Sarah Jamila Stevenson * author * artist return to home page

Frequently Asked Questions

What's your book about?
Funny you should ask that.

Is there a discussion guide for teachers or book clubs available for The Latte Rebellion?
Yes, and you can download a PDF here.

Cartoon

Where do you get your ideas?
I hereby present you with this answer in handy cartoon form, at right:

Is that your handwriting on the cover of The Latte Rebellion?
As you've probably figured out from looking at that cartoon, no. However, those doodles on the napkin are mine. You'll find those and more inside the book.

Can I buy a Latte Rebellion t-shirt like the ones in the book?
Why, yes, you can. You can buy coffee mugs, too. $1 of every purchase goes to Reading Is Fundamental.

I'm doing a report or project for school and need biographical information.
Here are a few facts that should be useful enough for scholastic purposes yet not so informative that you could go around pretending to be me, not that you'd want to do that:

  • I was born near Los Angeles, CA and grew up in Southern California in a town about an hour away from everything good.
  • Now I live in Northern California, a couple of hours from San Francisco, in a town about two hours away from everything good. A little quiet, but helpful for getting a lot of writing done.
  • I went to college at UC Berkeley, which is when I decided to stay here in Northern California. I also studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and Mills College for graduate school.
  • I live with my husband, who is also an artist, two cats, and more spiders than I would ideally like. I guess if we're being really technical I also house gazillions of organisms in my digestive tract, too. No, no kids.

How did you become an author?
My original plan wasn't to become an author. I always liked writing, but I planned to be an artist or illustrator. I studied art in college. After I graduated, for a couple of years I worked at a website where I did a little writing on the side, even though my main job was in the marketing department. I remembered how much I enjoyed writing and felt like it was something I was good at, so I took a fiction writing class to see if I wanted to pursue it further. I really liked it and decided to go back to school for creative writing.

One I was done with that, I kept writing and trying to get published. I sent my work out to a lot of literary agents and publishers, and at first I got lots of rejections. But over time my persistence paid off and Flux offered me a book contract. I had to do some revisions and edits to the story to get it ready for publication, which was a lot of work but a really interesting process. In the end it made the book MUCH better. That was The Latte Rebellion, which is my first book.

What's it like to be an author? Do you just sit around all day in a cafe thinking up brilliant ideas and signing books?
That sounds pretty good. Anyone know how I can arrange that? Also, can I get some loyal minions to do my bidding? No? Okay. Darn.

I'm sorry to say there is a shortage of minions in the writing profession. There is also a surplus of sitting at the computer. Nevertheless, I feel amazingly lucky to be an author. However, it's also a LOT of work. Like many authors, I have a "day job"--mine is freelance writing, editing and graphic design, so I do a lot of other things besides writing books, and I always feel like I'm busy.

Reading is an important part of my job as a writer--I love to read, so that's perfect for me. From time to time I also visit schools and libraries to talk about my book or about writing. As an author, you spend a lot of time sitting alone at the computer and working, so I make an effort to get out every so often and meet with other writers or go to a writing conference. I also have a writing group--every week I get together with a handful of other YA authors in an online chat room and we read and talk about each other's writing projects. Besides helping me stay connected, the writing group is a valuable source of feedback about what I'm working on.

What else do you do with your time? Do you have any hobbies?
What's a hobby? ...Just kidding. Kinda. I read as much as possible, of course. I also enjoy traveling, blogging/Twitter, doing artwork (mostly drawing and printmaking), cooking (and eating, although I'm not sure that qualifies as a hobby), and playing video games. I probably watch too much TV. I like music--I've been to a LOT of concerts. (How many? I lost count. Seriously.) I'm also learning to play the ukulele.