The Debutante Ball Welcomes Sara Connell

Sara Connell is an author, speaker and life coach with a private practice in Chicago. Her writing has appeared in publications such as Good Housekeeping, Elle, Parenting, Mindful Metropolis, Psychobabble and Evolving Your Spirit magazine.  Her first book Bringing In Finn; An Extraordinary Surrogacy Story is out now.

Bringing in Finn is the true story of a couple who wanted nothing more than to have a family and a mother who would do anything for her daughter. After unsuccessfully trying to conceive naturally, years of fertility treatments, miscarriage and a late term loss of twins, Sara and Bill Connell were emotionally and financially depleted and at a loss as to how they could have a family. When Sara’s mother Kristine offered to be their surrogate, the three embark on the journey that would culminate in Finnean’s miraculous birth and complete a transformation of their at-one-time strained mother-daughter relationship.

We can’t wait to read it, Sara. And we’ll be sure to tune in when you appear on Nightline, Good Morning America and The View!  

And now for the interview:

Talk about one book that made an impact on you.

There are sooooo many.  Jeanette Walls’ The Glass Castle to me is a just-about-perfect memoir. Many days, before writing my book, I would read a few pages (or paragraphs- or a sentence) and be knocked almost breathless again with her incredible, unflinching, beautiful writing.

Also, Anita Diamante’s The Red Tent (particularly the first third).  Her descriptions are so rich that from the first pages I am transported to the cradle of civilization; I can taste the triangle honeycakes, ripe figs, I can smell the herbs pulled from the earth.  Her powerful, sensual women connect me to something powerful in myself and an appreciation that I share this with all women.

What talent do you wish you had?

Being funny.  My writing is funny here and there, but when I read or watch David Sedaris or Augusten Burroughs or Carrie Fisher, I laugh sometimes until I am in abdominal pain and I come away thinking the world and people are good.

What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Write what you love, know publication is possible and ignore the fatalistic comments that publishing is dead and no one gets an agent and no books sell anymore. (Many people said this to me- and I write this after attracting an agent and receiving a book deal with a generous advance).

Also, I hold to the guidance I received from writers I respect: focus on the craft.  If takes 10,000 hours for mastery of something, I remind myself daily to keep focused on the art and write, write, write, write, write.

What’s the strangest job you’ve ever had?

When I lived in London and was studying holistic medicine, I had the opportunity to apprentice with a husband and wife shaman team that lived in the north of England.  They were pretty well-known in certain circles in the UK and were called in when a house or estate was perceived as haunted.  The workshops I assisted in were healing workshops and did not involve (much) paranormal activity.  Still, the stories they told were-nail biting.

Do you have any phobias?

I’m somewhat of a germaphobe. I have several containers of hand sanitizer on me at all times.  Having a child has been interesting for this–today on a walk, my son (Finn) dragged the nozzle of his sippy cup across a rusted fender of a truck, picked up a wet cigarette butt and wiped some kind of slimy mud from the sidewalk on my leg. I considered it a victory that none of these things went into his or my mouth. I get lots of opportunity to practice letting go.

What’s your next big thing? (new book, new project, etc.)

Before writing Bringing In Finn, I wrote a draft of a book on female sexual dysfunction- also a memoir- and I’m really passionate about that subject.  I’ll be traveling some for Bringing In Finn and sometime this fall, I will start/resume next project.

Thanks very much, Sara!

To find more about Sara and her book, check her out online at:


Facebook:  Sara Connell (page)

Or follow her on Twitter:  @PowerOfTheFem

Great news! Sara has offered to give away a copy of Bringing in Finn to one lucky commenter (U.S. only). Just tell us, what’s the strangest job you’ve ever had? Can you beat Shaman healing??

12 Replies to “The Debutante Ball Welcomes Sara Connell”

  1. Thanks for being with us today, Sara! BRINGING IN FINN sounds like a fascinating story (who made the “Debs aren’t eligible to win” rule???) wishing you all the very best with it.

    As for strangest job? Well the most boring one I had was putting the sales tags on sunglasses. I did that for a whole day.

  2. Hi Sara! Welcome to the dance floor. Thanks for taking a spin with us today.

    BRINGING IN FINN sounds like a fantastic read–what an incredible story!

    I’m afraid I can’t compare to shaman’s assistant in the job department. I once assisted a farrier at a summer camp, holding the horse’s still while he put the shoes on them, but there was nothing mystical about it.

  3. Welcome, Sara! And thank you so much for visiting today and sharing your amazing story. I loved your anecdote about letting go–it’s so true–and I’m with you on the germaphobe thing: I never ever ever thought I’d be a mother who subscribes to the “five-second” rule!

    As far as weird jobs go, I’ve had more than my fair share (research, I say!). Probably the most upsetting one though was when I worked as a telemarketer for a dating service in LA. We’d get piles of those sweepstakes entries people used to fill out at grocery stores, cold call them and tell them “Someone they knew had a crush on them” and would they like to join the dating service to find out who? I don’t know which was more upsetting–that it wasn’t true, or how many clearly-unavailable men would ask in hushed tones if there was a number they could call back at a later time to find out more. Gah!

  4. I’m so excited to read this book! The craziest job I ever had…. Nothing nearly as interesting. I once interviewed to be the assistant to the editor in chief of Star magazine. It would have been very Devil Wears Prada but luckily I was able to get out of that one. Not sure if that would have been crazy or just miserable. Probably both!

  5. a great posting…loved it 😉
    a crazy job…does selling pizza at BINGO games count???
    thanks for the chance to read this fabulous novel.

  6. I was totally prepared to hate this book. The tabloidy premise, which is a non-fiction account about a woman who has difficulty carrying a pregnancy to term and uses her mother as a surrogate, could have gone horribly wrong in a lot of different ways. However, what I discovered was a very thoughtful account of the desire to mother that led the author to this very unusual decision.The author is a life coach and speaker by trade which is probably why the book is so grounded in terms of her ability to examine her feelings and motivations in an accessible and interesting way. Although I don’t have children and don’t particularly want them, her very passionate writing about her desire to have a child with her husband and her pain at not being able to do so made me feel very invested in her quest.I would warn anyone who has any sort of gynecological trauma in their past that Connell’s experience of miscarriage and the multitude of doctors she deals with in her quest to have a baby might be too painful to read. However, I would highly recommend book this for someone looking to investigate what IVF or other fertility treatments entail or for anyone who is interested in thinking more broadly about the meaning of mothering in our society.

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