Skinny Dip with Sarah Sullivan

Sarah Sullivan
Sarah Sul­li­van

Bookol­o­gy is delight­ed to wel­come author Sarah Sul­li­van for an Octo­ber Skin­ny Dip. Look for Sarah’s A Day for Skat­ing, illus­trat­ed by Made­line Valen­tine (Can­dlewick Press, avail­able Novem­ber 5th), a love­ly book to read out loud before you go skat­ing or to explain what skat­ing is. Sarah’s pic­ture book Pass­ing the Music Down is a much-praised sto­ry about old-time fid­dlers inspired by the lives of renowned fid­dlers Melvin Wine and Jake Krack. It’s one of our cher­ished books. In All That’s Miss­ing, Sarah’s nov­el, young Arlo’s grand­fa­ther is slip­ping far­ther into demen­tia, rais­ing the specter of fos­ter care. Sarah is a thought­ful, wise storyteller.

My phi­los­o­phy:  One day at a time.  Do the best you can, but take time to be kind to oth­ers along the way. 

I don’t believe in: say­ing “it can’t be done,” until you’ve at least tried, (unless a task involves expos­ing your­self or oth­ers to phys­i­cal risk). 

The movie I watch when I want to laugh: Nobody’s Fool

If I could say one thing to my twen­ty-years-younger self, it would be: Hang in there. It’s going to get better.

I tell myself every day: Today you’re going to work on your nov­el, ride your bike or walk at least three miles, fix some­thing healthy for din­ner and stay away from the choco­late. I nev­er actu­al­ly check all four items off the list. Two is a good day. Three, I count as a win. 

What’s on my nightstand:

  • The Best Amer­i­can Short Sto­ries 2011, ed. Geral­dine Brooks
  • The Pio­neers, by David McCullough
  • The Time of Green Mag­ic, by Hilary McKay
  • Essays of E.B. White 
  • Olive, Again by Eliz­a­beth Strout (okay, it’s not there yet but it will be, as soon as my pre-order is deliv­ered!) 

Sarah Sullivan's Reading Pile

My hero is: I have sev­er­al heroes. Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg is cer­tain­ly one of them.

The scari­est book I’ve ever read: Bag of Bones by Stephen King. The first time I read it, I was by myself at home and had reached a par­tic­u­lar­ly unset­tling point in the sto­ry, when the bell rang and there was a police­man at my door. He told me some­one had just robbed my next-door neigh­bor and he want­ed to know if I had seen or heard any­thing unusu­al. It was a very strange afternoon.

I yearn to: vis­it Scot­land and Ire­land. I want to see the cas­tle in Edin­burgh. I want to see the Shet­land Islands. I want to wan­der the streets of Dublin and see the view from the cliffs of Moher. I want to see Cork where my great-grand­fa­ther was born.

The food I can’t resist:  POTATO CHIPS. Can’t let them in the house unless some­one promis­es to eat them all. Too tempting.

potato chips

The piece of cloth­ing in my clos­et I can’t let go: An Eddie Bauer rain­coat that I bought at a clear­ance sale for twelve dol­lars. Sad­ly, I had to toss it out a few weeks ago. It was falling apart.  But, for twen­ty-nine years it was the per­fect coat to stuff in a bag or throw in the car for any occa­sion. I will nev­er be able to replace it.

What I do when I want to feel joy: All I have to do is go out­side. Tak­ing a walk or rid­ing a bike through my neigh­bor­hood cheers me up imme­di­ate­ly. I can ride my bike in one direc­tion to a city park or in the oppo­site direc­tion to watch the sun rise over the York Riv­er. What more could you want? 

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4 years ago

Thanks for shar­ing with us, Sarah! And con­grats on your new book! It is beautiful.