In an interview conducted by Jill Engle, Sargent recounts the books which influenced her most as a child "Bambi, Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, Grimm's fairy tales, Bulfinch's Mythology, Walter Farley horse books like The Black Stallion (I read them all), The Cloister and the Hearth and other historical novels too numerous to list, Fred Hoyle's The Nature of the Universe, and The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan, which my mother gave me, interestingly enough. Oh, and the Bible, believe it or not, even though I was brought up as an atheist. The Old Testament's full of good stories, my personal favorites being those of David and Esther. I never could get into the New Testament."