We have a lot of fantastic authors at OneFour KidLit and are excited to introduce them all to you. Today we’re talking to Dahlia Adler, author of BEHIND THE SCENES, coming from Spencer Hill Contemporary in 2014. One author, four questions. Here we go!
Hey, you’re getting published! How’d that happen? (aka, what was your path to publication)
The fairly long version of the recent events that took me here are on my blog, but the shorter version is that I wrote a whole bunch of books I ended up shelving, including one I loved but was having trouble with because it was so character-driven it was hard to pitch, and because the pacing and tone were kind of all over the place. I got another book idea – this one considerably more plot-centric – took a stab at it for NaNoWriMo, finished writing it by mid-December-ish, gave it to two betas, did a major revision that added 10,000 words, and then entered it in The Writer’s Voice contest. My agent “voted” for me, offered less than two weeks later, and signed me about a week after that. Then I went on submission and ended up at Spencer Hill Contemporary, with my fabulous editor, Patricia Riley, who lights up my life. Like, daily.
What’s your debut book about? Can you share any cool details with us?
Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:
Eighteen-year-old Ally Duncan’s best friend may be “the” Vanessa Park – star of TV’s hottest new teen drama – but Ally’s not interested in following in her BFF’s Hollywood footsteps. In fact, the only thing Ally’s ever really wanted is to go to Columbia and study abroad in Paris. But when her father’s mounting medical bills threaten to stop her dream in its tracks, Ally nabs a position as Van’s on-set assistant to get the cash she needs.
Spending the extra time with Van turns out to be fun, and getting to know her sexy co-star Liam is an added bonus. But when the actors’ publicist arranges for Van and Liam to “date” for the tabloids just after he and Ally share their first kiss, Ally will have to decide exactly what role she’s capable of playing in their world of make believe. If she can’t play by Hollywood’s rules, she may lose her best friend, her dream future, and her first shot at love.
The coolest detail about the book is probably that a part of it was ripped off from my own life experiences, but it’s not the part readers generally guess. (And no, I’m not gonna spoil it here!) I also love that so many readers came away with the same (unexpected!) favorite character; it’s one that almost didn’t get more than a few lines but then refused to shut up as I was writing.
A couple of fun facts: 1) It’s the only YA book I’ve ever written that’s set in a real city – one I actually got to visit while writing it. 2) 90210 had more to do with this book than I care to admit. Some of my research involved watching behind-the-scenes videos, and Liam got his name because he’s physically based on Matt Lanter, who played the character of Liam. It actually wasn’t until after I wrote BtS that 90210 Liam became an actor on the show… who had a “publicity girlfriend” for a couple of episodes… and actually ended up becoming a whole lot closer to my Liam! 3) My CPs are hilarious and promptly started a Liam’s Abs Fan Club after reading it. If I ever have a street team, expect the hashtag to read #LAFC.
What are you most excited about in the debut process?
I live in New York City so I was really privileged to get to drop by BEA last week, and just the idea of signing ARCs or posters or whatever surrounded by that many booklovers…. I can’t wait until next May! Plus, it because very clear there that not only does my publisher, Spencer Hill Press, have absolutely awesome Editorial Assistants and Interns, but they do a killer variety of swag (Fake tats and I ❤ My Camp Boyfriend T-shirts, anyone?), so I can’t wait to see what we come up with for BtS!
Also, it’s such a dorky thing, but I can’t wait to write my first set of acknowledgments. I feel like I’ve been waiting to thank my friends, family, and CPs for years, and I can’t wait to get to do so on paper!
What cool facts might readers not know about you?
Cool… right… hmm…. Well, there’s… no, wait, that’s not cool. Hold on, I’ll think of something.
- I know all the world capitals. OK, that’s a slight exaggeration, because there are 7-8 of them I often forget, but still, I mean, come on. (And yes, I know the state capitals too. Not so much the provinces. Sorry, Canada! Consider it payback for Nickelback.)
- I love foreign languages, so my characters (especially Ally!) often do too. I’ve studied Latin (briefly in high school), French (high school and college), Russian (minor in college), and Hebrew (forever), so those are the ones you’ll usually see pop up in my books!
- I was named after a turtle that ran away under my sister’s care. I don’t even know what else to say about that.
- I attended seminary in Jerusalem for a year, which involved a whole lot of bible study. Naturally, I put that to good use by writing contemporary YA retellings of biblical stories.
- On the opposite side of cool, we have the fact that I don’t have my driver’s license. Which I like to blame on having gone to high school and college in NYC, but… yeah. Pretty sure that only goes so far.
|Dahlia Adler is an Assistant Editor of Mathematics by day, a Copy Editor by night, and writes contemporary YA and blogs at the Daily Dahlia and YA Misfits at every spare moment in between. She lives in NYC with her husband and their overflowing bookshelves. Her debut novel, BEHIND THE SCENES, releases from Spencer Hill Contemporary in 2014.|