#LetsGetLost in @entertainmentweekly

  06:08 pm, by adialsaid 1  |  Comments

#LetsGetLost in @entertainmentweekly

  02:09 pm, by adialsaid 2  |  Comments

Another summer road trip. Helping my sister @tals0402 move to grad school in Cincinnati/kicking off the #LetsGetLost book tour. First stop: Denver.

  01:40 pm, by adialsaid 1  |  Comments

The Leila Series: Q&A with reader Ayden Foster

I’ve been filling out a lot of Q&As lately. It’s one of the strange, wonderful things about being an author; people are interested in what you have to say. The other day, I had an idea. I want to interview my readers. I want to see why readers connect with Let’s Get Lost, pick their brains a little. Like Leila would.
So, this is the first in what I will call The Leila Series. I’m interviewing Ayden Foster, a reader from Las Vegas, NV. You can follow Ayden on Twitter (@AydenjFoster). 
First of all, thank you again for reading Let’s Get Lost. Writing is less enjoyable without the readers. My first question, you’ll see, is completely and totally relevant to the book. If you had to choose between being an orange and being a banana, which would you choose?
Thank you for asking me to do this and thank you for writing Let’s Get Lost!  I agree with you on writing being less enjoyable without the readers, but I also think reading is less enjoyable when there aren’t any writers to write stories for readers to read.So, write more stories! 
To answer your question: BANANA!!!  I love bananas, they’re my favorite fruit. And they’re super good if you want to grow your hair out—which I am—so, I’ve eating a lot of them lately. Fun fact: bananas are technically berries. I learned that on a road trip of my own. 

