“It’s still kind of surreal if I’m being honest with you”

High school student talks about her upcoming novel and what it took to first get published.

Picture of Sara Krusky by Isaiah Bagni

SARA KRUSKY’s obsession with writing began when she was six-years-old, and her mother bought her a notebook. During that time, Krusky was experiencing bullying in her school and found writing as an enjoyable outlet for her to vent how she feels and cope with bullying. She has been in love with writing ever since. From novels and short stories to small poems and proses, Krusky continued to cope with the struggles she experienced in her own life in the form of writing.

Now, eleven years later, Krusky awaits for her novel, Theory of Death, to be finalized, and set to be released and sold worldwide. I got the chance to sit down with Krusky during a Journalism class about her progress in writing her novel and her thoughts on the publishing world and the importance of representation in literature.

Krusky’s soon-to-be-published novel is set in 1980s Brooklyn, 10 years after the murder of a notorious serial killer. During that time, several murders that share the same resemblance as the murders that occurred ten years prior occur around the same time a new university student moves into the city, leaving Brooklyn with many questions.

The inspiration for the book came to Krusky in grade 9, after having what she described as a “whack dream” that involved the murder of multiple people. Left with many questions, Krusky decided to answer them through writing. Once she started, she never stopped writing until she finished the first draft of the novel, and then four others since then.

When asked about what encouraged her to publish her story, she hesitated at first before saying “I don’t know, I just always thought it would really really cool to be an author.” She also stated that publishing a book has always been something she wanted to do in the back of her mind, with part of it having to do with spiting those who have told her that she wouldn’t be able to become an author.

Photo of Sara Krusky by Isaiah Bagni

The journey to get her book published was not easy. When she first approached a publishing company, she was offered the opportunity at the cost of $3,000, which Krusky had to deny. However, last year Krusky got the call that the company still wanted to publish her book and offered half off the original cost. Due to the high cost, Krusky had to work two jobs to make enough, while still in high school and working on the book. 

“I think I handled it well on the outside,” Sara stated when asked about how she balanced all her obligations, “but on the inside, I was kind of dying a little bit. […] when I went home at the end of the day, it would be midnight, and like if I go to sleep without doing what I want to be doing I’m gonna wake up miserable tomorrow. So, like, I thought no matter how tired I am, I need to do what I want, regardless of what else I’m doing. I need to be myself. I did not sleep at all.”

However, Krusky does not regret any of it and believes that the end results were worth the sacrifices she had to make to achieve it, claiming that “I feel like there’s always a sacrifice you have to make. Mine was, personally, my money and my time, because I had to, like, put down payments on things, which is why I took on a second job. And I didn’t get any financial help from my parents because I didn’t want it. I wanted to do this myself. I’m a hard worker. I wanted this to be mine.”

Krusky’s novel, Theory of Death, is set to be released and sold in stores worldwide in November.