1. Did you put parts of yourself or people you know into Brooke and Kathryn?
I think there are bits and pieces of me in both characters. Brooke hates BS. She knows what she wants to do with her life, and she’s determined to succeed. I’ve also got a touch of Kathryn’s melancholy—her penchant for taking the world on her shoulders. Kathryn’s a worrier, and I am, too.
2. While writing RIVAL did you have a specific song you listened to over and over?
There are a few songs that put me in the right mood. Tori Amos’ “Cornflake Girl” and “Bells for Her” really say a lot about what I was trying to accomplish with RIVAL. “Sing” by Travis sort of sums up the whole book. And this will sound funny, but the other day my daughter was listening to Jordan Sparks, and the song “Battlefield” reminded me of RIVAL – “You better go and get your armor!” I’ve got a playlist of songs that helped inspire RIVAL at thttp://www.sarabennettwealer.
3. If RIVAL was made into a movie who would you imagine playing Brooke and Kathryn?
Oh man, that’s really hard! Natalie Portman is way too old, of course, but she’s got the look I envisioned as I wrote Kathryn. For Brooke, I need an actress who’s tall and imposing and just commands respect. Someone not too beautiful, but more uniquely attractive. Help me out! Can you think of any teen actresses today who fit that description?
4. What musical instrument is your favorite to listen to or play?
I only play the piano, and not very well. But I love listening to the cello. I also love a clear lyric soprano singer.
5. Do you have a certain memory that you remember most from your senior year?
I remember singing “What’s New?” with the jazz band in the talent show. It was memorable for two reasons: #1, my newly ex-boyfriend was in the audience, and I had this fantasy that the song would speak to him and he’d see me onstage and realize how much he wanted to be with me, and we’d get back together and ride off into the sunset. Didn’t happen. But (here’s reason #2), someone else in the audience liked what they saw—it was the leader of a local big band, and he asked me to be his singer. I ended up traveling around with this great bunch of guys, singing songs like “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree” and “You Make Me Feel So Young” at old folk dances. I wasn’t the best singer, but I did look nice sitting on a stool in front of the band in my little black dress. That’s really why they hired me. And every now and then they let me play the maracas. :)
Thanks so much, Sara! For more info on Sara visit her website or check out my review of RIVAL.
I also have a finished copy of RIVAL to giveaway to one lucky winner. US Only. Ends February 17.