Long time no see! Of course, I still can’t see you, but…anyway…I’m so excited to interview you!
Let’s start with a little background. I first “met” you after becoming hopelessly attached to the two main characters in your Plain Fame Trilogy, Alejandro and Amanda. After meeting them, I knew I had to find out more about Sarah Price. I never would have dreamed we would soon become friends. (amazing how things work out)
I’m still convinced you were that girl pushing me in the little red wagon, Lisa. (I CAN’T FIND THE PHOTO!!!!!)
Speaking of your Plain Fame Trilogy, do you feel like that series brought you a whole new fan base from what you had before?
Oh, I do! And that’s what I wanted. My first four novels in this genre (Fields of Corn, Hills of Wheat, Pastures of Faith, and Valley of Hope) were a little more “vanilla” although I did start testing some previously unwritten scenarios. The Plain Fame Series was an idea that occurred to me on the streets of Manhattan when I was walking to work, grumbling about how my favorite singer, Pitbull, was performing at Rockefeller Plaza and I couldn’t attend because I was scheduled to teach a class. As I crossed a street, the entire story popped into my head. What if Pitbull’s limousine hit me? BAM! The entire series materialized in that moment.
One of the key things that I wanted to achieve was incorporating different cultures, particularly Americans that are from Cuba, Latin America, and Mexico. We do not see that culture in popular media too often.
I’ve heard a rumor that there is a fourth book in the making. (I’ve lost sleep since I heard that). Is it true? Want to give as a little nibble from it?
Hmmmmmmm could be! Wait. Did you say a fifth book? Oh. Hmmmmmm….could be!
One of the things I love about your books is the way you dig into the human side of the Amish. I think many people put them in some kind of saint category. But, you remind us that people are just people. We all suffer in the same ways. What has been the driving force for you to push into stories about depression, insecurity, abuse…?
Personal experience. I draw a lot from personal experience.
A more detailed answer, however, is that I believe that many readers have this vision of the Amish as being “one.” They are not shaped from a cookie cutter. There are things that I know about Amish people that many of my readers would neither like nor believe. The bottom line is that they are people. There are people in their communities who experience every single thing that we experience. By incorporating these situations into my novels, I want my readers to understand that. I also want the readers to relate to the different situations and realize that they are not alone in experiencing these tough situations.
Tell me about the books you have coming up and where people can find them. I know many of your readers just sit biting their nails waiting on your next release.
I’m continuing with my adaptations of Jane Austen’s books and moving onto the Bronte sisters. That’s with my one publisher, Realms (an imprint of Charisma House). And I have a few secret projects with Waterfall Press (an imprint of Brilliance Publishing). I owe my readers the next three books in the Amish Seasons series. Finally, I’m working on a book with Erin Brady called Into the Amish.
Of course, my next “big thing” is that I’m moving into the Young Adult genre. FINALLY Diehard Fangirl is going to hit the shelves this summer. That’s about my daughter and her obsession with fangirling social media celebrities…one in particular. Her friends love going with her to the different concerts and events because we do the backstage hang-out thing and…well, to a teenager, that’s cool. Cat has a nice little posse of sweet girlfriends. It’s a joy to take these girls and see how silly they are! It’s a whole new world that parents have no idea exists. And these girls are soooo appreciative. That makes the pounding headache from the thousands of screaming girls totally worth it!
Anyway, I think that should keep me busy until 2017.
And, of course, I’m already working on ideas for my next round of contracts.
You also have a website, Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter account, right? Where can people find and follow Sarah Price?
I have to confess that I’m not a big Twitter fan. Facebook and Instagram are my find me “hanging out.” And, on occasion, YouTube.com.
I’m a visual person so you can see (pun intended) why I prefer these social media platforms to Twitter.
You and I share a love of coffee. In September you brought me some special coffee to try. Why don’t you tell my readers about that? (It was delicious by the way)
Ah, the kopi luwak coffee.
While attending at a meeting at my publisher, Waterfall Press, in Grand Harbor, Michigan, another author began telling me about the world’s most expensive coffee. So, of course, I had to taste this coffee. Since her husband was returning from a mission in the Far East, she told me that she would send me a bag—it’s apparently less expensive there.
Well, let me tell you…
It was amazing. Really. I found a source, bought a few bags of it, and I managed to get a few people to try it and they, too, loved it.
…they found out that it is from a bean that is digested and pooped out by cat in Indonesia. At that point, the only person who would join me in a cup was my son. Oh, and this adorable little blond from Missouri named Lisa.
P.S. I didn’t tell you that I found a bag of it just the other day in my pantry. I am totally hoarding it.
You love animals. You live with a pig and how many cats and dogs? I know you love horses as well. (People, she pretty much loves them all. When we were on vacation she fed opossums. OPOSSUMS. They are–well–they are icky. But, they were fed well while Sarah was here. I think she fed a few racoons as well.) So, why don’t you tell us about your animal family that lives in your home with you.
Well…let’s leave it at “I love animals.”
Dogs, cats, pigs, goats, donkeys, horses, ponies…Overall, I suspect we tend to 100 animals in our daily life. Many of them are rescue animals. We even had a zebra for a while.
