Ali Novak is Wattpad royalty. The author of the uber popular Living with the Walter Boys, and the Heartbreakers, Wattpad Star and all around awesome gal, Novak sets the bar for all of those looking to write compelling, swoonworthy YA romance with quirky twists.
She has continued this niche with the second of her Heartbreakers series, Paper Hearts. This time, we follow new character Felicity as she is swept off her feet in true fan fiction style by the quiet and sensitive Alec Williams. You love Felicities tenacity and strength, while feeling your heart flutter at every touch and look between her and Alec.
I have read all of Novaks work, and this is by far my fav. Yup, I said it. I am Team Alec!
Fangirlish is so fortunate to be able to have this exclusive interview with Ali to discuss her writing process, her past, and all things Heartbreakers! And you might even find out if she is Team Alec of Team Oliver *gasp*
Your upcoming release, Paper Hearts, is the second book in your Heartbreakers series. Can you tell us a little about the series as a whole?
The Heartbreak Chronicles is a series about a fictional boy band called the Heartbreakers. Each book deals with music and fandoms, but there is so much more to the series than that. Mainly, these books are about the relationships and bonds between sisters. My sister Peyton is my best friend, so the sibling bonds found in each story are inspired by her. Also, each book is a classic coming-of-age story that most teenage girls can relate too.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for the Heartbreakers?
I originally started writing The Heartbreakers as a form of anti-fanfiction on the website Wattpad. Right after One Direction became popular fanfics about the band started taking over the website. This was before Wattpad had a separate genre for fanfiction, so most of the regular YA books were buried under hundreds of stories about Harry Styles. I loved 1D, but I was frustrated that readers couldn’t find my work. So I figured… if I can’t beat them, why not join them? The only problem was that I wasn’t interested in writing a fanfic, so I decided to create a fictional band and the Heartbreakers were born.
Paper Hearts follows the story of Felicity, a studious good girl who seeks out her long lost sister with the help of the cute boy/Heartbreakers band member Alec she met at a party. How does the theme in this installment differ from the first Heartbreakers and the story of Stella and Oliver?
A lot of themes in The Heartbreakers reemerge in Paper Hearts, like overcoming your fears, coming-of-age, and the bond between sisters. One major difference between the two stories is the presence of parent/child relationships throughout this novel. Both Felicity and Alec have important, if not disastrous relationships with their respective parents. These relationships are what cause most of the tension in the story, which is something that isn’t present in The Heartbreakers.
Between the characters of Stella, the creative free spirit, and Felicity, the cautious intellectual, who would you say you are most like?
Hands down, I’m a hundred times more like Felicity than Stella. Stella has a quick temper and isn’t afraid to say what’s on her mind. I’m more cautious and am always overthinking things. However, I’d like to think I’m as creative as both girls.
Okay, tough question: Which Heartbreakers member do you crush on most?
Not a tough question at all. Without a doubt, Alec is my favorite member of the Heartbreakers. I’ve always had a thing for blonds, and I love shy, sensitive types.
The story discusses the relationship between Felicity and her estranged sister, Rose. Your sister Peyton is also a writer. Do you two discuss story ideas and bounce ideas off each other? Is there any sibling rivalry?
In regards to writing, there is no sibling rivalry between the two of us. We always brainstorm together, bounce ideas of each other, and edit one another’s work. Sometimes, if one of us is struggling with writers block, we even write each other’s scenes. When I first started writing online, I was too afraid to share my stories with any of my friends or family. Not even my husband Jared, who was my boyfriend at the time, knew I was writing. The only person I told was Peyton. We used to share a room growing up, and I would read my stories out loud to her at night when we were supposed to be asleep. Our passion for writing has only made our bond as sisters stronger.
I have to admit, I swooned over Alec multiple times. He is sweet, shy and charming, but so cautious and hesitant it draws you to him even more. Describe how you built his character.
Luckily, I didn’t have to do any hard work building Alec’s character. He’s based off a very close friend with the exception of his mountaineering skills; I threw that in for fun ;)
Felicity is very driven, with her dream of going to Stanford for law school. If you weren’t a writer, what do you think you would want to study/be?
To be honest, I have no idea. I’ve wanted to be an author since I was fifteen. Publishing a book has always been my dream, so I didn’t give much thought to other career paths. With that being said, Felicity’s love of the movie Legally Blonde and her dream of becoming a lawyer is based on me. When Legally Blonde came out, I was around ten. I remember watching Elle get her courtroom victory and deciding I would do the same thing when I grew up. I became obsessed getting into Harvard and becoming a lawyer.
Felicity’s passion is jewelry making. Do you have any crafty talents we don’t know about?
Alec’s relationship with his father is more than a little tense. Do you feel such conflict within a familial relationship drives or hinders an individual?
I think it depends on the individual and the family situation. For me, I’ve been blessed to grow up with a supportive family. If one of my family members suddenly didn’t believe in me, it would be a very hard pill to swallow.
What else can we expect from the Heartbreakers and their adventures in the future?
I don’t want to give too much away, so I’ll leave you with two hints: Comic-Con and bucket lists.
The end of the book features a playlist Alec made for Felicity. If you could create your ideal playlist, what top 5 songs would it include?
This is an impossible question since my favorite songs are constantly changing, so I’ll give you the most played songs in my iTunes library at the moment:
- Poison & Wine by The Civil Wars
- Tenerife Sea by Ed Sheeran
- Fade Into You (feat. Sam Palladio & Clare Bowen) by Nashville Cast
- Waiting Game by Parson James
- Silhouette by Aquilo
If you could write any other genre than young adult romance, what genre would you like to try your hand at?
My favorite genre to write is actually YA fantasy. I haven’t published any yet, but I’ve written quite a few. I plan to publish an urban fantasy romance once I finish The Heartbreak Chronicles.
List your top 5 favorite books of all time.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- City of Bones
- Anna and the French Kiss
- The Darkest Minds
- The Raven Boys
What message would you like to send to readers about why they should check out Paper Hearts?
Why take a chance on my book? Well, if you love any of the below, then this book was written for you:
- Masquerade balls
- Spontaneous road trips
- Shy, but sweet boys
- Great music
- Boy bands
Endless thanks to Ali Novak for taking the time to chat with us and giving us THIS opportunity…to give you, our amazing followers and readers, a chance to get your grabby hands on an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Paper Hearts before the July 4 2017.
For your chance, comment with your favorite boy band below. Or tweet it to us!