Saturday, May 4, 2013

Sarah Stonich talks about Vacationland, sense of place, asking for reviews, and more. Plus, enter to win 1 of 4 copies of Sarah's book

How you can resist a novel with a name like Vacationland? (Says the owner of the blog Carolineleavitville...) I couldn't and I found this book irresistible Sarah is the author of the acclaimed novels, These Granite Islands, The Ice Chorus, and the memoir Shelter. And in honor of the publication of Vacationland, we have four books to giveaway, winner to be announced  Saturday, May 11! Just post a comment and remember to check back to see if you won! You can contact me through the blog to get me your address and I'll make sure the book is sent right out to you. 

I'm always interested in how books sparked. What gave you the idea for Vacationland. Great title, by the way.
I really like the title too,  and in fact it sort of inspired the tone of the book, in that most of us have been someplace that considers itself  ‘vacationland’ in some sense, whether it’s a resort or ski chalet, theme park, or summer camp. Also, I liked the idea that Vacationland could be anywhere at all, which is where fiction best takes place. 

I loved the way you linked the stories. How was this different than writing your previous novels? What made you decide to structure the book this way?
I had a few stories written, and was inspired by the thought of a guest register at a resort - what stories might have played out in the various cabins these guests are checked into? How one might flip pages back in time and even forward, when some of the names would pop up over and over and others only once. 

Your sense of place is so indelible, tactile and every other great adjective I can think of.  How do you think place defines character--and acts as a character in itself?

I think characters’ reactions to their surroundings can reveal an awful lot about them, and in that sense place is as much a character in my work as those that breathe and talk. As a failed painter, I like the idea of trying to conjure images, a place, with words.

Tell us about Fishing with Rayanne?
Shhh… Fishing With RayAnne isn’t written by me, rather my nom de plume, Ava Finch. 
But since I know the plot… RayAnne Dahl is a thirty-something fishing pro that accidentally lands in the driver’s seat of the first all-female fishing-talk show on public television. 

What's obsessing you now and why?
Book tour is obsessing me – I’ve taken time from my work (I’m only writing about two hours a day right now) and the rest of the time I’m doing an amateurish  job at playing tireless promoter and social media hack. I love blog tours because I can do them in my jammies. 

What question didn't I ask that I should have?
Where can readers post reviews of Vacationland?  
Why, so glad you asked, Caroline. Because it’s so very helpful for the authors to get reviews – even the tepid ones – it changes the online algorithms of “if you liked ____ you’ll love ____” etc.: GoodReads, Library thing, Shelfari, Amazon and B&N are all great places, as well as your blogs.  Writers adore bloggers.   

And I would add--tell your local indies if you love the book! 


Unknown said...

I would love to win a copy. How do I enter? Thanks!

Jessica said...

What a great title! I would love to win a copy!

Jessica [at] jamgoodman [dot] com

Jessica Goodman

Karen said...

sounds like a good book. please enter me in the drawing.
karyn57 at gmail dot com.

Caroline Leavitt said...

Unknown, please get me your email to!