Cat Johnson Braves Doll Lil’s Word Association Challenge!

Guests »

Cat Johnson Braves Doll Lil’s Word Association Challenge!

August 7, 2013 – 12:48 am | One Comment

I’m back from vacation and ready to get down and dirty finding new free and amazingly bargained books for you! But first this week I have something special. I convinced super hot and crazy talented …

Read the full story »
Home » Authors, Guests, Interviews, Sarah Jio

Interview: The Bungalow author Sarah Jio

Submitted by on January 26, 2012 – 7:00 am2 Comments

Everyone please welcome Sarah to Paperback Dolls! Sarah is the author of The Violets of March and her most recent release, The Bungalow. To find out more about Sarah or her novels, please visit her Website.

Sarah Jio is a Seattle-based magazine writer and the author of THE VIOLETS OF MARCH (out in May from Penguin/Plume). Sarah is also the health and fitness blogger for Her blog for Glamour, Vitamin G, reports on all aspects of women’s health and fitness. In addition, she is a women’s health contributor to, the web site of Woman’s Day magazine. She has written hundreds of articles for national magazines including Redbook, O, The Oprah Magazine, Cooking Light, Glamour, SELF, Real Simple, Fitness, Marie Claire, Hallmark magazine, Seventeen, Health, Bon Appetit, Gourmet, American Baby, Parents, Parenting, Kiwi, and many others. She has also appeared as a commentator on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Sarah has a degree in journalism and writes about topics that include food, nutrition, health, entertaining, travel, diet/weight loss, beauty, fitness, shopping, psychology, parenting and beyond. She frequently tests and develops recipes for major magazines. Website

Steph: I read that you have three young boys at home and yet you published two books in 2011 along with your magazine articles. How on earth do you find the time to write?

SJ: It boils down to two things: A.) I have a very supportive husband who helps me immensely with the kids, and B.) I watch very little TV and try to write every day. This means that after the kids are in bed (we strive for early bedtimes in this house), I rush down to my office and start writing. If we write a little every day, it’s surprising how it adds up!

Steph: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers out there?

SJ: I began my career in magazines, which I think helped a lot because it trained me to be a disciplined writer. So, my best advice for aspiring writers is simply to write every day and to exercise your creative muscles (because they really do need exercising, or you can feel rusty!). Also, I like to remind people that of the importance of being smitten with your own novel. In my opinion, the best way to write a great book is to be in love with the plot, the characters and the story. For readers to really love a story, the author must love it first. I hear about so many aspiring authors that work on a draft so long that they begin to hate their story. When in actuality, I think it must haunt you by day and keep you up at night. This is how you know it is going to be a page-turner for readers, too. I’ve given up on many early starts of novels that failed to keep me captivated and moved on to ones that had me hooked.

Steph: I love the way you merge the past with love and a present day mystery in your books it keeps me interested just as much in solving the mystery as the love story, how do you come up with your ideas?

SJ: I always say that my chronic disease is coming up with too many novel ideas. They come to me from every direction—songs I hear on the radio, snippets of conversations, various aspects of nature. My favorite thing about being a novelist is the idea-development process. I love to discover my newest story obsession.

Step: It seems in both of your books true love is interrupted by simple misunderstandings. Do you feel that this is often the case for people in love?

SJ: Yes and no. Fortunately, my own love story (I’m happily married—10 years and counting!) has not been punctuated by misunderstandings like those that have plagued my characters, but I know that love is a delicate dance, and I have seen things like pride and miscommunication destroy relationships of others. I guess, as a writer, I’m fascinated with the ways that simple, small things can change the course of a relationship.

Steph: Tell us a little about your next novel.

SJ: My third novel, Blackberry Winter, will be published by Penguin (Plume) in the fall (September 27). It’s a very special story to me, about a little boy who was lost in a late-season snowstorm that hit Seattle in May of 1933, When a very similar storm hits the city in May, some 80 years later, a young reporter at the Seattle Herald named Claire discovers the story of the missing child so long ago and vows to solve the mystery. In the process, she discovers shocking ties to her own life and circumstances. I dedicated the book to my little boys, and I’m so excited to share it with the world. I hope you’ll enjoy it!

Steph: Once again, thank you for taking time to stop by Paperback Dolls.

SJ: Thank you so much for having me!

A sweeping World War II saga of thwarted love, murder, and a long-lost painting.

In the summer of 1942, twenty-one-year-old Anne Calloway, newly engaged, sets off to serve in the Army Nurse Corps on the Pacific island of Bora-Bora. More exhilarated by the adventure of a lifetime than she ever was by her predictable fiancé, she is drawn to a mysterious soldier named Westry, and their friendship soon blossoms into hues as deep as the hibiscus flowers native to the island. Under the thatched roof of an abandoned beach bungalow, the two share a private world-until they witness a gruesome crime, Westry is suddenly redeployed, and the idyll vanishes into the winds of war.

A timeless story of enduring passion, The Bungalow chronicles Anne’s determination to discover the truth about the twin losses-of life, and of love-that have haunted her for seventy years.

Read Steph’s review of The Violets of March – here or The Bungalow – here.

Paperback Dolls is made up of women from different parts of the world, with different backgrounds, different tastes and beliefs that were brought together through a love of reading. We like to think of ourselves as a cyber version of "The View" that focuses on books, authors, and reading. We are proof positive that one common love can unite the most opposite of people and form lasting friendships that introduce other ways of life and perspectives to each other.
Paperback Dolls
View all posts by Paperback Dolls
s website


  • Mona Leigh says:

    Great interview! I love it when writers don’t sugarcoat the truth…it takes dedication and lots of help to write a novel. I look forward to reading your work.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Stephanie Vignal says:

    Mona, you are right it takes lots of work and I am amazed at how productive Sarah is with three young children! She is an inspiration.

    Reply to this comment »