This Sunday, our guest is a native Southern Californian author who lives in Berlin.
I’m so thrilled to introduce…
Thank you for inviting me to your blog, Elisabeth! I’m so excited to finally share my new release, Everything the Heart Wants, and to get to be a guest author today!
Q. Describe yourself with three adjectives.
A. Talkative. Passionate. Accident-prone.
Q. Choose three adjectives for your last novel, Everything The Heart Wants.
A. Hopeful. Encouraging. Heartfelt
Q. What inspired you to write Everything The Heart Wants?
A. All of my friends and I have crossed into the 30 zone and with that have come a lot of heart-to-hearts about life, the future, our hopes, dreams, and reflections on our college days and where we thought we’d be in life come our thirties. Of course, talk of starting (or not starting) a family is a significant topic. These conversations and musings played very big roles in my writing ETHW. My new novel touches on a lot of deep and weighty themes that I think many women can relate to.
Q. Who was your favorite character to write and why?
A. As with most of my novels, the leading lady steals my heart most and Halley was no exception. I loved getting into her head and figuring out what made her tick, how she loved, and why she would make the decisions she did. She’s passionate and strong yet at a crossroads where she needs to rely not only on her inner courage that she has to dig down deep and find, but on her sister and best friends who are a fantastic network. (Although, they come with their own sets of troubles, too!) Together they help each other navigate their crazy, unexpected thirties. I also really loved writing Halley’s father. As with all the people in Halley’s life, her father is an important figure and helps her find her way in a really sweet, organic, and hopeful way.
Q. What was the funny part about writing your last novel?
A. A lot of the Marian scenes were super fun! I love writing zany female characters. Marian’s a very bold woman and I love everything about her and her friendship with Halley. There were also some actual laugh-out-loud moments I had when writing Halley+Adam scenes.
Q. Could you quote a paragraph of one of your novels which best represents Savannah?
A. From Everything the Heart Wants: “Like a comet, I’ve got to rocket to the edge of the solar system and back, fearless, shining in the sky and burning bright on the journey that is this messy and complicated, and nuanced, big beautiful life.” I try to remind myself of this when I’m in a rut or feeling down or unsure of things.
Q. What inspires you to write?
A. I always write the book I want to read. I read a lot, and my mind is always churning with characters and storylines I could create and fall in love with. I joke that I live in fantasyland most of the time, and I suppose most fiction writers (and avid readers) do. Getting to escape into a different world where anything and everything is possible, getting to create unique people and dynamic relationships, coming up with hijinks, drama, incredible shows of friendship, and heart-fluttering romances and love scenes—all of it!—is such fun and makes for the BEST job on the planet.
All of my books are inspired by some event, or something—big or small—or someone. At least a portion of each book is inspired by that something real. Inspiration is everywhere so I can’t help but draw from firsthand emotion and experience when I sit down with the plotting notebook. For instance, there were the real-life conversations I mentioned that inspired Everything the Heart Wants. For my When Girlfriends series the seed for the concept of six eclectic girlfriends sharing a series was inspired by my having my own circle of eclectic college girlfriends. I was fascinated by the fact that we’re all quite different from one another yet find commonalities and share wonderful friendships, and even after all these years and all the distance we’re still besties. And my great grandmother’s kumquat tree played a very large role in the creation of A Sister’s Place. Like I said, inspiration is everywhere!
Q. If you could be one of your characters for a day, who would it be and why?
A. I love travel so a side of me would say Emily, from my When Girlfriends series (When Girlfriends Take Chances). She’s a serious globe trekker. But I also love the wild and carefree spirit of Juliette in A Sister’s Place who’s also a super sweet and supportive sister. Jackie (When Girlfriends Let Go) lives a very charmed life so that would make for an interesting day of luxury….
Q. Is there a genre you want to experiment with?
A. Though I feel women’s fiction is my true calling, I’m excited to branch out a bit next year. It’s been a long work-in-progress, but I’m working on a New Adult Romance trilogy. I will be releasing the first installment (and hopefully more) in 2018.
Q. What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?
A. What always pops into my head when I get this question is a comment from a fan of my When Girlfriends series, sharing that my books helped her get through a very difficult time she had with her young son who was in hospital. That little bit of escape my series could offer her during such a time was the most amazing comment. I truly feel that if my books can bring help or meaning like that to just one person then I’ve done my job.
Q. Could you share with us a habit Savannah really enjoys in her daily life?
A. Cuddling with my little Goldendoodle, Hurley. He is so warm and furry and cuddly, and loves hugs. Having him by my feet while I read, write, or watch Netflix, with a tasty cappuccino, makes every day fantastic!
Q. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
A. With many more books written and hopefully holed up somewhere warmer! 🙂 I love Berlin but I wouldn’t mind living somewhere with a bit more sunshine and warmer weather, if even for part of the year.
Q. Could you share a happy photo of you and tell us more about that moment?
My husband and I love roadtripping to Tuscany, and our dog Hurley is always a great travel buddy. Here we’re taking a break from the wine-tasting and sightseeing in my favorite Tuscan town, Montepulciano.
Thank you, Savannah, for being such an amazing guest!
Thank you again, Elisabeth. I really appreciate the invitation!
Savannah has offered a copy of her last book, Everything The Heart Wants. (Paperback, ebook, or audiobook).