Interview with author Sarah Stonich

Sarah is one of our featured authors in this year’s Fireside Reading Series. You can meet Sarah on Wednesday, January 23rd at Hamline Midway Library. More info here. We asked Sarah a few questions prior to the event.

What inspires your writing?

I’m inspired by what makes people tick, how they react to and navigate their inner landscapes, and how those reactions parallel the external landscapes they exist in, both social and physical, political, spiritual (or not). In part we are formed by where we are from. How do we reflect the world we live in? Characters motivate me. And they need to be interesting and dimensional. With each book I typically spend a few years with these people – they have to keep me interested. And I’m most interested when they begin surprising me – and on a good writing day, they often do.  

What do like about connecting with audiences through readings?

Writers sit in rooms alone all day. I LOVE getting out to talk with people. I’m always so happy when an audience will engage and get curious and we have a conversation rather than a ‘reading’. Frankly, people are much more interested in the writing life than hearing an author read (yawn) perhaps  because so many of us believe we have a book inside of us – or at least a story or two!  It’s just a matter of birthing it. People seem to want to know ‘how’. But like actual childbirth, it is a wild labor and often difficult.

What do you love about libraries?

Librarians. Because they are heroes. They save lives by dispensing books like medicine. I imagine they must believe in the power of knowledge that books hold – or they wouldn’t be there, right?  They guard the magic. As for libraries themselves and those books that are the bricks that build them and just happen to hold all the best of humankind? Libraries, simply, are the home of our collective souls.

What does ‘home’ mean for you?

Such a long and complex notion, home. I feel like I reside in many homes – the place I currently inhabit; the book I’m currently writing; the family – blood and otherwise – that share my living space and concentric circles beyond to encompass community, city; country, etc. Safe to say I have a love-hate relationship with my place of origin – my hometown – which I no longer call home, yet has residual effects I feel daily.