Sunday, January 25, 2009

GCC Presents . . .Diana Rodriguez Wallach

This week I'm thrilled to host awesome YA author, Diana Rodriguez Wallach, who's amazing new book, ADIOS TO ALL THE DRAMA was just released!

Here's the story:

Mariana Ruiz thought she left her summer fling in Puerto Rico, that is until she finds Alex sitting across from her at the breakfast table. Living two doors down from her visiting old flame isn’t easy, especially given the unresolved sparks still lingering for her locker buddy Bobby—and they don’t exactly go unnoticed.

Her best friends are little help as Madison deals with her IM-only “boyfriend” and Emily sinks into secret mode after her parents’ recent breakup. The only relationship that seems to be working is her estranged aunt Teresa who’s tying the knot on New Years with Mariana and her cousin Lilly as bridesmaids. But the last wedding detail left un
planned is who will Mariana kiss at midnight?

Strained friendships, stolen kisses, and secret loves create plenty of surprises to unfold before the New Year’s bells start ringing…

Want more? Watch the trailer HERE

Here's the same 5 questions I always ask:

1. Every story has a backstory, what's the backstory for your book?

I’ll warn you, it’s kind of strange. I started writing my first novel because I had a dream one night that I was a young adult author, and I dreamt 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.

We had stopped in Salem, MA to see the witches’ houses. While there, I decided to visit a psychic (when in Rome, right?). So I sat down and the psychic immediately said, “You’re a writer.” And I was; at the time, I was a reporter. I told her this, and she asked what I wrote about. Intentionally trying to be cryptic (I mean, she is a psychic, shouldn’t she already know?), I told her that I wrote about “business.” She swiftly said, “No. I see you writing books, little books, like children’s books.”

I had never considered writing a book before. But after the dream, and my recollection of that encounter, I figured it was “a sign.” So I sat down and started writing my first novel.

2. What's your work environment like? Any rituals, totems, or must haves?

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.

3. If you could live inside any book-- which would it be?

I’d want to be inside the tomb at the end of Romeo and Juliet so I could pop out and yell, “Romeo, don’t do it! She’s not dead! Give it a minute!” Then I’d give them money to get the hell out of Verona. (On a side note, this past spring I visited the balcony in Verona that allegedly inspired Shakespeare’s famous scene. Very cool.)

4. What book rocked your world growing up?

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.

5. If you could visit any time, place, or person- what, where, or who would it be?

I won’t say anything cheesy like the biblical times, because who wouldn’t want to know the real truth there? Instead I’ll go with Philadelphia (where I live) back in the days of Ben Franklin and the founding fathers. I’d love to see my city through their eyes: when there were really horses on the posts (that still exist), and when the mansions in Fairmount park (near the Art Museum) were considered the “country.”

Here's Diana's backstory:

Diana Rodriguez Wallach’s debut novel, Amor and Summer Secrets, is the first in a young adult series published by Kensington Publishing in September 2008. The sequels to the series, Amigas and School Scandals and Adios to all the Drama, were released in November 2008 and January 2009, respectively.

Born to a Puerto Rican father and a Polish mother, Diana has experienced the cultures her characters inhabit, and many of the multi-cultural themes expressed in her novels are based on her personal background.

Diana holds a journalism degree from Boston University, and has worked as a reporter and as an advocate for inner city public schools. Her first novel, Amor and Summer Secrets, sold to Kensington Publishing on Fat Tuesday 2007 while she was at Mardi Gras wearing beads and a feathered mask.

She currently lives in Philadelphia with her husband Jordan and her cat Lupi, who was rescued from a shelter in Harlem. Diana enjoys traveling, watching bad TV, reading great novels, practicing yoga and cheering on the Philadelphia Eagles.

To learn more about Diana, visit her on twitter, myspace, or her website


Keri Mikulski said...

Love the dream inspiration!

Thanks for the great interview. :)

Diana Rodriguez Wallach said...

Thanks for posting my interview, Alyson!