I am more than thrilled to share my very first interview today with C.J Omololu, author of Dirty Little Secrets!
Everyone has a secret. But Lucy’s is bigger and dirtier than most. It’s one she’s been hiding for years—that her mom’s out-of-control hoarding has turned their lives into a world of garbage and shame. She’s managed to keep her home life hidden from her best friend and her crush, knowing they’d be disgusted by the truth. So, when her mom dies suddenly in their home, Lucy hesitates to call 911 because revealing their way of life would make her future unbearable—and she begins her two-day plan to set her life right.
1. Dirty Little Secrets is certainly a fresh breath of air from the majority of YA novels today. Why did you choose to write about hoarding instead of vampires/werewolves/angels?
Aw, thanks. I don’t like working on a project if it’s already been done before. I read an article about hoarding in a magazine and thought it would be really interesting to explore from a YA point of view. I saw that nobody had written fiction about hoarding, so for me, that was the best reason of all.
2. In DLS, we’re not getting inside the head of a hoarder, we’re getting inside the head of a hoarding victim, Lucy. Did you do any special research for her character?
I worked with several women who had grown up in similar hoarding situations. They were invaluable in helping me research and read scenes to make sure I was getting it right. When I wrote the book, the hoarding shows weren’t on TV yet, but there is a great documentary by Cynthia Lester called My Mother’s Garden that I watched several times.
3. If you could pick any character in any novel ever written and use them in one of your stories, who would it be and what would you make him/her do? (i.e: kill them off, leave them stranded on an island, win the lottery)
Hmmm. Good question. Let me look at my shelves for a minute. I think I’d like Katniss from Hunger Games to come and hang out with the main character in my new book. She could teach her some serious attitude. I’d make her take cello lessons, but I’d keep her away from the love interest.
4. Are there any novels that you wish you had written?
So many. Two of my current favorites are Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver and Will Grayson/Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green. I wish I could have written both of those because the writing is spectacular. Ooh, and Hunger Games too. The pacing and plot is so amazing.
5. If Dirty Little Secrets became a movie (and by the way, I think it’d totally be a PERFECT Lifetime movie) who would you pick to play the characters? Acting or looks wise.
Thanks! It would be fun to see it played out .My son says Kristin Stewart for Lucy, but I think that’s just because he’d like to meet her.
6. You said that you didn’t want to be a writer until your late 30s, so what was your dream job as a teenager?
I didn’t have anything specific I’d like to do but I know I didn’t want to work in a big office, I wasn’t cut out for corporate culture, and I wanted to do something creative. It just took me a long time to figure out that that is a writer’s job description.
7. Can we expect more incredible books from you in the future?
Well, I don’t know about incredible, but I’m finishing up a project I’m really excited about. It’s very different from Dirty Little Secrets, mainly because I wanted to try something that wasn’t quite so heavy. If you like the café scene in the book, then you’ll like the new one ;)
Thank you so much, C.J, for taking the time to answer some questions and being the first author interview Sophistikatied Reviews has ever had!
For more on C.J Omololu & Dirty Little Secrets, you can visit her website and blog!