SIX MINUTES WITH SARA ST. ANTOINE:
Author Sara St. Antoine joins LitPick for Six Minutes with an Author! Sara is the author of Three Bird Summer and the editor of the Stories from Where We Live series and the books in it.
How did you get started writing?
I started writing stories when I was in first grade. Most, if not all, of them were about bunnies. For a few years, I wrote stories the way some kids draw rainbows—in a kind of lazy, clichéd way. Then in third grade a girl named Joy joined my class. She had stringy blonde hair and pale skin, and she always smelled like oranges after lunch. She wrote a different kind of story—gritty, realistic, with precise descriptions and pitch-perfect dialogue. She dazzled me and my classmates, and she set a new standard. Soon after, I began writing realistic fiction and I haven’t really looked back.
Who influenced you?
Joy, obviously. And a few great teachers. And all the authors who, with their books, handed me a fascinating world I could enter for hours or days. Those books were like gifts from really magical great-aunts. I wanted to be one of those great-aunts.
Do you have a favorite book/subject/character/setting?
Give me a family story any day. Or any sort of realistic fiction. As a kid I always gravitated toward stories where things were believable and naturalistic (All of a Kind Family, Harriet the Spy), even if they were peopled by an eloquent society of animals (Charlotte’s Web, The Wind in the Willows)!
What advice do you have for someone who wants to be an author?
I’m not sure I can say anything that hasn’t been said many times before. Read a lot. Write a lot. Write about what most matters to you, fascinates you, amuses you, or even pains you. And write something you would love to read.
Where is your favorite place to write?
I write all over the place—at my desk, at the kitchen table, and at my local bookstore/coffee shop. But probably my favorite place to write is on the attic level of my house, which has big skylights looking out into trees and sky. For some reason, that stark, clear view gives me a clearer view of my prose.
What else would you like to tell us?
I want to thank all the readers, young and old, who have read my new book Three Bird Summer. Part of me wondered if tweens and teens read realistic fiction any more. Turns out, they do! And I have been so touched by the enthusiastic responses I’ve gotten from some of them.
Sara, thank you so much for spending six minutes with LitPick!