Hi everyone and welcome to my interview series Saturday Night Author Fever, where I interview authors with a bit of a 70s music and diversity theme. I personally love 70s music, especially disco music, and sometimes on Friday nights when no one is looking you can find me dancing to classic 70s songs such as September, Bennie and the Jets and We Are Family. However, books are my true passion and because of this, I thought it would be a great idea to mix my two loves and start this interview series. The questions will be similar every week, but with a new author every time, and I hope you’ll enjoy the answers as much as I have. Now let’s get this party started!
This Saturday Night we welcome Dahlia Adler. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today in my galaxy of books.
Dahlia, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books? What do you think about 70s music?
I have six books out right now, all of them contemporary slash contemporary romance. Three of them are YA (Behind the Scenes, Under the Lights, and Just Visiting) and three are NA (Last Will and Testament, Right of First Refusal, and Out on Good Behavior), though all of the main characters are between 17 and 20, so that little age group is clearly my wheelhouse. I myself haven’t been in the age bracket for, uh, a little while now; I’ve been working in various areas for publishing since then, though, and am currently an Associate Editor of Mathematics at a STEM publisher and a blogger for the B&N Teen Blog. I also run LGBTQReads, which is a site for LGBTQIAP+ lit of all ages. I’m mostly a 90s grunge fan, so 70s music isn’t hugely on my radar in general, but there are always things I like from any era!
When did you feel like this is it, I’m an author whose words are going to be read by, and have an impact on, others?
The big hit was the first time I saw my debut in a bookstore. I just sat there, stared, and cried. But at the same time, that book was such a fluffy contemporary romance that I thought “OK, this book will be fun for people, but it won’t do anything.” Then I got some letters/messages about stuff like how it was the perfect escape for someone who was going through some tough counseling, or how it felt good to read someone who had clearly been through the parent-with-cancer experience, and it hit me that really any book can have an impact. But Under the Lights, and probably the reaction to the cover reveal, was maybe the biggest “I am doing something that matters” day.
What do you want your readers to take with them after having read your books?
There’s no single answer to this, really. If it took you out of your world for a few hours you needed it, that is awesome. When I hear people tell me how amazing it was to see themselves in a book for the first time, or that Under the Lights helped them figure out their sexuality, that is awesome. When people clearly just get that everyone deserves a story and a romance is a romance no matter what genders are engaging in it, that’s awesome. I want people to feel seen, and I want people to see others, I guess.
What does the future look like for you, Dahlia? Future projects, releases etc.?
I definitely let things slow down for a while to focus on family and life, so right now my schedule is super light – I have short stories appearing in The Radical Element anthology and the All Out anthology in 2018, and right now, that’s it. But I’m also slowly working on a bunch of projects at once, and right now my likely next release is another f/f NA romance, this one a standalone set at a bachelorette party in Iceland and rainbow-ifying the Big Sibling’s Best Friend trope. I don’t imagine it’ll be out until 2018, but hopefully it’ll be in the first half, at least.
If one (or several) of your characters got invited to a 70s-themed party, what would they wear and what song and/or person would bring them to the dance floor?
Vanessa Park would definitely drag every single one of the Daylight Falls gang onto the dance floor while wearing a leather minidress and probably hideous Union Jack-printed boots. Ally and Liam would both be dressed as low-key as possible and hate her for it, Brianna would definitely play along and look hot in a Bohemian shoulder-bearing top and low-slung bell bottoms, and Josh would probably wear nothing but those little running shorts.
You can easily look back at the 70s and see how the times have changed. If you look at the book community and publishing world today, what changes would you like to see for the future?
It’s really just hard to say anything but “more diversity” right now. I think the book world is making some great progress in some areas, and I see the difference it’s making. We’ve gotta make them in other spaces too. More diverse panels at conferences and fewer “diversity panels.” More diverse books that are just allowed to Be and don’t have to be Issue Books. (To be clear, I have deep respect and love for issue books, but I think publishing overly requires them of marginalized authors and subjects.) We have a loooong way to go in terms of getting delightful fluff starring teens of color, queer teens – especially girls and trans teens of every gender – and disabled teens, let alone characters with intersectional marginalizations. I really hope publishers are seeing the obscene excitement levels for books like When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon and Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst and trying to grab as much more like them as possible.
Dahlia, can you recommend two already published diverse books you’ve read and loved and one you can’t wait to read?
Piecing Us Together by Renee Watson is fabulous; she’s so underrated, and it kills me. Her books are very for and about Black girls while also being so universal in the theme of finding your activist voice as a teen. And I cannot say enough good things about When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore. Everything she writes is so incredibly beautiful, not just in her narrative style but in the magic she weaves into words and the light she gives every single one of her characters. She is someone who so obviously respects the idea of everyone having a personal, important, necessary story and it leaps off the page in the beauty of her representation and characterization. As for one I can’t wait to read? We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson. I’ve liked each book of his better than the last but skipped over this one for blogging-timing reasons, and I really, really need to go back and read it because I hear it’s absolutely wondrously good.
Lastly, to end this interview, do you have a favorite 70s song to recommend your readers?
It’s gotta be something by Queen. I’ve never thought about what my favorite of theirs is, but I’ll go with “Somebody to Love.” That one yanks at my heartstrings every damn time.
Thank you so much, Dahlia, for answering my questions. I hope you readers enjoyed this interview, I know I did! Eager to find out more about Dahlia Adler? All information about her and her books can be found on her website. You can also find her on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Goodreads and buy her books on Amazon and Book Depository.
About The Author
Dahlia Adler is an Associate Editor of mathematics by day, a blogger by night, and writes contemporary romance at every spare moment in between. She’s also been a Production Intern and Editorial Assistant at Simon & Schuster, a Publicity Intern at HarperCollins, and a Fashion Intern at Maxim. (She’s kind of into that whole publishing thing.)
She’s the author of the YA novels Behind the Scenes, Under the Lights, and Just Visiting, and the NA novels Last Will and Testament, Right of First Refusal, and Out on Good Behavior. She is also a contributor to the upcoming anthologies The Radical Element (Candlewick, 2018) and All Out (Harlequin Teen, 2018).
Dahlia lives in New York City with her husband and their overstuffed bookshelves, and you can find her on Twitter at @MissDahlELama and blogging at B&N Teens, The Daily Dahlia, and LGBTQ Reads. Come say hi!
Since I promised a very 70s music-themed interview series, I have one last surprise, a favorite 70s song of mine (and there will be a new one every week yay). Now let’s get those dance moves on, here’s Blame It on the Boogie by The Jacksons.
Do you want to listen to all of the songs from my Saturday Night Author Fever interview series?
To make things easier I have created a Spotify playlist that features all of the songs mentioned in my Saturday Night Author Fever posts. You can check out the playlist below or go here. Every time a new interview is published new songs will be added to it.
Thank you so much for tuning in this Saturday, what did you think of the interview and the music? Let me know in the comments below or on my Twitter!
*Thank you to the lovely Claribel Ortega for the gifs used in this blog series. You have to follow her on Twitter and check out her website here.