Okay, I lied. This one is more LGL-y. In our correspondence, you mentioned connecting on a personal level with the book. Could you elaborate a bit?
Yeah, while reading Let’s Get Lost  I found myself really connected to the story and to the characters, especially Leila. A couple of years ago (five to be exact), I took a road trip…kind of.  What originally started as a 3 month vacation in Mexico, turned into an 18 month prison sentence. Okay, not really. My sister and I just saw Mexico as a giant metaphorical prison we couldn’t escape. But, we were there for 18 months, not the 3 months that were originally planned. I should probably mention why we left to Mexico in the first place, shouldn’t I? Well, my sister, who was eighteen at the time, was told that in order for her to become a U.S. citizen she would have to serve a “punishment” usually consisting of 3 months out of the country. Although my sister would be staying with my family, my mom thought it would be a great idea to bring along. (The real reason I was brought along was later revealed to me. It’s an entire Hamlet-esque story of its own.) In those 3 months she would have to wait until she received a letter, in which an appointment date would be given for her to become a U.S. citizen. The letter didn’t arrive in the mail until 18 months after our departure. When the date of the appointment was given, we travel to the destination of hopes and dreams: Ciudad Juárez, the most dangerous city in the world. After all the boring legal stuff, we returned home. Both, my sister and I, finally feeling as though we belonged in the U.S. Funny thing, we later learn that my sister never had to leave the country. Lawyer error. Literally, all of this could have been avoided if someone manage to double check paper work. But, I’m glad it happened. 
Anyways, in that year-and-a-half, we traveled what parts of the west coast of Mexico. We took road trips with my cousin and his family and we met the most amazing people that I will never forget. People who you would never imagine would exist. Everyone has a story, like this one guy who always came buy my Uncle’s taco shop. His name is Popeye and he used to always play the trumpet for pedestrians. He was the worst trumpet player ever, but, he did it every day because that’s what made him happy. He stopped coming by couple of weeks before we return to the states. I hope he’s still playing the trumpet wherever he is.  
In what I thought would be the most horrible part of my life, I found out who I was and who I wanted to be. I got to learn so much about my family and the Mexican culture and I also saw my first dead body! How cool is that? I mean, it wasn’t cool for the dead guy, but it was such a life changing moment for me. I learn that sometimes bad things happen, but that doesn’t mean you stop living. Wait…I should rephrase that. 
What I mean, is that things don’t just get better on their own, you have to make them better. Those 18 months in the humid port city of Manzanillo, Mexico were one of the best moments of my ongoing life. I wouldn’t trade the pain, the countless tears, and especially not the happiness for anything. 
P.S. I also got to learn how to run a taco shop and make a mouth salivating badass taco. Can I say badass?
You can say anything you want. So you cook? I’m a huge fan of cooking, too. Without giving away any secret recipes, how do you prepare your badass taco?
Yeah, I love to cook! Besides reading, cooking was the greatest thing my mom ever thought me how to do.
The secret to a badass taco is pineapple. Slices of pineapple between the tortilla and the shredded beef, with a bit guacamole, will always make everything taste delicious. It might just be me though. I love pineapple. 
You mentioned you also write. What are you working on now?
One of the things I did in Mexico was read…a lot! That abundance of reading really helped me grow as a writer. Another thing I have Mexico to thank for.  
I am currently working on my first YA novel! Its of the SciFi genre and it’s about a seventeen year-old boy who wins a lottery, where the prize is a one-way ticket to humanity’s new home that resides in a colonized solar system. Think, Avatar meets Ender’s Game. It’s out of this world… (Shameless pun). 
Awesome! Good luck. In Let’s Get Lost, Leila acts as a bottomless well of kindness for strangers, helping others and asking for nothing in return. Have you ever been the recipient of a random act of kindness?
After reading LGL, I really wanted to take a road trip with a Leila of my own. She’s so nice and awesome!  In high school, I was a part of Best Buddies, which helps mentally challenged students and everyday I would receive a random act of kindness from one of the students. But, I guess, at some point the acts were no longer random… Does that count?  To me, a random act of kindness can be just someone asking how my day is going or just a simple smile flashed in my direction. I’m starting to have Let’s Get Lost withdrawals. I miss Leila.
Any specific memory from your time at Best Buddies stand out?
There was this girl name Kalei who was always managed to make me smile, no matter what mood I was in. She was a part of the cheerleading squad so, she was really good at cheering people up. And just like everyone one else, Kalei didn’t let anything get her down. Her smile was always an act of kindness to me. 
I never underline or take notes in books. The most I do is dog-ear pages that hold quotations or passages I want to copy down later. What’s your reading process like? Do you highlight? Scribble in the margins? Google every reference you don’t catch?
My reading process consist of sticky notes, sticky notes and Nutella. When I find a scene or quote I like, I prop a sticky note to the side of the page so I can easily relive it later. The Nutella is just for a snack. (I recently read Ready Player One by Earnest Cline and I had Google open at all times. So many awesome 80’s references.) 
If that were me, there’d be Nutella stains on my books. There are stains on my books. In Bree’s section, Leila takes Bree out for celebratory ice cream. The last time I had ice cream it was a medium cup, one scoop of Burgundy Cherry, one scoop of Bavarian Mint. What was the last ice cream flavor you had?
 I may or may not be currently eating two scoops of Red Velvet and one scoop of Birthday Cake ice cream…
What’s the longest road trip you’ve ever been on?
The longest road trip I’ve ever been on was from Oregon to Idaho to Wyoming to the entire South West and California, ending in Nevada, my current home. It was one of the many road trips my family took when I was younger. (Unless the whole Mexico thing counts as an epic road trip, if not, than the first one mentioned.) I remember one time during a road trip we were driving through Utah during a terrifying lighting storm and all for some reason all I could think about was why the lighting wasn’t hitting us. I was jealous of the fields for being struck. 
Mexico, of course, counts! I’ve been embarrassed about how little traveling I’ve done within Mexico since I grew up there, but I’ve started to explore more the past year or so. Where in Mexico did you go?
The majority of our time was spent in the city of Manzanillo, which is like a smaller Santa Monica. When we went out on road trips, we would drive up the Guadalajara, a very populated metropolitan city. If you ever want to have a shopping day, go to Guadalajara. One of the places we went to during a trip was to a water park located in Acapulco. It’s in the middle of a dense jungle and there are water slides coming down from trees into rivers and zip-lines in mountains, it was incredible. 
Pretend you know absolutely nothing about the Northern Lights or astronomy. You’re living five thousand years or so ago, and you look up at the sky, knowing very little about how the world really operates, and you see the Northern Lights. What’s your theory? What do you think they are?
I like this question! Have you ever thought about being a writer? I like how your mind works.  
If I knew nothing about the Northern Lights or astronomy and I saw these beautiful lights up in the night sky, I would think it was aliens. They’re here for me and I need to find a way to touch these lights in the sky. 
Aliens, that’s my theory.  
Wait, am I aware of aliens in this scenario?
Nope.
I guess if I wasn’t aware about the concept of aliens, I would believe that the lights were some sort of sign that meant the end of the world was near. I would’ve been a paranoid Neanderthal.
I think anyone would be. Thanks for taking the time to answer, and again for reading Let’s Get Lost!
Have you read Let’s Get Lost? Are you interested in having me interview you? Email me at adi.alsaid@gmail.com.
12:57 pm, by adialsaid 2  |  Comments

Have you posted your #LGLShelfie yet? My niece Lucy has!

Take a picture with your copy of #LetGetLost or at your local bookstore/wherever you buy books and post it on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook with the hashtag. I’ll pick my favorite this coming Tuesday, 5th of August and send you a personalized copy. Open to all.

  12:02 pm, by adialsaid  Comments

A wonderful blurb from fellow author Wendy Wunder! #LetsGetLost #books #yalit

  11:56 am, by adialsaid  Comments

Release day!

#LetsGetLost is now available wherever books are sold. To celebrate, I’ll be hosting a giveaway. Like my niece Lucy, post a picture of yourself with Let’s Get Lost at your nearest bookstore and tag it #LGLShelfie. You have all week! On Tuesday I’ll pick a winner to receive a signed copy (that way you can lend your unsigned copy out!).

  02:48 pm, by adialsaid 11  |  Comments