Sarah Jio’s New Book, ‘Always,’ Keeps Seattle’s ’90s Scene Alive

Sarah Jio's New Book, 'Always,' Keeps Seattle's '90s Scene Alive

Sarah Jio was a Seattle-based freelance journalist for years, writing for publications ranging from Glamor and Real Simple to the Seattle Times and the New York Times, with deadlines even the night before their wedding. Then she became a writer with bestsellers in 30 countries and a three-book deal with Random House. We asked the Seattle writer about love, light, and life at the beginning of the Pearl Jam era, portrayed in her new novel Always.

What inspired you to write? When I was 7 years old I wrote this stupid little book about a girl who dreamed of a tractor. It was awarded a prize for young authors. My late grandfather was one of my greatest supporters. Unfortunately, he never got my first book published or learned that I was going to become a bestselling author for the New York Times. Now I’ve written nine books (11 if you count the ones I’ve given up).

How does Seattle appear in your new novel Always? When I was 16, I dated a boy in a punk rock band with a mohawk. I love to write about love. My first love for all of the great Seattle music was writing Always. While I never got a tattoo, this era is really tattooed on my heart. The music, the terribly appropriate second-hand fashion, the cafes!