Some of you here have been longtime readers of my books and my work for Glamour (hi everyone! And, good heavens, I just saw that when you search my name on the site, I've written something like 4,600 articles and blog posts over the years. I am exhausted just thinking about that right now, ha. I mean, how did I do this? Did I have a clone working at night while I slept. These are blurry years. There was a lot of newborn babies involved.). Anyway, some of you are new here--new to me, my books, my writing, and I wanted to say hi! I love hearing from new readers every day all around the world. It's seriously my favorite part of what I do--hearing from you! I write to authors of books and articles all the time to say hi and tell them when I connect with something because it means so much to me when people take the time to write. So, welcome, everyone, and thank you for stopping by! Things have been a little quiet around here for a while. I took a bit of a break from this blog while I went through some big changes in my personal life, which I will write about more here in the coming months, but I’m BACK, and I have some exciting stuff coming your way. If you'd like to learn a little about me, you might check out my bio (scroll down for the slightly more fun "informal bio"), but to add to that, I decided I'd share some more, real life, less stuffy kind of stuff (stuffy kind of stuff-? My editor would cut that one on sight). With that, here's some stuff about me: I write books. Ten so far, published in a lot of countries (around 30, I think). Pinch me. Sometimes I still wake up and am like, "really? Is this really my career?" I feel very lucky. I'm a boy mama. My boys are presently 11, 9 and 7. If you see me in Seattle, I usually have a herd of little men around me, with the littlest one (age 7)  holding onto my purse or skirt hem (he's done this since he learned to walk). I love pink, heels, and all things girly, and while I'm not entirely sure how/why God thought it would be a good idea to shower me with boys, I have to say I love, love, love being a boy mom. Lots more posts on boy-mamahood to come, but I feel, truly and deeply, like the luckiest lady to have been blessed with this tribe of little men. My first love was magazine journalism. After college, my dream was to become a freelance writer, and I hustled it big time to make it a reality. While my career transitioned into writing fiction, I still love magazines and would drop anything if one of my former editors called and asked me to write an essay about, say, my love of jazz, for example. (Friends at Real Simple, are you listening? Also, here's an article I wrote for RS years ago titled "20 Tips to Make Your Wardrobe Last" that I just found online. My Lulu leggings are looking kind of haggard, so I'm going to stop this and re-reread my own advice right now, ha.) I'm obsessed with jazz. Old jazz, new jazz, latin jazz, piano jazz, Bossanova jazz--all jazz (except elevator jazz, which really isn't jazz) makes me insanely happy. Dave Brubeck for me = instant mood lift. At my house, you'll find jazz streaming through the speakers all the time, especially on Sunday mornings, when it's a ritual. I think life is better with wine. Enough said. Dark chocolate makes me sneeze. Totally bizarre but true: I sneeze after the first bite of dark chocolate. Same thing happens to my son, Carson. Genetics, I tell ya! I love love. I'm a total cheeseball, tis true. I cry at weddings. All of them. I ask everyone how they met, fell in love. I eavesdrop on strangers on dates at restaurants. I am eternally fascinated by love. I'm a huge believer in forgiveness, of others and self. Forgiveness comes easier to some than others. I am always grateful that I'm an easy forgiver. I mean, I know, some people deserve what they have coming, but the thing is, friends, holding on to anger is sooooo toxic. Choose forgiveness. I do! And what's harder, I've found, is forgiving yourself. I'm still working on that. I survived divorce, and am stronger in its wake. Divorce sucks. I went through a pretty bad and wacky one, and still struggle with frequent landmines in its aftermath. Basically, when you dismember a family unit with the court system as the surgeon, you're going to have a bunch of wounds, scars, infections and phantom pain. Good analogy, right? That said, five years later, I am happier than ever, stronger than ever, and look at life and people so differently than I did before. Lots more on this subject to come

