My Big Break By Sarah Pekkanen

For our final day of International Chick Lit Month *dramatically wipes tear away from eye* it was a no-brainer that we should end with a bang. And who better to close out an amazing thirty-one days of celebrating Chick Lit than the fabulous author extraordinaire (and our big time crush) Sarah Pekkanen? She’s an inspiration to us all- knocking it out of the park with her debut novel, The Opposite of Me (Jennifer Weiner was a major supporter, calling it, “fresh & satisfying”) and getting rave reviews (O, The Oprah Magazine, People Magazine & Harper’s Bazaar- to name a few) for her second book, Skipping a Beat. So we just had to ask about her about the big break that catapulted her to success (turns out, she’s had more than a few of ’em!).

And if you leave a comment on this post, you’ll be entered to win a autographed set of Sarah’s novels, The Opposite of Me and Skipping a Beat! We’ll randomly select the winner after 6:00 pm EST on Thursday, June 2. (US/Canada residents.)

Update: Winner-Lauri(


I’ve had so many breaks during my path to becoming a published author that they’re impossible to tally. Here are a few highlights: a top literary agent’s assistant plucked my query letter out of the slush pile instead of letting it slip through her fingers; a top editor at a big publishing house told my agent she’d like to read my manuscript, then stayed up late on a Sunday night to finish it; a few wonderful and very busy authors took the time to read my galley and give me quotes for my book’s cover… but the biggest break? It came from a woman I had never met – Jennifer Weiner, the superstar author. Jen read an early copy of my first book, The Opposite of Me, and liked it. And she decided to do something spectacular: A week before my book’s debut, she held a one-day giveaway. Anyone who pre-ordered my book would receive a free, signed copy of a Jen Weiner book. She single-handedly pushed my novel through the top 100 on Amazon and the top 26 on that day – and then Jen spent a solid week signing and sending out copies of her own book. All to give a debut author a break.

I got to meet Jen a few weeks after her big giveaway, and I can happily report that she’s every bit as warm and witty in person as she is in her novels (plus she has movie-star quality charisma). When I tried to thank her, she stopped me. “Some day you’ll be in a position to help out a new author,” was all she said. It’s a wonderful thing when one of your literary heroines turns out to be even better in person than you’ve dreamed – and even more incredible when she gives you your first big break. Thanks, Jen.

And thank YOU, Sarah!

To find out more about the fabulous Sarah Pekkanen, visit her website.

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25 Responses to My Big Break By Sarah Pekkanen

  1. Kimberly S says:

    Jennifer Weiner seems like such an awesome person (I love it when women mentor and assist, vs. back-stab and compete). I can’t wait to dive into Sarah’s books.

  2. Jules says:

    Ah, Sarah lives a charmed life! Such wonderful little twists of fate & not-so-little blessings … so glad each & every one happened to such a deserving person!! And Jennifer Weiner – wow! Such amazing, and all-too-rare selflessness … nice to see some people still understand & value practicing random acts of kindness & doing good deeds. Please count me in ~ fingers are crossed!! Thanks! : )

  3. We all hope for success like that. Looks like her talents, combined with a little angel on her shoulder, sent her catapulting into success. I can’t wait to read these books!

  4. Andrea Weaver says:

    Sarah’s books pull you in and keep you there from start to finish. Her characters are authentic, flawed, and relatable, and her writing style is fresh and fun. I enjoyed both of her books, and couldn’t put down Skipping a Beat for a moment–I finished it in one day, staying up till the wee hours. Julia and Michael’s story stayed with me for weeks! As an aspiring writer about to start the hunt for an agent, Sarah is such an inspiration, and I’m hoping with all of my heart that I she can be my Jennifer Weiner! 🙂

  5. Jennifer B says:

    I have heard so many good things about Sarah! Can’t wait to start her books!

  6. Shannon J says:

    Oh Just love and adore her!!! What great books and can’t wait for more!!! 🙂 Perfect finale!!

  7. Sharon says:

    What a wonderful story!

