Every month we'll highlight a reader in the Great Lakes Bay region and learn more about them, their work, and their reading life. We'll also discuss books and share a conversation about something close to their heart.
It's fascinating to learn about people's stories. To find commonalities and differences. There are so many more questions I could have asked Sarah to explore both. They are versed in tarot and witchcraft and loves books and art.
Read on to learn more about Sarah's story and books that made an impact in their life. You'll be inspired.
What is the first book you remember reading or being read that had a big impact on you?
Treasure Island was my first love. I've had many since but I still remember the adventure and excitement I felt reading about a kid like me taking on pirates. I am still fascinated with pirate history and lore. I was grateful to play Mary Reed (my favorite pirate) in a production of Treasure Island at the Midland Center for the Arts.
Do you read any of the books you read as a child to your son?
Like most parents, I read a lot of Dr. Seuss to my son and we were always big fans of Fox in Socks. We would take turns reading pages and trying to go through the last rhyme as quickly as we could without fumbling it. As he got older, I introduced him to the Wayside School series which was one of my favorites as a kid. More notable favorites for us over the years have been The Purple Kangaroo by Michael Ian Black, The Notebook of Doom series by Troy Cummings, and Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman.
How has reading played a role in your life?
I think there is magic in reading. Escaping to new worlds, expanding my understanding of our world, finding lines of poetry written ages before I was here that perfectly say what I feel. I believe that there is also magic in the connection books create with people. I have bonded with countless people over numerous books, some leading to lifelong friendships.
You worked at Barnes & Noble for a time? What surprised you about the book industry?
I have worked in retail on and off for years and book people are easily the nicest customers. Maybe it's just impossible for readers to be unhappy in a bookstore.
When and how did you get started with tarot cards? witchcraft?
My first deck was gifted to me in a coffee shop in 2019. I had been interested in the practice for awhile but never found a deck I liked enough to get myself. I have collected a few decks since then but my first is still my favorite. As for the witchcraft, I think that was always baked in the cake. My mom was a very spiritually open person and we talked a lot when I was growing up about family members who did tea leaf readings, family ghost stories, and other strange things that happened in and around the house I grew up in. Now I consider myself an agnostic pagan witch and view witchcraft as "spicy psychology". Spellwork is meditation and setting intentions, shadow work is therapy. I've done a lot of personal healing through witchcraft and I think that kind of magic is real.
What's your favorite tarot deck? My first is my favorite but I have what I call my "Scorpio Deck'' that reminds me of my life long best friend. It's harsh but honest. It's not an everyday deck for me but I value the insight when I really need bluntness.
Reading will take place at Leopard Print Books inside The Vintage Greenhouse in downtown Bay City. Register for a free, 15-minute reading by Mr. Sarah by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
What made you decide to share your tarot reading skills with others?
I have always thought of tarot as a tool not a god. Each card has an individual, generic reading. A series of cards tell an individual, generic story. We hear the meanings and associate them with what we are thinking or feeling (that spicy psychology at work) and allows us to see the situation from a new perspective. I think people are creative and resilient but we also get stuck. A reading can help us knock things loose and empower us to move forward and I'm happy to share that with people.
How long have you been reading cards for others? I started reading for others shortly after getting my deck. Friends who would let me practice were a huge help, giving me time and patience in finding my rhythm and learning how to tell the stories the cards showed me.
You've been involved in theatre in the area. What shows have you most enjoyed? Why?
I have been involved with theatre since I was 6. Acting, directing, lights, sound, I was even the kid who pulled the cord for the curtain. I have been involved with numerous shows and take something from each one. I have won awards and gotten to work on Broadway shows that came to my theatre. But my favorite shows are the ones I got to push my hair and makeup skills. I'm most proud of the work I did on a production of Frankenstein where I got to build prosthetics for the Creature and building masks for Oedipus the King.
Are there different shows or other theatre-y things you'd like to see happen in the area?
I have always wanted to do a production of Evil Dead the Musical!
Do you have a go-to book wheelhouse? If so, what?
I am a lifelong Stephen King fan. I have read most of his work and always read his newest releases. His skills at world building, storytelling, and humor in the macabre will keep me a constant reader.
What things inspire you?
Passionate art in all its forms. It fuels life and life turns around and fuels art right back.
What book do you think everyone should read?
Any or all of the banned ones.