Name of Book: Adios to All The Drama
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Genre: Young Adult
ISBN 10: 0758225571 ISBN 13: 978-0758225573
Link to where it can be purchased (exact link): http://www.amazon.com/Adios-Drama-Diana-Rodriguez-Wallach/dp/0758225571?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217798042&sr=1-3
Author’s Website and Blog
When did you decide you wanted to become an author? How did you get started writing?
Many authors say they wrote their first books at the age of five or whatnot. This was not the case for me. I always enjoyed writing, but I originally channeled those talents into journalism. After college, it took me awhile to realize I wasn’t happy as a reporter, but it wasn’t until I had a very unusual dream that I decided to write my first novel.
I dreamt that I was a young adult author; the dream included the concept for an entire series of books. Seriously. When I woke up and told my husband, he reminded me of a vacation we took five years earlier through New England where I had visited a psychic in Salem, MA. She had told me that I would become “a writer of little books, children’s books.” Being raised Catholic, I took these things as “signs.” (What can I say? All those years of Sunday School are hard to forget.) So, ultimately, I decided to heed the dream and write my first novel.
I give a much more detailed account of this story on my website at http://www.dianarodriguezwallach.com/for_writers.html.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I love to travel. It’s one of the reasons I set my books abroad. I got to travel to Puerto Rico to research the Amor series, and I went to Italy to research my work-in-progress (gotta love that, right?).
The first time I went overseas was when I studied abroad in Madrid, Spain. I absolutely loved it. And after that trip, I backpacked through Europe, visiting London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich, Geneva and Nice. Since then, I’ve been to Prague, Italy, Bora Bora, Bali, Greece, and many more. I would spend my life traveling the world if I could afford it.
Were you an avid reader as a child? What type of books did you enjoy reading?
I used to devour every Christopher Pike book as it was released. I loved all of them: Remember Me?, Fall into Darkness, Chain Letter, you name it. I think that strong connection with young adult literature is one of the reasons I felt drawn to write in the genre.
Tell us a bit about your latest book, and what inspired you to write such a story.
Well, Adios to All the Drama is the third book in the series. So it was inspired by the two books that came before. However, the first book in the series, Amor and Summer Secrets, was initially inspired by a conversation with my agent, Jenoyne Adams. She had mentioned seeing a recent increase in interest from editors seeking multi-cultural novels, and she asked the infamous question, “Got any ideas?” I didn’t. But by the end of our conversation, I had pitched the story for what became Amor and Summer Secrets.
Part of the inspiration was derived from my first trip to Puerto Rico after I graduated from college. I met my relatives there for the first time, and I got to see where my dad grew up. I wanted to share some of those experiences with my character while showcasing that the stereotypes about Latinas are just that—stereotypes.
From the moment you conceived the idea for the story, to the published book, how long did it take?
I wrote Amor and Summer Secrets in September 2006, and I actually completed the entire first draft in a little over a month, which is crazy. But that was a very atypical experience for me. Usually it takes me about three or four months to write a novel. And I was fortunate that Amor and Summer Secrets sold quickly. We submitted the manuscript to Kate Duffy at Kensington on a Thursday and by the following Tuesday, I got THE CALL.
It was Fat Tuesday, and I was at Mardi Gras. I was wearing a sequined mask with feathers and my favorite strings of gold, purple and green beads that I had caught during the trip. And let me just say that there is no better place on Earth to be when you get good news than Mardi Gras. There was an actual parade going on outside of my hotel room. http://www.dianarodriguezwallach.com/amor_and_summer_secrets_story.html.)
Amor and Summer Secrets didn’t hit shelves until September 2008. So all together, it took about two years to see my novel in print.
Describe your working environment.
It depends on my mood. When it comes to the first draft, I almost always write at the desk in my house and listen to music on Comcast TV (either the ‘90s channel or ‘adult alternative’). But for revisions, I’m more flexible. Since I live in Philly, I’m a slave to the seasons, and often a victim of cabin fever. So when it’s warm, I’ll work on my patio. And when it’s cold, I’ll move to a coffee shop.
Do you have an agent? How was your experience in searching for one?
I seriously lucked out in the agent department. Typically, one of the most stressful parts of the publishing process is landing an agent. But I only queried for two weeks. My agent responded to my e-query within ten minutes, and she offered me representation within 24 hours of receiving my full manuscript. She’s fantastic.
But on the flip side, that first novel didn’t sell (it was a middle grade novel with a mean girls theme). So I suffered through my fair share of rejections during the editorial submission process. I don’t think any author escapes unscathed.
What is(are) your favorite book/author(s)? Why?
I have several favorite authors. One of my favorite books is The Little Prince. I think the lessons in that story are useful at any age (even the dedication inspires me). And I’m a huge Jane Austen fan, especially Pride & Prejudice. And I love Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight.
What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
When I started my work-in-progress, it was in the third person. And my agent suggested changing it to the first person. That made a huge difference. I really got inside my new main character’s head, and I think my “voice” is stronger than it was in all of my prior works.
Do you have another book on the works? Would you like to tell readers about your current or future projects?
I am hard at work on a new work-in-progress. It’s a complete departure from my Amor series—lots of spies, suspense, fight scenes and, of course, a love triangle. I’m really excited about it. Plus I get to travel because I’m setting some scenes in Europe. And the main character is a lot of fun to write. She’s much cooler than I am, all about girl power, and her dialogue is very punchy. I hope to have it ready for the publishing world soon!
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