Deb Sarah on Change, and (**Cheesiness Alert**) Channeling Anne of Green Gables

The Debs and I mentioned our movie preferences in a recent newsflash post, where I confessed to my cheeseball taste in film (bring on the flicks of the 1940s!). I failed to tell you about a time in my life when I think I wanted to be Anne of Green Gables (you know, the cheeky red-headed heroine in L.M. Montgomery’s beloved series). I read the books and watched the movies over and over again (I even had an Anne of Green Gables Cookbook–raspberry cordial anyone?). And, given the topic this week on The Ball, I can’t help but think of Anne Shirley and how Montgomery so brilliantly portrayed Anne’s fear of change–something that’s resonated with me my entire life and has carried through, in some ways, to my writing.

“Why does everyone have to change? Why can’t we go on being the same?” Anne asks (I’m paraphrasing, here) in an early book as she watches her childhood friends marrying, going off to college, changing. I connected so much with her agony over watching her world fall apart when her friends move on, and away from Green Gables. It’s a concept that I’m using in my second novel, and I’m really enjoying seeing my characters react to the change around them, especially when it takes them to frightening, lonely and sometimes dark places.

Speaking of change, I have a lot on the horizon in my own life–another baby being born (February), a book debuting (August), and the completion of a second novel somewhere in the mix. I feel a little like Anne in my fear of how it will all come together, and yet I’m terribly excited to be apart of it all too.

Writers, is the element of change a strong focus in your novels? Readers and non-writers alike, do you side with Anne and dread life changing around you?

xo, Sarah

P.S. I can’t wait to show you all my book cover (just recently designed by the brilliant folks at Penguin). When I have the green light from my editor–you’ll all get a first look! (I admit, I stare at it all day long–it’s such a fun reminder that this is actually real!)

6 Replies to “Deb Sarah on Change, and (**Cheesiness Alert**) Channeling Anne of Green Gables”

  1. I am terrible. I’ve never read Anne of Green Gables. I might have seen a movie version at some point, but I don’t think I’ve ever read it.

    I think change around you is only scary if you’re not changing as well (and I mean good change, like you mentioned – growing up, marriages, etc). So maybe the answer is when change is overwhelming, to change yourself?

  2. I love Anne.. The PBS series was a wonderful adaptation. Change is like a buffet – for all the petit fours and mini cheesecakes at one end, there’s a big old section of bean salad, hard boiled eggs and cauliflower (yuck x3 for me.) But a baby needs LOTS of changes and I envy you having a little one on the way. I miss babies!

  3. I love Anne of Green Gables! Where did you get an Anne of Green Gables cookbook? Because I need that in my life…
    It does scare me when everyone else around me is changing and I feel like I’m stuck in more of the same. But for the most part, I think change is good and usually really exciting.

  4. I’m with Eleanor — never Anne’d. I have a friend who’s obsessed with her, though, and could give you a run for your money on that score.

    In high school I dreaded change. I remember talking to all my friends about what would happen when we went to college and the “hellish invaders” would enter our lives and rip apart the little world we knew and loved.

    Once that was nowhere near the disaster I’d imagined, I started loving change. Absolutely it can be a little nerve-wracking, but it’s far more exciting.

    It’s actually a LACK of change that scares me more. I freak out when I look at mistakes I make and realize they’re the same ones I’ve repeated again and again in my life. Yeesh.

  5. I love Anne – I used to want to be her so bad when I was younger, I even dressed up as her for book day at school – only to find that not one single person had any idea who I was and I was devastated (I’m also relatively sure that my love of red hair comes from reading this book). Anyway, change, I think it’s inevitable to include it any stories as that’s what I find interesting – how a character changes because of whatever happens in the book. However, as a person, I used to find change incredibly frightening but now have learned to see it as a positive thing that gives you a chance to do things better/different.

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