The Best Week That Never Happened by Dallas Woodburn
1- The Best Week That Never Happened is your YA debut. Would you tell us a little about the other short-story books you have for sale?
Yes! Woman, Running Late, in a Dress is a collection of linked short stories, which means the characters all exist in the same world and main characters in one story pop up later in the book as minor characters in other stories, so in a way you get to follow a whole cast of characters through the course of a decade. 3 a.m. is a collection of YA short stories that I actually wrote when I was a teenager myself!
2- Would you please, in 160 characters or less, give a #WriteTip ?
With this novel, the final pages were an utter mystery to me until I wrote them. I learned not to force the ending. Give the book freedom to surprise you.
3- What is the best piece of writing advice you've received?
Elizabeth Berg once told me this advice when I met her at a writers conference, and I now have it on a post-it note on my bulletin board: “First, please yourself.” Yes, it is important to get feedback from others along the way, to help you make your writing project the very best it can be—but at the heart of everything, I believe you must stay true to your own voice and vision. Take joy in the journey of writing, not only the final stop of The End.
4- Is there an "origin story" behind the name Dallas?
Yes, Dallas is my paternal grandfather’s middle name. Way back in our family’s lineage, it used to be a last name. I have always loved my name as a visceral connection to my ancestors.
Hey, me too! Shoutout to my Lenni-Lenape people.
5- Would you share a picture with us of your book with something Hawaiian?
6- Are there any similarities between your book and the movie "50 First Dates"?
I love that movie! I’ve actually never thought about it being similar to my book before now. My book is also a romance set in Hawaii, and my main character Tegan does experience memory loss. But I would say the tone of my book is more serious and mysterious than 50 First Dates.
7- What's your Twitter handle, and do you have two or three writer friends on there to shout-out to for #WriterWednesday ?
My Twitter handle is @DallasWoodburn . I’d love to shout out to Sam @_boo_radley , Nora @norawritesbooks , and Liz @LzLwsn .
8- Do you have a favorite #bookstagram image or account/ profile?
So many! It’s tough to choose just one! I am obsessed with Danielle’s pretty photos & insightful comments books @bookishrhetor .
9- What most motivates you to read a new book?
It is always a treat to dive into a new book! The title, the book description and, I’m not gonna lie, the cover are three big things that draw me in. Usually, I get hooked within the first couple chapters and stay up far too late reading. My latest read was Woven in Moonlight by @IsabelWriter09 (talk about a gorgeous cover!)
10- It's our tenth anniversary! How far has your writing come in the past ten years and where do you see your writing career ten years from now?
Congrats – that’s a big anniversary! Ten years ago I was in the MFA program at Purdue University, honing my craft and finding my voice and wondering if I would ever publish a book. I am so proud of where I have come since then! Ten years from now, I hope to have many more books out in the world and significantly more daily writing time since my 17-month-old daughter will be at school most of the day!
11- What is your favorite book by someone else, what's the author's Twitter handle, and what do you love most about that book? #FridayReads book recommendation time!
Author name: Laura Sibson @LauraSibson
Love because:I adore her debut novel The Art of Breaking Things! It is such a beautifully told, raw, powerful story that will rip your heart wide open.
12- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader?
I hope my book will give the reader #allthefeels—joy, sadness, excitement, worry, anger and love. I hope they get to sink into the story and escape the anxieties of the current world for a little while. And I hope they feel that wonderful bittersweet sense of anticipation, eager to find out what happens next, but also never wanting the book to end!
13- What kind of impact do you hope your book will have?
I hope my book inspires the reader to reflect on their own life and the choices they have made, and truly think about what is most important to them. A major theme of my book is taking action even if you are afraid, and I would be so happy if Kai & Tegan’s story inspired readers to be a little bit braver in their own lives and go after the deep desires of their hearts.
14- What is the best writing tool, program, or reference book you've ever bought?
I return again and again to the book Still Writing by Dani Shapiro @danijshapiro . I can turn to any chapter and find inspiration to continue on the creative journey!
15- diversebooks.org #WeNeedDiverseBooks What's your favorite book with a diverse main character?
Nicola Yoon @NicolaYoon is one of my favorite authors. I especially adore her nuanced, complex, multifaceted characters, and the way her love stories have high stakes. In The Sun is Also a Star we meet Natasha, a science-loving girl whose family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica, and Daniel, who has always been “the good son” and “the good student,” pushing aside his own dreams to please his parents. When Natasha and Daniel’s paths collide on a crowded street in New York City, we get to experience their quickly unfolding romance over the course of a single day through their alternating perspectives. Every time I read this book, even though I now know how it ends, I cry the best kind of happy tears when I get to the final page.
16- Who is your favorite book review blogger?
I love A Court of Coffee & Books @acocoffeenbooks ! Stacy has a way of getting down to the core of books that really resonates with me.
17- What was the deciding factor in your publication route?
My agent submitted my book to a variety of publishers, and Month9Books was the first publisher to get back to us with an offer. The first time I spoke with the founder, Georgia McBride @Georgia_McBride , on the phone, I felt an immediate connection. I could tell that she really loved and “got” my book, and I was impressed by her intimate knowledge of the publishing industry and the way she made me feel so welcomed. Working with her over the editorial process made my book much better than it would have been otherwise! I am very grateful.
18- Which author, past or present, do you feel most resembles your work?
I think The Best Week That Never Happened is in a similar vein to The Love That Split The World by Emily Henry @EmilyHenryWrite – I love her complex characters, dazzling emotion and romance, and the way she weaves magic and mystery through her stories so it seems like anything might happen. I hope readers feel the same about my book!
19- Would you please ask our audience a question to answer in the comments?
What was the best week of your life and why?
20- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?
After her parents’ bitter divorce, family vacations to the Big Island in Hawaii ceased. But across the miles, eighteen-year-old Tegan Rossi remains connected to local Kai Kapule, her best friend from childhood. Now, Tegan finds herself alone and confused about how she got to the Big Island. With no wallet, no cell phone, purse, or plane ticket, Tegan struggles to piece together what happened. She must have come to surprise-visit Kai. Right?
As the teens grow even closer, Tegan pushes aside her worries and gets swept away in the vacation of her dreams. But each morning, Tegan startles awake from nightmares that become more difficult to ignore. Something is eerily amiss. Why is there a strange gap in her memory? Why can’t she reach her parents or friends from home? And what’s with the mysterious hourglass tattoo over her heart?
Kai promises to help Tegan figure out what is going on. But the answers they find only lead to more questions. As the week unfolds, Tegan will experience the magic of first love, the hope of second chances, and the bittersweet joy and grief of being human.
“This debut novel is captivating and moving. A dazzling, emotional story of love, loss, and living in the moment.”—Kirkus Reviews
Overflowing Bookshelves Podcast: http://anchor.fm/dallas-woodburn
The Best Week That Never Happened by Dallas Woodburn