Delia can see the future…but can she change it?
All Delia wants is to be popular. She has the perfect plan: join the cheerleading squad with her best friend, Ava, and rule the school from the coolest table in the cafeteria. But everything changes the day she watches a boy die—before it actually happens.
After dreaming about a classmate’s demise, she’s shocked when she witnesses his last breath—just like she dreamt it. Ava insists Delia stop acting so strange, but Delia worries her abilities are beyond her control.
Torn between who she is and who she wants to be, Delia wishes she could simply disappear. She doesn’t get her wish, but when someone close to her vanishes, Delia must use her gift to solve the mystery, before it’s too late.
Hello Elena, thanks so much for sharing with YA Fresh! Please tell us about your novel The Art of Disappearing.
Elena: The Art of Disappearing tells the story of Delia Dark, a teenager whose plan to be the second most popular girl in school is derailed by a seemingly psychic event. As Delia struggles to understand whether or not she's psychic or just plain crazy, her relationships with her friends and family unravel. So, much of the story is about Delia rebuilding her life and figuring out who she wants to be. And the tension is heightened by a mysterious dream that suggests another terrible something is going to happen.
I was inspired by those real-life moments when you feel like you might have had a psychic experience but, of course, logic assures you otherwise so you tuck the moment away. I wanted to explore what happens when you absolutely can't tuck that moment away, and specifically for a teen who was already faced with the normal-but-overbearing challenges of finding herself. The result is a coming of age story with paranormal themes, mystery and lots of wonderful angst.
Launched this summer with Alloy Entertainment (Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries, Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants), The Art of Disappearing is currently available as an e-book for Kindle and Nook. It's my debut novel and the entire process has been so much fun.
Sounds terrific! Readers and writers often like to get a behind the scenes peek of an author's writing routine. It would be great if you could please share your typical writing day schedule.
Elena: I write best in the wee hours of the morning, because I'm one of those morning people you're heard about and because it's literally "found" time; when I'm up at 5:30am, the world (even the internet) is relatively quiet and it's easier for me to get into the zone. I do most of my writing on weekends because I also work full-time. Saturdays typically start out at my desk in my Lower East Side (NY) apartment, but eventually I stick my laptop in a bag and find other places to write - a local cafe, a park, another cafe, the library, another park. When I smash into a creative wall or find myself too easily distracted by my browser, a walk and a change of scenery usually gets me back on track.
What's up next for you, Elena? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.
Elena: Yes, there are projects in the works. Right now I'm focused on another young adult novel, this time with a slightly older protagonist. It's far too early for me to say very much, but I will share that it's delightfully creepy and will appeal to those who connected with the tone of The Art of Disappearing. I can't wait to tell you more.
Thanks again for visiting, Elena! Would you like to close with a writing tip?
Elena: Thank you for inviting me to YA Fresh! I'll close with the writing tip I give myself every time I hit the keyboard: Just.Keep.Writing. That's the fundamental difference between being a writer and not being a writer. Especially when your just starting a new project, it's imperative to get words down on paper (er, well, on screen). You can delete the weak stuff later, and you probably will, but if you're not putting words down then there's nothing to improve upon next time.
Elena Perez is the author of The Art of Disappearing, the eerily exciting debut novel about a teen whose life is turned upside down by a seemingly psychic event. Born and raised in New Jersey, Elena majored in English as an undergrad and was then awarded a graduate fellowship in Creative Writing from Temple University. Elena lives in NYC’s Lower East Side with her boyfriend and dog. She is currently at work on her next novel and welcomes distractions at @elenabooks. Learn more about Elena and find links to purchase The Art of Disappearing at www.elenaperezbooks.com.