Meet Author Ali Novak

Hey all you lovely book enthusiasts!

My name is Ali Novak, and I am thrilled to be a part of the 2015 YA/NA Blogfest. Today I will be sharing a character interview with Oliver Perry, frontman of the world famous band the Heartbreakers and hot male lead in my newly released YA romance The Heartbreakers.

"Fans of boy bands will be on this like tattoos on Harry Styles' chest." - Kirkus

"A fun summer romance that doesn't shy away from the deeper issues of family, illness, and self-discovery." - School Library Journal

The Heartbreakers is both equally heartwarming and swoon worthy! I loved every single page!” - Anna Todd, New York Times bestselling author of the After series

"Adorably romantic and fun! I loved it." - Kasie West, author of The Distance Between Us

I’m sitting with Oliver Perry, lead singer of the world famous band the Heartbreakers, in the music studio of his Beverly Hills mansion. Recently refurbished, the studio is where the band recorded their Multi-Platinum hit “Astrophil”, and it also gives me a glimpse into this young rockstar’s life. There’s a picture of 7-year-old Oliver with his grandmother standing in front of Splash Mountain at Disneyland. Nearby is a photo of him on the observation deck at the Empire State Building, his arms wrapped around girlfriend Stella Samuel. Behind us is a showcase packed with mementos of the Heartbreakers success—a Grammy, four Moonman’s, three Billboard Music Awards, and a BRIT Award. An array of vintage guitars decorate the wall, along with a framed album record signed by the Ramones. The musician himself is sitting crossed legged on the floor, a beautiful acoustic Fender in his hands, and he gently strums a few chords as I begin the interview. 

Interviewer: Let’s start with the most basic of questions. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

Oliver: Sure. I was born in Portland, Oregon and raised by my grandparents. I’m the lead singer for the Heartbreakers, and we’re currently getting ready to release our next studio album called Light Years Away. I started making music with my best friend JJ in junior high, and we formed our first band called Infinity and Beyond freshman year of high school. I’m an only child, and I’ve seen every James Bond movie ever made.

Interviewer: As the lead singer of one of the most popular bands in the world, you seem pretty invincible. Do you have any fears?

Oliver: My band mates are my family and family is one of the most important things in my life, so the thought of ever losing them scares the shit out of me.

Interviewer: Most guys wouldn’t admit to something like that.

Oliver: I’m not most guys.

Interviewer: Okay, so let’s talk about your bandmates. Obviously Alec, Xander, and JJ are huge parts of your life. What's your best memory with them?

Oliver: Probably the first time we ever preformed together. It wasn’t for a crowd or anything—just a trial run in JJ’s garage. Alec didn’t grow up with the rest of us. He’s from California. Back in high school, JJ, Xander, and I posted covers of popular songs on YouTube, and that’s how Alec found us. He reached out to me and promised to get us in to see the executive of Mongo Records. His only requirement was that we had to let him join our band. It was a once-in-a-life-time opportunity and we needed a bass player, so we thought why not? We invited him up to Oregon to see if he was any good and would fit in with the rest of us, and when we played that first song, it was electric.

Interviewer: If you weren’t part of the Heartbreakers, what would you be doing right now?

Oliver: I always knew I’d be a musician, but I’m not naive; it’s a hard business to break into, so my back up plan was culinary school. I love cooking.

Interviewer: Cooking, huh? What’s the best dish you can make.

Oliver: Not to brag, but my chili is outstanding.

Interviewer: Any other hidden talents you can share with us?

Oliver: Ever tried a pogo stick before?

Interviewer: No, I can’t say I have.

Oliver: I’m an expert on a pogo stick. I could go all day without losing my balance. Beside that, I like to consider myself a pretty good songwriter. Every song on our new album was written by me, even “Astrophil”.

Interviewer: Speaking of “Astrophil”, congratulations on the hit. Can you tell us a little more about the song?

Oliver: Thank you. I wrote the song as an apology to my girlfriend. The title is a reference to a sonnet sequence called “Astrophil and Stella”, which were written by Sir Philip Sidney sometime in the 1580s.

Interviewer: Your girlfriend’s name is Stella.

Oliver: Yup.

Interview: Care to elaborate?

Oliver: Well, you have to know the meaning of the sonnet title to really understand. Astrophil is made up of two Greek words meaning star lover, and Stella is Latin for star. You can put two and two together.

Interviewer: All right, we have just enough time left to do a few rapid fire questions. You ready?

Oliver: Shoot.

Interviewer: Favorite book?

Oliver: Moonraker by Ian Fleming. It’s the best James Bond story by far.

Interviewer: Pepsis or Coke?

Oliver: Gross, neither. Mountain Dew all the way.

Interviewer: Coffee or tea?

Oliver: Tea, preferably green.

Interviewer: Star Wars or Star Trek?

Oliver: Prefer Star Wars, I do.

Interviewer: Thank you so much for taking the time to sit down with me today, Oliver. Again, congratulations on your new hit, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the Heartbreakers in the future.

Oliver: Thanks for having me. I had a blast.
Ali Novak is twenty-four-year-old Wisconsin native and recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madisons creative writing program. She started writing her debut novel My Life with the Walter Boys (2014 Goodreads Choice Nominee and YALSA’s 2015 Teen’s Top Ten finalist) when she was only fifteen. Since then, her work has received more than 100 million hits online. When she isnt writing, Ali enjoys Netflix marathons, traveling with her husband Jared, and reading any type of fantasy novel she can get her hands on. Her latest YA romance The Heartbreakers was released August 4th.

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