Ask the Author: Dahlia Adler (Just Visiting)

Samstag, 21. November 2015

   For todays Ask the Author I'm bringing you the marvelous Dahlia Adler, author of Just Visiting and other amazing YA and NA novels. I'm incredibly happy that she agreed to answer eleven of my questions for you guys. I think her answers are brilliant and only made me want to read her books more. Hopefully you'll feel the same!
   Here is Just Visiting and her awesome answers:

Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler cover
Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler
Published: November 17th 2015 by Spencer Hill Contemporary
Number of Pages: 348 Pages (Paperback)
Series: No

   Reagan Forrester wants out—out of her trailer park, out of reach of her freeloading mother, and out of the shadow of the relationship that made her the pariah of Charytan, Kansas.
   Victoria Reyes wants in—in to a fashion design program, in to the arms of a cute guy who doesn't go to Charytan High, and in to a city where she won't stand out for being Mexican.
   One thing the polar-opposite best friends do agree on is that wherever they go, they’re staying together. But when they set off on a series of college visits at the start of their senior year, they quickly see that the future doesn’t look quite like they expected. After two years of near-solitude following the betrayal of the ex-boyfriend who broke her heart, Reagan falls hard and fast for a Battlestar Galactica-loving, brilliant smile-sporting pre-med prospective... only to learn she's set herself up for heartbreak all over again. Meanwhile, Victoria runs full-speed toward all the things she thinks she wants… only to realize everything she’s looking for might be in the very place they've sworn to leave.
   As both Reagan and Victoria struggle to learn who they are and what they want in the present, they discover just how much they don't know about each other's pasts. And when each learns what the other’s been hiding, they'll have to decide whether their friendship has a future. (

Interview with Dahlia Adler

   1 – Describe Just Visiting with a haiku.
   two girl BFFs
   road tripping to colleges
   much s*** hits the fan

   2 – What sparked the idea for Just Visiting? The simple idea of a friendship between two completely different girls or something entirely different?
   It was that simple idea, yeah. I read a whole rash of YAs where every BFF was more like a frenemy, and then I read one called Confessions of a First Daughter by Cassidy Calloway, and I realized I'd been bracing myself the entire time for a nasty moment between the friends that never came. And I was horrified that I expected terribleness to arise, especially since half that friendship pair was in a position of power. And I knew then I wanted to write a book where the friendship took center stage.

   3 – What was the most challenging about writing Just Visiting and which scene was the most fun to write?
   A bunch of things were really challenging because everything was outside of my lane - Kansas, poverty, being Mexican-American, Deafness/ASL...even college visits; I only went on one! But for me, hurting my characters emotionally with things that are really beyond their control is the hardest, so that first scene between Reagan, her mom, and a neighbor was particularly hard. As for the most fun... my favorite scenes to write are always romantic ones, so there's a tie there between my favorite one of Vic's with a guy she meets on a visit and my favorite one of Reagan's, which I won't spoil but I imagine anyone who's read it can guess.

   4 – Throughout the novel you discuss many different and important topics. Which are they and why do you think it’s important to talk about them?
   There's a lot I think we don't talk enough about in YA, especially when it comes to girls and their control over their own choices and bodies. I wanted to acknowledge how much power is actually out there for them, what they might not realize is or should be in their grasp, whether that's financial options for college, or alternative plans to college, or all matters of consent and contraception and sexual ownership... I hate that we're so silent about these things in YA, because they're all things that give teens power, and that's something I firmly believe YA should do.

   5 – In retrospective, is there anything that you’d change about the story or are you happy with the way it turned out in the end?
   Ha, it's a very dangerous road for an author to go down to think about what they'd do differently. But the truth is, I am happy with how it turned out. And glad to be able to say that.

   6 – Like many of us you stand behind the fact that we need more diverse books. Why do you think diversity is so important especially in YA?
   Everyone needs to see themselves in stories, to see that they have a place in the world and experiences worth knowing. I think we've been underestimating the value in that for too long, and the power diverse books have not only to increase empathy but to make people who might've seen like they're from a different world more familiar. Less Othered. People's bigoted opinions often do a total 180 as soon as they learn how that opinion actually affects someone close to them. Get them close to a book character who isn't like them as a teen, and maybe they don't grow up to be an adult with that bigoted opinion. It's worth a shot.
 7 - How did you feel when you first realized that this story you had written would soon be read by thousands of people and how do you feel now, years later, before your next book will be released? Did the feeling change or is it still the same?
   It was really, really nervewracking in ways I didn't expect, when my first book came out into the world. When you've been writing your whole life, but no one has any idea what you're actually working on, people either assume it's amazing, because they like you, or it's amateurish, because they know you. Either way, they're finally seeing inside your head, and that's terrifying. Less so now that I've published four books, sure, but still.

   8 – What do you think about the cover for Just Visiting?
   I absolutely love my cover; I think everything about it is perfect. It's fun and friendship-y, rural and hopeful, golden and open, and I love the road trip detailing. My critique partner Maggie Hall is obscenely talented, and the fact that she can write books as well as she does and make covers this beautiful astonishes me to no end. I'm so lucky to have her.

   9 – What are your five favorite reads of 2015 so far?
   I am really, really awful at answering this question, especially because I think 2015 has been a particularly phenomenal year for books, especially debuts. But five YAs that are definitely contenders are All the Rage by Courtney Summers, Making Pretty by Corey Ann Haydu, The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski, More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera, and Conviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert.

   10 – What advice could you give aspiring authors?
   Don't do this professionally if you're not willing and wanting to learn and grow at all times. You can't shut everyone and everything else out; it's just not a profession that exists in a vacuum. If you don't respect the advice and edits of other people, and you aren't interested in ever reaching outside your comfort zone, this is going to get really unpleasant for you, really fast. And boring, too.

   11 – If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
   Teleportation. My closest author friends live all over the country (and in the case of one, in The Netherlands!) and while the Internet is great, a few hours spent talking books over drinks or at Barnes & Noble is even better! Plus, you know, no driver's license.
Dahlia Adler

About the Author

   Dahlia Adler is an Associate Editor of Mathematics by day, a blogger for B&N Teens by night, and writes Contemporary YA and NA at every spare moment in between. She's the author of the Daylight Falls duology, the upcoming Just Visiting, and Last Will and Testament, as well as over five billion tweets as @MissDahlELama. She lives in New York City with her husband and their overstuffed bookshelves.

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