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Sara Farizan on Chucky Dolls, an Evil Pinball Machine and Writing Horror

On the podcast: Sara Farizan shares her love and fear of spooky stories and how she developed her first horror novel for young adult readers.

Find the full transcript after the Episode Notes.

Episode notes

Alumna and Creative Writing faculty Sara Farizan ’12 talks about her first YA horror novel, Dead Flip, a not-too-scary of nostalgia, friendship, and an evil pinball machine with Stranger Things vibes. In this episode, she gives advice for writers about writing in a new genre and shares her own fears of Chucky Dolls, Stephen King novels, and more!

Dead Flip book cover - retro image with characters
"Dead Flip" by Sara Farizan

About our guest

Sara Farizan (she/her) watches ‘90s cartoons and ‘80s commercials to relax, and loves pinball but is wary of certain games.

She is the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of the young adult novels Here to Stay, Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel, and the Lambda Literary award-winning If You Could Be Mine, which was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 Best YA Books of All Time.

Her upcoming novel Dead Flip is her favorite book she’s written. She has short stories in the anthologies Fresh Ink, All Out, The Radical Element, Hungry Hearts, Come On In, and Fools in Love. She also had a dream come true in writing a DC Comics middle-grade graphic novel, My Buddy, Killer Croc.

She lives in Massachusetts and thanks you for reading her work.

More about Sara:

Find all of our episodes, show notes, and transcripts on our podcast page or just go ahead and follow us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play Spotify or your podcast player of choice.

  • Transcript

    Georgia  

    Welcome to a spooky edition of Why We Write, a podcast of Lesley University that's all about books, writing and the writing life.

    Music 

    (Scary Violin)

    Georgia  

    We don't get to talk about scary stories much on the podcast, but today we're discussing horror with lambda award winning author Sara Farizan. Sara is a Lesley alum and a faculty member who published two books this year. One is a graphic novel called "My Buddy, Killer Croc." And the other one which we're really going to dig into today is called "Dead Flip." It's a wonderfully creepy young adult novel about friendship, nostalgia and an evil pinball machine. I'm Georgia Sparling, and here's my interview with Sara Farizan.

    Music 

    (Psycho Music)

    Georgia  

    Sara, welcome back to Why We Write.

    Sara 

    Hi, thanks, Georgia. It's great to be back.

    Georgia  

    And you were a guest way back on episode 17. At that time, we talked about "Here to Stay." Yeah, with my colleague, Emily Earle. And this book, I feel like in a lot of ways is related to your previous novels, but it's scary.

    Sara 

    Yes! (Laugh)

    Georgia  

    What prompted you to write a horror novel?

    Sara 

    Oh, I've always I, 1) I didn't think I would be able to do it. I still don't think it's as scary as I think pure horror is. But a lot of the books and a lot of the media I enjoyed as a kid had to do with spooky things and creepy things and horror and supernatural stuff. So I grew up on like John Bellairs books, which were mystery children's books. I loved a lot of movies like "The Monster Squad" or "The Lost Boys." "The Stuff," "Ghostbusters," a lot of 90s programs, so "Eerie, Indiana," "Tales from the Crypt," "Goosebumps," the series and the show. Yeah.

    Georgia  

    No one has seen Eerie, Indiana except you and me.

    Sara 

    So Eerie, Indiana for those who are unfamiliar, it's free and available on YouTube. It was basically pitched as like a Twilight Zone for kids. And it starred a young Omri Katz from "Hocus Pocus.” And it was a Joe Dante created show and I love Joe Dante. Joe Dante is the director of "Gremlins." Joe Dante is the director of one of my favorite movies that nobody's seen called "Matinee." So he has a very, like, horror comedy stuff that I like. So I like my things scary, but also with a bunch of humor and, you know, if you're writing for kids, like things kind of turn out, okay, and the like, okayish. So, you know, I want people to be to be in suspense and, but I also want them to have a good time and feel the way those things made me feel as a kid where it's like, everything was fine, or was it?

