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Sara FujimuraSara Fujimura<div class="ExternalClass4129E74B87D14740B59EC02B9569B00D"><h2>​<a href="https://phoenix.overdrive.com/phoenix-phoenixpl/content/search?query=Every%20Reason%20We%20Shouldn%27t" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"><span data-ccp-charstyle="Hyperlink">Every Reason We Shouldn't</span></span> </a><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"><span data-ccp-parastyle="heading 4">by Sara Fujimura</span></span> <span data-ccp-props="{"201341983":0,"335559738":40,"335559739":0,"335559740":259}"> </span></h2><div><p><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"><br>Sara Fujimura writes for teens and the young at heart. She is the American half of her Japanese-American family and spends about a month each summer in Japan with her children. So it's no surprise she's written about Japanese culture and raising bicultural kids for such magazines as </span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"><em>Learning Through History</em></span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"> and </span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"><em>Mothering</em></span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">, as well as, writing travel-related articles for </span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"><em>To Japan with Love</em></span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">. Her award-winning YA contemporary novel </span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"><em>Tanabata Wish</em></span><a href="https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://amzn.to/2sW1il2__%3b%21%21LkjWUF49MRd51_ry%21IxWvZIrfJ67yoSfW4M2lK2XUiIlOTwuvkGV2jGuzwZMK4uKSb_9f8TOgo8yiW1BxMWRjshb8$" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"><span data-ccp-charstyle="Hyperlink"> </span></span></a><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">is set in Nagoya, Japan. Her second book, </span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"><em>Breathe</em>,</span><a href="https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://amzn.to/2t6eQJT__%3b%21%21LkjWUF49MRd51_ry%21IxWvZIrfJ67yoSfW4M2lK2XUiIlOTwuvkGV2jGuzwZMK4uKSb_9f8TOgo8yiW1BxMVEtqhsl$" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"><span data-ccp-charstyle="Hyperlink"> </span></span></a><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">is YA historical fiction set against the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. </span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"><em>Every Reason We Shouldn't</em></span><a href="https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781250204073__%3b%21%21LkjWUF49MRd51_ry%21IxWvZIrfJ67yoSfW4M2lK2XUiIlOTwuvkGV2jGuzwZMK4uKSb_9f8TOgo8yiW1BxMU97k-XU$" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener"><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"><span data-ccp-charstyle="Hyperlink"> </span></span></a><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">is for fans of </span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"><em>The Cutting Edge</em> </span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">and </span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"><em>Yuri on Ice</em></span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">. Her third YA contemporary novel </span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"><em>Faking Reality</em> </span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">(Tor Teen, 7/2021) is for fans of </span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"><em>Some Kind of Wonderful</em></span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"> and </span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">Just for Clicks</span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">. Sara is a creative writing teacher, literacy advocate, and is excited to support the next generation of authors.</span> <br><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"></span> </p><h3><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">What prompted you to write this book?</span><span data-ccp-props="{"201341983":0,"335559739":160,"335559740":259}"> </span></h3></div><div><p><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">In 2010, I read Olympic speed skater Apolo Ohno's autobiography </span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"><em>No Regrets</em></span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">. I was fascinated by the account of his teenage years. Specifically, when Ohno was at the crossroads and wondering if he should quit the sport altogether because his raw talent was no longer enough. Jonah's character came to me first, and Apolo Ohno very much influenced him. Olivia is the one who tells the story though, and I gave the crossroads problem to her. I have two ultra-talented girls (now young women) in my life, and I got to see—thanks to their moms—what it's like to be that one-in-a-million teen and all the unique challenges that come with being that high level of an athlete/performer. One is a dancer and the other a singer, but I wanted a girl who was into ice sports to work better with Jonah's character. As super cheesy as it is, I love </span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"><em>The Cutting Edge</em></span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">. I wanted to write an updated (and much more realistic) version of the movie with teen skaters. I also love </span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"><em>Yuri on Ice</em></span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">. Just like Yuri, there is nothing physically wrong with Olivia. She's just lost her spark. That is until Jonah starts training at her family's rink.