Author Features

MEET: Sara Desai author of “To Have and To Heist”

Sara has been a lawyer, radio DJ, marathon runner, historian, bouncer and librarian.

Last Updated on August 11, 2023 by BiblioLifestyle

author Sara Desai
To Have and To Heist by Sara Desai

What was the last book that you read that you’d now recommend?

I just finished reading Janet Evanovich’s “Going Rogue,” the 29th book in her Stephanie Plum series and it is just as fun and exciting as the rest. They are my go-to books when I need an escape and the perfect summer reads.

Have you read any classics lately that you were reading for the first time?

I’m still trying to catch up with my Kindle TBR. So many books; so little time!

Do you re-read books   And if yes, what was your last re-read?

I’m not a big re-reader, especially when there are so many wonderful new books coming out every week.

What are your go-to genres?

I love paranormal and erotic romance.

What is your favorite childhood book?

The Princess Bride.

What books are on your bedside table right now?

The Secret History by Donna Tartt and Julie Garwood’s The Bride.

Do you bookmark or dogear your page in a book?

Ack. Never!

What is your ideal reading setting?

Cozy window seat in the sunshine overlooking a lush forest.

Tell us about your favorite indie bookstore?

Munro’s Books in Victoria BC is an incredible indie bookstore in a neo-classical building built in 1909. It’s incredible coffered 24ft ceiling resembles the ceiling of the porch of the great library of Ephesus built by the Romans in the 2nd century A.D and features some beautiful stained glass and fabric banners by Carole Sabiston depicting The Four Seasons.

Sara Desai's favorite bookstore

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

My paternal grandfather passed away unexpectedly when I was three years old and for the next few years my mother wouldn’t let me take books out of the library about fathers and sons. She explained that they made my father very sad and he would have a hard time reading them at bedtime. That was the first time I saw the connection between stories and real-world events.

What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

I love used bookstores and every time I’m in a new city, I try to visit as many as I can. My favorites are always the ones with the overloaded creaking shelves, comfy chairs, and lazy cats!

Where do you get most of your writing and editing done?

I work in my office overlooking a forest. There is always so much wildlife activity going on that it’s a great distraction when I’ve got writer’s block.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

When things are going well and the story is writing itself, then it is definitely energizing, but when I’m on a deadline or the pieces aren’t coming together, nothing exhausts me more.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I’ve probably got about 10-15 unpublished and half-finished books on my computer. Some of them should never see the light of day!

Do you read your book reviews?  How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I’ll occasionally read the reviews to see if there are side characters who might be worthy of their own stories, or to see if the story was well-received. I don’t generally read the bad reviews because there are things one reader might hate that another reader might love. I did read a bad review one time where the reviewer complained that there were so many delicious descriptions of food that the book made her hungry!

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

I’d tell myself to write the kind of stories I love to read.

When you’re not reading or writing, what are you doing?

I love kayaking, camping, baking, and hiking. We live on Vancouver Island, so there are lots of opportunities for outdoor adventures!

What are your three favorite things right now?

My Kindle with its 400 plus TBR. My new bright orange kayak. And a new pair of headphones that can block out the sound of three demanding teenagers.

What is your favorite travel destination and why?

My favorite city is Vienna. I’ve been there three times and the grandeur, beauty and history always take my breath away.

What’s your favorite meal and go-to drink order?

Pizza and margaritas!

Sara Desai's favorite food to eat

What six people, living or dead, would you invite to a dinner party?

Leonard Cohen, Simone de Beauvoir, Margaret Atwood, Jane Austen, Nora Roberts, William Shakespeare.

If a movie was made of your life, what genre would it be, and who would play you?

It would definitely be a romcom and I’d love Julia Roberts to play me.

What’s the last TV show or movie you watched that was really good?

I just finished watching The White Lotus Season 2. It was fantastic!

You have to sing karaoke; what song do you pick?

Oops…I Did It Again by Britney Spears.

If you were being taken to a deserted island and could only bring one book, what would it be?

The Oxford Book of English Verse—every poem is like a mini story!

To Have and To Heist

Buy To Have and To Heist by Sara Desai from: AMAZON / BOOKSHOP

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Sara Desai

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