October 09


Q & A with Author Dierdre Hall (Plus Giveaway!)

Hey, y’all! Today on ATWN, I’m excited to bring you an interview with author Dierdre Riordan Hall! Once you’ve checked out the Q & A (complete with info about her books, road trip discussion, and a couple of impressive playlists) be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win an e-copy of the music-inspired novel IN THE DESERT, an awesome book-inspired guitar pick necklace, a button, and some bookmarks!

The Q & A

Tell us a little about IN THE DESERT. What do you think readers will like best about the book?
In the Desert is the story of twenty-year-old Brighton, who is about to embark on a cross-country road trip, when she gets an unexpected passenger. Despite the fact that Alex is an obnoxiously handsome rock star, grief over the loss of her father, also a musician, follows her as the miles tick by, along with a posse of Alex’s wild fans and crazy ex.


While she tries to shake loose her past—and Alex—she discovers the heartache they have in common. Falling for him is the last thing she wants. Then, all too soon, the trip ends, and Alex’s sexy voice, rainy day eyes, and the time they shared are stuck in her head, like a favorite song. Months later, when his band plays in LA, she hopes to find herself back by his side.


I think readers will enjoy the armchair travel as they join Brighton and Alex on the road trip. There is a bit of travelogue from their perspectives, along with all the dusty, sun-splashed vibe of being on the road. Feedback I’ve received also points to readers enjoying the fact that it goes deeper with plot, emotion, and characterization than the usual romance, though the chemistry does require goggles and safety gloves.


One of your characters, Alex, is a UK rocker. What is Alex’s favorite song?


What a fabulous question. Although Alex is world famous, he likes to hole up with lesser-known bands. The obscurer the better, perhaps a byproduct of the fame he’s not so sure he wants. He doesn’t have just one fave, but on his playlist you’ll find Fresh Feeling by The Eels—when he’s thinking about Brighton, and Elephant by Tame Impala—when he’s on tour.


What music did you listen to while writing IN THE DESERT?


I mostly require quiet when I’m writing. I used to have a home office, called “The Writing Cave,” but have since moved. Now my desk is smack in the middle of the living room. Sigh. But I’m making it work, adapting with the times and all that.


So, although I don’t listen to tunes when I’m writing, I often play music when I’m doing the daily stuff of life or in the car, and am able to drop into brainstorming mode, jotting or recording notes as I go. A while back, I posted a blog sampling the In the Desert Playlist. Brighton and Alex also listened to the fictional bands Bang Bang and The Gracks, which I’d love to hear, if yanno, they weren’t fictional.



I love that you have an Etsy shop with guitar pick necklaces related to the book. Very cool! Do you play the guitar? Or any instruments?


Thanks, Erin! I don’t play any musical instruments. Though I had youthful aspirations to play guitar or drums or bass or anything badass (ha ha.) Instead, I opted to write about them. I’ve always been fascinated by the chuck it all rock star mentality.


My husband is a musician, and my kids play piano, guitar, and clarinet, giving me the very lucky job of enjoying their music. Let’s just say my position in the audience is better for them (and everyone else’s ears.)


Your main character, Brighton, is on a road trip to find a place to call home. If you could pick any state to call home, which would you pick, and why?


I’ve been to all but six of the continental US states and would have to pick coastal Maine, if it were sunny and seventy-seven year round.


Best road trip album or songs?


Funny, I took a road trip this summer (after writing In the Desert—though I’ve been on several before and definitely drew from the experiences) and conveniently have a multitude of playlists. My top ten road tunes of the moment:



What can we expect from you in the future? (More books, more in your Etsy shop, etc.)


I have a lot on the deck. I’m super excited! On the Mountain, the third full-length novel in the Follow your Bliss series hits shelves and ereaders Tuesday October, 14—next week! And yes, there will be Etsy goodies. I’m a sucker for swag and thought others might like it too.


In the Desert is book number two in the Follow your Bliss series. It’s like this: Each novel in the series has a unique main character, setting (geography plays a big role), and plot, but they’re united, as a series, by the fact that each book gives an account of one person pursuing their dreams. The novels stand alone, but do weave together, for a richer reading experience. And each full-length has a companion novella following the story of one of the secondary characters (or in the case of Mirrored, the follow up to In the Desert, Alex gets the spotlight—I wasn’t ready to let him and Brighton go!) Mirrored is also available now.


After On the Mountain, I wrap up the year with Kindled, the companion novella, out in December. It’s a heartwarming holiday story with plenty of family dysfunction, drama, and Christmas cheer.


For 2015 I’m releasing a prequel//sequel novelette, which goes into greater depth for each of the main characters before and after bliss, culminating in a very special event for two of them. Through the Jungle will be FREE and available in February. A box set is also in the works. After that, stay tuned because I’m turning things WAY up. Hint, hint.


DRAbout Dierdre



Deirdre Riordan Hall is the author of upper young adult and new adult fiction. She spends her days with her family, writing (what else?!) at the custom-made desk her husband crafted, or seaside, pretending to be a mermaid.
The Giveaway


What you can win:
  • an e-copy of IN THE DESERT
  • a guitar pick necklace inspired by the book!
  • a button and bookmarks

To enter, just leave a comment below! (It’s not required, but I’d love it if your comment included one of your favorite road trip songs!) Drawing will be held on Thursday, October 16.


A big thank you to Dierdre for being here at ATWN!

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