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Sarah Dessen

El Templo #34 (junio 2013) por Lucía Gayo

In June you will strech your literary path with an eleventh book. How has Sarah Dessen changed as a writer since That Summer, your first novel, was published?

Well, I hope I’ve become better! I know that I have learned a lot. Every book teaches me something about my process, and they are all challenging in one way or another. I think, in my mind, the books have gotten more complex since THAT SUMMER. With your first, you are just trying to tell one good story. As you get more experience, you’re able to widen that story to include a few others in the book, as well.

In your full bio on your website you mention that becoming a YA writer was kind of involuntary. It also seems undeniable that realistic fiction is your genre of choice, as opposed to many YA authors who prefer fantasy. What attracts you of realistic teen novels?

I think I’m just writing what I know. I’ve never been much of a reader of fantasy, and I think you write what you, personally, enjoy reading. I wasn’t very happy in high school: it was a confusing and sort of sad time for me. I have a feeling these stories help me work that out, one different (and happier) ending at a time. 

In This Lullaby, Just Listen and Keeping the Moon, the three novels that have been translated into Spanish so far, you deal with topics such as anorexia, dysfunctional families and self-esteem. What do you think young readers seek when they read this type of novels?

I think readers are just looking for things that maybe they recognize or can relate to in the books. All three of those issues are things teens often do deal with during the high school years. I know that as an adolescent I found a lot of solace in the fact that someone in a book was sort of like me, even in some small way. It made me feel less alone. I hope that my books can do that for other girls.

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