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



I feel so lucky that I get to do what I love, a fulfillment of a lifelong dream. A lot of people ask me what the most surprising things are about my job--things I never predicted along the way. Here are a few: *Getting published internationally: To date, I think my books are translated in more than 20 languages and sold in about 30 countries. That fact, to me, is still staggering! I remember getting a phone call when I was shopping at Trader Joe's from my agent telling me that several German publishers were in a bidding war for my first novel. My first response was, "Wow!" And my second response was, "wait, really?" I had no idea that I could sell books outside of the US, let alone become a bestseller in other countries, both of which have happened for me. Such a pinch-myself moment, even still.



I've had a busy spring touring for the launch of ALWAYS! It was such a joy to visit Houston, Indianapolis, St. Louis, New York, San Diego, Amsterdam and Oslo! I have so many happy memories from my travels. When I'm at author events in the US and in other countries, my favorite part is answering questions from readers. I tend to get asked some similar questions. The one question I'm almost always asked is something I've often wanted to expand on here, because over the years, I've come to be pretty passion about the subject:



Today, I'm honored to have a personal essay featured on SignatureReads. I smile a lot these days, and I'm cooking up a storm, but I went through a difficult time in my life several years ago when that wasn't the case. I was not a victim then, nor am I now. But I had to trudge through that miserable valley and learn to reconnect with the things that brought me joy all along, one of which was learning to love cooking again, even if it meant making dinner on lonely nights for just me. If you're in a dark place like this, please know that even when things feel bleak, you are not alone. There is hope and joy and love ahead. Forgive yourself. Forgive the ones who've hurt you. And go make yourself a fabulous dinner.  



ALWAYS is my eighth novel in the US, and ninth in the world, and today I'm making room for my newest story, in hardcover, in my Seattle bookcase--in Doc Martens, of course (which I haven't worn since the nineties!). In 1993, when my novel begins, I was a 16-year-old in Seattle, with a diary and a lot of dreams. I was dating a boy with a mohawk who was the lead singer of a punk rock band. When I close my eyes and let my heart go back to those years, it's all there--ferries, thrift-shop shopping, cafe living, shows, guitar, bad poetry, young love. There are a lot of those old ghosts in this new novel, and some new ones. I'm excited to share this story with the world on February 7! My love, Brandon, is, very generously, throwing me a book launch party this month. It will be at an awesome spot in Pioneer Square (where ALWAYS is set), with all of our favorite people, and where a special musician will be playing songs from the novel, including a cover from Mazzy Star. It will be such a full circle moment for me--celebrating the old and the new.



An inspiring photographer friend of mine, Michelle Moore, decided to pick an aspirational word for the New Year. She chose the word "elevate," which I really loved--both the word and the idea. I thought a long time about what word I'd choose. Lots of words rose to the top, but the one that resonated most is: grace. I don't always feel that graceful. In fact, a lot of my life is about rushing and worrying and clumsily getting from point A to point B. Snapping when I should speak in a kind voice. Criticizing myself, sometimes cruelly. I don't always show myself grace, and, even worse, sometimes I don't give others the grace I should give them either. I've always loved Grace Kelly, above; her life seemed to embody her name. I'd love to write about her someday. Maybe. For now, here's to a grace-filled 2017!



One of the most memorable moments for an author is the moment a box arrives in the mail from your editor/publisher with finished copies of your novel! Seriously, after nine books, published in (I think) 30 countries, this never gets old. Yesterday, a few boxes of my eighth novel in the US, and my ninth novel in the world, ALWAYS, arrived! I was so excited to see them, and also a little shy about the ENORMOUS photo of my face on the back. Eeks! What do you think? I'm so excited to be working with the BEST publishing team in the U.S., Random House/Ballantine, to release the first of three new novels of mine in the U.S. Have you preordered your copy yet? I can't wait to hear what everyone thinks of this story. Lots of love from Seattle!



Hello friends! There has been some confusion about my publishing schedule in the US and internationally, so I thought I'd try to explain. I have had the lovely good fortune of signing a multiple book deal with Pena, my wonderful Turkish publisher. Pena is publishing a new Sarah Jio book each November. Because the appetite for my books in Turkey is so strong, last year, I decided to take the summer and write a special book to be published as a world exclusive in Turkey. The novel hasn't been published anywhere else, but will be soon sold to other countries by my amazing literary agent. The novel, BACK TO YOU, or in Turkish, Kelebek Adasi, was published in November, has hit the #1 spot on the Turkish bestseller list and has already gone through multiple printings. I continue to be so honored by the love and support from my Turkish readers. US readers: ALWAYS (which was published in Turkey last year, and will be published in a list of other countries this year!), will be in bookstores across America on February 7! I can't wait! Love to you all!