Sarah Tomlinson was spirited into my life last month at the beautiful boutique Tavin, where I helped myself to way too much of the free chocolate and wine while Sarah read an excerpt from her upcoming third novel The Year of Mr. Nobody. The story, in Sarah’s words, centers on three characters: “a free-spirited poetess, who chases Keith Richards to Morocco in 1967 after a brief fling; her adult daughter, who is nearly undone by the magic and tragedy of her mom’s life; and the daughter’s boyfriend, who befriends a mysterious young boy as his relationship begins to unravel.” It also contains a passage that gave me some of the most intense sentence envy I’ve ever endured, which was painful at first but ultimately inspired me to send Sarah an email with the subject line “CAN’T WAIT TO READ YOUR BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!”, only with fewer exclamation points and less capitalization. And then she wrote back, and it was cool. Hurrah.
So: Sarah’s going to be on the scene tomorrow night at The Lit Thing: Book Bash, an event at which she and fellow authors K. Kvashay Boyle, Tod Goldberg, Justine Musk, Mara Shapshay, and some guy named Blake Nelson whom we’re kinda into will “rant/rave/rage about books that wormed their way into their brains.” It’s happening at 8 p.m. at M Bar (1253 N. Vine St. in L.A.); peruse the flyer for more info.
In the meanwhile, read our little Q & A with Sarah, check out her website, add her on Twitter, send her fawning emails, and totally believe her every word about the beauteousness of “Cloudbursting” by Kate Bush, which I really need to hear right now. And here I go…
Tell us one thing you’re really into at the moment that you want the whole world to know about.
My friend Sera gave me this lovely book called Taxi Driver Wisdom. My dad was a cab driver in Boston, so she thought it would be an appropriate gift. It’s full of bon mots from real cabbies that are so funny and beautiful and true – “On temporal pleasures: I enjoy fireworks but stars is nice too.”
Who is your all-time number-one music crush?
Marc Bolan from T. Rex. None of my boyfriends have ever been particularly threatened by my devotion to a wee, mop-topped pixie of a man who has been in the great beyond for more than three decades. But he will always own my heart because of his (1) way with a Les Paul, (2) flair for rocking green velvet and gold lame, often together, and (3) crazy-amazing song titles like “She Was Born to Be My Unicorn” and “Blessed Wild Apple Girl.”
Runner Up: Justin Townes Earle. The voice. The songs. The smile.
Name three records you can’t live without.
1. The Slider by T. Rex. I own this album on CD, cassette, 8-track, picture disc, LP, gate-fold LP, and reel-to-reel. It makes me happier than any other music I’ve ever heard.
2. Desire by Bob Dylan. Sultry and mystical, which is a pretty great combo for an album. It also features the song from which I was named, “Sara,” which Dylan wrote in an attempt to reconcile with his first wife before they divorced. My mom was very pregnant with me when the album came out in January 1976, and after singing along to the song, she became smitten with the name.
3. Hounds of Love by Kate Bush. This record was on heavy rotation in my house when I was growing up, and I’ve bought multiple copies of it over the years. Gorgeous and spooky and wild. Plus, it has this beautiful song “Cloudbusting,” about the scientist Wilhelm Reich, who was beloved by the Beats. My dad used to take me to his house/museum, Orgonon, in rural Maine.
Runner Up: Quixotic by Martina Topley-Bird – best make out record, ever.
What’s your spirit animal?
The lion. It has the best hair in the jungle.