Sarah Pekkanen is the author of three novels. Her latest, These Girls, was published by Atria Books on April 10, 2012, and Library Journal called it a "smart novel by a rising star in women's fiction." A former journalist, Pekkanen lives in Maryland with her husband, three sons and rescue Lab.
On your nightstand now:
Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult. Long ago, I interviewed Jodi and she mentioned that with three young kids, she wrote whenever she could snatch a bit of time, including in pick-up lanes at preschool. She inspired me so deeply--and now I have three young kids, and am writing in pick-up lanes at my son's preschool.
Favorite book when you were a child:
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. My grandmother gave me a beautiful hardback copy for Christmas when I was eight or nine, and I still cherish it.
Your top five authors:
My smart, sassy and all-around-wonderful high school classmate Laura Hillenbrand; Jennifer Weiner (whose novels made me think, "I want to write something like this!"--and now I've signed with her editor); Truman Capote; Mildred Wirt Benson, also known as Carolyn Keene (for giving me so many happy hours lost in Nancy Drew books when I was a girl); and J.K. Rowling, for sparking a deep love of reading in my sons.
Book you've faked reading:
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, but I didn't mean to fake it--I forgot I hadn't read it.
Book you're an evangelist for:
I try to promote other authors on social media when I've read and enjoyed their books, so it constantly changes.
Book you've bought for the cover:
Open by Andre Agassi. Something about his eyes implied he'd keep the inherent promise of his title (and he did).
Book that changed your life:
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, which showed that it's possible to write nonfiction that's as gripping as the best fiction. I tried to remember this lesson when I worked as a journalist for the Baltimore Sun and wrote narratives on everything from the Columbine school shootings to a night I spent in a seemingly haunted house.
Favorite line from a book:
"In my family, caprice always triumphed over logic, opinion slaughtered fact." --from Close Relations by Susan Isaacs.
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
It would have to be Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding if I was grumpy or sad, because it would be impossible to stay in a bad mood.