Thursday, August 6, 2015

Author Interview: Adi Alsaid

Photo Credit: Peter Ross
1. What made you interested in writing YA? Would you ever write an adult novel?

I have written adult novels before, and I expect I will again. But a few years ago, when I was still unpublished, I was starting to read more and more YA. I absolutely loved some of the books, and I thought the general voice used in the contemporary YA and the coming-of-age storylines were very much in line with what I like to write about, and I wanted to see if I could do it.

2. If you could collaborate with any author (dead or alive), who would you pick and why? It can be more than one!

It'd be amazing to have Bill Watterson illustrate a story I wrote. Being a huge Calvin and Hobbes fan, childhood me would freak out (and so would teenage me, adult me, every version of me ever).

3. Your book talks about avoiding high school cliches, and when people think of high school, they tend to imagine the typical cliques. What clique did you find yourself in during high school? Any particular stories you care to share? 

I was in a strange clique because of the unique school I went to. I grew up in Mexico City and was always a huge basketball fan. So you would think I'd fit into the jock clique. But in my high school, basketball was not a popular sport at all, falling far behind soccer and American Football in popularity. We usually had more people on our bench than in the bleachers. I was also a shy kid, not too into large crowds, not very into what all the popular kids were doing. Much like Dave and Julia and their self-sustained friendship of two, I had my small group of friends that I was close to and spent most of my time with.

We were also kind of weird. We made films where people lip-synched Pulp Fiction monologues while looking into a mirror, and the few times we went to parties we'd maybe take random religious pamphlets that I don't exactly remember how we acquired and tried to convert people.

4. Have you "broken" any of the rules that Dave and Julia create in the book, such as dying your hair the color of the rainbow? Please share any stories!

I had a pretty common lunch spot, either this one corner table or at the gym, sneaking bites in between games of basketball. I definitely pined silently after people, although none of my unrequited crushes stretched out the entirety of high school, and none were best friends. Parties at my school were a little different because Mexico, so drinking was a little easier to come by, without the need for secretive keggers when parents were out of town. Some parties were at night clubs and were referred to as "pedas" which is a slangy way to say a party specifically meant to get drunk at. I sometimes attended these, but never joined in on the intent of the party, since I was too into basketball and being unlike other people to partake. 

5. What is something you have NEVER done but have ALWAYS wanted to? Why?

Gone to an airport spontaneously with no plans, picked a random flight, and taken off to somewhere new with absolutely zero agenda. 
Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid is out now!


Books And Authors Spot said...

This interview is amazing and it's like behind the scenes! So many of my answers have been clarified! Thank you for this interview!!


Kindlemom said...

Oo wouldn't that be fun to pick a random flight and just go somewhere new? I love the idea!

I have been seeing his book everywhere lately it seems and it really does sound intriguing!

Great interview and thanks so much for sharing it Lauren! :D

Diva Booknerd said...

'...and the few times we went to parties we'd maybe take random religious pamphlets that I don't exactly remember how we acquired and tried to convert people.' In high school we would have been best friends. I loved a bit of trouble too. Not enough to have the police called, but more than enough that parents would call you 'a bad influence'. I can't imagine that many crushes were unrequited either. Great review Lauren, now I know why the main theme of his YA releases seems to be fun and adventure.

Midnight Cowgirl said...

Love the answer to the last question! It would be so fun to just decide to fly somewhere far away :)

Tracy Terry said...

Loving these questions and answers. Thanks to you both for a great post.

Brandi Kosiner said...

Interesting premise exploring avoiding the cliques and cliches.

Lindy Gomez said...

Interesting interview! I think it would be fun to pick a random flight also, but I can't imagine doing it. Thanks for sharing :)

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

Alise said...

Great interview! I've read one YA novel of Alsaid's and definitely think he has a voice that really stands out in contemporary YA. I also had the same lunch spot in high school!

Cait @ Paper Fury said...

I love your questions for this interview! :D I'm super curious about this book because it's about cliches, and i just think that's clever. XD

Erika Sorocco said...

YES to his response to #2 - I am a HUGE fan of C+H too!


Aneeqah said...

This was SUCH an awesome interview- your questions were so great- and I loved reading about Adi's answers. :D It's so cool to hear that he grew up in Mexico and the differences in culture between here and there. I feel like I'm pretty similar to he was in high school- I'm pretty quiet, a little nerdy, and stick to mainly my group of friends. Also, it has always been a goal of mine to pick a random flight and take off. I WILL one day.

Thanks so much for sharing this!! <33

Jennifer Humphries said...

That last question and answer! I would love to do that! thanks for letting me learn about this author and his book!