Reading and writing

Important questions about reading and writing for Sarah Krasnostein

Author Sarah Krasnostein.  Please credit Gina Milicia.

Gina Militia

Author Sarah Krasnostein. Please credit Gina Milicia.

The believer, written by Sarah Krasnostein, reveals the portraits of six individuals including a death doula, ufologists, creationists and ghost hunters. The best-selling author of The Trauma Cleanserwho has won several literary awards, is in conversation at the Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts with Danyl Mclauchlan.

What is the most interesting thing you discovered while writing The Believer?

The biggest discovery in writing this book was the story I found myself telling. I thought I was writing about the wonders of human differences, our inevitable separation. But, at the end of the day, it’s a book about how we are all able to think magically to deal with the difficult aspects of life. It is about the quieter and deeper wonder of our community.

* How I write: Poet Omar Sakr is one of the writers participating in the Aotearoa Arts Festival in New Zealand
* Book review: Olga dies dreaming of Xochitl Gonzalez
* Microplastics revealed for the first time in New Zealand marine mammals

What are you reading right now?

I read a ton for the plays I’m currently working on, but aside from that I always try to have a non-fiction book and a fiction book on the go for whatever free time I can spend . I’m in the middle of Siri Hustvedt’s brilliant new collection of essays, Mothers, fathers and othersand I love Xochitl Gonzalez’s incendiary debut novel, Olga dies dreaming.

How did your law degree help you write your books?

I have a doctorate in criminal law – specifically in sentencing law. Sentencing judgments aren’t just about punishment – they’re about character and guilt, as well as human relationships and causation. So this training really taught me the importance of always looking for the larger context before judging human behavior.

Best writing advice?

Whenever you sit down to work, don’t get distracted by email or social media, editing or research – write down something that didn’t exist before you sat down at the desk. Even if it’s a sentence. Progress is about taking steps toward the goal, no matter how small.

Learn more about Sarah Krasnostein at her Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts 2022 streaming event from Thursday, March 10 to Sunday, April 3, tickets here.

Margarita W. Wilson

The author Margarita W. Wilson