Dahlia Adler is one of the most passionate writers and bloggers on publishing. She is a copy editor, a Young Adult/New Adult author, and a well known author for both Ya Misfits and Barnes and Nobles. She has had extensive experiences in the publishing world including being a fashion intern for Maxim, a Production Intern and Editorial Assistant at Simon & Schuster, and a Publicity Intern at HarperCollins.
What inspired you to first become a writer?
I was a huge reader as a kid, and I discovered that I really liked living vicariously through other people's stories. At some point, it hit me that I could do it through my own characters, in my own settings. I started very young and never stopped.
What are some topics that inspire you the most?
I love writing romance, so that's a big one. In particular, I love writing the kinds of romances that get a little less coverage, so these days I'm primarily writing romances between girls in Young Adult, and interracial romances in New Adult. Diversity is definitely a personal passion.
Does a lot of your personal experiences influence your writing?
A lot of my personal experiences appear, particularly as subplots, but I don't write books about my life, or about me. In any given book, though, anyone who knows me really well can pick out a bunch of places where details about me peek through.
What is the biggest thing you’ve taken away from being a fashion intern at Maxim?
Honestly, my biggest takeaway from that job at the time was that I didn't want to work in magazines. At the time, I was in college majoring in magazine journalism, and this was literally my dream internship. But I was coming off an internship at a book publisher I'd loved, and when I compared the two, I realized that track I'd thought I wanted to be on wasn't for me anymore. It was a privilege to get to experience both and get to make that decision based on hard evidence, for sure.
Have you ever experience an adversity that shaped who you became as a person today?
I think everyone experiences big and little things along the way, and it's hard to say what shapes you. If I had to pick one, I'd say that the semester of college my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer went a long way toward proving to me there wasn't anything I couldn't handle.
Through all your different (and prestigious) job positions, which left you with the biggest personal impact and why?
Probably my Production internship at Simon & Schuster. For one thing, I had a fantastic boss, so I got to see what it's really like to have a wonderful and knowledgeable support system behind you at work. For another, it's the aforementioned internship that really showed me how much I love being involved with in book publishing. Plus, I still copy edit, and have for years, so I clearly learned a lot.
Any advice for aspiring writers?
Read widely and make friends along the way as possible, but don't compare yourself to other people. And train yourself to write forward. You can't edit a blank page. Better to get words down and work on your strong revision skills than never finish anything because you can't stop obsessing over word choice on page three.
Which is your favorite self-help book & why? (If you didn’t really have one, your favorite book in general)
I'm not sure I've ever read a self-help book, nor could I pick just one book that's my favorite. I can pick a favorite book from this past year, though - I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. She's such a beautiful writer.
How has being a published writer given you networking & business advantages?
I don't write full time, so there isn't really any I use it to business advantages, but I do get to meet a lot of fantastic authors, and get asked to do cool things like moderate panels, lead workshops, and do book signings. That was all the stuff of dreams less than a year ago, and it's pretty crazy how quickly it's become reality!
Alder was an amazing individual to interview. I loved seeing how she used her circumstances with her father undergoing cancer as a way to show her that no matter what happens, she will have the strength to get through anything. She is a great individual to model after if you are an aspiring romance writer and desire to use your passions to elevate yourself professionally.
If you want updates on Ripple and my future blog posts, follow me on twitter @gian_filice