Happy release day to 21 Questions by Alexandria Rizik! To celebrate its release I’m excited to bring you all a Q&A I was able to have with Alexandria about the book and her writing experience/process. If you haven’t already make sure you check out my review for 21 Questions. Also, huge thanks to Alexandria for answering my questions and thank you to Sparkpress for reaching out to me about reviewing this title!
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.
Now, let’s get to the questions!
It says that this book is based on some of your own experiences, could you share a little bit about that?
Yes, this story was inspired by my first real relationship and breakup when I was seventeen. The only way I could get through it was by writing. It started as a screenplay that I wrote. I love film and cinema and was just getting into screenwriting when I was going through this breakup. But eventually I adapted it into a book. A lot of the scenes, like the haunted house scene, movie theater, the drive-in theater are based off of real events (obviously I exaggerated them to an extent). My ex-boyfriend’s family was kind of odd and being a writer with a very vivid imagination, I concocted this story that they were drug dealers and using him to deal to a high school clientele. Looking back, I sound crazy and they were probably just reserved, private people (as opposed to my crazy Armenian family). But that’s where the plot of the story stemmed from.
How long did the writing process for this book take?
So, I started writing the screenplay at seventeen. I even submitted it to a few contests. But, a few years later I adapted it into a novel. It’s evolved so much since the first draft. So overall, it’s been a ten year process from beginning to end.
What are your five must haves while writing?
My five must haves while writing are either coffee or wine, (depending on the time of day), a nice fall-scented candle, obviously my computer to write on, sometimes headphones to listen to music, and I also love using Pinterest. It draws inspiration.
Do you have any upcoming books in process?
Yes! I’m always writing something but what I’m focusing on mostly right now is the sequel to 21 Questions, titled 21 Confessions and also another book I’ve been working on for a while titled Mi Amor. I also just finished a screenplay titled, Cigarettes & Other Toxic Loves.
What is your dream project?
Oh my gosh, this is a hard one. My dream project would be adapting 21 Questions and its sequel into a Netflix series. It’s going to happen, I’m manifesting it.
What are your favorite writing tools?
My favorite writing tools are my iPad or computer (or my typewriter if I’m working on poetry) and my copy of The Emotion Thesaurus.
If you could describe Kendra and Brock in 5 words each, what would they be?
Five words to describe Kendra would be independent, determined, forgiving, awkward, and innocent. For Brock, I would say fearless, misunderstood, hot, charismatic, and infamous.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
I don’t really believe in writer’s block. I believe that whenever we struggle to write it’s due to our own inner self critic judging our words. To avoid “writer’s block,” it’s important to just keep writing, even if what you think you’re writing sucks, it can always be edited. But writing something is better than nothing.
Who would you recommend this book to?
I’d recommend this book to any girl who knows what it’s like to be in love for the first time and how your heart shatters when it ends because you never thought it would. And to any girl whose ever known what it’s like to try and fix a person they care about. Sometimes people don’t want to be fixed and sometimes it’s just the wrong timing.
Lastly, do you have anything you want to share with readers regarding this book?
21 Questions is a story of two teenagers with young hearts and old souls. They’re beautifully flawed and I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Again I want to give a huge thank you to Alexandria for taking the time to answer my questions. I hope you all had as much fun reading her answers as I did. Make sure you check out 21 Questions!