The Deb Ball Welcomes Back Sarah Jio

A 2010-2011 Deb, Sarah Jio is the author of The Violets of March (Penguin/Plume), which was called “engrossing” by Redbook and “absorbing” by Woman’s Day and was a Library Journal Best Books of 2011 honoree. Her second novel, The Bungalow, will be published on December 27. Sarah recently sold her third, Blackberry Winter, and fourth, The Last Camellia, to Plume. She is the health and fitness blogger for Glamour and lives in Seattle with her husband and three young boys.

About The Bungalow (out on December 27):

Praised by Kristin Hannah and Karen White, The Bungalow is a novel that mixes history, romance and mystery. From the book jacket: “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.”

Sarah will be giving away a copy The Bungalow to a lucky Deb Ball reader! (Sorry, but she’s only able to mail within the US.) Just leave a comment below to enter.

Sarah takes the Deb Interview:

Talk about one thing that’s making you happy right now.

Books! I started my career in magazines, and while magazines will always hold a special place in my heart, it’s exciting to see my career in fiction take root and sprout. Just this year, I will have published my first two novels, written and sold my third, and sold my fourth (still have to write that one!). My debut novel has now been sold in five foreign countries, and I’ve just started working with a film agent in Hollywood (sometimes I let myself daydream about what I’d wear on the red carpet—just daydream, that’s all!!). This year has been so incredibly exciting, I frequently have to step back and take it all in, and remind myself of how hard I worked to get here and how incredibly lucky and blessed I am to do what I love. I adore telling stories and I will continue to write them as long as readers would like to read them.


Where do you love to be?

Home! There, now you know: I have no life! I’m such a chronic homebody. I used to dream about traveling the world, but in the last five years, after having three children, a funny thing has happened: I just want to stay home! It’s so cheesy to say this, but it’s true. I love my home in Seattle: My cozy bed with the nightstand stacked high with books and my notebook filled with dozens of new novel ideas, my Nespresso machine, our goofy golden retriever who’s always up to something naughty, my three boys and their menagerie of stuffed animals, my messy office with a window that looks out to a gorgeous sky. I love it all, and I’m so grateful for it.


Which talent do you wish you had?

I wish I could sing! Well! (Me and 4 million other people, right?) I have a horrible singing voice (even though I can beat my husband by leaps and bounds on our little Xbox Karaoke game (ha!). I would like to have Norah Jones’ singing voice, or maybe Rosemary Clooney. I would also like to knit and sew well. I attempted to make a dress once, and my husband announced, “It kind of looks like a sock.” It did. A great big dress-like sock. Which is why I do not sew anymore.


What time of day do you love best?

I love the late afternoons when I go on my jogs. I love the quiet, just me and my thoughts. It’s a nice break from the chaos at home (three boys under the age of five). I’ve come to love jogging in these past years for fitness reasons, but also for writing reasons: It’s where I get my very best novel ideas, character fixes and whole new concepts for plots. I always bring my Blackberry (in a black, Lululemon fanny pack, if you must know!) so I can email myself ideas as they come to me. Sometimes I stop a dozen times to send myself ideas. I realize that this is a bit ridiculous, but it works for me!


Share something that’s always guaranteed to make you laugh.

It’s all about SNL’s “Nuni” sketch. I watch this when I need to laugh, and it never fails me!


You can find Sarah on the internet in the following spots:


Doesn’t The Bungalow sound great? Don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win it!

25 Replies to “The Deb Ball Welcomes Back Sarah Jio”

  1. I’m a homebody who wishes she could sing, too! I’ve often said I took up writing as a creative outlet because my singing voice sucks.

    THE BUNGALOW sounds amazing! May it be every bit as successful as THE VIOLETS OF MARCH. 🙂

  2. No need to enter me to win. I’m Canadian, but I was also lucky enough to receive a copy of this already! I’ve read it and it’s wonderful!!!

    Don’t worry Sarah, I’m a homebody too! There is nowhere that I would rather be than at home with my hubby and three boys!

  3. THE BUNGALOW does sound great-like the perfect holiday read! Thanks for being with us today, Sarah. And by the way, aren’t all writers homebodies?

  4. Yay, Sarah! It’s really special to have you back here. And I LOVE your anecdote about emailing yourself ideas while you run–I can just imagine “stop, go, stop go”–I’m the same way on my walks–that to me is the best time to work through plot/character issues and come up with new ideas–but I’m going at a much slower pace, so it’s not as hard for me to stop! 😉

    Congratulations on THE BUNGALOW–it sounds (and looks, Oh that cover!) like an absolutely delicious read. Can’t wait.

  5. I absolutely loved VIOLETS, and I can’t wait to read THE BUNGALOW (and the third and fourth novels). Thanks for posting this lovely interview – Sarah seems to creative, kind and fun, her blog is also a treat to read.

  6. I jump when Sarah makes a suggestion; this was my introduction to the Nuni sketch on SNL.

    I’ve had my per-order in for THE BUNGALOW for months, but it would be so nice to win it.
    (Autographed would be even better.)

    Sarah and I have several things in common. Her boys have some of the characteristics
    my adult children had when they were small (some seemingly Asian connection); her sewing
    experience sounds much like mine. (Mine involved some kind of material that seemed to
    grow as I constructed the garment. I ended up giving the finished product to someone
    whose weight was twice as much as mine … and it fit her.)

    Please add my name for a chance to win THE BUNGALOW.

  7. VIOLETS was one of my very favorite books this year and I’m so excited that Sarah not only has another book out this month, but has sold her 3rd and 4th! Bora Bora is my dream honeymoon destination so I’d love the chance to read this book. It sounds divine!

  8. This book sounds so interesting. I haven’t read The Violets of March yet but I’d love a chance to be introduced to Sarah Jio’s work.

  9. Sarah AMAZES me. As a mommy of 3 little ones, I don’t know how she does it all, but I know that I am impressed by her writing. I am very much looking forward to The Bungalow!

  10. I adored The Violets of March, and am really looking forward to reading The Bungalow. I have to say, Sarah amazes me….how do you do it all!?!

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