I’m excited to share my review of THESE GIRLS by Sarah Pekkanen today AND am extremely thankful that she agreed to answer a few questions for me, too! I love her answers. Some of them are the exact answers I would have given, too! Please join me in welcoming Sarah to my blog today and be sure to read the my review of the book at the end of this post.
Q. Of the three women in the story, which one is most like you and in what ways?
A. There are little pieces of me in all three main characters. Like Cate, I’m pretty driven with regard to work, and I adore kids, as does Abby. Like Renee, I can be outgoing but also a bit insecure at times. I didn’t feel as if one of the characters represented me more than the others, but I loved slipping into each of their skins while writing the book. At one point my editor asked me which was my favorite of the women, and I told her it was whichever one I was writing at the time!
Q. Do you personally have friends/friendships like the ones you write about in THESE GIRLS that you were able to draw from?
A. Yes, I have a terrific circle of friends, and they’re so important to me. It’s interesting because I’m surrounded by guys – I have two brothers, but no sisters, and three sons, but no daughters – so the primary female relationships in my life are with my friends. And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to prioritize the relationships that are the most caring and positive.
Q. Have you or would you ever choose a man over a friend? What are the circumstances under which that could happen?
A. I’m sure I did at times when I was a teenager, but I never would now. I’m happily married, but my girlfriends are vital relationships in my life, and I always make time for them – because our friendships nourish and uplift me. I guess if I had to imagine a scenario, it might be one in which a husband and a friend didn’t get along and you had to choose between them – although I would just spend time with them separately!
Q. Did you know the ending when you started out writing this book? Or did it just sort of happen?
A. I knew Abby’s ending, but one scene toward the end of her story (the one that takes place in Trey’s apartment) came as a complete surprise! I plotted this book fairly carefully before writing a single word, since it was the first time I’d ever written a novel under a deadline, but I veered away from my outline at times, too.
Q. When I read a book, I often imagine an author in her/his writing space. What is yours like?
A. It changes all the time! I have three boys, so I write anywhere and everywhere I can grab a bit of time. I’m actually able to write in the passenger’s seat of a moving car, and I do a good bit of writing there. I’ve also piled up pages in the orthodontist’s waiting room, at Starbucks, on my couch, in my bed, and in preschool pick-up lines if I arrive a little early. I do have a nice desk in a little corner of our sunroom, but I mostly use it for paperwork.
Q. You can have dinner with two people, living or dead, at the same time. One is an author and one isn’t. Who would you pick?
A. Jane Austen and Ryan Gosling! (Ryan could show up with or without a shirt on. Without would be better. Much better. Can we pass an international law that says Ryan Gosling must always be shirtless, in fact?).
Q. When you aren’t writing, what hobbies do you enjoy?
A. Mostly spending time with my family and friends. I also have the world’s sweetest dog, a rescue lab named Bella, and we love going for long walks together (sometimes I work out the kinks in scenes on those walks, too!) I adore reading and can go through three or four books in a good week. And I’ve been known to watch a little reality TV. I’m addicted to The Voice right now, and having trouble deciding if Blake or Adam is hotter!
Q. If you could pick any era to live in, which one would you pick and why?
A. Ooh, how about the 20s? Then I could learn to dance!
Q. What do you think about the increase in e-book use? Do you prefer a ‘real’ book or have you been converted?
A. I like both, though nothing beats the feel of a real book in my hands. But when I’m traveling, it’s wonderful to have a lighter suitcase because my books are on my iPad. I also like being able to download a book in a pinch, if I’m stuck in a long line and have nothing to read!
Q. What are your top two favourite books?
A. Pride and Prejudice and Seabiscut!
Thanks so much, Sarah! And yes, Ryan Gosling should forever be without a shirt! 🙂
In a world where girls are constantly catty with each other, THESE GIRLS by Sarah Pekkanen renewed my faith in the power of female friendship. Cate, Renee and Abby have their own issues, are each struggling with something internally. But, the combined strength of the trio keeps each of them afloat.
I love the characters in the book. None of them is perfect – which made them all the more likeable to me. No one wants a perfect heroine every single time. I could see my own flaws in some of theirs and it actually made me feel better about them. Trey, Abby’s brother AND Cate and Renee’s crush, can be my book boyfriend anytime. I adore him.
It’s a beautifully written book with a sprinkling of humour, some sadness and of course, happy times between friends. After reading it, I really wanted to just go and hang out with the girls – and take the book with me to share.