Saturday, April 28, 2007

When I Was Just a Kid...Sarah Anne Sumpolec

When I Was Just a Kid...

Sarah Anne Sumpolec

This photo of Sarah sitting on the windowsill watching "blue gays" was snapped at Nana and Big Buddy's house. Right there you know that Sarah had an interesting childhood if she called her grandparents, Nana and Big Buddy (not to mention the blue jays.), She spent a lot of time with these grandparents when she was little. They were her "center" and the stable forces with a quiet faith that eventually impacted Sarah forever. They were the only ones in Sarah's family and life who loved God. Her life is a testimony for grandparents everywhere who fear that they have no influence on their grandchildren.

These days Sarah is centered with a Mighty Force (Jesus,)

influencing countless others, including her own three little girls. Whether she's appearing on the 700 Club and The Tyra Banks Show talking about her experience with witches in high school,.
teaching at writers' conferences,being interviewed in writer magazines
discussing her books for teen girls, or working with her husband in counseling, Sarah can't be kept quiet. She's going to tell a story, and you better listen up. She is deep into a new writing project and knowing Sarah, it's going to be something we want to see.

Let's see what Sarah has to say about some of her memories of the days she spent growing up:

Childhood Ambition: A writer, a doctor and a Broadway Star. One out of three ain’t bad.

Fondest Memory (then): Probably third grade. I remember visiting an elderly neighbor with Elizabeth, a friend of mine. Her name was Mrs. Latham and she fed us cookies and lemonade long before you had to worry about such things as being poisoned or kidnapped. We rode our bikes all over town without fear and bought penny candy at the ice cream shop out of those big glass bowls stocked with all sorts of wonderful things. I was a kid who moved around all the time, and Elizabeth was one of my dearest friends. Those years in Connecticut were some of my favorite.

Proudest Moment ( then): Getting to be Alice in our elementary school production of Alice in Wonderland. I was too little to realize then that I likely got the part because of my long blonde hair, and not because I was talented in any way. But back then, I felt chosen, and talented, and very proud to have gotten the role.

Biggest Challenge as a child or teen: Moving. I grew up being moved around from town to town, and state to state. During second grade alone we moved three times, with a total of about 14 in all. I made friends but kept everyone at a distance. It was just safer that way since I never knew when we might up and leave. It profoundly changed me and I wonder sometimes what I would have been like if I grew up understanding long-term relationships. And it’s probably why I’ve lived in the same town for the last 17 years – I just can’t bear to pull up the roots that I have finally built.

My First Job: Working at my father’s video store, “The Video Store”, back when there was Beta and VHS. I was probably 14 or 15. I learned how to do basic repairs on VCR’s and videotapes and worked the counter with two chain-smoking women.

[Editor Crystal's note: Wow. Sarah not only knew how to program a VCR, but could fix them! She is awesome.]

Childhood indulgence: Stickers. I spent so much money on stickers. I had albums full of the things. It was a cultural phenomenon at the time, trading stickers with your friends, and I was smack in the center of the hype. I still have a couple of my E.T. stickers, some puffy Michael Jackson ones and a few of the jelly filled ones even survived. Their “stickiness” has long since worn off but the sight of them brings back fond memories.

Favorite Outfit as a Child: I had these awful brown corduroy knickers with argyle socks and a little jacket that rounded out the outfit. I loved that outfit. Though, now, I hardly know why.

Favorite Childhood Movie: Anne of Green Gables. I wore those tapes out. I also adored “Little House on the Prairie” and dreamed of going back in time to give them money or gum – two things I really felt they would have liked.

Favorite Childhood Book: The Shoe books from Noel Streatfeild. There were several; Circus Shoes, Dancing Shoes, Skating Shoes – I loved them all but I think Circus Shoes was my favorite of the group. What kid doesn’t dream of growing up in a circus? I also adored Someday, Angeline by Louis Sacher. I so identified with Angeline – feeling all out of place.

Childhood Hero: The fictional girls in my books were my heroes so I had many – whatever I was reading at the time. I wanted to be Harriet the Spy or become a writer like Anne. I dreamed of spending the night in a museum or reading smelly books with Angeline. I know it’s so cliché for an author to love books, but it’s who I was. Books kept me grounded while the world underneath me shifted.

I would probably consider my childhood “hard” but I cannot deny that it shaped who I was in profound and lasting ways. And that’s not a bad thing. While it’s easy to say “Oh, I wish things had been better while I was growing up”, I’m grateful for almost every experience I’ve had. My imagination helped me to get through those years, and it’s my imagination that helps me fulfill the calling I have now. I wouldn’t trade my difficult childhood for an idyllic one – because then I wouldn’t be who I am today.

You can find Sarah at all sorts of places online so try checking her out:

ShoutLife – A Christian community. She hosts two group message boards there:
Girls & God (listed under Society/Teen Life)
Totally Unfamous Thoughts (listed under Society/Teen Life) Home page there is

Girls, God & The Good Life – A live daily blog featuring eleven YA authors who happen to care about teens and twenty-somethings. Don’t miss your daily dose!
MySpace – While Sarah mostly interacts over at ShoutLife, she also has a MySpace page at:

Don't forget to look at her web site and her blog where she talks about her life and books and ministries:
web site,


And if you have teen girls send them to:

For Teen girls:

NOW, here's something different and FUN:

Read Sarah's online story of Lucy Madison here.

a) An experiment b) A one-of-a-kind book c) a story told in blog form d) a story told in poetry e) all of the above

Answer? E) All of the ABOVE!

From the Totally Unfamous blog:
"Totally Unfamous came about because of…you! I was receiving so many letters from fans of the Becoming Beka series begging for more books that I just had to think of something! I wasn’t ready to write the rest of Beka’s story yet, so I decided to embark on a spin-off. I started thinking about telling Lucy’s story but “she” kept wanting me to tell it through poems. I loved the idea and fell in love with this type of story-telling. I hope you will love it, too. This is a way for my fabulous fans to have a new story without waiting forever. No worries, I’m still at work on projects that will become actual books, but for now, I hope you grow to love Lucy as much as I have.

In “Totally Unfamous” you will find Lucy at seventeen years old, a little more than two years after the Beka series ends with The Encore. Every day (with permission to beg off a day here and there) I will post several new pages of the story. You can read along as I post or you can wait until it’s all online and read it from beginning to end. Whatever you’d like!"

Books by Sarah Anne Sumpolec:

Becoming Beka, a young adult series from Moody Publishers
1. The Masquerade
2. The Alliance
3. The Passage
4. The Reveal
5. The Encore

1 comment:

LeAnne Benfield Martin said...

I love this series and enjoyed learning so much about Sarah. You are doing a great job, Crystal.

I also like the new look of the blog.

Keep up the good work!