You may know author Adi Alsaid from his latest novel, Let's Get Lost. But that isn't all - he has a brand new story coming out later this year...Never Always Sometimes! We asked Adi a couple of questions about his latest book and also just writing in general, so here's what he had to say. (Plus, side note: Isn't this cover just freaking gorgeous?)
Title: Never Always Sometimes
Author: Adi Alsaid
Expected Publication Date: August 4th, 2015
Hardcover, 352 Pages
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Summary: Dave and Julia are best friends. On the brink of high school, they made a list of cliches they would never do. Now in their senior year, Dave and Julia decide to try every Never on the list. As they break out of their comfort zone and have many adventures- both together and apart- they learn a lot more about who they are and what their true feelings are for one another.
And now, our interview with Adi!
High school is a microcosm for a lot of things you experience later in life, but one of the major ways it resembles adulthood is that there’s a constant struggle between wanting to fit in and wanting to be your own, unique person. When you’re a teenager it’s such a well-defined, clear struggle, and I wanted to explore that in a way that was fun and would allow me to zoom in on how two characters experienced that struggle.
Why do you think readers will enjoy NAS? What makes it special?
I imagine/hope that what they’ll enjoy more than anything is the relationship between the two main characters, Dave and Julia. Writing the book definitely had its challenges, but from the beginning the chemistry between them felt absolutely natural. I just wanted to keep writing scenes with the two of them, and the more I did, the more time I wanted to spend in their company. I hope readers feel the same way.
How did you come up with the title for the book?
I kind of suck at titles. As with Let’s Get Lost, this book had a non-snappy title for a good chunk of its development, and it was my wonderful editorial team that came in to save the day with Never Always Sometimes.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
Just the mere fact of getting to do it. Writing is something I’d be doing whether or not I got paid to do it, whether or not anyone was reading. That I can sit at coffee shops day after day and, whether I’m doing a great job or sucking at it, whether I’m drafting and just trying to get a story down, or revising and trying to get the story to the best version of itself, I get to do what I love to do.
Is there anything that you find particularly challenging with writing?
Control. It’s hard to define what ‘control’ really means in writing, but it’s something I can spot and admire in other writers. Because I love language so much, I think sometimes I struggle to hold myself back when the story demands it. I want to press on the pedal and just speed down the highway, but maybe I’m taking a curve and speeding is neither safe nor appropriate. Writing is so fun and so freeing that it’s hard not to want to yank readers by the wrist and show them what I want them to see. I admire those authors who have the control to lead a reader gently by the hand, like you would with a toddler crossing the street. It’s something I constantly am aware of and wanting to improve on.
Did you learn anything from writing Let's Get Lost and Never Always Sometimes? If so, what?
Well, for one, I learned how to write on a deadline, and what it feels like to know that what I’m writing will be out in the world and in bookstores for potentially thousands of people to read.
What inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve been a writer for most of my life. The urge to do it has been coming since I was in sixth grade, and I don’t think I ever had a choice but to write. My career, though, spawned less romantically. I went to business school and wanted a day job, but my international student/visa status made it hard to find one. Without any other options, I thought back to a story idea I’d written down in the middle of the night (because I had no choice but to write it down) and I wondered if maybe I could turn it into a book. A few years later, I had a book deal.
What's the book you're currently reading right now?
The Islands at the End of the World by Austin Aslan. 80 pages into it and pretty hooked by the promise of what’s to come.
Have you made any cool author friends now that you're an author yourself? If so, who?
The world of YA authors is so friendly, I feel like listing every author I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, even if it was briefly. I’ve had the most face time with fellow Harlequin TEEN authors Julie Kagawa, Michelle Madow, and Robin Talley, particularly in Vegas and New York. I also have had the immense pleasure of being at conventions/festivals/panels with Stephanie Perkins (who is as wonderfully nice as you may have heard), Jen E. Smith (who’s always up for a milkshake in a Georgian diner/hunting shop), Alaya Dawn Johnson (fellow Mexico City resident!), Adam Selzer, Lex Thomas, Andrew Smith, Becky Albertalli, Jasmine Warga, Adam Silvera and tons more whom I wish I could be actual real life friends with.
Anything specific you want to say to your readers? :-)
Tons of stuff, but I think I’ll just say thanks, and leave everything else I’d like to say to our social media interactions.
About The Author
Adi Alsaid was born and raised in Mexico City, then studied at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in class, he mostly read fiction and continuously failed to fill out crossword puzzles, so it's no surprise that after graduating, he did not go into business world but rather packed up his apartment into his car and escaped to the California coastline to become a writer. He's now back in his hometown, where he writes, coaches high school and elementary basketball, and has perfected the art of making every dish he eats or cooks as spicy as possible. In addition to Mexico, he's lived in Tel Aviv, Las Vegas, and Monterey, California. A tingly feeling in his feet tells him more places will eventually be added to the list. Let's Get Lost is his YA debut.
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*A special thank you to Adi Alsaid for allowing us to conduct this interview! We're sooooo excited for Never Always Sometimes!!!!