11 August 2014

#5Questions



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About Adi
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.



Title: Lets Get Lost
Author: Adi Alsaid
Publishing Date: July 29th 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Five strangers. Countless adventures. One epic way to get lost. 
Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named LEILA. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most. 
There's HUDSON, a small-town mechanic who is willing to throw away his dreams for true love. And BREE, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way. ELLIOT believes in happy endings…until his own life goes off-script. And SONIA worries that when she lost her boyfriend, she also lost the ability to love. 
Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila's own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth— sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you're looking for is to get lost along the way.





1. How did you get into writing?


I assume that, like all writers, I got into writing through a love of reading. I was an avid reader as a kid, with my mom setting the example around the house. It wasn't until the sixth grade that I discovered the great joy in writing, though, when a homework assignment to use vocabulary words in sentences prompted me to write something about a sniper rifle and blood and guts, like you'd expect an eleven-year-old who read a lot of R.L Stine and was starting to read Stephen King would do. I've been writing ever since, often marveling at how much joy there is in putting words in sentences.

2. When starting a book how much of it comes straight from your imagination and how much is research?


It's hard to say exactly what percentage is what, since life experience has so much to do with the things you imagine, but could technically count as research. I'd say that I definitely skew more into imagination though. Like I recently said in a panel, I'm a fiction writer; I like to lie. Yes, my Google search history probably looks as weird as any other writers' does, and when writing Let's Get Lost, I made prominent use of Google Maps. Most of my research is setting-based, making sure I'm not completely getting the feel of a place I've never been to wrong. I also look up little details I may not know about, like what a mechanic might do with a general check up of a car. But I'm a writer because I like leaving things up to the imagination, and I'm okay with letting the imagined world overtake the real one.

3. Who is your favourite character you have written and why?


Strangely enough, a man named Leslie Truffles. I barely even know him, as he's made two or three brief appearances as a secondary character in short stories. But I love his name, and though I can tell he's a bit of a jerk, I'm looking forward to the story or book where he shows up and I start to discover exactly who he is.

4. Do you go into a book knowing how you want it to end?


So far, yes. Although I like to think that books happen more organically, that the plot and the characters have an ability to surprise the author and take things in an unexpected direction, the books I've written have so far been outlined and plotted before the writing itself is done. A few details end up taking a different turn along the way, but so far, I've stuck pretty closely to the outline I established for myself.

5. What 5 books would you recommend for your readers?

Ooh, good question. I like the phrasing, because it makes me think I should recommend books that maybe are similar to mine, rather than just my five favorite books. Even if that wasn't your intention, that's how I'll be answering the question. :)

  1. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann- Multiple POVs and storylines, each loosely connected to one another through the passing characters and events in the book. It's a book I could see Leila loving.
  2. Noggin by John Corey Whaley- The kind of intermingling between humor and emotion that I love seeing in YA, and that I try to achieve myself.
  3. Yes Man by Danny Wallace. Most people know the movie, but not the true life story of the British man who spent a year of his life saying yes to everything. A hilarious, compelling read that Bree and Leila would probably endorse. It has the power to change your life, and that's not an exaggeration.
  4. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton. One of my favorite books of the year. Charming and heartbreaking and lovely, and the kind of book I'd love to someday write.
  5. The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. Beautiful and touching book, even ignoring the fact that it's a love letter to books and bookstores (which I'm sure a good chunk of my readers are big fans of).

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