Posted in 2023, Author Interview, Book Tour, Felicia

It Happened on Saturday | Author Interview | Book Tour

I’m so excited to be a part of the book tour for It Happened on Saturday that is hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours. I was really excited to also be able to interview the author for this book!


Hi! Thank you so much for having me! It’s an honor to be here!

How would you describe It Happened on Saturday in one sentence?

It Happened on Saturday is a character-driven book about a girl who narrowly escapes becoming a victim of human trafficking and must find the courage to tell her friends so none of them end up becoming victims too.

Can you introduce us to the main character(s) of It Happened on Saturday?

The main character is 13-year-old Julia, who loves hanging out with her friends and volunteering with the horses at the rescue barn. Julia’s not that interested in dating or makeup, but she also doesn’t want to get left behind when her BFF, Nori, comes home from camp with a boyfriend, so she tries to keep up. That’s how she lands in trouble.

Do you know from the beginning how your books will end or do you let your characters decide their journey?

I have a general idea of where things are going at the beginning, but then the characters tend to take over, and I have to go where they lead me. Once I’m really into the story, writing almost becomes like watching a movie in my head and just putting down what is happening. That’s my favorite part of writing—when everything flows and it just feels organic, like the characters are leading the way.

Do you have a favorite scene, moment, or quote from the book?

I have two favorite scenes. One is when Julia walks into the barn for the first time after everything that’s happened, and it’s just her and the horses in there. She is so relieved to be back with the animals she adores. She says “Hi everybody!” and a lot of the horses poke their heads out over their stalls with their ears pricked forward, showing that they’re glad to see her, and one of them nickers. I was recently meeting someone at a stable, and I got there first, walked in, and experienced a moment just like Julia’s. It was so amazing to feel like I was living out a scene from my book.

My other favorite part is when Julia and her best friend Nori finally both let their guard down and are completely honest and vulnerable with each other, and they realize that the friendship they share is pretty much the most important thing in the world. I’ve had the same best friend since elementary school, and every time I read this part, I tear up a little bit, thinking of the bond we share too.

What is something readers will find in It Happened on Saturday that they may not realize based on the

The story ends not too far before Halloween, and a very important scene occurs in a place called Buckley’s Haunted Manor, when Julia and her friends go on a spooky tour.

What’s something you hope readers will take away from It Happened on Saturday?

In addition to gaining an awareness of how to stay safe as they go online and use social media, I hope readers also develop an understanding and awareness of strategies to help themselves through stressful situations.

What are three books you would recommend if someone enjoyed It Happened on Saturday?

I looked at Goodreads since it recommends books that readers also enjoyed, and I was excited to see the following three pop up: Sincerely Sicily by Tamika Burgess, the heartfelt story of a Black Panamanian fashionista who learns to take pride in herself, speak up, and confront prejudice; Jiu-Jitsu Girl by Jennifer Dutton, the appealing, action-packed story of a girl who struggles to find her place and figure out who she is both on and off the mat; and Good Different by Meg Eden Kuyatt, a beautiful novel-in-verse about a neurodivergent girl who learns to celebrate her differences and advocate for herself. I’ve read them all and am thrilled to have my book linked with them, as I thought they were wonderful!


TITLE: It Happened on Saturday
AUTHOR: Sydney Dunlap
GENRE: Middle Grade Contemporary
RELEASE DATE: February 21, 2023

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound


Thirteen-year-old Julia would much rather work with horses at the rescue barn than worry about things like dating and makeup. But when her BFF meets a boy at camp, Julia’s determined not to get left behind. After a makeover from her older sister, she posts a picture of herself online and gets a comment from Tyler—a seemingly nice kid who lives across town. As they DM more and more, Julia’s sure that Tyler understands her in a way her family never has. