Thursday, July 08, 2021

Q&A with Alena Dillon

From my Q&A with Alena Dillon, author of The Happiest Girl in the World: A Novel:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

My original title for the novel was I Am Sera, because the book is so much about the character’s search for her identity inside and outside the pursuit of her dream, and perhaps I was inspired by the movie I, Tonya, which delved behind the polished veneer of Olympic sports in the same way my novel does. But my editor suggested The Happiest Girl in the World, which comes from an interview with gymnast Shawn Johnson, saying she felt like the happiest girl in the world when she made the Olympic team. My character idolizes Shawn to the point where she rehearses that interview over and over again. I read the manuscript again with that title in mind, and I repeatedly saw the theme of happiness rise up: what happiness means, who deserves it, who earns it, and if our goals bring us happiness or if our goals come at the expense of our happiness. It was...[read on]
Visit Alena Dillon's website.

The Page 69 Test: Mercy House.

My Book, The Movie: Mercy House.

Writers Read: Alena Dillon (February 2020).

Q&A with Alena Dillon.

--Marshal Zeringue