    Music 

    (Scary violin)

    Sara 

    You know, my three previous novels have a lot to do with, with identity and a lot to do with, like, how you see yourself in the world when the world is sort of not really complying to who you are or what you want to be. And this does that too, it's just under the guise of a pinball machine that may or may not be eating people. So I've written a story that's about, you know, literally outgrowing a friendship, in a supernatural way. So it talks about a lot of the themes that I do in my work, it's just now it's, and I think you can do that with horror, or you can talk about a lot of serious stuff where a lot of poignant stuff without it being didactic or, after school, especially or, you know, it's like, there are kids that share aspects of my identity that get to go on the adventure, rather than having to be the subject of like, why is prejudice bad? Or, you know, that kind of thing? Here, they get to, you know, solve a mystery, and explore identity stuff within that.

    Georgia  

    Yeah. And there's three kids at the center of your book, Maz, Cory and Sam. And it's, like set in the ’80s and the ’90s, so why did you pick this particular time period to set your story in.

    Sara 

    I just, you know, I was a kid in the '90s, mostly, although in ’87, when the flashback chapters are, I was 3, so it's not, I don't really I didn't live much of it. I think it's really paying homage to a lot of that media and a lot of how that stuff makes me feel. And it's a lot of my, hobbies are '80s and '90s related. So when I was working customer service, like I'd have another screen going, that had just like YouTube commercials of '80s commercials. That was like my ASMR. Like background noise. And also, you know, I think I wanted to get over my hang up of like nostalgia, because I think sometimes I had a tendency to, like, a lot of my hobbies or interests were rooted in nostalgic things, and why is that? And nostalgia can be great, and it can be fun, and it can be sort of like, "yeah, remember that?" Yeah. But also, with nostalgia. There's a bittersweet element of being like, Was it really that great, I don't think it was and for whom. So I think I wanted to explore a lot of those things. And that people have been comparing it to "Stranger Things" I'm okay with, because I love that show. And, I'm, I'd be fine with the comparison, because that show is amazing and immense. And you know, but but I think it's just, I really just wanted to have a lot of fun. And I think for me, as a kid, you remember, your childhood is like fun times, even when fun times weren't happening for everybody, right? It's not like when people say, "Oh, the good old days", like, yes, there, are great things from your past or from when you were a child, but that doesn't mean that everything was rosy, rosy, you know, like they were not great stuff happening. This book also talks I mean, it doesn't explicitly but it brings up a lot of socio economic stuff that I think is so indicative of the ’80s and ’90s. Like, Bobby the economy's great, we're all doing well, aren't we? It's like, well, not everybody, and how that keeps some people behind and some people forward. And so it was just, I think, a time period that I was really excited to write about and would like to in future, but that also depends on if kids want to read it, you know, it is historical fiction. I mean, it's-

    Georgia  

    Right. Uh, that's weird.

    Sara 

    Yeah, it's a supernatural, you know, horror comedy, thing, that feels like a lot of those books and media that I enjoyed. But that's also to say, like, do kids want to read that? You know? So we'll see. But I hope so, and it was just a really joy to write. I mean, it took a lot of the earlier drafts were really are a lot different, and so I'm happy with the end result.

    Georgia  

    Yeah. And so the book is really, I mean, kind of we alluded to you, it's about three best friends, it starts, it starts in the ’90s, and then flashes back to the 80s, when something really big happened in their lives that they've kind of not gotten over. And you know, it really is a lot about like growing up, and how how friendships change are shaped, you know, just over time. So, you know, I'd love to get into talking about how you got ready to write this book, because it is funny at times. It's kind of scary. I mean, never, as you said, it's never like really gory. But what did you do to get yourself in their frame of mind to write the book.

