Published by SparkPress on August 3, 2021
Genres: YA Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Barnes & Noble
In Laguna Beach, California, sixteen-year-old Kendra Dimes is preparing for the 2010 USA Surfing Prime West. She’ll be competing this year in honor of her brother, who was a surfer too, but who died from a drug overdose. Kendra has suffered anxiety attacks ever since her brother’s death, and surfing is what’s been helping her heal.
Brock Parker is the new bad boy at school; he deals drugs to the high school clientele for his parents, who work for a Mexican drug lord. Though Brock and Kendra come from two different worlds, sparks fly when they meet at the homecoming dance—their attraction is magnetic. When they start a game of 21 Questions one night, they begin to learn more about each other—and, surprisingly, about themselves too. But some questions aren’t answered with the whole truth; after all, Brock can’t tell Kendra what his parents do for a living.
As Kendra and Brock experience all of life’s most exciting firsts, they prove that even when life throws you the perfect storm, you can make it through and come out stronger than before. 21 Questions is a coming-of-age journey packed with passion and heartbreak, risk and romance.
1. What does your writing process look like? Do you know the whole story when you start? Or do you just start writing and go with it (seat of the pants writing)? If you plan it out, how do you do that? Outline, notecards, post-it-notes, etc.?
My writing process is as unstructured as I am. Sometimes it starts with an idea or a title or just two characters’ names and I go at it. I jot down notes of different lines or scenes I want to add as I go along. I never outline. I find it too complicated and end up just writing the entire story when I attempt it. I have a general idea of how I want the story to start and how I want it to end and usually discover the middle along the way.
2. Do you edit as you go, or wait till you’re finished before you edit? How many times would you say you go over it yourself before having another set of eyes look it over?
Typically I edit as I go. But then I do a full reread and edit when I’m done. It’s my least favorite part about the writing process because I’m very particular and I pick apart everything.
3. Are you part of a writers group that gets together and helps each other with their writing?
I’ve always been kind of a loner when it comes to my writing. I have to be by myself, no one in my space. But when I’m done writing, I love my sisters and mom reading it and giving me feedback. They’re my in-house beta readers. I also loved the creative writing workshop I took in college. I would definitely do something like that again. Being surrounded by that kind of creative energy is inspiring.
4. What tips do you have for aspiring writers?
An important tip for aspiring writers is to just keep writing. Everyone is going to have an opinion but that shouldn’t decide on if you write and what you write about. Sometimes I’ll get hung up on a bad review of my book but then I stop and remember of all the people who love it and focus on the good reviews that are right in front of me. Write. No matter what anyone has to say about it.
5. What are your favorite:
Books/authors/genres— My favorite book of all time is Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman. Wow. It’s so beautifully written, the language is poetic. I love the storyline and the way you can fall into the mind of the narrator, Elio. My favorite authors include Simone Elkeles, Sarah Dessen, John Green, and Nicole Fiorina. They have a way of bringing characters to life and making you relate to their stories even if you’ve never gone through the conflicts they’re dealing with. My favorite genre is probably YA Romance. It’s so nostalgic.
Movies/TV Shows— My favorite movies range. I love The Sandlot, Blue Valentine, The Notebook, Beautiful Boy, Hot Summer Nights…the list goes on. Anything with Timothée Chalamet, count me in. For TV shows, I love How To Get Away With Murder (Annalise Keating is my idol), Riverdale, Normal People, Schitts Creek, there are so many more. I love a good Netflix binge.
Music— I have so many favorite artists. My favorite kind of music is indie pop. I’m obsessed with Cigarettes After Sex, I love their songs Apocalypse and Heavenly. I also love T Scarlett, he’s an Australian singer/songwriter. His song Falling For You is my favorite. When 21 Questions is a Netflix series, that song will be on the soundtrack (manifesting). I love anything Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, and Kid LAROI. And of course, my sister Julia Rizik. Love anything she creates. She’s such a talented songwriter.
Food/Writing snack— Oooo, this is my favorite. I love food (I’m Armenian, so our life revolves around the kitchen). I could survive off of pasta and wine. But honestly, I’ll eat anything you put in front of me—except for shellfish, I’ll break out in hives.
Thank you Alexandria for answering my interview questions! As an aspiring author myself, your answers to the first few questions really spoke to me as I work on my own books. And thanks to SparkPoint Studio for reaching out to me about this book and letting me interview the author.
About the Author:
Alexandria Rizik is an award-winning filmmaker and the author of two books, the poetry collection Words Written in the Dark and the children’s book Chocolate Milk. She was born and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she was brought up by a large Armenian family. She received her bachelor of arts in English literature from Arizona State University. Alexandria’s love for writing began when she was a young child: her aunt bought her a journal and told her to write her a story, and the rest is history. Her favorite part about writing is being able to write the happily ever after that doesn’t always happen in real life. Besides writing, Alexandria loves yoga, wine, and family time. She lives in Scottsdale, AZ.
Learn more at https://www.alexandriarizik.com.