Monday, October 09, 2006

Author Interview with Alex Flinn, author of "Diva"

We were priviledged to recently speak with Alex Flinn, author of the hot new book for young adults, "Diva". Here's the answers to some things you may have been wondering.

What inspired you to write "Diva"?

My first novel, Breathing Underwater, has been really popular with teens. Many of them have asked for a sequel, but I really didn't feel like I could write anything more about the main character, Nick. I always told readers that Nick was going to have an uneventful life after the events of that book. A few of them came back to ask, "What about a book about Caitlin?" Caitlin was Nick's ex-girlfriend in the book.
At the end of Breathing Underwater, the reader learns that Caitlin is transferring to a performing arts school to study her singing. I went to a similar program in high school and always thought it would be great to write a book about it, but I didn't want to write anything autobiographical. I decided that if I wrote about Caitlin going to an arts school, I could use some of the memories and experiences, while still having the story be about someone other than me.
For a lengthier explanation of what went into my decision to write Diva, please visit my site,

What do you want readers to take away from reading "Diva"?

I hope they will relate to Caitlin, who is like so many girls I meet, uncertain and struggling to find out who she is. But I also hope that, by following her dreams in spite of what others think, she'll be a good role model for them.
Additionally, I hope some of them may discover opera through the book, since Caitlin is studying voice and opera. Most people think opera is weird, but it's usually because they've never experienced it. When you look at the plots of most operas, they are as racy as Desperate Housewives, only set to music.

What would you tell young readers, who wish, like Caitlin, to pursue their inner talents?

Go for it! But realize it involves choices. You can't do school and have a huge social life and be on the soccer team and still have enough time to be a great ballerina or whatever. Sometimes, you have to give up something to get something bigger.

What projects are you working on now?

My next book is Beastly, a modern, urban version of Beauty and the Beast, set in New York City. The main character is Kyle Kingsbury, who is handsome, popular, king of his fancy Manhattan prep school . . . until he angers the wrong girl and realizes she's a for-real witch. She turns him into a beast, and he has to find a girl to help him break the spell (Hint: MySpace doesn't work). It will be published in Fall, 2007.

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