Sarah, Queen of Everything
Sarah edits Clear Eyes, Full Shelves and is responsible for its design and name.
She also edits the podcast audio.
Sarah grew up out in the sticks of Oregon, in a town that’s a Pacific Northwestern version of Dillon, Texas, where people also actually say, “y’all.” As a result of there not being much else to do besides going to the library or the occasional pilgrimage to a little used bookstore you have have heard of, Sarah has always been a voracious reader, egged on in her addiction by her English teacher mother.
Her favorite authors span many genres, but she loves novels featuring smart, engaging, funny characters and that create a strong sense of place. She has a couple of degrees in Women’s Studies, so weak, waffly female characters need not apply. She has a special place in her heart for excellent contemporary YA and loves urban fantasy, unique mysteries (especially those in urban settings), novels with authentic sports themes, and contemporary fiction, especially with a unique approach to the old fashioned “boy meets girl” trope. She’s also firmly in the Team Australian YA camp, and is always seeking out fresh fiction from our friends Down Under and also has a burgeoing interest in graphic novels and digital/interactive books. Sarah is kind of afraid of science fiction and high fantasy makes her feel dumb. She dabbles in reading the occasional memoir (especially sports and humor) and in non-fiction with a storytelling approach. She has a soft spot for writers from, and books set in, her beloved Pacific Northwest.
When she’s not reading, Netflixing or watching sports (Mariners! Blazers!), Sarah runs a boutique digital communications company based in Portland, Oregon that serves clients large and small around the world. She lives with her very understanding husband and crazy Australian Shepherd. She also formerly the co-host of The Postscript, a podcast about sports, culture and other important things.
Sarah feels that it’s important that y’all know that her favorite episodes of Friday Night Lights are Hello, Goodbye (Smash’s last episode), Mud Bowl and Always (the finale). Her favorite characters are Smash Williams and Tami Taylor. She is very proud of finally achieving the perfect Connie Britton-style side ponytail.
Laura, Seeking a Clever Title
AKA “Stealth Editor, YA Evangelist & Novels-in-Verse Pusher”
Laura grew up around and in (in that order) Buffalo, NY. She flinches when people refer to that region as “Upstate” and stongly prefers the term “Western New York.” She is a tortured Buffalo Bills fan who still cringes upon hearing the phrase “Wide Right”.
Laura’s favorite books as a child were the “Betsy” series by Carolyn Haywood and the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary. She soon progressed to The Baby-Sitter’s Club and Judy Blume. One day, while grounded by her parents for receiving a B on her report card, she discovered her older brother’s collection of fantasy novels by Piers Anthony and Raymond Feist. She is currently going through a Young Adult phase which will not end anytime soon, if ever. Laura has recently discovered that there are Steampunk and Urban Fantasy novels worth reading.
Since moving to the Portland, Oregon area in 2004, Laura’s books have been funded by her work as a piano technician and her husband’s generous Kindle gift card donations. She also enjoys cooking kalbi and attending Portland Trail Blazers games.
Laura has no plans to ever set foot in the state of Texas, but will gladly watch Tim Riggins say “Texas Forever” on an endless loop. She has developed a unique rating system in her reviews, known as the “FNL Character Rating,” which has been adopted by the rest of the CEFS contributors.
Sandra, Aspiring Nancy Drew
Sandra—who happens to also be Sarah’s mom—is a retired high school English teacher with a lot of opinions and a newfound love of YA literature and urban fantasy—she’s a longtime fan of horror, campy mysteries and police procedurals. As a kid, her goal was to grow up to be Nancy Drew, so much so that she carried around a notebook to report on her neighbors’ potential criminal activities. She is a devoted watcher of Law & Order reruns and is always on the lookout for a good mystery.
Sandra obsessively watched all of Friday Night Lights in 2011 after much harrassment from Sarah. She is a huge fan of Tim Riggins and Tyra Collette—and Tyra’s College Essay is her favorite episode.