Get ready for the girl-power read you didn’t know you were waiting for. Inspired by Sons of Anarchy and Thelma and Louise, Sarah Nicole Lemon’s Done Dirt Cheap presents two bold BFFs who wait for no man to solve their problems. Full of gems like “It’s always valuable to know what kind of men your world is made of,” Done Dirt Cheap will inspire you to reevaluate your life, your collection of leather jackets, and your transportation options. (BRB, we are shopping for motorcycles). Today, we’re chatting with author Sarah Nicole Lemon about what keeps her creative, the lady heroes in her life, and more. Scroll on to meet this incredibly brilliant author!
Brit + Co: Describe your book in six words or less.
Sarah Nicole Lemon: Sons of Anarchy. Thelma + Louise.
B+C: Where/when do you do your best writing?
SNL: Airports. I’m the type of person who has nightmares about being late. I’m also a mom of three small children and can’t wait to get behind security where no one will ask me to take them to poop. So, I’m always super early for flights.
I love working next to big windows and having easy access to snacks, bathrooms, and people watching. Okay, maybe I get distracted by people watching. Once, I saw a clearance bin Jason Momoa walk by in a floor length, homemade fur coat, with an actual, goddamn, full-size cooler on his shoulder. I couldn’t stop staring. This was in Alaska, obviously.
B+C: What’s your go-to cure for when you’re stuck in a creativity rut?
Going outside to play. I’m a curious person. I have an appetite for almost everything. I hope to never forget how to play and explore. It loosens something in my brain to get into a little adventure. I do wish I looked friendlier so people would be less creeped out when I sidle up like, hey, ya’ll, lemme just…*squeezes in* go on…
Just kidding, I don’t do that. I watch creepily from across the room.
B+C: What two lady heroes do you turn to for inspiration, and why?
Lynn Hill, the first person to free climb The Nose of El Capitan in Yosemite. I think the best way to describe why is by paraphrasing another climber/writer, Steve Roper: We all knew the Nose would go free, but none of us expected a woman would do it. And she just did it. She’d put in her dues and had incredible talent, tried, failed, and kept trying until the Nose went free. (Photo via Getty/Tony Duffy)
Beyoncé, circa Lemonade. I fully understand Lemonade was not for me. Everything in that album calls back and reclaims the history of Southern black women. And while the experiences of poor white women and black women, in the South, have overlapped as we competed to stay out of the bottom, it’s also been very distinct. All that to say — I’ve spent a good portion of my life trying to code myself more (middle class, mainstream) white, and that album was the first time I saw someone that big, completely subvert that instinct. I want to make art that symbolic, that true, that accessible, that dualistic, and yet, that sharp about its history. (Photo via Getty/Ezra Shaw)
B+C: What’s your latest Instagram obsession?
SNL: I am obsessed with author Roshani Chokshi’s Instagram feed, @roshanichokshi. She has this ability to see the magic in the world and frame it on Instagram. I love it.
Right now, I love browsing Instagram for things like metallic-finish lipstick and anything evoking Jerry Hall or the 1996 Gucci Fall Ready-to-Wear runway. Feeds that feature vintage photos, like @theselvedgeyard, are some of my favorites.
B+C: Can you name a book that you think deserves a little more love + recognition?
SNL: I LOVE fun YA romances. I honestly don’t understand why we aren’t talking about Jennifer Echols all of the time in YA. Her most recent titles in The Superlatives series are such fun reads, and I’m here for it. She makes a trip to the beach feel as important and drama-filled as it really was as a teen.
I also just need to say how excited I am about an upcoming women’s fiction title, Mr. Right Swipe by Ricki Schultz — it’s a ridiculously hilarious love-in-the-time-of-Tinder book. It’s out June 6, and everyone will be talking about it then.
B+C: What’s next on your to-read pile?
SNL: Looking on my desk, I’m halfway through American Street by Ibi Zoboi. Next up is Kissing Max Holden by another debut author, Katy Upperman, and the non-fiction God, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man by Cornelia Walker Bailey. I really want to make time to read Empress of a Thousand Skies, a new release from debut author Rhoda Belleza.
B+C: What advice do you have for aspiring creative ladies?
Cultivate your interior life however you can. Moving from childhood into adulthood and motherhood, you have to intentionally make space for that inner life. It’s so easily crowded out. I should go to the gym in the mornings when I have the chance, but I often ditch and sit on the beach. Even if it’s five minutes and thirty degrees, it’s five minutes of space for my soul and mind to wander in a way that is vital for my creativity. My ass is less tight, but my mind is boundless.
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(Featured photo via Sarah Nicole Lemon)