Published by Macmillan on September 1st 2015
Genres: Hispanic & Latino, Love & Romance, People & Places, United States, Young Adult
Evan and Alma have spent fifteen years living in the same town, connected in a dozen different ways but also living worlds apart -- until the day he jumps into her dad's truck and slams on the brakes. The nephew of a senator, Evan seems to have it all - except a functional family. Alma has lived in Georgia since she was two, surrounded by a large (sometimes smothering) Mexican family. They both want out of this town. His one-way ticket is soccer; hers is academic success.When they fall in love, they fall hard, trying to ignore their differences. Then Immigration and Customs Enforcement begins raids in their town, and Alma knows that she needs to share her secret. But how will she tell her country-club boyfriend that she and almost everyone she's close to are undocumented immigrants?What follows is a beautiful, nuanced exploration of the complications of immigration, young love, defying one's family, and facing a tangled bureaucracy that threatens to completely upend two young lives. This page-turning debut asks tough questions, reminding us that love is more powerful than fear.
Ali: Hello Marie, Thank you for taking the time to stop by Dazzled by Books today. Let’s kick things off with what is your favorite book of 2015 so far?
Marie: There are so many! I’m going to cheat. In YA, Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by the amazing (and so very kind) Becky Albertalli. In adult fiction, it’s Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capó Crucet. Such a beautiful coming of age story.
A: Did you always want to be a writer?
M: No. But I’ve always loved telling stories. I’ve written a lot of academic non-fiction and the storytelling part of that was always the best part for me. Fiction is more fun, though. No footnotes!
A: What inspires your writing?
M: I think I’m mostly inspired by the experiences in my life that break my heart. I work with immigrants and asylum seekers, and so many of their stories are extraordinary, but I also have lived through some really devastating experiences with them. These are the experiences that have inspired me to tell the stories I write.
A: What was the hardest part writing “Dream Things True”?
M: My answer might seem strange since I just told you about all of the heartbreak. But, honestly, the soccer scenes were the hardest to write. I’ve never played soccer (or, well, any sport). So it was tough to get all those people and goals and soccer balls in the right place at the right time.
A: What is your favorite thing about writing “Dream Things True”?
M: So much of it was really fun to write. I loved writing the first-love feelings that Evan and Alma were developing through the story, and also writing the banter between Evan and his cousin, Whit – who he sort-of loves and despises at the same time.
A: Do you have any habits while writing? For example: a specific snack food you must have or maybe music playing in the background.
M: I write best in an empty house, which is a challenge since I have four kids! When that’s not possible, I try to find an empty room, or closet, or corner…
A: What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing?
M: Stare at the ocean. I grew up in Florida and now live in a terribly land-locked city. I long for the ocean. I mean, so much that it physically hurts sometimes.
A: Thank you so much Marie for stopping by. It was so nice having you here. I hope you have a great rest of your day.