BY MINDI SCOTT
Diana Rodriguez Wallach is the author of Mirror, Mirror (Buzz Books 2013). She is also the author of three award-winning YA novels: Amor and Summer Secrets, Amigas and School Scandals, and Adios to All The Drama (Kensington Books).
In 2011, she published a highly regarded essay in Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories (HarperCollins), and in 2013, she will be featured in the anthology Latina Authors and Their Muses (Twilight Times Books). In 2010 Diana was named one of the Top Ten New Latino Authors to Watch by LatinoStories.com, and she placed second in the International Latino Book Awards. She hold a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University, and currently lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.
Diana answered some questions for us, so here we go! 🙂
At age eight, what did you want to be when you grew up? And at age eighteen? And while you’re at it, what about at age twenty-eight?
Diana Rodriguez Wallach: When I was little, I wanted to be an interior designer, which I think led to my love of HGTV. When I was in college, I was a broadcast journalism major, and I worked as a magazine reporter in NYC. And now, I just want to be the next Stephenie Meyer with a megahit young adult series and five blockbuster movies. No biggie, right?
Which Breakfast-Club-style label would have best fit your teenage self?
DRW: I was a mix between the princess and the brain. I was in the National Honors Society, so my grades were good; but I was also raised Catholic, so I was very innocent with a good-girl image. I wasn’t nerdy, but I wasn’t overly popular either. I always say I was the girl who sat next to you in English. People knew me, but I mostly flew under the radar.
Without giving away too much from your newest book, which character or scene from it are you the most pleased to have created, and why?
DRW: Reflecting Emmy is the first short story in my Mirror, Mirror trilogy. It’s different from your typical book release, because it’s essentially a short-story collection consisting of Reflecting Emmy, Nara Gazing, and Shattering GiGi. The scene I’m most proud of is in Shattering GiGi, the third story, which releases in November 2013. It’s one of the final scenes in the trilogy, when Nara, the narcissistic teen at the center of the series, has to confront one of the classmates she’s hurt. I didn’t want the scene to be cheesy, and I didn’t want it to be just one long conversation; so I had to work hard to make the confrontation “active.” Ultimately, I came up with a paranormal way to give the reader an inside look as to what exactly went down between these two girls; and it’s now my favorite scene, because you really feel for both of the characters.
Which are your favorite movies to watch again and again?
DRW: John Hughes films. He is to filmmaking what Judy Blume is to YA novels, the godfather of the teen genre. I just love how he captures the mind and emotions of high school students, and I think his films are still relevant today. I own a boxset.
And, now, the most important question of all: Beatles or Elvis? Please support your answer. 😉
DRW: I can’t believe I’m going to admit this publicly, but I’m not a huge fan of either. I don’t think I have any Beatles or Elvis on my iPod (just some covers), that’s not to say that I don’t appreciate them. They are the godfathers of rock & roll to which all other rockers owe their roots. But if I had to choose one, I’d say the Beatles, primarily because I love the song “Let it be.” Though I also love Ingrid Michaelson’s version of “Can’t help falling in love with you.” See, I like covers.
About the first story in the trilogy:
Eighteen-year-old Emmy is in the family business-trapping vapid narcissistic souls into her silver compact mirror for all eternity. It’s what the Rhamnusia family has been doing for thousands of years, all under the direction of Great Grandmother. Only Emmy’s latest assignment, Nara, is about to prove more challenging than she ever expected.
Gorgeous and self-absorbed, Nara is unflinchingly cruel to her classmates. Even her boyfriend, Luke, can no longer tolerate her actions–much to Emmy’s relief since she finds Luke a little more than intriguing. But when Emmy tricks Nara into gazing into her mystical mirror, what she finds there is not what she’s expecting.