Hello everyone!! Today for Woven In Books I have a very exciting guest who is the author of an awesome book I read this year. Today we have Alechia Dow, author of The Sound of Stars for an interview! I loved The Sound of Stars so much, it was a truly beautiful book and I think everyone must read it!
Woven In Books is a series which aims to hype diverse books and creators. Read the previous posts HERE.
Hello Alechia and thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview! The Sound of Stars was such a magical book for me. How was the journey of writing this book for you?
Hi!! Thank you so much for having me!! I’m so glad you enjoyed The Sound of Stars. Writing this story was an absolute joy—I knew the characters so well, I knew their arcs, their weaknesses, their strengths, and their innermost secrets, so getting to write them, their adventure and their love, was an incredible moment for me. Before this, I had written books that lacked that spark, that just didn’t seem right, and The Sound of Stars taught me not only how to find that spark, but to maintain it. It taught me how to be a better storyteller, just as my first books taught me the mechanics of writing. I’m very grateful for The Sound of Stars, and the world I’m so honored to have created.
The way books and music played such an important part in the book made my heart full. Did you always know you want to incorporate and portray the love of art in this book?
The art, music and stories were always at the heart of this story. It was the bridge between these two very different characters from the very beginning, and hopefully it resonated with book and music-loving readers. I wanted them to feel connected by referencing stories they may have read, or knowing the tune I mentioned. I wanted everyone to feel like they were a part of this story, so yes, I always wanted to focus on the love of art!
I loved the characters. I loved Ellie and her perseverance so much. How was the experience of writing this character for you?
Most people will read Ellie and think that she’s a version of myself, and there is truth to that––she and I share identities, but she is definitely not me. So understanding Ellie took a bit of thought and time. I wanted to capture her reluctance to save the world she was born into and had to endure as a Black teen and woman, and then explain why she might not want to be the saviour, which in the YA scifi genre is not generally the case. Ellie goes from quietly rebelling to loudly rebelling, from anger to hope. To me, Ellie was fully realized from the first page, but executing that on the first page was a challenge which quickly turned into a delight.
What was your favourite thing to write about M0Rr1S(Morris’) character? I loved reading about him and how soft and pure he was.
I loved writing how Morris wore his heart on his sleeve. I loved exploring his feelings, how we wrestled with what he was supposed to be and how he was expected to act, while contending with his own nature. His reaction to music was my favorite, but also how he falls for Ellie… Morris is such a cutie!
You explored themes of racism and classism and also the main character had anxiety. How was it to weave all these things together in the book?
It was really natural for me to weave in these elements! I’m a Black American woman who has bipolar; a combo of anxiety and depression. And I’ve had this from a young age (though we didn’t quite now till I was older). Because of this and because Ellie has the same identities as me, I felt it was natural for Ellie to remark on issues, the struggles she has faced and continues to face, and how she learns to navigate the world around her.
One of the biggest focus of the book was on hope and survival. Did you always want to write it with this message in mind or was it something you discovered as the story moved forward?
Hope was always the biggest message in this story. It’s an honor to write young adult fiction for teens today, who are incredibly strong, vocal, and brave. I wanted them to know–-especially Black teens, that the world is worth fighting for, even if it is constantly showing you that you don’t matter, that you aren’t loud enough, rich enough, or white enough. Teens are our future, and telling them they can change the world might give them the much-needed hope they need to continue their fight.
Which book/s did you last read and are currently reading? Also which songs are you obsessed with right now?
I’m currently reading Cinderella is Dead by Kaylnn Bayron, and my next read if Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko!! Right now, I’m on deadline for another book, so with that comes classical music and movie scores. My favorite at the moment is Maleficent, but when I need to sing something and unwind, How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore by Prince is my jam.
Thank you so much for agreeing to do this!
Thank you so much for having me!! I really appreciate the love and support ☺
Alechia Dow is a former pastry chef, food critic, culinary teacher, and Youth Services librarian. When not writing YA sci-fi featuring determined black girls (like herself), you can find her having epic dance parties with her daughter, baking, mentoring, or taking teeny adventures around Europe.
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