Random Chitchats

Shop Talk Tuesday with Sara Zarr

It’s a gorgeous Tuesday morning and I’m happy to have Sara Zarr with us in the beauty shop! Sara is a fellow Class of 2k7 member and the author of STORY OF A GIRL, which was published this January by Little Brown.


This is realistic fiction at its best. Zarr’s storytelling is excellent; Deanna’s reactions to the painful things said to her will resonate with any reader who has felt like an outsider.” School Library Journal in a *starred* review.

Welcome, Sara! Grab some coffee, get comfy in the beautician’s chair, and let’s get down to the gossip!

First off, tell us the truth—when’s the last time you’ve treated yourself to a manicure?

I always feel tremendously guilty getting manicures because I could totally file my own nails and use the money for a worthier cause. Like cable TV! Also, a manicure takes too long and I’m the kind of person who feels like I have to make conversation with the manicurist the entire time, so the whole experience turns into one big socially awkward situation for nails I’ll probably ruin as soon as I get in the car. I keep my nails short so they don’t get in the way of my typing, and generally slap on a coat of clear polish and I’m done.

You sound exactly like me! 😉 Okay, have you ever had a major hair disaster? If so, what was done to correct it?

Now we’re getting into family lore. When I was eleven, my mom was engaged to the man who would become my stepfather—Ed. He was a barber by profession and a good fifteen years older than my mom. I needed a haircut and wanted to go to Supercuts for my usual $8 Dorothy Hamill. Somehow, someone suggested that I let Ed cut my hair. I did not have a good feeling about this, but being the codependent people-pleaser I was (okay, am), I acquiesced. I always wore my hair short and already looked boyish, but the barber cut I got from my sixty-something future stepfather that day really completed the transformation from awkward tomboy to “and what’s your name, son?” Of course I acted like I liked it, then woke up in the night and went to my mother’s bedside, sobbing. Nothing was done to correct it. Nothing could be done. All I could do was wait for it to grow.

Time for your “Hypothetical Questions of the Week:”
HQ #1: Which movie screenplay do you wish you could have written?


HQ #2: You magically find a $100.00 bill in your box of Wheaties. In what frivolous way would you spend it?

Texas Hold ‘Em tourney!

Eric Luper would love that answer! HQ #3: Your agent just called. TV execs are offering you a spot on a new reality show for writers. Do you say yes? If so, how would you be portrayed?

Sure, why not? That’s the beauty of hypotheticals. I’d probably be the person who tries to make everyone like her, whose attempts at diplomacy are ultimately her downfall.

HQ #4: You’re a big time celebrity who just had a baby. If you were competing for the most bizarre celebrity baby name, what would it be?

Gordonia Lee Lewis (for my husband, Gordon, and his musical idol, Jerry Lee Lewis)

Lightening Round–no more than two words per answer!

Do you . . .
Outline or wing it?
Wing it
Talk about works-in-progress, or keep your trap shut? Depends
Sell by proposal or completed draft? Depends
Love to edit or cringe at the thought? Both
Prefer writing a new book or marketing the old? New book!
Read your released book or no thanks, I’ve read it enough? No thanks

And finally, what’s your favorite . . .
Time to write?
Pair of shoes?
Guiltiest pleasure?
Line from a movie?
I don’t have favorites. I’m way too much a Libra for that!

Thanks so much, Sara, for stopping by! Gordonia actually has a cool ring to it when you say it five times fast, and I, too, would be the people-pleaser of the bunch who’s booted for not taking sides!

Best of luck with STORY OF A GIRL! I still need my copy signed. 😉

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