True Colorz is your web source for all things YA in the LGBTQ community! Our blog features new releases, featured authors, interviews, and reviews/recommended reading.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Featured Author: Sara Alva

Sara Alva
Sara Alva is a former small-town girl currently living in big-city LA with a husband, two cats, and an avocado tree. She recently discovered—after a year in her house—that she also has a fig tree in her backyard, which might mean she needs to get out more. But sometimes the stories waiting to be told demand more attention, and when she puts fingers to keyboard, it’s usually to write about journeys of self-discovery, heartache, personal growth, friendship and love. When she isn’t writing, she’s teaching or dancing.

Connect with Sara Alva on Twitter @SaraAlvaStories or visit her website: for more information and FREE READS.

Q&A with Author Sara Alva:

  1. If you could swap places with one of your fictional characters for 24 hours, who would you choose to be? Why? And what would you do that day?

    I guess I’d pick Rebecca, because I have that desire to be what I’m not. Rebecca is different and doesn’t care. She towers above most girls, never tries to be fashionable, and always says what’s on her mind. That would be pretty liberating.

    Hm, a day as Rebecca…I’d probably just hang around Connor and Jared, watching them grow and gain strength as a couple—in a non-stalkerish way. Maybe go on a double date with the boys and Tate at Mellow Mushroom.

  2. Tell us a little bit about your debut novel, Social Skills.

    Social Skills is Connor’s story. Although it’s also a romance, a more important tag might be “coming of age”. Connor suffers from social anxiety and has to struggle every day just to make casual conversation—let alone develop a friendship. He meets his opposite in Jared, but even the confident jock doesn’t have it all figured out.

    When the two begin a behind-closed-doors relationship, it does help Connor’s self-esteem—but as much as Connor might like it, Jared isn’t going to be the one to “fix” him. He has to do most of that work himself. There’s heartbreak, healing, and growth on the journey as Connor learns to stand up for himself and make clear what he wants from his life and his love.

  3. We were impressed at how you portrayed Connor so realistically as a shy character. From where did you draw your inspiration in developing his character?

    I guess I’ll admit it. I wanted to write a novel focusing on a character with social anxiety because it’s something I’ve dealt with for most of my life. It’s a weird, alienating feeling, and people with social anxiety often can’t explain why they seem so distant from the rest of the world. This novel gave me an opportunity to explain some of the inner-workings of a socially anxious mind to those who may not understand—and hopefully let my fellow shy readers know they are not alone.

  4. What other projects are you working on?

    My next novel, Silent, is coming out in a few months. Alex Alvarado narrates this one from his point of view as a teenager in South Central Los Angeles. An incident at home and a visit from a social worker set his life on a new course, where he has to struggle with both the separation from all he knows and his growing attraction to a mysterious mute boy in his foster care group home.

  5. What would you like young readers to take away from your novels?

    To date, my novels are about journeys of self-discovery. I’d like young readers to be motivated to go on their own journeys, and to know there is hope for positive change—and for love—along the way.

Now Available from Sara Alva:

Social Skills Music is the only form of communication Connor Owens controls. No matter how badly he wishes to fit in, friendly banter and casual conversations have never been his thing. College is yet another social universe he has no clue how to navigate—until he meets Jared, a football player with chestnut eyes and a cocky grin that holds the power to shatter his self-imposed prison. Jared's attention opens Connor up to a new realm of emotional and physical intimacy. But as Connor's self-confidence grows, so does his fear that everything will fall apart. Because in this socially stratified world, how long can a relationship between an introverted violinist and a closeted football player really last?

Coming Soon from Sara Alva:

Silent Alex's life as a teenager in South Central L.A. is far from perfect, but it's his life, and he knows how to live it. He knows what role to play and what things to keep to himself. He's got it all under control, until one lousy pair of shoes kicks him out of his world and lands him in a foster care group home.

Surrounded by strangers and trapped in a life where he could never belong, Alex turns to the only person lower on the social ladder than he is: a "special" mute boy. In Sebastian, Alex finds a safe place to store his secrets—those that sent him to foster care, and the deeper one that sets him apart from the other teenagers he knows. But Sebastian has secrets of his own, and when tragedy rips the two boys apart, Alex will stop at nothing to find the answers—even if it means dragging them both through a past full of wounds best left buried.

It might just be worth it, for the slim chance at love.

Recommended Age: 18+

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