Interview with Sarah Pekkanen, bestselling author of ‘Perfect Neighbors’

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Sarah Pekkanen

Sarah Pekkanen has written novels about relationships, family, and friendship. Her novels appeal to many, and after reading just one, many readers become fans for life.

Pekkanen is not only an internationally bestselling author — smart and funny — she’s nice. She also includes in her busy family a cat and a dog. Many authors include a dog or cat in their novels because they themselves have a dog or cat, and it seems like a natural thing to include — a companion for one or more of their characters.

Pekkanen includes dogs in many of her stories. Having a dog is natural for her. She grew up with four pugs. Her family also had a beagle at one time. Now, she and her family live with a rescued black Labrador named Bella. Pekkanen’s family was the third to keep Bella — and the third was a charm. Bella’s previous family had girls who had named the dog Princess Belle, but Pekkanen’s three sons didn’t fancy that, so Princess Belle because Belle, and then Bella. “The boys love her. She is so gentle and sweet,” commented Pekkanen. Before Bella, she had a dog she had rescued from a Washington DC pound.

Pekkanen also has a rescue cat. She explains that her son had been begging for a cat: “I always thought I was a dog person, but my older son wanted a cat. The local shelter needed fosters over the Christmas holiday, so I thought it would be a great present. We’ll foster the kitten, he’ll (my son) be bored, and that will be it.” They had planned to keep the kitten separate in a bedroom and slowly introduce it to the household. “Within the first night she was out.” The little calico, named Kayla, is still with them three years later.

What happened next will endear Pekkanen to all animal lovers. The family decided to continue fostering. They even fostered a litter of kittens through the Baltimore Animal Shelter. But Pekkanen then discovered that she is allergic to cats. So they kept the kittens until they were old enough to be adopted, but they can’t foster kittens anymore. Now Pekkanen takes allergy medication so that she can keep her cat and her dog. “Acupuncture also really helps,” she said.

While she loves time with her family — two-legged and four-legged — Pekkanen loves to travel alone, and she shared her feeling that “writers have a little part of them that needs to be solitary.” She was 22 when she backpacked alone through Europe, and she still loves having dinner alone in restaurants. But as much as Pekkanen loves being alone, she enjoys the company of her friends. She has a “big group of friends from high school,” and they take trips together and talk regularly. “I do have that and I really appreciate it.”

If you think — knowing about Pekkanen’s talent and reputation as well as her love of animals — that you would enjoy her novels, you’re almost surely correct. They all come highly recommended.

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Pekkanen’s latest novel

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