Lit IT Girl: Debut Author Sarah Jio

Girl Crush Alert!  We're so excited that our latest Lit IT Girl pub day is finally here!  Because we read an ARC of Sarah Jio's fantastic debut a few months ago and have been crushin' on her bigtime ever since.  And Sarah is also a successful freelance writer-she is the health and fitness blogger at! We're thrilled she's accepted out Lit IT Girl crown, and we have a feeling she's going to rock it better than Kate Middleton! Already in it's THIRD printing before it's release, The Violets of March(out tomorrow, Tuesday April 26th) is women's fiction at it's best: a fun escape with a dash of mystery and a spoonful of romance.  We raced through this enchanting novel and think that you will too!

In The Violets of March, A heartbroken woman stumbled upon a diary and steps into the life of its anonymous author.

In her twenties, Emily Wilson was on top of the world: she had a bestselling novel, a husband plucked from the pages of GQ, and a one-way ticket to happily ever after.  Ten years later, the tide has turned on Emily's good fortune. So when her great-aunt Bee invites her to spend the month of March on Bainbridge Island in Washington State, Emily accepts, longing to be healed by the sea. Researching her next book, Emily discovers a red velvet diary, dated 1943, whose contents reveal startling connections to her own life.

Trust us on this one-you will enjoy this book!  And we have FIVE copies to give away!  You know the drill-just leave a comment and you'll be entered to win!  We'll choose the winners on Wednesday night after 6pm PST.


1. How many agents did you query before you found "the one"? My agent story is an unusual one. I had been working with a great, established NYC agency, but after my agent left to pursue another career outside of publishing, I decided to take the leap and find a new agent, rather that work with her replacement, who had little experience with women’s fiction. I’m so glad I decided to take that scary risk and look for new representation, because it led me to Elisabeth Weed, my agent extraordinaire, who I believe has a bit of magic in her fingertips. And, I got lucky and didn’t have to do a big search. A magazine writer friend of mine, Allison Winn Scotch, kindly introduced me to Elisabeth, and I knew she was a great fit for me. We worked together to make THE VIOLETS OF MARCH sing, and then she sold it in less than a week at auction. I know writers who are uncertain about and unhappy with their agents, and I just feel so fortunate to work with someone who is so talented, hardworking and genuinely fun and enjoyable to collaborate with.

2. What was your rock bottom moment during the process? Every writer will tell you that editing a book can be painful and grueling. After I began working with my agent, she provided detailed edit notes and suggestions about how to improve my novel. The work I had to do was substantial and required a lot of rethinking of characters, plot and execution. There were a few times that, honestly, I stared at my computer screen and thought ‘how the heck am I going to do this? I better just throw in the towel right now.’ But I kept at it because I believed in the story and in my dream of publishing a book. I’m so glad I didn’t give up on myself!

3. How long did it take to write your book? Initially, I wrote the first draft very quickly—as in a few months. But the editing process took close to a year.

4. What did you do to celebrate your book deal? Nothing special, which sounds really lame, I know. But I had two young children at the time (I have three now), and going out and doing something big wasn’t an option. But, I do have a funny story about my German book deal (VIOLETS will be coming out this fall from Heyne, a division of Random House in Germany). I got an email on my Blackberry from my agent while I was on the cereal aisle at Trader Joes. I had a 3 year old in the back of the shopping cart, and a 1 year old in the front, and I scrolled through the email on my phone frantically to read the details of the deal. I nearly passed out with excitement right in front of the instant oatmeal. I think I threw a bottle of good wine in the cart to take home for that night (but you know Trader Joes—nothing too fancy!).

5. Knowing what you know now about publishing your first novel, what would you have done differently? Yikes, I don’t know. I’m still learning so much, and I feel so fortunate that—so far—things have gone very well. I adore my editor, my agent, my book’s cover, and I’m proud of the story inside the cover. There’s so much about publishing that is out of the author’s control, however, and I’m learning to roll with the punches.

6. What's your biggest distraction or vice while writing? Facebook, Twitter, repeat.

7. Who is your writer crush? Camille Noe Pagan, who, coincidentally, is also a debut author! Her book, The Art of Forgetting, is out in June from Dutton. Funny thing, Camille and I share an agent and an editor. We’re also the same age, write for the same magazines, and were just pregnant at the same time. Clearly, she’s my East Coast twin. And I adore her for encouraging me and supporting me through the pre-publication process. I also happen to think she’s a phenomenal writer.

8. GNO drink of choice? Dirty martini. Extra dirty. Extra olives.

9. Favorite trashy TV show? The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. It’s a shameless Monday night ritual—the one night I do not write.

10. What celeb would you love to have a Twitter war with? Hilarious question. A Twitter war with any celeb would scare my pants off, I’m afraid. I’m a little shy. But I’ll just say that a back-and-forth with Charlie Sheen would sure be interesting, wouldn’t it? I’d stop short of calling myself a rock star from Venus, though.

Want to read more about the fabulous Sarah Jio?  Head on over to her website or find her on Facebook and Twitter!

Thanks Sarah! xoxo, L&L