Vassa in the Night Blog Tour: Question and Answer with Sarah Porter


sarah-porterI write stories that seem to me to be quite true enough for all practical purposes. Among them are VASSA IN THE NIGHT, THE LOST VOICES TRILOGY, and the forthcoming WHEN I CAST YOUR SHADOW and TENTACLE AND WING. Realism makes little sense to me and I experience more truth in the fantastic. I always have new novels underway, both Young Adult and Grownup/ Literary/ Speculative. When not writing my own weird stuff, I can often be found leading creative writing workshops with amazing young NYC public-school writers via Teachers & Writers Collaborative. Or I might be drawing, or gardening, or wandering wraithlike through the streets. I live in Brooklyn, land of mystery, with my awesome husband Todd and our two cats, Jub Jub and Delphine.




A lot of writers have written at different times about the things that impact their writing. For some it is the landscape they grew up/are living currently in and for others it is the time they live in or perhaps their economic situation. What has had the greatest impact on your writing–not just on what you write but on how you write? Impact not as in inspiration (though it might be that too) but something that comes after the inspiration.

Hi Nafiza, what a great question! Both VASSA and the book I have coming out next year, WHEN I CAST YOUR SHADOW, are set in Brooklyn within a few miles of my house, so there’s that. But for the greatest impact on my writing, I’d have to say my husband, Todd. It’s not just that he reads everything I’m working on, and gets emotionally engaged with the characters, and talks with me about them like they’re people we both know. It’s also that living with him has changed me in ways that constantly inform my work; there’s something about the security of being happy with him that I find very freeing creatively. And a lot of my books have their seeds in our conversations; you know, we’ll be talking crazy talk, spinning absurd ideas at each other, and suddenly I’ll go, “Oh! I’m going to put that in a book.” The magic dog skin in VASSA, and Picnic and Pangolin, are a couple of things which evolved that way.

More stops in the tour: