Olivia Rivers—author of Tone Deaf—takes on the Sky Pony Q & A. Tone Deaf pubs May 3rd!
“The portrayal of Ali as Deaf is authentic and modern. She loves rock concerts for the vibrations and sensory pull of the crowd. She prefers to sign but exasperatedly reads the lips of people who talk fast or turn away as they talk. As Ali, Jace, and the band tour amid Amber alerts, surprising emotional connections are painfully forged and will resonate with young survivors of abuse, especially as Ali takes small steps toward recovery. VERDICT This gripping tale of survival has great appeal due to the parallel boy/girl narrative structure, the portrayal of a Deaf character at home in the realm of music and songwriting, and the overall pop culture tenor.” —School Library Journal
Q: Why did you gravitate to the genre that you write in?
I started writing YA because it’s for teens, and I’m a teen! Well, technically, I just turned 20, but for most of my writing career, I’ve been a teenager. I can naturally relate to my teen characters, so writing Contemporary YA was the perfect fit for me.
Q: What are you reading right now?
Right now, I’m reading The Unbound, which is the second book in a YA Fantasy series by Victoria Schwab. It’s all sorts of spooky and awesome!
I’m also reading The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, which is both ridiculously long and ridiculously good. I’ve always adored a good revenge tale, and Dumas is one of my favorite classic authors, so it’s a fabulous book all-around.
Q: If you could be a character in any children’s book, who would you be and why?
Hmm . . . I think I’d be Buck from Jack London’s The Call of the Wild. I don’t think it’s technically a children’s book, but I read and re-read that book probably a dozen times in grade school, and I continue to love the story. Buck always charmed me with how loyal and determined he acts, no matter how difficult things get for him. Plus, being a giant sled dog would just be pretty darn awesome!
Q: Where’s your favorite place to write?
I’m lucky enough to have my own office nook at my house, so that’s where I do most of my writing. I have two bookshelves packed with books, but aside from that, not much decoration, since I kind of suck at the whole decoration thing. The room is an organized disaster zone, so it probably looks like a giant mess to most other people, but I know exactly where everything is. I just can’t function when things are neat and tidy! This is my desk, complete with my demonic chair-guardian, who is aptly named Diablo.
Q: What’s your favorite classic movie?
Okay, confession time: I’m really, really bad at watching movies. I get like fifteen minutes into them and my mind wanders and I find myself thinking about something entirely different. So I can’t claim to have a favorite classic movie, because I’m not sure I’ve ever sat through the entirety of one . . .
Q: If you could have any animal as a pet (current or extinct), what would it be?
I already own my dream pet! His name is Romeo, and he’s an Italian Mastiff and my BFF. He’s also the inspiration for Cuddles in Tone Deaf, who’s a giant, lovable pit bull mutt. Here’s a picture of Romeo posing with a copy of Tone Deaf.
Q: Milk, dark, or white chocolate?
All of them. Together. Now, please?
Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
Christmas! My family celebrates with a giant feast and lots and lots of baking, so I spend a bunch of time around Christmas in the kitchen.
Q: What’s your favorite emoji?
I have a thing for simple smiley face emojis. I use them probably way, way too much, but I find them strangely addicting. 🙂
Q: What did you want to grow up to be when you were Ali’s age?
I wanted to be a Sky Pony author! When I was 17, I’d just signed my contract with my agent and was about to go on sub with Tone Deaf. It was a crazy year—I was finishing up high school, starting college, and embarking on a writing career all at once!
Enter to win a copy of Tone Deaf!
His world is music. Her world is silent.
Ali Collins was a child prodigy destined to become one of the greatest musicians of the twenty-first century—until she was diagnosed with a life-changing brain tumor. Now, at seventeen, Ali lives in a soundless world where she gets by with American Sign Language and lip-reading. She’s a constant disappointment to her father, a retired cop fighting his own demons, and the bruises are getting harder to hide.
When Ali accidentally wins a backstage tour with the chart-topping band Tone Deaf, she’s swept back into the world of music. Jace Beckett, the nineteen-year-old lead singer of the band, has a reputation. He’s a jerk and a player, and Ali wants nothing to do with him. But there’s more to Jace than the tabloids let on. When Jace notices Ali’s bruises and offers to help her escape to New York, Ali can’t turn down the chance at freedom and a fresh start. Soon she’s traveling cross-country, hidden away in Jace’s RV as the band finishes their nationwide tour. With the help of Jace, Ali sets out to reboot her life and rediscover the music she once loved.
Olivia Rivers is a hybrid author with a passion for young adult fiction. As a certified geek, she enjoys experimenting with new publishing technologies, and her online serials have received more than one million hits on Wattpad.com. When she’s not writing, Rivers works as a freelance digital artist and assists at a literary agency. She resides in Northern California.