In the Book of Genesis, God told us to take care of the animals. I may have taken that just a wee bit too far!
Seriously, we have several farms where most of these animals reside. Possibly a new farm on the horizon, too. I’m hoping to continue my efforts rescuing animals, especially the wild mustangs. But I don’t want to speak too soon.
In a dance-off, who would win, you or me? Oh, you don’t have to answer that–but, seriously, who?
You. You have some amazing moves, girl.
If we were to dance a Viennese Waltz or Tango, I would totally win.
I have to tell you that I LOVE LOVE LOVE ballroom dancing. I started dancing when I was invited to participate in Dancing with the Survivors for the Pink Fund. At first I made a face when I received the invitation. As you know, Lisa, from our time at the lake house, I am not a great dancer. Not like you. Anyway, after thinking about it, I decided, “Why not?”
Next thing you know, I’m dancing almost every day, taking lessons at my home away from home, Fred Astaire Dance Studios, and practicing all over the house! I even have a Line of Dance (LOD) duct-taped across my bedroom rug and I’m installing a dance mirror in my office.
I prefer the smooth dances (Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, and Viennese Waltz). They are just so pretty to watch and, let’s be honest, the ballgowns rock!
Now I’m learning rhythm dances like the cha cha, hustle, mambo, and swing. Once I master those (ten years from now…ha ha), I will most definitely change my answer!
Okay, now the fun part. Time for my quick-answer questions:
Where did you meet Marc?
Marc is my barnyard find of the century! Seriously, I met him at the horse stables. My daughter, Cat, and son, Alex, are the reasons that we met. I was returning Alex’s baseball uniform and took a short cut through a parking lot. I always say that Cat saw a fly land on a pony’s butt (meaning she zoned right in on those ponies). She was three and a half years old and started screaming her head off, unbuckling her car seat and clawing at the door to get out. She continued to scream and cry for the ponies until I finally took her there just to make her stop.
She became the first paying customer at the barn before it even officially opened. Today, ten years later, she’s working with a mustang that was born wild.
When I met Marc, I did not like him. At. All. In fact, I used to mimic his French accent behind his back. One time, when I was entertaining a group of people at the barn by imitating him, and, suddenly, I noticed everyone stiffened up and the color drained from their faces. And I knew that he was behind me.
Instead of yelling at me, which he was prone to do, he laughed and told me that I almost nailed his accent.
The rest is history. We became friends, he helped me through a rough patch in my life, and BAM! (play romantic music).
Favorite artist? (any kind of art)
Johannes Vermeer. And yes, The Girl with a Pearl Earring is the reason why I fell in love with his work. That book is just amazing. Tracy Chevalier is my spirit animal (that’s urban lingo, and with lower case S and A). I can imagine how she came up with the idea for that book. I bet she was sitting somewhere, say that painting, and just wondered “What led up to this moment?” It’s absolutely something I would think.
I can overhear a sentence from a conversation and a book idea pops into my head. I might meet someone who has an amazing accent and BAM! My neurons start making up that person’s past. There are stories all around us. You just have to pay attention and let them appear.
Celebrity crush? (you have to pick just one)
And I don’t mean Pitbull the singer. I mean Pitbull the person. What he has done for the Latino community is amazing. Literally, he went from being a thug on the streets to being an international superstar with a huge propensity for philanthropy. He is a true role model of someone who gives back.
Plus, he gives great hugs and wears amazing cologne.
What was your favorite dessert as a child?Funny Cake. It’s a Mennonite dessert. It has a chocolatey bottom and a fluffy cake like top, baked in a pie crust. Serve that with one scoop of vanilla ice cream and I’m in heaven.
By the way, I always thought funny cake was Amish. Most of my Amish friends never heard of it. They didn’t believe me when I told them about it. I had to FedEx a few funny cakes to them so that they believed me!
Barbie or Skipper?
Seriously? Do you have to ask? Barbie. I like her clothes.
However, if I had to be stuck on an island with someone, totally Skipper. Barbie would get on my nerves if I had to hang out with her. Plus she’d probably fall over because of her out-of-promotion dimensions and I’d get really tired of picking her up.
I know you didn’t love the 80’s, but favorite 80’s movie?
Uh…Little House on the Prairie? Was that in the 80s?
OK…how about…(pauses to use Google)…
When Harry Met Sally. I have definitely watched that over two dozen times! Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal are perfect in that movie. The development of their friendship is so honest, from a writer’s perspective. I love the scene where they are walking on the moving walkway. And, of course, his reaction to her restaurant theatrics. Hilarious.
Now that I have a list on my screen of movies, the 80s had some amazing movies: Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club (another contender for most watched), Indiana Jones (LOVED), Tootsie, Dirty Dancing (which would only be my favorite NOW because I love dancing), Footloose, Say Anything, Big, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (oooo, another favorite), and so on.
Actually, I think Little House on the Prairie was in the 80’s…but not really a movie…(Shakes head)
Red or pink?
Red. I always get red manicures and pedicures. #93. That’s what my nail salon calls me because they don’t remember my name, just the color. It’s sparkly, like Dorothy’s shoes from the Wizard of Oz movie. You cannot beat sparkly red nail polish. It’s just…perfect!
