We had a chance to chat with Sara Faring, whose new debut ‘The Tenth Girl’ is said to deliver a shocking twist and evoke memories of the Netflix show ‘Black Mirror.’
Read our Q&A (and see Sara’s sense of humor in action) below:
Q: What is the easiest way to brighten your day?
Q: What is your strangest hobby or interest?
I knew someone who collected old cream cheese containers, and while I’d like to borrow that answer, I don’t think my mother would ever forgive me.
Q: Do you prefer writing in silence? Or did you listen to music? If you listened to music, is there a certain playlist, album or artist you preferred listening to while you wrote?
I am something of a vampire who enjoys sucking the life out of the same song over and over and over while writing, until it loses its power to give me life and motivate me, at which point I must choose another song to sacrifice. My computer is a graveyard of once-loved songs that transport me to a specific scene at a specific time.
Q: What is the weirdest thing you had to google while researching The Tenth Girl?
I’m afraid everything I googled was strange. It’d be so unfair to pick “can I eat dreams?” when “the rich history of pleather” is also an option.
Q: Do you think a start in investment banking helped your writing career at all? Were any of the skills transferable?
I’d like to say it improved my work ethic, but I’d find myself craving the weeks of intense revision and complete immersion required by the publishing machine anyway—it’s just how I am, all caffeine & deep concentration or a very lazy receptacle for the world’s magic (including, but not limited to: street food, museum exhibitions, reality television).
My time in investment banking did help me understand, as a formerly shy person, that writing is an entrepreneurial career path requiring me to put myself out there time and time again, even when I’m too sensitive to stand it. We only have one life, after all, and I consciously decided to commit myself to making this work.
Q: Along the same lines – how does one go from JP Morgan to Penguin Random House?
Oh, goodness. Part of my commute to work at the time involved walking past the Random House headquarters on Broadway. Their lobby is glorious: cases and cases of books set against blond wood and softly lit so that each volume seems to glow from within. I realized during these walks (and with some kind intervention from a Wharton professor, Adam Grant, whose work I so admire) that working in books, my first love, would be taking a step closer to the best possible version of myself. I wrote an outlandish, soul-baring cover letter that caught the attention of my very special future boss, and the rest is history.
Q: I heard your first signing, at BookCon 2019, was a huge success! How did that feel? Were there any standout moments?
As writers, we work in a vacuum for so long—alone with our own work, seeking those glimmers of certainty we are crafting something special. To be faced with a line of eager readers at my very first signing was, as you might expect, extraordinary: an afternoon of affirmation I will replay in my mind for years. But here is the embarrassing truth: the entire afternoon was a standout moment, and I wanted to make it last. I asked every single cherished human being in that line for BBQ recommendations, for make-up tips, for a glimpse at their BookCon book haul… Anything and everything, just to bask in that moment a bit longer. They indulged me, and I shall always thank them for it.
(Oh, and also, we ran out of books to sign. I had to pull some from a secret stash. [Argentine fútbol player yelling Gooooooooool])
Q: What has been your biggest triumph during your publishing journey so far? (Other than, you know, being published in general.)
I view THE TENTH GIRL—particularly the ending—as a bat call to others in the world who obsess over the same existential (…and superficial) topics I do. Who view the world as an endlessly fascinating, oversized organism or machine of unimaginable parts, moving beautifully and frighteningly, at random and in tandem.
My biggest triumph is that a few readers have answered.
Q: Do you read a lot of horror, as well as write it? Do you plan on continuing to write horror?
I’ve begun to believe that horror is a feel, an atmosphere, a mood applied to a book (be it literary or commercial, science fiction or fantasy, whichever genre marker you want to apply…). What we writers share is this desire to upend the reader’s view of the safe and “normal” in life. If that is indeed horror, then I will read and write it forever.
Q: Describe The Tenth Girl in one word!