2K18 Member Spotlight: Lauren Spieller
BOOK TITLE: Your Destination is on the Left
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
RELEASE DATE: June 26, 2018
About YOUR DESTINATION IS ON THE LEFT
Seventeen-year-old Dessa Rhodes is torn between leaving her modern nomadic life and pursuing her dreams of becoming an artist in this fun, contemporary debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson.
Dessa Rhodes is a modern day nomad. Her family travels in an RV, their lives defined by state lines, exit signs, and the small communal caravan they call home. Among them is Cyrus, her best friend and long-time crush, whom she knows she can never be with. When your families are perpetually linked, it’s too dangerous to take a risk on romance.
Instead, Dessa looks to the future. She wants to be a real artist and going to art school is her ticket to success and a new life. There’s just one problem: she hasn’t been accepted…anywhere. Suddenly her future is wide open, and it looks like she’s going to be stuck traveling forever.
Then an unexpected opportunity presents itself: an internship working with a local artist in Santa Fe. Dessa struggles to prove to her boss—and herself—that she belongs there, but just as she finally hits her stride, her family suffers an unexpected blow. Faced with losing everything that she has worked for, Dessa has a difficult decision to make. Will she say goodbye to her nomadic lifestyle and the boy she loves? Or will she choose to never stop moving?
Lauren Spieller is a literary agent who lives in New York with her husband. When she isn’t writing, she can be found drinking lattes, pining for every dog she sees, or visiting her native California. Visit her at www.laurenspieller.com.
WHAT INSPIRED YOUR BOOK?
I had just finished driving from CA to NY, and I wondered what it would be like to live on the road full time. I’m also a huge fan of the Odyssey, and I wanted to use it as inspiration in a different kind of hero’s journey—a teen girl’s!
BEST ADVICE FOR ASPIRING WRITERS?
Don’t ever, ever, ever give up. Also, READ.
YOUR GORGEOUS COVER SHOWCASES SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THIS?
Half of Your Destination Is on the Left is set in Santa Fe, a city known for art, food, and its natural beauty. One of the most important scenes takes place in the city square, right next to the famous Basílica de Guadalupe...the same church that's on the cover of the book!
WHAT DOES FEARLESS MEAN TO YOU?
Never giving up, even when something scares you. Especially then.
WHAT WERE YOU LIKE AS A TEEN?
When I was a teenager, I was outgoing and flirtatious and full of big plans, but I was also constantly unsure of myself and how other people felt about me. I took refuge in modern dance and my wonderful friends, but it wasn't until college that I truly started to discover who I was, and who I wanted to be.