Photo of Allison Saft
Author, A Far Wilder Magic and Down Comes the Night
LA ’16, *17
For New York Times bestselling author Allison Saft, the best part of her job is the writing process itself, from the idea formation stage to the final edits.
“I love the blue-sky daydreaming stage of a new idea–and the final revision, when I get to focus on the line-level prose,” explained Saft. “Otherwise, connecting with my readers is a ton of fun. Writing can be a very solitary endeavor, but there is real magic that happens once a book is out in the world and is no longer only mine.”
Despite the immense success she has found in the field of writing, becoming an author was not something Saft initially envisioned as a career when she was younger.
“It was an escape for me–something I did purely for fun,” reflected Saft. “Plus, it didn’t seem all that practical. But after I finished my masters program and settled into my first day job, I thought a lot about what I really wanted to do with my life. Ultimately, I realized that I was happiest when telling stories, and I had a lot of them I wanted to share. The year after I graduated, I spent every free moment I had researching the publishing industry and writing the novel that would become my debut.”
While finishing her graduate degree at Tulane, Saft worked at Newcomb Institute as a graduate assistant for student leadership and engagement. As an undergraduate, she performed in Hers, Theirs, Ours and participated in Mortar Board National Senior Honor Society.
“I participated in two creative writing workshops that really shaped my work: one with Andy Stallings and another with Jesmyn Ward,” recounted Saft. “Those workshops were the first opportunities I had to take my writing seriously, and Andy and Jesmyn shared insights about the creative process that I carry with me today. I was fortunate to have incredibly generous and patient mentors in the department–ones who gave me the courage to dream big and take risks.”
In ten years, Saft sees herself continuing to write and challenging herself to take on more ambitious projects, whether in format, genre, or style. The most important thing to her is producing work that feels emotionally honest.
“When a book resonates with someone exactly the way I hoped, when they truly get what I was going for, there is no better feeling in the world.”