[Note From Frolic: Our resident YA expert Aurora Dominguez got the opportunity to interview author Dhonielle Clayton and ask her five(ish) questions. Dhonielle’s novel ‘The Everlasting Rose‘ out now!]
Aurora: What was your inspiration behind your most recent novel?
Dhonielle: The inspiration behind The Everlasting Rose stems from the question — What do you do when everything you’ve been told about the world is a lie? This novel picks up a little after my last novel The Belles ends, and we find the main character Camille grappling with how she’s going to fix her world and keep her sisters safe.
I wanted to delve into how I felt as teen when I discovered unsavory realities about the world that my parents sheltered me from. How do you move forward in a world you don’t particularly like? How do you make sense of who you are and all things you must navigate?
What character do you most relate to and why?
I most relate to Camille’s sister Edel. She is a character that says what she means and means what she says, and she tends to be very impulsive. She isn’t always patient and she isn’t always kind, and mostly, she is angry. With the current political climate in the United States, I’ve been feeling very angry and frustrated and the desire to storm the castle and burn everything to the ground has been very present in my life lately.
Why do you feel young adult books are so popular and have such a voice right now?
I think young adult books and books for children have always had a voice. They are the most important books because they arm teens with what the tools needed to survive this weird and wondrous world. I think the popularity of young adult books is due to the fact that the teen generation is growing louder and louder, and demanding their place and stories just for them.
Please describe the content of your latest book and what can readers expect from the read.
The Everlasting Rose is one breathless chase full of twists and turns. The characters are on the run and must evade capture, traversing the world of Orléans.
What’s next for you in the book world?
I am working on a co-written book with my partner-in-crime Sona Charaipotra called The Rumor Game set in the Washington DC suburbs about three girls – one who accidentally starts a rumor, one who the rumor is about, and one who is collateral damage.
What’s your favorite writing method that you follow for inspiration?
I make vision boards using magazines to bring my world alive and immerse myself in its aesthetics before I go hunting for the right characters to follow.