Lilliam Rivera: “Adventure, that’s what I love.”

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[Note From Frolic: Our resident YA expert Aurora Dominguez got the opportunity to interview author Lilliam Rivera and ask her five(ish) questions. Lilliam’s novel Goldie Vance: The Hotel Whodunit is out March 17th!]

Aurora: What was your inspiration behind your most recent novel?

Lilliam: When I first read the Goldie Vance comic books I fell in love with Goldie’s plucky, can-do attitude. She is so fearless and smart, always solving mysteries. For Goldie Vance: The Hotel Whodunit I wanted to continue that and expand the world a little bit. What is it like living in a hotel during the late fifties? What are her friends like and her parents? It was so much fun to explore this world. 

What character do you most relate to and why?

I think I relate so much to Goldie’s best friend Cheryl Labeaux. I may not be as smart as she is but I’m always hiding behind a book or two. I also love how she is always game for whatever Goldie Vance is up to. Adventure, that’s what I love. 

Why do you feel books with powerful and relatable characters are so popular and have such a voice right now?

What’s really exciting about writing middle grade novels is that characters are so complex and different, just like in real life. Goldie is bi-racial and gay, and those two things are not a big deal. She’s an amazing budding detective and everyone around her is rooting for her to succeed. It’s so refreshing! 

Please describe the content of your latest book and what can readers expect from the read.

Goldie Vance: The Hotel Whodunit is a middle grade novel about Goldie Vance, a 16-year-old budding detective who lives in the Crossed Palms Resort. When the hotel is overrun by Hollywood types for the filming of a creature feature, Goldie ends up trying to solve the case of a missing priceless movie prop. It’s fun, fast paced, and the book includes a colored comic book insert. I think kids are going to love it!

What’s next for you in the book world?

My next young adult novel Never Look Book will be published in September 2020 by Bloomsbury. It is a modern retelling of the Greek myth Orpheus and Eurydice, set in the Bronx, New York, with a wannabe bachata singer who falls in love with a Puerto Rican, displaced by Hurricane Maria, and is being followed by an angry spirit. 

Who is your favorite writer right now and why?

There are so many amazing authors out right now so it’s hard to pick just one but I think these authors are doing wonderful work: Pablo Cartaya, Cindy Lin, Meg Medina, Hena Kahn, Lamar Giles, and Jerry Craft, just to name a few.

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