Hi readers and friends! Over the last several years, I have been so fortunate to become a #1 selling author in Turkey. The outpouring of love and excitement I have received from Turkish readers has been so amazing and touching. In fact, when I visited Istanbul a few years ago, it was one of the most astonishing moments of my career. I hugged thousands of readers, signed even more books, and left with such a full heart. Of all the countries where I have been fortunate to publish my books (including my own!), I don't think I could find more enthusiastic, big-hearted readers than those in Turkey. From Ankara to Istanbul, please know that I will always be grateful to each and every one of you. And now, Turkish friends, I need your help! I am seeking an intern to help me get better connected with Turkey. Here are the basics: Who should apply? I am seeking a college student (undergraduate or graduate) who is familiar with my novels in Turkey and who is interested in the world of publishing (books, magazines, online media). What sorts of projects/duties are involved? First, this will be fun! We'll have a kick-off call via Skype to get to know each other better, and I'll set you loose! Projects will include light translation work (for marketing materials and social media), feedback on chapters of my new novel, brainstorming about marketing and social media campaigns for Turkish audiences, and more fun stuff. Special skills/areas of expertise preferred: English language proficient, please, and I would love to work with someone who Time commitment: The internship will begin on or around August 1 and extend until December 1; your weekly/weekly time commitment is up to you, most likely around 4-8 hours per week. What's in it for you? While this is not a paid position, there are lots of other perks! You'll have a twice-monthly meeting with me via Skype to discuss the projects we're working on and to ask questions about your own future in publishing! And, I'll also write a lovely letter of recommendation for you for future employers. :) Interested? I hope! The application process is easy. A.) Make sure you follow me on Facebook and Instagram, and B.) send an email to me (, with a subject line that reads "Turkish Intern Application" and the answers to these questions. Why do you want to be my first intern in Turkey? What special skills do you have that would make you a good fit for this position? What are your personal career goals and dreams? What exciting things do you hope to accomplish during this internship and what specific ideas do you have to help me improve my presence in Turkey (for example, help me grow my social media following, help me connect with other authors in Turkey, etc.)? Do you have a blog, web site or other online outlet where I can read about you/your work and interests? The application deadline is July 10. I will select three finalists, interview each, then make my selection on or around July 25. I'm so excited to hear from any and all interested applicants!

Hey guys! I'm kicking off a new series on the blog today in which I'll be sharing my best writing tips for aspiring novelists. Lots more to come here on the subject of writing (and so many more topics!), but for now, your tip: People always ask me how I get my story and character ideas and my answer always boils down to one word: curiosity! Maybe this stems from my long career as a journalist where I was paid to ask questions and go deep, or maybe it's just my natural inclination to learn more, and more, and more. In any case, curiosity has driven all of my novels. And here's how it plays out in my day-to-day life: I'm always listening, observing, and

Hi all, It's been a while since I've updated this blog, but here I am again, saying hello from beautiful Oslo, Norway, where the temperatures hit the mid seventies today (!). I'm just finishing up the loveliest trip here to promote the Norwegian edition of my new novel, and I'm so grateful for the enthusiasm and warmth from my readers and publishing team in this awesome country. This is my third trip to Norway for book events, and with each visit, I fall in love with this special country all the more. While jet lag has been hard on this trip, it's been my favorite Norwegian experience to date. These past few days have been filled with amazing memories: sold-out reader events, spending time with author colleagues from around the globe (hello, Alyson Richman, Jan-Phillip Sendker, Lucy Dillon and others!), inspiring visits to the Munch Museum and the lookout point over Oslo where Edvard Munch set his iconic painting "The Scream." And, oh! Oh!! For all of my coffee-loving traveling friends, I have a little tidbit for you. Let me preface this by saying

My box of finished copies of The Bungalow arrived today (which means they'll be on their way to bookstores soon---on shelves December 27!). They're so pretty and the colors are gorgeous---brightened up this gray fall day in Seattle! I remember all the years before this that I wondered if I'd ever write and publish a novel, and now I have two, and two more coming out in the months ahead. It's still all very hard to believe---and very, very wonderful.

