I’m so excited to be a part of the book tour for Like a Love Song that is hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours. I was really excited to also be able to interview the author for this book!
Welcome Gabriela! Thank you for allowing me to interview you! Can you start off by introducing yourself?
Hi Felicia! I’m a Brazilian kidlit author, and LIKE A LOVE SONG is my YA debut!
How has the publication experience been for you?
I always knew I loved to write, but I started to write original fiction and try the traditional route of publication over a decade ago. Although I had a few short stories published here and there (and first in Brazil, in Portuguese), it wasn’t until 2019 that I met my agent and she offered representation. That was after querying six books! After that, it was a fast process. We signed in December 2019, went on sub in May 2020, and in August 2020 we had a deal with Underlined, at time a new Random House imprint, with paperback originals. I couldn’t be happier with my publisher, so much so that earlier this year we offered them a sophomore book option, and they bought it too. I’m super excited!
How would you describe Like a Love Song in one sentence?
Latina teen pop star works with a swoony contracted fake boyfriend to regain her place at the top, after a meme-fied public break-up.
Can you introduce us to the main character(s) of Like a Love Song?
Natalie is a Brazilian pop star who finds fame in Los Angeles. She has two World Tours on her back, but is still insecure and not a big fan of surprises. She was really into her boyfriend, a rather shallow guy who was the perfect all-American dream poster child… and then he dumped her on the most important night of her life, at the biggest award show in the industry. Then the thing is, Natalie didn’t even want to give in to her agent’s plan and let the PR agency handle things, getting her a contract-boyfriend. But she really wasn’t expecting it to be someone like William.
William’s a British indie actor, someone who’s in love with the arts but doesn’t seem particularly interested in the paparazzi or red carpets. Which is super puzzling to Natalie. Doesn’t he want Hollywood? He’s a family guy and sock enthusiast, and although an unlikely pair, they find support in each other and in things they didn’t know were there.
Is there any representation in Like a Love Song? If so, what representation will readers find in it?
There is Brazilian representation through the MC, Natalie, and queer and Jewish representation through the love interest, William.
Do you know from the beginning how your books will end or do you let your characters decide their journey?
I let them decide their journey, but usually during the outline process! I write a line or paragraph for each beat of the story (I use the Save the Cat method), and go with it. I always start books with concepts rather than characters, so outlining is when I daydream about who my characters are, and they start making choices that may deviate the story a bit.
Do you have a favorite scene, moment, or quote from the book?
Oh, I think my favorite scene is the one at the beach, during the music festival. (My lips are sealed on the reason why! You have to read to find out! lol)
What is something random but not a spoiler that readers will find in Like a Love Song?
My love for Brazilian soap operas sprinkled through the text every now and then.
Like a Love Song features the fake dating trope. Are there any other tropes you’d like to write about in the future?
My sophomore novel features a fake bad boy and a teen journalist hell-bent on finding the dirtiest dirt on him, so that was a lot of fun. I’m still toying with ideas and tropes for my third book, but I think it might feature friends-to-lovers, matchmaking-gone-wrong, and definitely more of the one bed trope. (One of my favorite occasion tropes, which you can find in LIKE A LOVE SONG as well!)
Social media and fame is a huge part of Like a Love Song. What made you choose this to center your book around?
I’ve always been fascinated by celebrity culture. As a child, I didn’t understand why everyone was so harsh on Britney Spears, and as a teen, everyone seemed to hate Taylor Swift because she had many boyfriends. I remember, as a young adult not much younger than her, wondering what was up with that, because I’d dated more people than she publicly had. The media is just extremely harsh on women in general, and they’ll be twice as harsh on women of color, queer women, and women from the Global South.
I knew I wanted to write a fake dating book, but my pull towards music gave birth to Natalie, who has something in common with these women who were ostracized by the media: there is valid criticism to be made of her, but the fact that she’s a human being who just happens to be on the spotlight and have her feelings under a microscope is not it.
Is there anything you hope readers will take away from Like a Love Song?
This is a romantic comedy, but ultimately it’s a book about finding yourself, and owning it. There is no right way to be who you are. Whoever you choose to be, it has to be someone who makes you happy. Whoever you are, there’s a place for you in the world. You belong.
What are three books you would recommend if someone enjoyed Like a Love Song?
HANI AND ISHU’S GUIDE TO FAKE DATING (by Adiba Jaigirdar), MADE IN KOREA (by Sarah Suk) and A PHO LOVE STORY (by Loan Le).
What’s next for you? Anything you can share?
Yes! Watch out for BAD AT LOVE coming out summer 2022! I can’t wait to tell you all more about it. 🙂
ABOUT THE BOOK
This debut paperback original romance follows a Latina teen pop star whose image takes a dive after a messy public breakup, until she’s set up with a swoon-worthy fake boyfriend.
Fake boyfriend. Real heartbreak?
Natalie is living her dream: topping the charts and setting records as a Brazilian pop star…until she’s dumped spectacularly on live television. Not only is it humiliating—it could end her career.
Her PR team’s desperate plan? A gorgeous yet oh-so-fake boyfriend. Nati reluctantly agrees, but William is not what she expected. She was hoping for a fierce bad boy—not a soft-hearted British indie film star. While she fights her way back to the top with a sweet and surprisingly swoon-worthy boy on her arm, she starts to fall for William—and realizes that maybe she’s the biggest fake of them all. Can she reclaim her voice and her heart?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
GABRIELA MARTINS is a Brazilian kidlit author and linguist. Her stories feature Brazilian characters finding themselves and love. She was a high school teacher and has also worked as a TED Ed-Club facilitator, where she helped teens develop their own talks in TED format to present. She edited and self-published a pro-bono LGBTQ+ anthology (KEEP FAITH) with all funds going to queer people in need. When she’s not writing, she can be found cuddling with her two cats, or singing loudly and off-key.
One person will win a signed finished copy of Like a Love Song by Gabriela Martins. The giveaway starts on August 2, 2021 and ends on August 9, 2021. To enter this giveaway, click here!