An Interview With Sara Barnes and her best friend

An Interview With Sara Barnes and her best friend

This was actually used for the recent Virtual Book Tour, but I know that not everyone here will have seen it.  I think it’s pretty interesting – it’s a “character interview” with Sara, the heroine of the Dream series, and then an interview with her best friend, Beth.

First, Sara (and remember, Dream Student takes place in the winter of 1989-90; keep that in mind when you read Sara’s answers to some of the questions!)

What songs are most played on your Ipod?

I guess you mean my portable CD player?  I just got one for Christmas, so I’ve only got a few CDs.  I’m really enjoying the new Rolling Stones album, “Steel Wheels.”  But I mostly have to listen to it with my headphones.  My roommate can’t stand them, and it’s not really worth fighting with her about Mick Jagger.

Who should play you in a film? 

A movie about me?  I guess what happened back in January could make a good movie.  It would all be lies – nobody knows what really happened except for me and Beth and Brian.  But that’s not what you asked, right?  I never thought about anything like that before.  Maybe – what do you think of Ally Sheedy?  She’d have to wear green contacts, but she’s about the right size for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not as weird as she was in “The Breakfast Club”, but she’s the closest I can think of.

What book are you reading now?
Right now?  The textbook for CHEM329, Chemical Aspects of Living systems.  The final exam is next week, and I need to go over everything again.  Oh – but you mean fiction, right?  I just finished “Fantastic Voyage” by Isaac Asimov.  You know, where they shrink the doctors down inside the little submarine and they go inside the guy’s body to cure him?  Don’t laugh – the book was pretty good.  It’s much better than the old movie version was.

What are you passionate about these days?
Besides finishing up my med school applications?  Brian, my boyfriend.  Before I met him, that’s something I never thought I’d say.  But I love him, more than I imagined I could.  He’s just – well, he’s perfect, that’s all there is to it.  How could I not be passionate about him?

What was the scariest moment of your life?
Honestly?  I know what you expect me to say – being down in that basement with Dr. Walters.  But I was thinking too much to be frightened, if that makes any sense.  I didn’t really have time to be frightened in the moment.  The real scariest moment was a couple of days before my senior prom, when I got appendicitis.  I didn’t know what was going on, and the pain was so bad I thought I was going to die – I wouldn’t have minded dying, just to make it stop, that’s how much it hurt.  And it felt like something was going to burst out of me, like in that scene in “Alien.”

Do your friends think you are an introvert or an extravert? Why?

Introvert, no question.  I definitely am one, too.  I’ve always been kind of shy, and as long as I had books or my chemistry set or something else to study or experiment with, I was happy.  It’s only since I got to college that I’ve come out of my shell at all.  My roommate Beth had a lot to do with that, and of course Brian has pulled me out a lot farther since we’ve been together.

What is the next big thing?

People keep saying it’s the Internet.  My boyfriend thinks so, you should hear him talk about it.  I don’t see it, though.  Are people really going to buy stuff and listen to music and order pizza and everything on a computer?  It seems crazy to me. 

If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?
My mother.  It’s not that we have a bad relationship, but I know she’d like to be a lot closer.  I think the problem is that we’re too much alike, and it’s like magnets – when you stick two positive ends of a magnet together, they repel each other.  At least I still can apologize to her, and appreciate her more.  You know what, I think I’m going to call her right now, if you don’t mind.

Beth Rosewell is her best friend, and also appears in all four (soon to be five) Dream Series books.  This is what she’s got to say…

Thanks for talking to us.

Sure.  I’ve got a few minutes before my next patient comes is.  What do you want to know? 

Let’s start at the beginning.  When did you first meet Sara?

(laughing) God, it was, what is it now, almost fourteen years ago?  It was the middle of the summer, and I get this phone call.  Some girl who’s going to be my roommate.  She called the housing office to find out, before they even sent the letters out.  She had a whole list of what she was bringing.  She wanted to plan everything out so our dorm room would be organized.  I thought she was crazy.

What did you think when you saw her in person?

I still thought she was crazy.  And uptight.  And annoying as hell.  And boring, too.

So you weren’t friends right away?

No.  She drove me nuts, and – I guarantee you she’ll never admit it – I know I did the same to her. 

What happened to change that?

Unlike Sara, I had a social life right from the start.  And a love life.  Unfortunately, one night, I wasn’t as careful as I should have been, and three weeks after that, I was afraid I might be pregnant.  I’d never had a scare before, and I kind of freaked out.  Seeing me frightened like that touched Sara.  No matter what she thought of me, she couldn’t stand to see how upset and worried I was.  She took charge.  She went into the drugstore and bought the test for me, and she stood next to me, holding my hand the whole time, while I took it.  How could we not be friends after that?

Did Sara loosen up after that?

Very slowly.  She trusted me more afterwards, and she let me drag her out to parties at least occasionally.  And when she finally got a boyfriend, that spring, she asked my advice about pretty much everything.  By the time our freshman year ended, she was able to let her hair down and have fun on her own, at least once in a while.

What did you think when her dreams started?

I was completely freaked out; anyone would be.  But she was my best friend, and I did my best to just be supportive.  She did so much for me, it was the least I could do for her.

What was your first impression of Brian?

It wasn’t much.  He was a freshman, he looked so young.  He was very nervous – not just his words, but his body language.  It was so obvious.  I had no idea what Sara saw in him.  But I was wrong.  I don’t think I’ve ever been wronger about anyone in my life.  He stepped up for her, right from the start, and those nerves – gone. 

Were you jealous about him?

Absolutely!  I can admit it.  I tried not to show it and just be happy for Sara, but I know she saw it.  To tell you the truth – and this is something else she’ll never admit – I think she enjoyed it a little bit.

As a psychologist, what do you think about Sara’s dreams?  Why does she have them?

Because deep down, her most basic impulse is to help people.  That’s who she is, when you peel everything else away.  I can’t even pretend to understand how it works physically, why she can see dreams and other people can’t, but I know it’s her subconscious desire to take care of people that makes her see the particular dreams she does.  She always sees dreams that lead her to a problem she can solve.  That isn’t a coincidence.

I see your next patient is waiting outside.  Thank you for taking the time to talk with us.

Anytime!  Next time, you could ask a little more about me.  My life isn’t exactly boring, you know!

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