Sarah Ockler will introduce her new young adult novel on Dec. 10, a well-crafted addition to an increasingly popular fiction category. “Fixing …
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Sarah Ockler will introduce her new young adult novel on Dec.
10, a well-crafted addition to an increasingly popular fiction
category. “Fixing Delilah” was completed in about two years, she
says, focused on a character who “came into my head fully formed.”
Readers can meet Ockler and her creation, Delilah Hannaford, at 7
p.m. Dec. 10 at Tattered Cover Highlands Ranch, where she will read
from her book, play with some trivia and talk about writing it.
During the time Delilah’s story was taking shape, Ockler and her
husband made two cross-country moves and are now happily settled in
Littleton. She grew up in Buffalo, N.Y., and after college, moved
to New York City, where she met her husband Alex. She had been
writing and journaling, but found the New York literary scene
intimidating. The couple decided they wanted a complete change and
moved to Colorado in 2003, where she found Denver’s active
Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop and enrolled. The workshop’s founder
suggested that she has a unique young adult voice and might try a
novel in that genre.
Her first novel, “Twenty Boy Summer” grew during sessions of the
workshop, which also is supportive in finding an agent when the
time arrives. She was offered a two-book contract with Little
Brown, a respected longtime publisher and “Fixing Delilah” fills
the second part of that contract.
By 2008, the couple was missing east coast family and friends
and moved back there. But the appeal of a Colorado lifestyle
brought them back to the West in summer 2010, she says and she is
now teaching about writing for young adults at the Lighthouse
workshop — and finalizing a third book.
“Each book has its special challenge,” she says. There’s no one
way to create. This latest one is fully outlined from start to
finish, while Delilah arrived and took over her story about an
unhappy teen who is slipping in school, has a less-than-great boy
in her life and is falling out with her friends. Her single mom
works all the time and seems unable to fully engage with her only
child. What secrets trouble her?
When Delilah’s estranged grandmother dies, she and her mother
must join an interesting aunt Rachel to sort out the estate, hold
several sales and ready the house for the market.
She spends the summer trying to find out what caused the
estrangement — and getting reacquainted with the boy next door who
had been her best summer buddy eight years ago and has become a
Ockler’s characters seem well developed and engaging and Delilah
grows in her ability to address adult issues, presented in a way
that should draw 12 and up young women into several parallel
stories the book develops — and to some surprising resolutions.
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