    Sara 

    I mean, I didn't think they'd let me write this really, by they, I mean, my agent, I got her on the phone. And I was like, you know, I kind of want to write this book about a three childhood best friends, and two of them grow up to be seniors in high school and are estranged from each other. Because one of them went missing, you know, because pinball machine ate 'em. And he returns and he's still 12, and his friends who are now seniors have to deal with like, him coming back. And so she was like, Yeah, do that. I was like, great. Okay, I wrote 50 pages and an outline. Because I, you know, I still feel that I needed to show how it would work. Right. So I needed to show the flashback chapter and the, and the, kind of the tone of the thing, and I had a pretty solid outline, and even then, you know, like, in the first draft, there's a grandfather character, who was lovely and wonderful, but wasn't really serving the story. So in the final version, there's no grandfather character, and, and figuring out the voice of all three of the kids, the main kids and how each of them would sound different, how each of them would inhabit this adventure and situation. And also, you know, the people in their lives and making sure that they're fully fleshed out enough, but they're not taking away from the main three. And also figuring out how, how the, you know, getting sucked in the machine works and that situation, and how much do you want the audience to know or not know. So it took a while. I remember getting notes from another editor, Sarah Alpert, who really, I congrat like, I thank her a lot for this final project, because, you know, she was giving notes that, that I needed to hear, which were like, you know, just try and scare yourself. I'm a chicken, for sure, but I, you know, like, lots of things scare me. So it had to be something that would that would also scare people, readers, you know, it's a lot of patients, but I think I was just so like having such a good time. More and it wasn't so emotionally fraught, because, again, you know, a pinball machine that may or may not be eating people, you know, like there's emotional stuff in it. And, you know, in 87, they're in middle school, right, the three main kids and middle school, I think, is that age where you're figuring out who you are and who you want to hang out with, for the rest of your time and secondary school. And the different phases of friendship, like there's some people you hung out with an elementary school that you maybe didn't in middle school. And these three kids are trying to figure out like, where they each fit in, and the one friend Sam, who usually gets Cori and Maz in trouble, he's a bit immature, he doesn't really get with the program, whatever that means, you know what I mean? So I think that he goes missing then, and then these two kids feel guilty that one he went missing when they all were going trick or treating. And they feel bad, they weren't there with him. But they also feel guilty because they're like, kind of, like, we miss him. And it's sad, and we don't want anything bad to happen to our friend, but kind of a guilt of like, I'm glad that's over. Right. Like, I can get to high school and just be safe. And I don't have to, you know, worry about my friend, being like, "What makes you say that?" "Why are you acting so weird?" You know, its Sam the one to call them out on, they're not being truthful anymore. Like, you know, Cori is closeted, and, but she's putting on this veneer of, like, happy homecoming queen nominee, because she had an older sister who kind of taught her like, as a survival method that, like, your femininity and, and beauty will, will keep you safe and away. So she's done away with, like, all the stuff she used to like, as a kid like horror comics, and movie makeup and stuff like that, like special effects and, and then Maz he's, you know, he's trying to forget all about Sam and, and he's moving on. He's in a new neighborhood. He's in a new socio-economic bracket. He's at a prep school. He's, he's just running all the time. Like, literally, he's on the cross country team, because he just doesn't want to think about the past. And that's a lot of things true to like, going to a different country and, and having to deal with family stuff. And I think when Sam comes back from being away, and he's come back from a pinball machine, he's not saying why do the, to the other two, and I won't say it here in case anyone wants to read it. But, but, you know, he's the one to call them out on, on their being, not who they were. And people grow and people change. So there's things that Sam doesn't get like that, you know, these two might have also matured, right? So like, they've gone through life experiences that he hasn't. So it's an interesting dynamic to play with, where it's about literally outgrowing a friendship. But I think that's a universal thing that people can relate to whether or not their friend did get eaten by a pinball machine. They have some friends that were great when you were 11 but aren't so great when you're 30, lets say, you know.

    Georgia  

    So when talked about this a teeny bit earlier, but in writing a horror novel for younger readers, you can't go full Stephen King on them. What kind of boundaries did you set for yourself? Or did you ever have to rein in the story at times because it got too spooky or too gory?

    Sara 

    Um, I think there there's YA books that are going you know, a lot scarier than I did that are maybe an older YA. This one I always do sort of younger YA so kind of for kids that have maybe aged out of middle grade, but they're not quite ready for adult YA stuff yet, not adult but like more like towards junior, senior year, right? I feel like this is a good seventh, eighth, ninth grade, sophomore sort of book. A lot of it does have humor in it and it is kind of zany. There. There are moments of like suspense or like, gosh, I need to know what happens next, or, Oh man, that's so creepy. In my mind, horror is really the best kind of horror is usually character driven, because if you don't care what happens to the person you're reading about, then it's not that scary, right? You know, I relied a lot on the characters and what scares them, and what would be terrifying for them. And then also, you know, there's no blood and guts in this, things will turn out mostly okay. It'll keep you up at night, to read to want to find out what happens at the end. But I don't think it'll keep you up at night., like, oh, I can't sleep now. I hope not. I mean, if it does, great, but if it doesn't also great.

