Stiletto Storytime is so excited to present Sarah Pekkanen as our guest blogger today! What an honor. Pekkanen is the author of the already best selling The Opposite of Me, which is flying off the bookshelves on pre-order as we speak! I am so excited to have Sarah on my blog because not only is she an amazing writer, really nice person and one of the sassy debs of 2010….she is also a Mom. While I have struggled this past year with having my first child and learning to juggle life and parenting, I have sometimes felt I lost my identity when I had William. I realize now that so many women feel that way as well. Stiletto Storytime and my reading and writing on the side have been my way to cling to who I am without taking away from being Mommy… and without even knowing Sarah has written a post that speaks to my heart. Thanks so much Sarah for sharing and I am holding you to that toast together when I finish my book and get a deal…but only if we can each wear our fabulous ruffled heels while we do it ( mine will be hot pink)! As is the custom for many posters on Stiletto Storytime….Sarah has been kind enough to show a pair of sassy heels she herself is coveting at this time. Which only further proves that behind ever smart women is a great pair of heels! “Remember just like stilettos, reading never goes out of style.” Congrats again Sarah!
“I’m thrilled to be guest posting today to talk about my debut novel, The Opposite of Me. It’s the story of twin sisters who are complete opposites – or so they think. When people learn the premise, the first thing they ask me is whether I’m a twin. Nope; in fact, I don’t even have a sister. But I’ve always been intrigued by the complex relationships my friends have with their sisters, so I tried to make the relationship of my main characters, Lindsey and Alex, as juicy and competitive and loving and tangled as possible.
I’ve heard about twins who are so close that they create their own language, and can feel each other’s pain from miles away – but I wondered what would happen to twins who were completely different. What if two sisters had nothing in common, but were constantly being compared? How would that shape their relationship?
I also think it’s very common in families for children to get certain labels, either spoken or unspoken – like the “pretty sister,” the “smart one,” the “drama queen,” or the “peacemaker.” I’ve always been curious about how those labels are formed – are they really a true reflection of who we are inside? It’s interesting to me that we can go out into the world and re-invent oursevles as adults, yet when we go home to visit our families, they still see us through the lens our childhood roles. And sometimes, despite our best efforts, we get dragged kicking and screaming back into those roles!
So I took both of those notions and spun them around in my mind for a while before they turned into the premise of my novel. The intersection of those themes – sisterhood and identity – is the heart of my book. And the funny thing is, in writing it, I developed a new identity of my own: novelist. When I started my book, I was a stay-at-home Mom, spending my days cutting the crusts off sandwiches and chaperoning school field trips. But I’ve always dreamed of writing a novel, so I began bringing my laptop with me whenever I went. I even wrote some of The Opposite of Me at Chuck E. Cheese (I used to work in loud newsrooms so I find background noise oddly comforting). It was my own secret project – the little bit of “me”- that wasn’t consumed by taking care of my family.
Tuesday, March 9 is my debut day, and I’m going to go into a bookstore to find my novel on the shelf and just stare at it. In my purse, I’m going to carry the letter I wrote on Raggedy Ann stationery to a New York publisher long ago, asking when my book called “Miscellaneous Tales and Poems” would be published. It’s my favorite reminder that dreams really do come true.”
*Sarah Pekkanen is a former journalist whose debut novel, The Opposite of Me, will be published in six countries and five languages. It’s a Redbook magazine March book pick and has won an endorsement from #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner, who called it “Fresh and funny and satisfying. A terrific book about sisters that actually made me laugh out loud.”