2020 Debut Author Interview: Alechia Dow!

In 2019, we made it our goal is to work with as many debut authors as possible and spread the word about their debut novels. It was such a success last year that we decided to continue the fun this year as well! Follow us this year as we pick the minds of the 2020 debuts and chat with them. Also stay tuned for news of giveaways, Twitter chats and more!

At the end of 2019, we Tweeted about wanting to discover more debut authors and their books. We ended up finding Alechia Dow and her novel THE SOUND OF STARS, and we have been interested in it ever since. We are so excited to have Alechia on the blog today to answer some of our questions! 

Alechia Dow

Alechia Dow is a former pastry chef, food critic, culinary teacher, and Youth Services librarian. When not writing about determined black girls (like herself), you can find her chasing her wild child, baking, or taking teeny adventures around Europe.

Keep up with Alechia: Website / Twitter / Goodreads / Instagram 

The Book Bratz: First of all, congratulations! How does it feel to be a debut author?
Alechia: It feels unreal. I spent so much time over the years pursuing this; writing books, querying, going through the process of doubt and uncertainty, questioning if I'm talented enough. Now my book is coming out, and I'm still unsure if I deserved this, yet, I want to cherish every moment. I want to celebrate and hope that teens will read my book and it'll resonate with them. It's a wild, overwhelming time, but also a dream come true. 
The Book Bratz: In your opinion, what is the best part of the writing process? What's the hardest?
Alechia: My favorite part of the writing process is when the story just clicks in your mind and you have fun creating this brand new world. My least favorite: there’s this moment when you get an edit letter and you look at it and the blood drains from your face and you’re like, HOW AM I GOING TO DO THIS? You feel a bit hopeless and worried that you won’t know how to fix these issues and no one will want your book, your agent will drop you or your editor will be like, this was a mistake. Thankfully it passes with time :)) 

The Book Bratz: Where did you get the idea for THE SOUND OF STARS?
Alechia: I'd just shelved two books I wrote, and then, out of nowhere, I was inspired by the idea of a secret, illegal library. Which got me to thinking, why is it illegal? And then it evolved over the course of a long walk into a story about a rebel librarian and an alien who loves music. This is often how my mind works, one minute I have a fragment of an idea, and the next, it's a full-fledged plot bunny that I tend to follow on the page! 
The Book Bratz: Who was your favorite character to write? Who was the hardest?
Alechia: The weird thing is...both main characters in The Sound of Stars were easy to write. I sat down and they just came to mind, their personalities, their struggles, their loves... I find that when I struggle with a character, either I shouldn't be writing them, or I haven't really given them enough thought yet. Writing for me is like making a movie, (I know that sounds weird), the more details and traits I include, the clearer the character. 

The Book Bratz:Your book deals a lot with the idea of creative expression being illegal. Why do you think creativity and the arts is so vital to our society (especially reading, since you know, we're all bookworms here!)? 
Alechia: The Sound of Stars is all about what brings us together when the world seems to be tearing us apart. Art, I feel, has a way of liberating and connecting people, and allows us to escape our own realities. We speak different languages, grow up with different cultures, eat different foods, but we may like the same Stevie Wonder song and The Neverending Story. Sometimes focusing on what connects us can make what separates us a little less important.

The Book Bratz: What do you want readers to take away from THE SOUND OF STARS?
Alechia:Hope. I desperately want you, the readers, to know that this book is about hope. It's dark at times, and sometimes it feels like all is lost, but it tries to find joy wherever possible, and it begs you to fight for the future. 

The Book Bratz: Do you plan on returning to the world of THE SOUND OF STARS in the future, or do you have other projects in mind? Can you tell us anything about them?
Alechia: Fingers crossed, I'd LOVE to return to the world of THE SOUND OF STARS. We'll see if there's a push for that in the future. I have a magical foodie fantasy that has some of my favorite recipes, and two more science fiction projects, one a love story about humanity and hope (common themes for me, can you tell?), another an action-packed story about found family and society...I hope beyond hope that I get the chance to put more stories out in the world! 

Thank you all for reading and having me on here!!! 

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Title: The Sound of Stars
Author: Alechia Dow
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Publication Date: February 25th, 2020

Summary: Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population. Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. Deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, humanity’s emotional transgressions are now grounds for execution. All art, books and creative expression are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her. Born in a lab, M0Rr1S (Morris) was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does. Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while making a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.

Thank you so much to Alechia for stopping by and answering our questions! We are super excited about THE SOUND OF STARS and can't wait for it to be out in the world on February 25th

Celebrate So Excited GIF by Hey Violet

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