Honestly, I’m sick of pink. BLAH! I think I banned it from my wardrobe, with the exception of a really cute Kate Spade dress.
Interesting fact for you: Pink used to be the recommended color for little boys. It wasn’t until the mid-1900s that it switched to girls.
Pepsi or Coke? (you have to choose)
Diet Dr. Pepper.
(Shakes head again)
First boy who kissed you?Uh…can I write that???? Stephen Keller. He was my best friend. We built stick forts in our backyard and he’d sleep over (we were like five or six!). We’d sneak downstairs in the middle of the night and polish off a pack of Yodels or Ring Dings.
Did you have a banana seat on your bike in the 70’s? (mine was totes red, white, and blue)
I don’t remember. But I did have a cool pool bubble so I wouldn’t drown.
Favorite coffee cafe’?
At the risk of being stereotyped, Starbucks. It’s a great place to write and I LOVE their Pumpkin Spice coffee in the autumn. I get a tummy ache from the Peppermint coffee which stinks because it tastes soooooo good. And I always get Venti (large) because I cannot pronounce the other two sizes. Plus they have a really cool logo which, as a former marketing professional, is always important to me.
Bargain hunter or brand name buyer?
Both. I learned a long time ago that bargains are often not bargains. Buying bargain jeans often means they are made of a poor quality material and they rip…usually right under the butt at very embarrassing moments. But I do love brand names in shoes, sunglasses, and purses. Michael Kors is my latest infatuation along with Alexander Wang (but only if on a major sale).
Funny story. When I worked in Manhattan, I liked to shop at Lord and Taylor on Fifth Avenue (again, sounds better than saying Lord and Taylor at the Livingston Mall). I developed a thing for shoes. Growing up, I wore penny loafers, jeans, and a sweatshirt. That was my de facto outfit.
So developing any type of “thing” for fashion in my 40s is very delayed.
Anyway, the salesman in the shoe department became my BFF for a while. I’d bring him coffee and he used to pass his employee discount along to me.
Morning person or night owl?
Both. That’s terrible, right? I can write until 3am in the morning or I can go to bed early and wake up at 3am to write. Just last night, I woke up around 3am or 4am and started to reach for my laptop. Marc groaned, grabbed it, and mumbled, “No.”
Comedy or Drama?
Both. I’m soooooo sorry! I don’t mean to be difficult. The things that happen in my life are a true sitcom. Let’s face it…I have a pig in my house. That alone is enough comedy. She loves to rearrange my furniture when she’s bored. Drives me insane. And then we have Cat, Alex, and Marc…each one is novel-worthy.
But there is also a lot of drama. One thing I have learned is that you need to surround yourself with good people and weed your garden of toxic people.
I’ve also learned that when you live life large (my expression, totally trademarked), you are a target for other people. Cat is learning that, too. She works really hard, gets good grades, and she rides horses. Put all of that together and you encounter a lot of jealousy. A LOT. And not always from other 13-year-olds. Parents also can jump into the mix because their daughters aren’t getting the same publicity in the media. They have even asked me who she has in her back pocket to get so much attention from the public.
Hello???? Her mother is a former marketing professor and a published author with an amazing fanbase.
It stinks. It’s as if people are waiting for you to do something…anything…that they can pounce on and say, “Ah ha! You are bad!”
Girls are taught to share and take turns from an early age. As toddlers they are told to take turns with the baby doll and stroller. Later as young children, it becomes “Ok, now it’s Jane’s turn to be the teacher and you be the student.” Older children who excel at a sport are talked about behind their back (or in front of them). Later in life, a woman who gets promoted is often scorned by her female colleagues. She’s seen as a turncoat to her former peers.
Life is not about taking turns.
It’s about hard work, talent, education, values, morals, and being a God-loving person. You can’t take short-cuts in life. No one should have to apologize for having good grades, earning multiple degrees, and experiencing professional success.
Crowds or serenity?
Crowds only at book signings, concerts, and when fangirling with my daughter. Serenity is my 18 month goal.
Sunglasses or shoes? (you have to choose!)
Really? I HAVE to choose? You are a tough interviewer. Sunglasses.
If you had to choose between fixing up your eyes or your lips, which would you choose?
This one is easy. Lips. I always have about twenty lipsticks with me. I hate hate hate dry lips and once you start wearing lipstick, you just can’t go back.
Your favorite thing about your: 20’s?
My education. Because of having multiple degrees (and graduating early from high school and my undergraduate college), I had so many opportunities that I simply wouldn’t have had without it.
That was a nondescript decade for me. I honestly cannot think of one thing that was my favorite about my 30s. Maybe rediscovering my love of horses?
Feeling like I am 20. I think my 40s rock! And frankly, I’m not so concerned about 50s creeping up. Someone mistook me for my son’s girlfriend in Colorado last week. #totallyserious. I suspect he should have been offended, but I was tickled pink for two days!
I agree, there is freedom in your 40’s! 40’s Girls Rock!Sarah, thank you for taking the time to chat with me. Hope you enjoyed some coffee!
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