As many of you know, we hold the fabulous Sarah Jio very near and dear to our hearts--we adore both her and her bestselling novels. We're so happy that she's hanging out with us today to discuss her latest, Goodnight June. And this one really lives up to it's fabulous cover--we both devoured it in one day and agreed it may be her best so far! And guess what--we have one copy to give away! Leave a comment to be entered. Contest closes on June 2nd after 8am PST.
The Scoop: Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown (Goodnight Songs) is an adored childhood classic, but its real origins are lost to history. In Goodnight June, Sarah Jio offers a suspenseful and heartfelt take on how the “great green room” might have come to be.
June Andersen is professionally successful, but her personal life is marred by unhappiness. Unexpectedly, she is called to settle her great-aunt Ruby’s estate and determine the fate of Bluebird Books, the children’s bookstore Ruby founded in the 1940s. Amidst the store’s papers, June stumbles upon letters between her great-aunt and the late Margaret Wise Brown—and steps into the pages of American literature.
5 Questions for Sarah Jio
1. We love the concept behind GOODNIGHT JUNE. How did you think of the idea? The idea for the novel literally came to me while sitting in the big overstuffed rocking chair in my son's nursery one night. I have three young boys (ages 7, 5, and 3) and used to read each of them Goodnight Moon when they were babies (and even still now!) before bed. My tradition was to read the book, then sit in the chair until they dozed off in their crib. When Colby, my youngest, was a baby, I began getting really curious about the author of Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown, and what might have been the inspiration for the iconic "great green room". I did some research, and began writing the novel!
2. What other children's books do you read with them/do they love? I remember reading all the old Little Golden Books as a child (the illustrations of 1940s and 1950s life still fascinate me!), and my boys love those too (I mean, who doesn't love Scuffy the Tugboat?!). Now the boys are on to chapter books. They're currently loving The Magic Treehouse series.
3. In this novel, the main character, June, is a runner and so are you. Do you often work out your plot points, character development while running? Or do you leave your writing back at home? Yes! In fact, I plotted out much of this novel on my daily runs. Once I was so distracted with my brainstorming that I tripped on the sidewalk and came home with a bloody knee. (I'm clumsy.) But, injuries aside, I definitely consider running creative time for me. I always come home with great ideas.
4. You have based all of your novels, at least in part, in Seattle. This may be a hard question, but what are your favorite things about the city/how does it inspire your books? I'm so in love with Seattle (as much as I complain about the weather). I grew up here, and it's natural for me to set books in my hometown. I also have found that readers all over the world have a soft spot for Seattle and have come to love my Northwest (specifically, Seattle) settings. While I may vary things in the future, I have yet to lose literary interest in Seattle. In fact, my upcoming novel, THE LOOK OF LOVE (out in November from Penguin/Plume) is basically a love letter to Seattle.
5. THE LOOK OF LOVE is coming out in November. How do you manage to write two books a year, girl??? Your secret, please! I have a mild, and sporadic, case of insomnia, so I write at all hours. Apparently it's genetic as my younger brother does too. He's a computer guy and will often be up at 2:30 or 3:00 coding. I'll sometimes be up at the same time writing a chapter. It's not always fun, but it's one way to get work done! And I really don't have any "rules" for my work, but I do try to write everyday to keep my head in the story; I only start and finish books that are truly haunting me; I drink a lot of coffee (and I mean, A LOT--thank you Nespresso); I sometimes cancel evening plans to write; and I am constantly, and eternally, lusting after the next book idea. I think ultimately it's that very thing that keeps me going...the quest for the next idea.