Celebrating Debutantes, FEATURES, Giveaways, Interviews

Celebrating Debutantes 2016: Never Ever by Sara Saedi (Author Interview + Giveaway)

Celebrating Debutantes 2016 Second Wave

Today I’m joined on the blog by a novelist, tv movie/series writer Sara Saedi to answer few questions about her debut novel, Never Ever. This modern-day Peter Pan retelling is perfect for YA fantasy readers who want a different twist to familiar story and characters. I hope you guys enjoy the interview.

Following my interview with Sara is her bio and links where to find her online, as well as the book description and where to get copies of Never Ever.

Also, be sure and check the bottom of the post as well for all the details on a special giveaway. Have fun reading!

Interview with Sara Saedi

What was it like to make the transition from writing for television to fiction novel? Was there a transition at all?

It was tough! It’s such a different form of writing. When you’re writing a screenplay or TV pilot, you’re trained to be more concise with descriptions and the dialogue and visuals are ultimately what drives the story. And you never write what a character is thinking. I loved that I had more space on the page to fill with a novel and that I could delve into the thoughts of my characters and get more descriptive with the setting of the story. In TV, you rely on the images to convey the story, but with a novel– you have to help create those images in the reader’s head. That said, my editor had to tell me when I was going a little overboard with tangents and descriptions. I guess I went a little too crazy with having so much freedom!

What made you want to write a Peter Pan retelling/re-imagining?

I’ve always loved telling stories that take a conceit we’re familiar with and turn it on its head. I especially love telling a story through a different point of view than the one we’re used to. I thought Peter Pan had potential to be a little edgier, and I liked the notion of presenting the narrative more from Wendy’s (or Wylie in this case) perspective instead of Peter. It seemed to me like her life was more drastically impacted by traveling to Neverland and I wanted to explore that.

Are you considering doing retellings of other children’s classics like “Peter Pan” in the future? Or was this a one-shot sort of deal?

Not at the moment. I wouldn’t want to only be known as the author who reinvents other people’s original source material. You can expect a sequel to Never Ever though, and the best way to describe it is– what would happen if the rest of the world found out about Minor Island?

What kind of research did you have to do for the story? Did you have a set of rules in terms of what part from the original story you want to use or not?

There were no rules and I’ll admit I did very little research. I wanted to work off the iconic parts of Peter Pan that I knew from memory. I also didn’t want to feel confined by the original story. I saw it as a jumping off point — kids on an island where no one ages — and then I wanted to do whatever seemed to organically come out of that concept.

Do you have a favorite film, television, or theatrical adaptation of Peter Pan?

The Disney version of the story is probably my favorite, though I have a lot of fond memories of the movie Hooked as well. I think that was one of the first cases of someone reinventing the mythology.

There have been a lot of Peter Pan retellings released this year. What’s one thing that you think Never Ever have that makes it stand out?

I will say, I didn’t realize that when I first started writing my book! I thought I was being so original! And I haven’t read any of the others — mainly because I didn’t want any other versions swimming around in my head while I wrote Never Ever and the sequel. So I’m not sure I can say what makes Never Ever different from the competition. I would hope readers go into the book knowing that it’s going to be a very different (and somewhat more mysterious) version of the Peter Pan story they’re used to– and that doesn’t have to ruin the version they know and love. There’s definitely a bit of a Lord of the Flies element working here. I’ve mentioned this before, but I wanted to take a realistic look at some of the relationships and dynamics of the fairytale. For instance, no one ever seems to mention that Peter Pan and Tinkerbell had a very co-dependent relationship… and that poor fairy got strung along quite a bit. I wanted to take a true to life approach to those elements.

Are you working on any project right now? What we should expect from you in the near future?

Yes! Aside from working on The Lost Kids (the sequel to Never Ever), I’m also hard at work on a YA memoir called Americanized about my experiences growing up in the U.S. as an illegal immigrant from Iran. That will be published by Knopf in 2017. I’m also a writer on The CW series iZombie.

Thank you so much Sara for stopping by today and for taking the time to answer all my questions above. I’m looking forward reading The Lost Kids next year. Also excited for you! being back in writing for TV series. Seems your writing career is full pack at the moment. Congratulations!


Author Sara Saedi

Sara Saedi was born in Tehran, Iran smack-dab in the middle of a war and an Islamic Revolution. As the story goes, she entered the world to the sounds of boms exploding near the hospital. Though her memory of the day is a little fuzzy, the life and death stakes surrounding her birth helped prepare her for a writing career. Sara received a B.A. in Film and Mass Communications from the University of California, Berkeley and began her career as a creative executive for ABC Daytime. In 2010, she left the company to pursue her dream of being a writer. She since penned three TV movies for ABC Family, a pilot for The Disney Channel, won a DayTime Emmy for What If…, a web series she wrote for ABC, and worked as a staff writer on the FOX sitcom The Goodwin Games. She recently sold her debut YA novel Never Ever to Viking Children’s Books for publication in summer 2016. She currently writes for The CW series, iZombie, and resides in Los Angeles with her husband and her pug, Mabel.

Find Sara

Website | Twitter | Goodreads


Book Details:

Never EverTitle: Never Ever
Author: Sara Saedi
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: June 21, 2016
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover, eBook

Wylie Dalton didn’t believe in fairy tales or love at first sight.

Then she met a real-life Peter Pan.

When Wylie encounters Phinn—confident, mature, and devastatingly handsome—at a party the night before her brother goes to juvie, she can’t believe how fast she falls for him. And that’s before he shows her how to fly.

Soon Wylie and her brothers find themselves whisked away to a mysterious tropical island off the coast of New York City where nobody ages beyond seventeen and life is a constant party. Wylie’s in heaven: now her brother won’t go to jail and she can escape her over-scheduled life with all its woes and responsibilities—permanently.

But the deeper Wylie falls for Phinn, the more she begins to discover has been kept from her and her brothers. Somebody on the island has been lying to her, but the truth can’t stay hidden forever.

Book Links:

Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Goodreads | Publisher


What’s up for Grab?

  • Signed copy of Never Ever by Sara Saedi

The Rules:

  • Open to US / Canada Only
  • There will be one (1) winner
  • Winner will be chosen and announced by rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends September 6th, 2016
  • Prize will be sent by the author

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2016 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each second wave feature post!

CD2016 Second Wave Collage

6 thoughts on “Celebrating Debutantes 2016: Never Ever by Sara Saedi (Author Interview + Giveaway)”

  1. Peter Pan is one of my favorite childhood stories, so I can’t wait to read this reimagining of it. I’ve only read one retelling of PP, so far, but I like getting to read how different authors see characters. Thanks for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

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