Hi everyone! I'm excited to introduce a new series on my blog called "Behind the Scenes" where I'll be sharing conversations with several of the folks at Penguin and elsewhere who have been instrumental in making my novels successes, and I am ever grateful to them. And, because so many people don't know all the work that goes into creating a book (beyond just the author), I thought it would be fun to introduce you to the cast of characters (truly wonderful people) who have worked on The Violets of March and my forthcoming novels. So, to begin, I interviewed my wonderful editor Denise Roy at Penguin! Here's my recent conversation with Denise (who appears in the photo below in her office in New York---with my books on her desk!): Sarah: I think it’s a common misconception that editors only “edit” books, because the job is so much more all-encompassing than that! (I know, because you have been there at every point along the way for my books in the last year!) You really have shepherded my novels every step of the way, and I’m so grateful for your support. Can you share a part of the job as an editor that readers may not know much about? Denise: On the occasion of my grandfather’s ninetieth birthday, a hurricane was bearing down on south Florida just when that year’s National Book Award finalists in fiction were being announced. The phone lines were dicey, but one of my authors had been honored, and the author, her agent, my publisher, and my assistant were all trying to get through to share the exciting news. When I explained the excitement to my family, my father asked, “You mean, you pick the books?” Sarah: Haha. I love that. Denise: Since then, he’s adopted industry lingo, asking, “Any new acquisitions lately?” Essentially, book editors have three main concerns: Signing new projects (which means choosing from among numerous submissions, and negotiating terms with the agent who represents the writer in question), editing the manuscripts authors deliver (making sure the final version is ready in plenty of time for the sales force to read before they present the title to booksellers), and getting involved with all the details---book jackets, interior page design, publicity and marketing plans---that happen as a manuscript transforms into a published book. Sarah: I think it was you (or maybe Elisabeth, my agent) who told me about your fascinating editing style—that you take a manuscript home and set the pages out on the floor so you can see them all together and then mark them up that way. (Did I just dream this up, or is this indeed how you approach some of your projects? If not, please disregard the question!) This is so fascinating! How did you start editing this way and why do you find it helpful to do it? Denise: I approach editing as I would a jigsaw puzzle, challenged by making all the pieces fit together perfectly. So, yes, I really do spread manuscripts out on the floor when there are structural or pacing questions to unravel. Every manuscript is different, though, so I try to tailor my editing plan project by project. Sometimes phone conversations with the author to brainstorm plot details or character arcs are crucial; other projects are best served by the onion approach---peeling the layers back to reveal the best expression of the book. Sarah: You read so much, and I’m always so amazed and honored that you remember the smallest details of my stories (sometimes even better than I do!). How on earth do you keep these details organized in your mind with so many books and authors on your plate? I think I need to start taking your vitamins. Denise: More game theory here---Remember “Concentration” or “Memory,” in which cards are flipped in search of matching pairs? I couldn’t get enough of that game as a child, and I’ve transferred to the editing process the skill of remembering where all the pieces go, and how they support the architecture of the plot. It’s an unusual skill set, but the rewards come when favorite details linger in the mind, and inspire the imagination. Sarah: I knew we were meant to work together---I used to be obsessed with "Memory" type games as a child! (And I know we share a love for the Frances books too!). Now, tell me about some of the books you’ve edited that are coming out in the next few months. I’d love share some titles for my readers to add to their winter and spring reading lists! Denise: Connecting first-time authors with their audience is a personal passion, so the upcoming season holds the special anticipation that only the opportunity to publish distinctive debuts--four novels, Seré Prince Halverson’s The Underside of Joy, Sarah Pinneo’s Julia’s Child, Melanie Thorne’s Hand Me Down, and Meredith Goldstein’s The Singles---as well as Claire Bidwell Smith’s memoir, The Rules of Inheritance---can bring. Thank you, Denise! Readers, is there a question you've always wanted to ask about what goes on behind the scenes in making a book? I'd love to hear! More installments of this new feature coming soon.