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What I Learned This Week – 5/17/15

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This week I got to attend a book signing by YA author Sarah Dessen at Schuler Books & Music in Okemos, Michigan. It was a little drive from my home. But I made a new mix CD of music for the road, and I got to drive 70mph most of the way with the windows down.

I have read Dessen’s books for years. They are all predictably enjoyable. There are no vampires or wizards or anything–just real kids with real problems who find a way to get through them, and the girl and the boy get to kiss at the end.

Her most recent book, Saint Anything, just came out two weeks ago. I liked the male lead character Mac more than I did Sydney, the girl. I really connected with the Saint Anything of the title, that sometimes you need something outside yourself to help you be strong. For more of my thoughts, check out my review on Goodreads. [Yes, I have a Goodreads account. Go like me or follow me or whatever it is happens over there!]

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen (2015)

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen (2015)

There was a crowd of around 150 people there to see her. She came out and gave a short talk, before reading the first chapter of Saint Anything to us.

I loved her talk. She described how she hated high school, and yet here she is still writing about it, still trying to get her happy ending. [I totally understand this logic. I am the same way.] She has published 12 books, yet has 13 manuscripts that never made the cut stored in her attic. Although she isn’t a teenager herself, her real life spills over into her novels, sometimes becoming the adventures of the mother or older sister. Someone asked her if it was better for an aspiring writer to type or hand write their story. Dessen said you need to do what works for you, while admitting that she prefers the computer. [I prefer to hand write a first draft. While I have a laptop, it just isn’t as portable as a notebook and a pen. Yes, one of those locations is the toilet 😛 ]

I ended up being the first person through the signing line, which flustered me quite a bit. I did manage to tell her that he Dum Dum factory is located in Bryan, Ohio. [It will make sense when you read Saint Anything. Maybe.]

Now I have a new face to add to my “When Stars Align” page.

Jennifer Friess & Sarah Dessen

Jennifer Friess & Sarah Dessen

She was so nice. And this weekend I was able to hand my own Book 2 off to my beta reader! Ya!

My first book, The Wind Could Blow a Bug is NOW AVAILABLE!

PURCHASE as a Paperback or eBook on Amazon.com TODAY.

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