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Sarah J. Maas: Pop Culture of My Life
The prolific author dishes on her favorite movie, the only song she could listen to 24 hours a day, the classic book she's never read, and much more.
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My favorite book as a child
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch. It’s responsible for so much of who I am as a person and writer.
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The book that really cemented me as a writer
Robin McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown and Garth Nix’s Sabriel. I read them both when I was about 12, and it was one of the first times when I saw young women getting to kick ass, fall in love, and save the day (a.k.a. my favorite things).
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A classic that I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never read
I wouldn’t say I’m particularly embarrassed by it, but Wuthering Heights has been on my TBR pile forever.
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The book, movie, or TV show I’ve read/watched over and over again
The Lord of the Rings (both the books and films). I have an extended-edition marathon every year. I was lucky enough to visit the Hobbiton movie set in New Zealand a few years ago and burst into tears in the middle of our tour group the moment I saw that green door of Bag End.
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An illicit book that I had to read in secret as a kid
I was lucky enough to have parents that didn’t monitor what I read and trusted me to decide what I was ready for, so nothing was really off-limits. But I’d say reading The Mists of Avalon at age 12 was... an experience.
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A book that people might be surprised to learn that I love
I’m a huge Dan Brown fan. To the point where when I went to Paris back in college, I dragged my poor mom around on a Da Vinci Code tour of all the various locations from the book.
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The last book that made me laugh out loud, and the last one that made me cry
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne — I’ve read it three times since it came out last year, and it still makes me laugh and swoon. I’m the sort of person who cries at commercials, so it doesn’t take much to get the waterworks going, but C. S. Pacat’s Captive Prince series had me weeping by the end.
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My fictional character hero
Buffy Summers. I owe so much of who I am as a woman and writer to that TV show — and Buffy herself.
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My literary crush
Sirius Black from Harry Potter. I’m still in mourning.
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The actor I’d want to play me in a movie
I’ve been told I look a bit like Jennifer Lawrence, so... let’s go with her.
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The TV show that doesn’t get its due
Black Sails. I devoured every episode.
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My guiltiest TV pleasure
I don’t really believe in guilty pleasures, but I have been known to binge-watch Lifetime movies for hours on end (I may or may not have watched Trapped Sisters about three times this summer).
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The last TV series I binged
My Mad Fat Diary. It was absolutely brilliant. I’ve never laughed and cried so hard while watching a show. I began rewatching it as soon as I finished the final episode. Months later, I can’t stop thinking about it.
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My all-time favorite movie
The Lord of the Rings (all three). I still have a life-size Legolas standee in my office (I got him when I was sixteen).
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The last book I gave as a gift
Is it horrible if I say one of my own? My dad was in the hospital this summer, and I gave some of the nurses signed copies as a thank-you for their incredible care and kindness to my dad and entire family.
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The book I’d use to squash a bug
Probably one of my own, since they’re thick enough to be used as doorstoppers.
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The song that always makes me feel better
There are too many to list. Recently, though, it’s been “No Man’s Land” from the Wonder Woman Cheesy as it sounds, it makes me feel like I can do anything. (And that scene in the film literally had me sobbing uncontrollably in my seat.)
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The one song I could listen to on repeat for 24 hours
"Run Boy Run" by Woodkid. I pretty much listen to that song at least once a day.
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The last album I listened to
Every Open Eye by CHVRCHES. I’ve been obsessed with it since it came out, and still haven’t gotten sick of it. I listen to it almost every time I exercise.
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The song that reminds me of my first crush
Probably "I'll Be" by Edwin McCain (the anthem of so many middle school dances).
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The first album I bought with my own money
Green Day’s Dookie (I was in third grade). It’s still one of my favorite albums ever.
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A criminally underrated band
CHVRCHES. I saw them in concert almost two years ago and was completely blown away.
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Who I’d invite to my dream dinner party, living or dead
Jane Austen, Peter Jackson, J. K. Rowling, Steven Spielberg, J. R. R. Tolkien, and my grandmother (who is one of my favorite people in the world and personal heroes).
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The surprising song I know all the words to
I know the lyrics to a disturbing number of Disney songs (the most recent ones being the entire Moana soundtrack).
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The fictional place I’ve dreamed of moving to
Middle-Earth. I’d spend spring/summer in the Shire, and fall/winter in Rivendell. (I’m still on the fence about whether I’m an Elf or Hobbit at heart. It depends on how hungry I am at any given moment.)
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The fictional character I’d want on my side in a zombie apocalypse
Furiosa from Mad Max: Fury Road. Or the velociraptors from Jurassic Park.
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The fictional group of pals I’ve always felt I belonged in
The Goonies. (Seriously. That’s actually what my group of friends in high school called ourselves. We even made t-shirts.)
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What I’m reading right now
J. R. Ward’s The Devil’s Cut. I’m such a big fangirl of hers, and I’m loving this book so far.