    Music 

    (Scary organ)

    Georgia  

    Though, I guess there, I feel like there's two different kinds of horror stories really, broadly speaking, one where you don't really believe any of it. You know, and then there's the other one where you're able to really suspend your belief.

    Sara 

    Yes!

    Georgia  

    What details do you feel like or techniques do you feel like you need to be employed to make a story feel credible, and like, where you can believe that there is a pinball machine that is eating people?

    Sara 

    I think it's a lot has to do with tone and a lot has to do with, again, liking and trusting the characters that are talking to you. Even if they're an unreliable narrator, which we don't we have a little bit here, but I won't say when. But I think it's just really being in in the present moment, right? So if a character is talking about something, and the way they're talking about it, or the way that they're reacting to it, is, is feasible. And also like, even if their reaction is like, I can't believe this is happening. You know, the reader might be like, neither do I, (Laughter) but at least, but at least if it's happening to theirs, then they're all like, even if they don't buy it at first, they buy into it later, it works. And also knowing like when you're reading when you start a story and figuring out what the tone of it is, right? So the tone of this is, it's it's friends in a mall who are reuniting and they haven't talked in a long time, and then you want to find out why they don't talk anymore. Which is not, you know, terribly ominous from the jump, but it's enough suspense that's like, Okay, what, what is it about? Like, you know, there's some, there's some breadcrumbs there about, like, why we don't talk anymore. And then the reader wants to keep going. And then you. And it should also evoke a lot of feelings of like, you know, a lot of media of the time that I'm, if I'm reading about '87, and '92, well, what was the medium at that time, so I'm harkening back to a lot of movies and TV shows and, how they sort of set up a story, right? It's a lot of studying what worked other mediums, and, and how a person gets invested in that. And if you don't have an arc, in which the characters go through changes, and if you don't have a, an arc about how things will be resolved, then then it's just sort of like, bonkers, you know? So. I don't know, I hope that when readers read and then, and they know what they're getting into, right? I mean, I think when you find when you see the cover of "Dead Flip," you're like, that looks like a ride. You know?  (Laugher) It looks like like a early '90s, late '80s movie poster of like, or like the Christopher Pike novel kind of thing. So I think there's some feeling of, okay, this is like, I'm going into this knowing that this is gonna be kind of a little off the wall. But also, I think people will be surprised that it has a lot of heart in it

    Georgia  

    Yeah, it definitely does.

    Sara 

    Yeah

    Georgia  

    Yeah, It's definitely bittersweet in a lot of places.

    Sara 

    Yeah.

    Georgia  

    So was there anything about the genre that you wanted to subvert when you were writing "Dead Flip?"

    Sara 

    Um, I think a bunch of things one is like, you know, but I think horror is a genre that's been all about subversion. You know, it's taking a lot of tropes and then making, putting them in a horror context, then you can play with them in so many different ways. And you can talk about stuff that maybe is not so easy to talk about in a contemporary story, you know? I think for me, it was just having, you know, like, Maz is Iranian American and Cori is a closeted lesbian and 1992. And, and Sam, you know, has a different socio-economic situation and he has a single dad. And also, you know, Cori is a big narrator in it and I think horror has, we've seen a lot of sort of feminist horror, I think there's also a lot of anti-feminist horror that seems to be just, that I think in the '70s, there was a lot of. But but, but it's just interesting to see like how many different things you can do within the genre. But I don't know that I think I just wanted to write something that that that was a good time. And that was paying homage to a lot of stuff I enjoyed as a young person. I'll say that this book feels like the most commercial of things that I've done, because I think I'm, I'm taking from commercial stuff, you know, like, all the things that you enjoyed, and commercial storytelling. I just loved when it was like October 1st, and on TV, just see all the ads for like, whatever special they had coming up. (Laughter) Anything like any kind of Halloween special, I'm just like a sucker for like, "Oh, no, that's great!" "Oh, that's so fun!"

    Georgia  

    Their the best episodes of the year. Yeah, Halloween episodes, the most creative, you know,

    Sara 

    and they're not always scary, scary, you know, because they're, they're doing it for like, you know, it's like an ABC sitcom, or like, whatever, that "Garfield's Halloween Adventure," you know, like things. I'm not saying that this is on par with that, but I just mean that. It's just so fun to be like, Oh, it's that time of year is here. Let's consume stuff that makes us get in that spirit. And, and so I would like to keep writing stuff like that. I mean, we'll see if the readers agree. (Laughter)

    Georgia  

    Yeah.

