Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Interview With Watty-Award-Winning Author Loridee De Villa



1. What motivated you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and turning it into this book? I was motivated to write this book from my late elementary and high school experiences of being the “third wheel” and being the teenager who never found themselves in a romantic relationship. I wanted to write something for YA book lovers who love the idea of romance but at the same time, don’t quite relate to it.


2. What is it about and who is it for? This book follows 16-year-old Lara Dela Cruz as she navigates her senior year after a summer spent in the Philippines. When she returns to school, she finds out that her best friends have found boyfriends over the summer, who are coincidentally the friends of her childhood frenemy, James. Lara faces the pressures of post-high-school decisions, while figuring out a new balance between her friendships and tackling new feelings for her once-nemesis. This is for anyone who likes fluffy YA romance/coming-of-age novels with great humor and MANY relatable moments.


3. What takeaways might the reader will be left with after reading it? Don’t try to grow up too fast, change is inevitable, and always stay true to yourself.


4. How did you decide on your book’s title and cover design? How to Be the Best Third Wheel felt funny, novel, and cute! The cover stays true to the main plot and is wonderfully designed by Cassie Gonzales so all props to her!


5. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers? Don’t be afraid to write something that isn’t perfect. You can’t edit what’s not there, so write as much as you can! Also, writing is not a linear process. Don’t be intimidated by a long timeline or multiple failures.


6. What trends in the book world do you see -- and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? I’m seeing a nice shift to new adult or NA novels that focus on characters who are not really teenagers but not exactly adults. I personally like this because many mature stories were pushed into “YA” when they were for older audiences. I’m also seeing a happy shift to stories involving people of colour and queer characters. I think the publishing industry is slowly becoming more inclusive, which makes me very happy. 


7. What challenges did you overcome to write this book?  Writer’s block. I would take breaks that spanned over months at times. Writing was also kind of difficult to manage as a full-time student, but those sleepless nights paid off!


8. How would you describe your writing style? My writing style is definitely based on a strong foundation of humor with a dash of drama and a lot of inner monologues. 


9. If people can buy or read one book this week or month, why should it be yours? Hmmm…. I think there are so many depressing things going on right now in the world and sometimes we need a break from it to spare our mental health. HTBTBTW is a short, funny, pick-me-up that might brighten your outlook!



Loridee De Villa is the author of the Watty Award–winning How to Be the Best Third Wheel, which has accumulated 2.5 million reads on Wattpad. She also wrote The Infinite Worlds of Ella Jane, which won the Shaw Rocket Prize Teen Writing Contest in 2020 and is being turned into a theatrical podcast. When she’s not typing up a new chapter, Loridee spends her days drawing, sewing, and watching cartoons, all while balancing courses at the University of Toronto. Loridee currently resides in Ontario, Canada, and is pursuing a career in health sciences. For more information, see: https://www.instagram.com/lori.de.villa/?hl=en.


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Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at brianfeinblum@gmail.com He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres.


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2022. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This blog, with over 4,000 posts over the past decade, was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Susan RoAne, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, IBPA, Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum. 

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