Sunday, April 25, 2010

#Authorpalooza2010 - Guest Author Post featuring Alexandra Diaz

Alexandra Diaz
Of All the Stupid Things
Egmont, USA

The idea for my YA novel, Of All the Stupid Things, came while I was doing my MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University in England. The initial idea came with the line, “Brent Staple is such a jerk”. From there I had to figure out what Brent had done to be such a jerk and what were the consequences of that event. I also knew I wanted to have three protagonists with different journeys that intertwine. During the course of one evening, I had the basic premise for what I wanted the novel to be about.

Here is a quick blurb:

Tara literally runs from the problems in her life: an absent father and a cheating boyfriend. Until finally there is someone to run to: the alluring new girl, Riley.

To Whitney Blaire, Riley is an evil munchkin tramp: she's after Tara's boyfriend, she's brainwashing Tara, she's changing everything. It shouldn't be too hard to prove it; after all, no one messes with Whitney Blaire.

Then there's Pinkie the worrier. She can't stand her friends arguing; it's not right for Whitney Blaire to dislike Riley, but it's also not right for Tara to like Riley the way she does.

Written in three distinctive voices, Of All the Stupid Things goes through the lives, loves, and lies of three teenage friends.

Most of the novel was finished by the time I completed my MA and submitted the manuscript as my final project. I had lots of replies from agents who sent me letters that said, “Dear Contributor, unfortunately...” and some who didn't bother responding at all. Knowing that I didn't want to give up, I asked a university lecturer who he would recommend and he mentioned an agent in London. The agent liked it, but unfortunately didn't think she could sell it. Even though it was disappointing to come so close, she suggested sending it to a friend who was just starting an agency. I did and within a couple weeks, I was signed on with the Greenhouse Literary. I couldn't believe it. We worked intensively on the manuscript over the summer to make it the best it could be and sent it out in October. Egmont was quick to show interest and ended up buying it.

It took several months for it to really sink in and there were times that I thought it hadn't really happened. I've always known I want to be an author and to have it finally come true was beyond amazing. When I started writing Of All the Stupid Things, I had no idea it would become my first book. At that time it was just an MA project. Even though it's been out for a few months now, I'm still surprised and pleased to find it on bookshelves and realize that that is actually my book out there.

Book Description for Of All the Stupid ThingsWhen a rumor starts circulating that Tara’s boyfriend has been with one of the guy cheerleaders, the innuendo doesn’t just hurt Tara. It marks the beginning of the end for three lifelong friends.

Egmont US
December 22, 2009

Tara’s training for a marathon, but also running from her fear of abandonment from her father.

Whitney Blaire seems to have everything, but an empty mansion and absentee parents leave her looking for her own value in the wrong places.

And Pinkie has a compulsive need to mother everyone to make up for the mama she’s never stopped missing.
Then the new girl arrives in school and Tara starts to feel things she’s never felt for before for a girl. Can the girls’ friendship survive when all the rules have changed?

Available now from Amazon

Tune in to a Book and a Chat

Join Alexandra and Barry, the host of the popular radio show A Book and a Chat, as they talk about the life, love, and rumors in Of All the Stupid Things.
Call with questions to (347) 237-5398 and listen online at A Book and a Chat.
Bring a cuppa and some biscuits and enjoy the show!
May 1st, 2010. 11am (EST).

Alexandra Diaz, Photo Credit Owen Benson

Alexandra Diaz is a Cuban-American spending her time between Bath, England, Santa Fe, NM, and the rest of the world. She has an MA in Writing for Young People from Bath Spa University and has led various workshops since she was fourteen. As a result of being homeschooled for most of high school, she’s fascinated by teenage school life and the drama that occurs in those quarters. One of the reasons she writes is to experience life in someone else’s shoes. She is a “jenny of all trades” having worked as a nanny, teacher, film extra, tour guide, and dairy goat judge (seriously) among several other jobs. In addition to traversing the world, she enjoys hiking, swing dancing, and the prospect of flying.

To enter to win a copy of Alexandra's book,

Tweet about this giveaway with #Authorpalooza2010 tag and include link to post.

Answer me this..

Was your high school experience a good one or not so good? 



elizabeth said...

Great post. It is fun to learn about authors like this :)

My high school experience had its ups and downs. Some parts were great, but others were horrible!

I tweeted:

Stella (Ex Libris) said...

Great post, thank you, I love learning about author's personal lives :-)

Tweeted here:

My high school experience was a fantastic one! I still remember it as one of the best years of my life. We were so free and had so much fun, I loved it! Wouldn't mind going back :-)

Karen said...

Hi! I already have the book but I wanted to stop by and congratulate Alexandra for getting the book published!
I loved it! (btw - we sold all of the copies at our Ocala book store! yay)

Melanie said...

My high school experience was like a roller coaster ride. Sometimes if was great but most of the time, I couldn't wait to get out of there. It was insane how the kids in our neighborhood had zero respect for teachers and other student! My high school experience is one of the reasons I want to teach kids and not high school student.

I tweeted :

angie said...

I have been wanting to read this one! My high school experience for the most part was good. Of course there were ups and downs. If you asked me to go back and relive it, I would say no though! Unless I could go back knowing what I know now:)
I tweeted

Spav said...

The first years were great, but the last 2 were terrible. I couldn't wait to get out of there.