I - I - I luff you, most ardently.
Least favorite: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.  Bleh.

2) Where is your favorite place to write?
Doesn't matter so much, but I do enjoy a nice view of Lake Superior once in a while.  I lived in Duluth while in college and didn't appreciate it enough when I was there.  We get back once or twice a year and I soak up as much inspiration as I can get.

3) Where is your dream destination?
Along the lines above, I dream of spending a week or two at Bob's Cabins on the North Shore of Lake Superior.  No TV, no internet.  Just a gorgeous view and time to write.  

The Shore at Bob's


4) What author/book first made you want to write?
Maud Hart Lovelace and the Betsy-Tacy books.  I love those books and have since I first starting reading them in elementary school.  Betsy Ray wanted to be a writer and so did I.  The author that propelled me to graduate school, though, was Anne Tyler.  Coincidentally, both writers were Minnesota-born.

5) What is your writing goal for 2012?
I have several, actually.  The first is to complete WAITING FOR THE SUN and send it off to an agent who has asked to see it when it's ready.  I'm still querying CLOUD 9 and wanting to throw up every time I hit "send." And I'm building my platform and networking.  So far, 2012 is off to a decent start.

6) What's your favorite online resource for writing?
Does Twitter count?  Twitter leads me to new worlds.

7) Suzanne Collins, JK Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, Neil Gaiman, Judy Blume, and John Green call.  They all want you to come to their house for dinner, but all on the same night.  Whose dinner invitation do you accept?
I love this question.  Tough one, of course, but I would go with JK Rowling.  She amazes me.  Her interview with Oprah -- sigh.  My favorite quote: "It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default." The Harry Potter books -- oh, never mind.  If you'd like to read any of my previous HP lovefests, here are two posts:

8) If you were an animal, what would you be?
A cat.  A pretty black and white cat with sleek, shiny fur.  I would stretch out in a beam of sunlight and nap.  I would climb screens and Christmas trees.  I would hop up on your lap and rub away your tears when you were crying.  I would sleep on your ankles.  I would howl at night and scratch at the carpet when you were away.  I would ignore you if you were in a pissy mood, or if I were.  Sorry about the bad breath, but think of the crap you're feeding me.  You'd have bad breath, too. 

9) What's your very first memory?
Being in my crib, probably at about age two, in very dim light.  I was meant to be sleeping, but I clearly remember my brother, who would have been about six, coming into the room and teasing me, calling me "Sara Beans" and variations (Beanie, Beans Bag), and playing with one of my stuffed animals, named Pinky, pretending that Pinky was eating my hair and yelling, "Spaghetti!  Spaghetti!  Yumyumyum!"  I still have Pinky:

Pinky & Valentine Tulips

And finally, from Sophie's Writing Adventures:

10) Who are your literary heroes (authors)?
A brief list: JK Rowling, Maud Hart Lovelace, Anne Tyler, Louisa May Alcott, LM Montgomery, Kate Chopin, Jane Austen, John Hassler, oh, I could go on and on.  This year I discovered debut author Christina Mandelski, who wrote a terrific YA book called THE SWEETEST THING.

11) Tea or coffee?
Coffee.  For sure.  I do enjoy a cup of tea occasionally, but coffee is where it's at.

12) Have you ever taken part in NaNoWriMo?  Opinions on it?
Yes, I participated in NaNo in 2009 and 2010.  I completed novels each year and I loved every minute of it.  It wasn't in the cards for 2011, but I hope to participate again this year.  NaNo gets a bad rap, I know.  I can only imagine how dreadful it must be for agents to receive endless queries for NaNo books that aren't Ready for Prime Time.  And there are many writers who look down on NaNoWriMos, who tsk tsk because shouldn't we be writing all year round?

But here's what I say: Go for it.  NaNo writers have written amazing drafts during NaNo that have become amazing books that people buy and read.  And as Dave Eggers wrote in one of his pep talks, if November and NaNo can propel you to write, if that's the inspiration and motivation and little push that you need, go for it:

"And that’s why I love NaNoWriMo. It gets you started. It gives you the impetus to finally start, and/or finally finish. Knowing there are thousands of others out there trying to do the same, who are using this ridiculous deadline as cattle-prod and shame deterrent, means goddamnit, you better do it now because you know how to write, and you have fingers, and you have this one life, and during this one life, you should put your words down, and make your voice heard, and then let others hear your voice. And the only way any of that’s going to happen is if you actually do it." -- Dave Eggers

You know how to write, and you have fingers, and you have this one life....  Brilliant.

And now, sadly, this particular game of tag must end.  I have not introduced myself to enough of my fellow campaigners at this point to be able to tag eleven bloggers -- my approach this time around is slow, steady.  I'd like to thank my four taggers -- I'm honored that you tagged me.  You all came up with fantastic, compelling questions.

But I'd love to learn more about all of YOU -- pick a question or two and comment with your answer!


  1. Hi, Sara! Thanks for playing! I think I'd pick JK Rowling, too. But I'd have such a hard time saying no to the rest!

  2. Yay, thanks, love your answers! :)

  3. Hi Sara! Thanks for playing tag! Great answers! If you have been visiting any blogs lately, you'll notice that everyone in the campaign has been tagged already, usually multiple times. :)

    I'll answer question #1 for you: My favorite movie adaptation from a book is Stardust. Love, love, love the movie! It actually improved on the book, which, awesome as Neil Gaiman is, I have to say he dropped the ball on that one. A close second would be In Her Shoes. My least favorite would be Watership Down. Terrible movie, fantastic book. Sadness.

  4. Great answers! I have to say my least favourite book to movie adaptation was the most recent Jane Eyre. There was so much that I loved about it (Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell) but there was so much just missing from it. The mystery around crazy-pants Bertha Mason was lacking and there were other things I was disappointed with (though I can't remember them off the top of my head). So unfortunate :(

    Re: Lake Superior--I grew up right near Lake Superior in Sault Ste. Marie, ON (the sister city to Sault Ste. Marie, MI) and miss that neck of the woods every day (I live out West now).

  5. I am totally with you on Pride & Prejudice! I loved that version and I watch it all the time. Prior to his role as Darcy, I was a huge fan of Matthew MacFadyen during his stint on MI-5.

    I'm from Wisconsin, so I love your Dream Destination - it sounds like a fantastic place to be.

    Thanks so much for playing! :-)

  6. I love that scene from Pride and Prejudice too! Matthew is so handsome. It's my favorite adaptation of that book; the Colin Firth one is just too long for me and I get bored.

    And I love NaNo for the same reasons that it gets me writing! :) Hopefully I can find time for it this year since I was too busy last November.

  7. Hi, thanks for stopping by my blog! I love that scene in Pride and Prejudice also! It's such a romantic story... I completed my first NaNo last year and it was a proud moment, I write all year long, but it's nice to see how far you can push the limits of your sanity sometimes...

    Karina xox

  8. Wonderful answers! :D And may I say that Pinky is adorable :D


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