  8. Wanda Z says:

    I discovered Sarah several months ago through a recommendation on another author’s facebook page. I read the Opposite of Me and was thoroughly impressed. I then purchased her short story All is Bright to read on my computer since at the time I didn’t have an e-reader. When Skipping A Beat came out, I couldn’t get my hands on it fast enough. It was even better than her first book!! Sarah has got me hooked. I am a true fan of her work and look forward to 2012 for the release of her next endeavor. Autographed copies of her books would indeed make my day!

  9. Nina Priddy says:

    I love that she helped you, I love her books, too and it’s enough for me that she wanted to help you, I want to read your books now!!

  10. Margaret says:

    I honestly am so pleased when a writer reaches a level of success. Her books sounds wonderful!


  11. Nina says:

    Wow! What a great story! It’s touching to see an author use her platform to help out another! I think that’s what we chick-lit fans, readers, writers, bloggers, etc. are all about! Consider it a REALLY big sisterhood, hahaha! Have always adored the covers of both of Sarah’s books and hope I will get the chance to read them!

  12. Lauri says:

    I have heard so many great things about Sarah’s book. I can not wait to read them!

  13. I saw Sarah speak at a Book Festival and she’s not only a good writer, but she’s a fun speaker, too. It’s so great to hear a story of women supporting women. We should all take that idea of “paying it forward” and do it ourselves!

  14. Niki Maher says:

    Sarah is an awesome writer!

  15. RivkaBelle says:

    That’s the most awesome story ever – the Jen Weiner one! 🙂 That’s the kind of position I want to be in one day – whether it’s as an author or who-knows-what, but to be able to give someone a surprise “boost” … Awesome. Just awesome. 🙂 And huzzah for books and success and lucky breaks! 😀

  16. Jeryl M. says:

    Good to hear about people dong nice things for each other and being supportive of each other for a change.

  17. Margie says:

    Such an interesting story about the break Sarah got with Jennifer Weiner, and such a thought thing to do on Jennifer’s part. I have read a few of Weiner’s books and liked them, so I’m sure I’d like Sarah’s books too.
    Thanks so much for the giveaway.

  18. Tiffany says:

    I remember this BIG break because I was part of it! You’re an amazing author and I am so happy everyone gave you the chance to be who you are today! Congratulations on your success!!

  19. I have the biggest smile from reading through these wonderful comments – thanks to all of you! And Liz & Lisa, I’m devouring the D Word right now and loving it! xoxo

  20. Anita says:

    I was around on fb when Jennifer offered her book to those who pre-ordered, I remember thinking how generous it was, how very kind, and I honestly thought she was probably your BFF. Since then I’ve been amazed at the kindness of more established authors towards new writers, it’s a wonderful sisterhood.

  21. Jennifer Downing says:

    I was lucky enough to take advantage of Jennifer Weiners generous promtion, and I’m so glad I took advantage of it! I really enjoyed Sarah’s 1st book, and haven’t yet read her 2nd. It would be awesome to win both, since I leant my 1st copy of The Opposite Of Me to a friend and never got it back! Keeping my fingers crossed!

  22. MJK says:

    I am having such a blast with CLIND’ssuggested reading list! Looking forward to checking out Sarah’s new book! The fact that she looks like a very good friend is just a bonus! 🙂

  23. Johanna says:

    Have heard great things about her books-looking forward to reading!

  24. Amy says:

    I’ve read many wonderful review of both of Sarah Pekkanen’s books which sound captivating and intriguing and have been on my tbr lists for too long! I enjoy Sarah’s guest posts that I’ve read and subscribe to her newsletter. It’s fantastic that she’s had some wonderfully unexpected things happen for her along the way to becoming a published, celebrated author as she seems to be a sweet and funny woman!

    Thank you for hostong this giveaway of both of Sarah’s books!
    ~ Amy

  25. Thanks to Jennifer Weiner for endorsing such a great new author. Based on her recommendation, I picked up Skipping a Beat by Sarah. It was one of the best books I’ve read all year. Now I just need to read Opposite of Me — preferably an autographed copy. 🙂

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