Sarah Schmidt- author of See What I Have Done

Author Q&As

Tell us about your book – what inspired you to write it?

I would never have chosen to write about the infamous Borden murder's if it wasn't for a fateful trip to a secondhand bookstore. A pamphlet about the case literally fell from a bookshelf down at my feet and while at the time I wasn't interested in the case whatsoever, I began having recurring vivid and very disturbing dreams about Lizzie Borden. I thought the only way to stop the dreams would be to jot them down. Little did I know this would be the beginning of a novel that would not only consume eevry part of my life but would take me eleven years to write.


Which book would you want to read again for the first time?

I would love to read A Little Life for the first time again. Very few books have made me feel the way this book did: the reading experience of absolute obsessiveness was both hypnotic and gut wrenching. I am a multi-book reader but nothing existed when I picked up this novel and I despised anything that took me away from it. I don't know how Yanagihara did it but I'm glad she did.

Which author/s living or dead would you like to have dinner with?

I have to work with the fantasy that said authors  would actually want to have dinner with me! If they did, the first person I'd ask would be Shirley Jackson.  


What’s in your reading pile now?

Right now I'm lucky enough to be reading some manuscripts due for release later this year, so my actual reading pile is unusually slim. However I've started reading 'The Unwomanly Face of War' by Svetlana Alexievich and after that I will be diving into 'Visitation' by Jenny Erpenbeck. 


We know you are a talented writer, do you have any hidden talents?

I would hate to make anyone feel bad about themselves by listing my extensive and varied talents however I'm rather proud  of this: I have double jointed elbows which I can twist around like nothing else. It's a true gift to humanity. 

Can you tell us what you are working on now?

I'm working on another novel which, surprise surprise, also began as an image I had in a dream. All I can tell you is that it's about a woman who takes a car trip to the Blue Mountains with her child. Nothing is what it seems.