    Sara 

    Or if they're like, go back to your other stuff. I think just trying to learn and read more. And I just, I love Stephen King books so much, but there's some that I can't even go more than halfway. Like in "Pet Cemetery." When that cat came back. I was like, I'm done. I can't do it. I can't, I can't go on. Like there are other books that I just read voraciously and loved so much, and I love his new stuff. Like I really liked "The Institute." I like "Sleeping Beauties" he did with his son Owen, so but there are some books where I'm like, can't It's too scary. I feel like I've watched a lot of horror movies with my mom just to get over the fear of like childhood fear. Like I was terribly afraid of Chucky from "Child's Play." As a kid, I mean, the idea of like a doll coming to life and wanting to murder your family is terrifying, right? So for many, many years, like anytime he would come on TV of churn the channel, I would try not to think about him. Like he scared me a lot as a kid. When I was 24, and working at a Newberry comics, like some nights I'd have to like vacuum and help close up while the manager was like taking care of the register and all that stuff. And there was a Chucky doll. That was

    Georgia

    Oh no.

    Sara 

    …the lights were off and I have to vacuum you know, so sometimes I would vacuum it really fast, like while the light was still on, or I would just avoid that area.

    Music 

    (Evil doll laughter)

    Sara 

    I was like, I can't do this anymore. Like I can't let this stupid doll at my job, like, prevent me from like, like, I can't live in that fear anymore. So I sat down with mom was like, let's watch "Child's Play" this when I'm 24. So that 14 years ago, you know, her commentary was the best. She's like, it's just a stupid doll. I would just kick it. Like she wasn't, you know what I mean? And that helped a lot. But now like I love that show Chucky so much. I think I didn't realize the creator was gay Don Manzini, so it's been fun to watch it and like not I mean, this that scares and the kills I'm not, you know, they still scare me a little but you know, to not these things from childhood that no longer scare you. But then other things scare you more, like real life adult stuff, you know, current events and everything.

    Georgia  

    That's truly terrifying.

    Sara 

    Right. You can just kick the doll. Like you can't just kick the patriarchy and you can't just kick like current events. So-

    Georgia  

    yeah. What advice do you have for someone who maybe wants to try writing horror or just switching genres or you know, doing something a little different than they had before?

    Sara 

    I think it's it has to be a passion because you, whatever project you're working on, you're going to spend a lot of time on it. It's not going to be perfect at first and it's gonna take revision, and it's going to take a lot of time, right? So. So there has to be a love of it, right? It can't be like, Oh, I'm following this trend or Oh, that seems nice or whatever it's like, what is the thing you're passionate about? And how do you want to do it? I think it's reading a lot of the genre that you want to write about, and also consuming media that's within the genre you want to write about, I think it's doing research. So like, there was a lot of pop culture in this book that that was really natural for me. But then my editor was like, You need to cut some of this out, like, we don't care what kind of toothpaste they're using, or what kind of you know, like, I was getting too deep into this stuff. I think just try it out. And it doesn't have to be a whole book, just try out a short story. I've done a lot of short stories since being published. And those have been tremendous, because they've kind of let me do other stuff and other genres. So like 15 pages where you can try something out. And they're not all perfect, by any means. But they have given me the space to be like, Okay, let me try this. And let me see if this could work. And if I could have a go at it. Yeah, other advice is to just try it. Because there's so many ways that you can scare yourself out of trying something. It doesn't hurt, it's just between you and your notepad or computer. So, you know, give it a whirl. But I think read reading a lot in the genre that you want, to do. And if you're writing for kids getting into your inner kid voice, you might not know the slang kids are using these days, or what, what the pop culture is or what they're interested in, but you remember what it is to be a kid, right? So you just have to really have passion and be able to learn from what's not working and what isn't. I think some people can get stuck on like, well, I have to go back and revise the first bit or I have to, like, just keep pushing forward and then see what's working, what isn't. And then you can go back and change that.

    Georgia  

    Yeah, I think that's great advice. So we're almost out of time. But I did want to come back to the other book that you published this year, which came out same day, didn’t it come out the same day?

    Sara 

    It was supposed to and then it got pushed back a week. So it was like.

