Sara Squared Double Debut Blog Tour: Author Guest Post With Sara Kocek


Sara Kocek has kindly agreed to guest post here about her work, and share her inspiration for becoming a writer in honor of her newest release, Promise Me Something.

 About The Author:



Sara Kocek is the author of Promise Me Something (Albert

Whitman Teen, 2013). She received her BA in English from Yale University and her MFA in Creative Writing from New York University, where she taught fiction and poetry to undergraduates. A freelance editor and college essay coach, Sara has served as the Program Director at the Writers’ League of Texas, a literary nonprofit. She is also the founder of Yellow Bird Editors, a team of freelance editors and writing coaches based in Austin, Texas.

Sara Kocek on the Web:
Official Page | Goodreads
 Guest Post:

Hi everyone! Sara Kocek here, author of the contemporary YA novel PROMISE ME SOMETHING (Albert Whitman Teen). Today I’m thrilled to be making a guest appearance here at Moonlight Gleam to talk about how I became a writer.

I’ve been making up stories since I was about 7 or 8 years old, but I didn’t always know I was a fiction writer. At first I thought I was a playwright. Later, in high school, I thought I was a journalist. It wasn’t until college that I realized I was meant to write novels—although in retrospect, it seems obvious.

You see, when I was a kid, I had a problem with the truth. To put it bluntly, the truth was boring. It just never sounded as cool as the alternate version inside my head.

The first lie I remember consciously deciding to tell was so minor it could probably be classified as an exaggeration. It was in second grade, and a snowstorm had just dumped two feet of snow in our yard. In my school journal, I wrote that the snow was so high, it “tickled” my chin when I stepped into it. My teacher didn’t praise my imagination or good verb usage. He just wrote in red ink: Really?

This little act of creative rebellion was followed by a series of other inconsequential lies throughout elementary and middle school. For instance, in fifth grade we had to write an essay titled, “What I Did Over My Summer Vacation.” It didn’t even occur to me to tell the truth. I wrote about travelling with my family to France and visiting the Eiffel tower. My teacher didn’t dock points because she had no way of knowing that it wasn’t true. After all, other kids travelled with their families. It could have been true except for the fact that it, well, wasn’t.

In high school, when I joined the school newspaper as a reporter, this little habit of “embellishing” grew problematic. I would find myself working on a news story, sneaking in untrue details for the sake of a rhythmic sentence or pleasing image. Once I wrote that someone was wearing a “fiery red shirt that matched the intensity in her eyes,” even though she was actually wearing a black and white polka dotted shirt. Another time, I wrote that the principal had a “sad, faraway look in her eyes” while describing school budget cuts, when in fact the interview was conducted over the phone.

Eventually, somewhere along the line, I finally realized there was a job for people like me—people who like to embellish. And that’s when I started writing my first novel. Writing fiction freed me in a way nothing else ever had. Suddenly I wasn’t lying anymore. I was using my imagination to tell the truth.

Thanks for following along on the blog tour, and thanks for reading!

About The Book:

Title: Promise Me Something
Author: Sara Kocek
Publication Date: September 1st, 2013
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
As if starting high school weren’t bad enough, Reyna Fey has to do so at a new school without her best friends. Reyna’s plan is to keep her head down, help her father recover from the car accident that almost took his life, and maybe even make some friends. And then Olive Barton notices her. Olive is not exactly the kind of new friend Reyna has in mind. The boys make fun of her, the girls want to fight her, and Olive seems to welcome the challenge. There’s something about Olive that Reyna can’t help but like. But when Reyna learns Olive’s secret, she must decide whether it’s better to be good friends with an outcast or fake friends with the popular kids. . . .before she loses Olive forever.


Find Promise Me Something Online:
Check out the next stop on the tour:

Friday, September 6

A Backwards Story

Joint Q&A and Signed Books Giveaway

Happy reading until next time!