</span> <br></p></div><div><h3><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">What attracted you to this genre: romance, mystery, non-fiction, etc.?</span> </h3><p><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">This is my third book under the young adult umbrella. The thing I love the most about both reading and writing predominately young adult books is the sense of hope they have. That these characters can be hit with all kinds of challenges, and yet their big dream might still come true. Anything is still possible.</span> <br></p></div><div><h3><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">Are any of the characters in your book based on real people and if so, who?</span> <br><br></h3></div><div><p><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">Speed skater Jonah Choi is very much based on Olympian Apolo Ohno. Olivia Kennedy isn't based on one figure skater in particular. That said, I recently listened to a podcast interview with Olympic medalist Sasha Cohen, and Olivia sounds so much like her that it is scary.</span> </p><h3><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"></span><span data-ccp-props="{"201341983":0,"335559739":160,"335559740":259}"> <br></span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">What type of research did you do to write your book?</span> <br><br></h3></div><div><p><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">So. Much. Research. Across the board. The only thing I came into the project feeling semi-confident about was the roller derby part because I had written a piece for</span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"> <em>Raising Arizona Kids</em></span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"> magazine many years ago about moms who do roller derby. I have a lengthy acknowledgments page in the back of the book thanking all the people who helped me craft these characters who are nothing like me in a lot of ways and then exactly like me in others. The thing that surprised me the most was the very specific rules figure skating has. For example, at the last minute, I had to completely scrap the iconic phoenix-inspired outfit that Olivia had worn in my head for the previous eight years. I was told that Olivia would have been docked points both for her costume and the sparkles decorating her face. Does this make or break the story? No. But like I said, there are some ways I'm very much like Jonah and Olivia (read: I'm a perfectionist.).</span> <br></p></div><div><h3><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">What book are you currently reading?</span> </h3><p><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">I am waiting on Kara McDowell's newest YA book, </span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"><em>One Way or Another</em></span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">, to come in. An aside: I know Kara in real life, and her last YA book </span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"><em>Just for Clicks</em></span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"> was one of the inspirations for my next book, </span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"><em>Faking Reality</em></span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"> (7/2021, Tor Teen).</span><span data-ccp-props="{"201341983":0,"335559739":160,"335559740":259}"> </span></p></div><div><h3><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">Are you writing anything now? If so, when will it come out?</span> </h3><p><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">I'm always writing and creating (take that COVID!). My next YA contemporary book is called </span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"><em>Faking Reality</em></span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"> and is for fans of the 80s movie </span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"><em>Some Kind of Wonderful</em></span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">. We are in the final edit stage of that right now, and it launches in July 2021. I'm also working on transforming </span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"><em>Tanabata Wish</em></span><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US"> into a graphic novel and I have another YA project I'm working on in between.</span> <br></p></div><div><h3><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">If you weren't a writer, what would you do?</span> </h3><p><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">Probably some kind of marketing. I enjoy helping my author friends come up with new promotion ideas for their books.</span> <br></p></div><div><h3><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">Do you use your local library?  If so, which library is it and what do you do there?</span> </h3><p><span data-contrast="none" lang="EN-US">YES! My favorite library is the Southeast Regional Library in Gilbert. Thanks to COVID, I haven't been able to go inside to browse or work at one of the tables overlooking the Riparian Preserve since early March. I miss that. Also, I miss doing Drop Everything and Write Day with their teens. Every year, I round up a few of my favorite Phoenix-based YA authors (like Kara McDowell!), and we do high-level, craft-based writing workshops with the talented teen writers who frequent the SERL. I've also done workshops and panels for adult writers at the SERL, but I love working with the teens the best.</span><span data-ccp-props="{"201341983":0,"335559739":160,"335559740":259}"> ​</span></p></div></div>

 

 

 

 

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