March 6, 2009

Sasha Watson, Age 20

Let's welcome Sasha Watson, the author of VIDALIA IN PARIS. The Compulsive Reader says, "Overall, the Vidalia in Paris captures the beautiful rush of independence, and best of all, the coming of age." Of course, before Sasha was an author she had her own coming of age adventures.

Book Cover

When she invited me to guest blog, Liviania offered a few suggestions for what I might write about. One of these was, "Something you did when you were twenty."

Well, when I was twenty, I took a year off from college and drove around the United States with my best friend Sara, a dog named Napa, and a Ford Econoline van that we called the Big Brown.

Sara and I had met on the first day of high school, and we'd started planning this trip soon after. We'd read On the Road and all of Tom Robbins' novels - Still Life with Woodpecker and Jitterbug Perfume being especially influential. We were sure that, driving around the country, we'd discover the world, ourselves, and the life of truth, beauty, and freedom that the characters in our favorite books seemed to live.

So, after our freshman year, we worked summer jobs to pay for our journey, bought the Big Brown, and hit the road.

We took the northern route west, eating cheese curds in Wisconsin, passing through the Black Hills of South Dakota, and dancing to bluegrass music in Missoula, Montana. Once we hit the West Coast, we slowed our pace, spending lots of time in Washington, Oregon, and California, driving up and down, hanging out in forests, hot springs, and other people's houses. Then, we headed back East, through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, the South, until finally, we were home in Massachusetts.

The whole trip took about eight months. As it turned out, the life of pure truth, beauty, and freedom we'd imagined was always slightly out of reach, but we saw and did some wonderful things.

When we got home, I sat down with an antique typewriter and all the photographs that Sara had taken, and typed up a 100-page single-spaced account of what we'd done. Which means, I guess, that I also wrote my first book when I was twenty.


Isn't Napa a beautiful dog? (ETA: Photo of 20-year-old Sasha and Napa by Sara Press.) Sasha makes me want to road trip. (A few friends and I half-planned one, but so far nothing's come to fruition . . . )

Sasha is offering a copy of VIDALIA IN PARIS. Wanna win? Read the rules to find out how.

31 comments:

  1. I want to road trip too. Taking a year off to travel has always been my dream.

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  2. Me and my friends plan on road trip as one of the few things to do after high school. =)

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  3. I wish I went on a road trip like that. I went on a road trip from my home in Cali to a family reunion in Minnesota before, but that's it. I hope I could get to do one with my best friend one day!

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  4. I loved this little story about your road trip! I've never been on one, but would LOVE to do it one day. :)

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  5. Road trips are awesome! You should definitely go on a road trip!

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  6. What a fun thing to do at 20 (though I would be scared to death if my daughters decided to do this!) I moved to Estes Park, CO for the summer when I was 20 - ended up meeting my (ex)husband!

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  7. Sounds romantic and wonderful, Sasha! When my husband and I moved from NYC to LA we drive x-country and fell in love with states and sights we'd never known much about. I recommend such a trip to everyone.

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  8. that road trip sounds completely amazing! i would love to do something like that!
    I am a follower
    and I blogged about it here
    http://kissmybook.blogspot.com/2009/02/contests-galore.html

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  9. I'm not one to travel, but this does sound fun. I read On the Road as well. Such an interesting book!

    I'd love to be entered. :)
    I'm already a follower.

    -Lauren

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  10. Oh wow, that sounds so cool! I'd love to do that too, just take a year off from college & just travel on the open road...

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  11. That sounds like an amazing trip! I'd love to do something like that someday. Except I can't drive, so perhaps a cross-country bus drip? Hmm. Doesn't sound quite as wonderful. I'm a follower.

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  12. Wow an 8 month road trip - have never been able to do that! Have traveled a lot but not for that extensive period of time.

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  13. That sounds like an absolutely amazing road trip! What a way to spend your twentieth year. I bet you got endless novel fodder while you were on the road.

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  14. Your road trip sounds so wonderful. I have often wondered how many people were inspired by Kerouac and how it might have turned out for them. Glad to hear there's a good story out there!

    Please enter me!

    nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

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  15. I've dreamed for a long time of doing that: just getting in a car and taking off to see the country. Growing up in Alaska, there're lots of places in the U.S. that I've never gotten to visit that I'd love to see. Of course, the fact that I can't drive due to a vision problem kind of hinders the dream a bit.

    tiffanyak1986(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  16. I've never taken a road trip but I would love to do so -- almost anywhere would be great but I must say that I've often thought it would be fun to just drive across the United States and see the small towns as well as the tourist attractions. Just drive you know?!

    vmlay@artsci.wustl.edu

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  17. Amazing post. Makes me wish I'd kept a better record of all my past adventures (oh wait...I did...in my guy-obsessed journals...which I recently burned because they were so awful to read as an...older person). Sasha is so obviously the real deal.

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  18. VIDALIA IN PARIS sounds like a very interesting read! I would love the chance to win a copy!

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  19. I love road trips. I did one twice cross country and it was awesome! Even with 3 little kids it can be so very fun!

    I'm a follower!

    Thanks for this interview.

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  20. Road Trip! Sounds like you guys had a great time. I'd love to backpack through Europe or something like that. I think it'd be great.

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  21. Thanks for the interview! I can't think of better traveling companions for a road trip!!

    Lesley
    lesly7ch(@)yahoo(dot)com

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  22. I reeeeally want to go on a road trip someday!

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  23. Thanks to everyone for commenting. Road trips are the best! I take them all over the West these days - lots of pics on my facebook page if you want to friend me and follow along!

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  24. Wow! Road trips are awesome, but the one you described sounded incredible! I've been on a few road trips, and they will be happy memories I'll have for the rest of my life!

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  25. I love traveling! What a neat idea for an interview to! Thanks so much for the giveaway!

    countrystars95@yahoo.com

    Also, I follow!

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  26. Happy birthday?

    Elie

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