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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Author Interview: Allison van Diepen

In celebration of the release of The Oracle rebounds, the long awaited sequel to the The Oracle of Dating, we have the author herself, Allison van Diepen, joining us today here in our blog!

Join us in welcoming Allison to Amaterasu Reads!

Tin and I are both huge fans of both books and we are humbled and honored to have the chance to interview Allison and ask her a few things about her writing, any rituals she might have, and a few questions about her books. Read on!


Hi, Allison! We’re Kai and Tin, blogger bestfriends running our book review site, Amaterasu Reads.

We’ve started reading your books, and we have to say we enjoy them a lot. Already in our mid-twenties, we still find ourselves relating to the characters that you introduce and quickly get absorbed in the stories you weave.

Our first question is, when did you decide to become an author? Were you a good reader growing up?

When I was twelve, I began reading a lot – I loved thrillers by authors like Christopher Pike and John Bellairs. Writing stories of my own came naturally. When I was fourteen, I wrote my first 150-page book. After that, I was hooked!

Do you have any writing rituals? Do you prefer peace and quiet? Do you go someplace else aside from your home?

I prefer peace but not quiet. J I often write with up-beat music on. Music helps me forget that I’ve been sitting in a chair for hours. Some people can’t understand how I can work that way, but I love it!

The target audience for your books seems to be teens, but your books attract readers in their twenties as well. How do you keep your plots fresh, varied, and interesting? Where do ideas come from?

The Oracle books are inspired by real-life dating experiences – mine, and those of friends. I put in the big sister character because she can experience some dating woes that are a bit too mature for Kayla. Many readers have told me that the books ring true – I think that’s because we’ve all experienced the ups and downs I’ve touched on. Some friends have told me that, of all my books, they can hear my voice most clearly in The Oracle of Dating.

Do you have plans writing novels of a different genre, e.g. chic-lit, paranormal or supernatural, or a self-help book perhaps?

So far I’ve written chic-lit, paranormal and urban YA – my plan has always been not to have a plan! J I can only write what inspires me at the time. My next book, for example, is a paranormal out in June 2011 called The Vampire Stalker, and currently I’m working on an urban one, similar to my books Street Pharm and Snitch. I have no clue what I’ll work on after that.

What inspired The Oracle of Dating?

When I was a teen, my sister’s friends called me The Oracle of Dating because I gave them advice. I’ve always seen patterns in dating and relationships, and have been more than happy to tell others!

In the recent years, young adult fiction seemed to have geared towards the trilogy or miniseries-type trend. Did you write The Oracle of Dating with the intention of coming up with The Oracle Rebounds too?

Yes. In fact, when I finished writing The Oracle of Dating, I wrote The Oracle Rebounds right away. I knew that Kayla and Jared’s story wouldn’t end after the first book.

In the Oracle series, which I read as advanced reading copies from NetGalley, Kayla has a good circle of friends. Aside from Kayla, who among Viv, Sharese, Amy, and Ryan, can you relate to most?

That’s a tough one! There’s a part of me in all of them, but I’ll choose Sharese. She’s outgoing and opinionated. She’s a good student, but not as studious as Viv. She’s fun, but not wild like Amy. And she dresses well enough, but isn’t a fashionista like Ryan.

The blog entries that Kayla posts often hit the nail on the head. Do you compose them based on your personal experiences? Do you research materials for the advices Kayla gives to her clients?

I’m glad you liked the blog entries! They’re all based on personal experience or observations. I think that’s what keeps Kayla’s blogs fresh. I wouldn’t want them to end up like research papers.

You have done a brilliant job with The Oracle of Dating and The Oracle Rebounds, is there a third installment that we should watch out for?

Thank you! J There isn’t a third installment at the moment, but you never know!

Lastly, if a movie outfit offered to buy the film rights to the Oracle series and approached you to pen the screenplay, would you take the offer? If yes, which Hollywood star would you like to portray Kayla (and Jared)?

I’d love to see the Oracle series made into a movie, and I’d be happy to write the screenplay. Ideally, I’d cast unknowns, but if I had to choose Hollywood stars, I’d say maybe Joe Jonas would play Jared, mainly because of his look (can he act?) I might choose Miranda Cosgrove from iCarly to play Kayla.

Thank you for your time and allowing this interview. It has been a great pleasure to actually be able to do this. Please continue to share your talent to your fans. We look forward to reading more of your work.

It was my pleasure, Kai and Tin!

About the author:

Allison is the author of STREET PHARM, SNITCH, RAVEN, and a number of other teen novels at various stages on their way to a bookstore or library near you. She works full time as a high school teacher in Ottawa, Canada, and write evenings, weekends, and – thank God – summer vacations.

Allison went to Carleton University, got a degree in History, and eventually went to teacher’s college. While still in teacher’s college, she heard that the NYC Dept of Ed was recruiting teachers. It sounded like a great adventure – and challenge – so she went to Toronto for the interview and got hired on the spot by the Brooklyn school board.

Teaching in Brooklyn inspired her writing, and that’s when she wrote STREET PHARM and SNITCH. Since then, she has returned to my hometown, and have kept on teaching and writing.

Find her on: Website | Twitter

Buy her books:
The Oracle of Dating: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
The Oracle Rebounds: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
So what do you guys think? Share us your thoughts about the interview! Tin and I definitely learned a lot about Allison and her books! How about you? We'd love to read your comments, I'm sure Allison would love to hear what you guys think too!

1 comment:

  1. Great interview! These books look like they'd make cool movies (I'm glad the author would love to see them as movies, too :)). And I like the idea of the blog entries, as well.


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