YA novelist, Alexandria Rizik, is on The Spotlight this week, to chat about 21 Questions

Author Name: Alexandria Rose Rizik

Book Title: 21 Questions

Book Genre: Young Adult

Release Date: August 3, 2021

Publisher: SparkPress

Welcome, Alexandria! Please tell us about 21 Questions.

21 Questions is a coming-of-age novel full of firsts—first loves, first heartbreaks, first failures. Overall it is a story of shedding a layer of innocence and discovering who you really are and not being afraid to begin again.

What sparked the idea for this book?

21 Questions was inspired by my first relationship and the heartbreak that followed. Writing was my therapy and being a writer with a crazy imagination, I concocted this story in my head that my ex-boyfriend’s parents were drug dealers. They were very private people and he smoked a ton of weed, so naturally my mind was like, “drug dealers.” Looking back, it’s comical, but it made for a good storyline, especially when I was going through my first breakup. Things seem so big, so heavy when you’re young. In hindsight, it’s all trivial.

Any words of wisdom you give your pre-published writer self?

If I could give any sort of advice to my pre-published writer self, I would say, “Girl, take a breath. It’ll happen in the right time. Don’t rush it.” I was so eager, so anxious, to be published. It’s about enjoying the process and not a race to the finish line.

What are your interests outside of writing and reading?

Outside of writing and reading, I love reformer pilates. I’m so addicted. I’m also very passionate about wine and learning about the different types. I actually just launched my own wine brand called Poetry in a Bottle, which has been such a fun project. But overall, I love spending time with my family and sisters. My sisters are my best friends.

Are you working on a new project? Please tell us about it.

Yes, I am! I’m working on the sequel to 21 Questions, titled 21 Confessions. It’s so fun working on this project because it takes place 11 years later and the characters have evolved so much. They’re basically new people, but the core of who they are is the same. I’m struggling with how I want the story to end though. Kendra is a such an independent woman but I want her to have the happily ever after she deserves. Same with Brock.

Where can readers find you?

Readers can find me on Instagram at @Alexandria_Rizik. My website is AlexandriaRizik.com, where I have a ton of awesome 21 Questions merch! Feel free to add me on Facebook. I love connecting with readers and anyone who enjoys books as much as I do. I also have a TikTok and YouTube but I don’t really use those as much.

Thank you, Alexandria! 21 Questions is out NOW.

In Laguna Beach, California, sixteen-year-old Kendra Dimes is preparing for the 2010 USA Surfing Prime West. She’ll be competing this year in honor of her brother, who was a surfer too, but who died from a drug overdose. Kendra has suffered anxiety attacks ever since her brother’s death, and surfing is what’s been helping her heal.

Brock Parker is the new bad boy at school; he deals drugs to the high school clientele for his parents, who work for a Mexican drug lord. Though Brock and Kendra come from two different worlds, sparks fly when they meet at the homecoming dance—their attraction is magnetic. When they start a game of 21 Questions one night, they begin to learn more about each other—and, surprisingly, about themselves too. But some questions aren’t answered with the whole truth; after all, Brock can’t tell Kendra what his parents do for a living.

As Kendra and Brock experience all of life’s most exciting firsts, they prove that even when life throws you the perfect storm, you can make it through and come out stronger than before. 21 Questions is a coming-of-age journey packed with passion and heartbreak, risk and romance.