I’ve had the pleasure to share with you a REVIEW (click here) about Lessons in Falling a few weeks back along with celebrating it’s release day! Today, I interviewed Diana about her book including topics such as gymnastics, racism, toxic friendships and more. Check it out!
INTERVIEW WITH DIANA
1. Did you always want to write a young adult book that highlighted gymnastics?
Definitely! Not only has the sport been a major part of my life, but I also feel that sports narratives in general have compelling ebbs and flows. In addition, when I started writing the book, the novels I’d read about gymnastics focused solely on athletes aiming for the Olympics and often had glaring inaccuracies. I wanted to use my expert knowledge while offering another angle on the sport.
2. Lessons in Falling deals a lot with sticking up for what’s right in regards to racism and I loved how this was handled in the book. Tell us a bit about the motivation behind including this in the book.
Before I began writing the novel in 2009, a local hate crime made national news—the killing of Marcelo Lucero, who was stabbed to death by a group of teenagers. His story exposed the rifts in communities with immigrant populations, which is something that, unfortunately, still persists here today.
3. Have you ever had a toxic friendship and did that inspire Savannah and Cassie’s friendship?
I have. Fortunately, I was able to recognize that the relationship was mutually not beneficial to either party. Unlike Savannah, who relies heavily upon Cassie, it was easier for me to compare that relationship to other friendships and realize, “You know what, this isn’t working.”
4. What do you hope readers will walk away with from Lessons in Falling?
I hope readers walk away with the message that doing the right thing (for you and for others) is worthwhile, although it may not be easy.
5. Are you soccer fan?
I actually REALLY wanted to play soccer as a kid, but never got the chance to—I played deck hockey instead! I was able to get some helpful information from my students who are soccer fans.
6. Are you working on a new book and can you give us any hints to what it’s about?
I have a few things in the works! Two of them are YA: one project involves another female athlete and another follows a group of friends whose lives are turned upside-down after a natural disaster. The third is an adult manuscript that’s pure fun.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: Lessons in Falling
Author: Diana Gallagher
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Synopsis: When Savannah Gregory blows out her knee – and her shot at a gymnastics scholarship – she decides she’s done with the sport forever. Without gymnastics, she has more time for her best friend, Cassie. She’s content to let her fun, impulsive best friend plan a memorable senior year.
That is, until Cassie tries to kill herself.
Savannah wants to understand what happened, but Cassie refuses to talk about it and for the first time, Savannah has to find her own way. The only person she can turn to is Marcos, the boy who saved Cassie’s life. Being with him makes her see who she could be and what she really wants: gymnastics.
But Cassie doesn’t approve of Marcos or of Savannah going back to gymnastics, and the tighter she tries to hold on to Savannah, the farther it pulls them apart. Without Cassie to call the shots, Savannah discovers how capable she is on her own – and that maybe her best friend’s been holding her back all along.
BOOK TRAILER (P.S. I made this trailer *wink wink*)
“Want to share your own Lessons Learned?? It’s easy! Tell us about a time in your life when you persevered, despite a bad situation, and what lessons you learned from that situation. Share it however you like – on your blog, your social media, wherever! Submit your link to the Rafflecopter below and share the giveaway with your friends to win an annotated ARC!”
Though Diana Gallagher be but little, she is fierce. She’s also a gymnastics coach and judge, former collegiate gymnast, and writing professor. Her work has appeared in The Southampton Review, International Gymnast, The Couch Gymnast, The Gymternet, and on a candy cigarette box for SmokeLong Quarterly. She holds an MFA from Stony Brook University and is represented by Tina Wexler of ICM Partners. To learn more, visit dianagallagher.blogspot.com.