    Georgia  

    Okay,

    Sara 

    Back to back like so "My Buddy Killer Croc" came out September 6 of 2022. And that is a it's written by me and it's illustrated by Nicoletta Bulgari. It's with DC Comics. They're for kids line. And it's for ages 8 to 12. And it's just a dream come true, we worked really hard on it for a long time. So it's really great to see it in stores and, and it was in my local comic book store, and I was really thrilled to see it there. Oh, nice. The Outer Limits anyone ever Massachusetts area, it's a great store. But um, so yeah, these two books have really just been dreams of mine, right? Like I'm writing stuff that my younger self would have loved would have been like, Oh, this is so cool. Like you get to write about Gotham City. You know, or this is so cool. You get to write like, weird pinball machine eating people. You know, ’90s stuff. So it's just been a dream come true and "My Buddy Killer Croc" is for ages 8 to 12. And it's basically about a kid who's new to Gotham City, who's living with his aunt Meredith, and he's new at school. He is making some friends like his friend Maggie, but there are other bullies that aren't really a fan. And when he was a kid growing up in Florida, where he's from his favorite pro wrestler was Waylon Jones, otherwise known as Killer Croc. But in Gotham City Killer Croc is a is a supervillain Andy and Crock meet up again. And you know, in Crock teaches him wrestling moves, like stand up to bullies, but also he's not the hero that Andy thinks he is. So it's a it's a book that has a lot of nuance, and like, what makes a villain what doesn't like what choices do we make? I hope it's kind of a gateway book for a lot of young comic fans. Or kids who like really enjoy them or kids who don't but like will read this and then want to keep reading more.

    Georgia  

    And you've also got a book coming out in February.

    Sara 

    I do, yeah! You did your research.

    Georgia  

     I did. Yeah. Well, I went on Goodreads. Yeah, Goodreads is my source.

    Sara 

    But yeah, it’s with that some middle grade book with Scholastic called "Opportunity Knocks." And that's a real fun one. I think that's sort of a, I guess 11 year olds, Laverne and Shirley but with magical high jinks about what makes a person lucky. And what constitutes having luck in your life. So this this one girl, she, she's the main character, she feels like she hasn't found her thing at school, or like a club or whatever. And she finds this magical key. And it opens the door to Lady Luck coming through. And Lady Luck takes on the physique of whoever Lady Luck is helping, you know, so it's literally Opportunity is knocking, the two of them are sort of stuck together for a week, because per the rules of the key finding the key, you have to provide good luck to the Finder for about seven days. I think kids will have fun with that, too. And that's sort of the kick I'm on is I want to have fun. And I want kids to have fun. And also try and you know, sneak in some vegetables as it were. But I think I think sometimes in my earlier work like the vegetables, were maybe hitting people over the head a little bit. So now I'm trying to just sneak them in more with like, you know, you get them into the story first, and then the kids that I'm writing about, and then you can have some hopefully some lessons in there.

    Georgia  

    Yeah. Oh, that sounds really great. And I did want to mention your first two books, tell me again, how a crush should feel. And if you could be mine, which got lots of great reviews. So there's all kinds of backless books that people can catch up on. Read the whole catalogue.

    Sara 

    I think it'll be interesting to see readers who liked one thing, but then they read another and they're like, this is a different genre, or this is a different medium or this is a different age group. But I think they'll there'll be stuff that they like and all of them hopefully, and I don't know, I think for me, it's it's I'm very fortunate to do this writing isn't always easy. There's a lot of lonely times and a lot of like, when's my next project? And how am I going to make this work and that sort of thing. But I'm trying to lean in more into the like, how cool is it but you get to do this and how, like, how do I how do I keep doing it for as long as possible.

    Georgia  

    And I'll link to all of your books in the show notes and also where people can find you online.

    Sara 

    Thanks!

    Georgia  

    But thank you. Thank you so much for coming on today. Talk about your book.

    Sara 

    Hey, Georgia anytime. Thanks for having me. And I hope people have a really fun, spooky reading season in October.

    Georgia  

    Thank you for listening to this slightly experimental episode of Why We Write I hope it gets you in the mood to read something spooky this season or write your own story. Remember to check out our show notes where you'll find links to Sara's website and social media. I've also included our previous interview with Sara. I link to the transcript for this episode and more. Why We Write returns in two weeks with debut author Emily Huey, whose new historical novel centers on a young Japanese-American woman in the days before and after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss an episode.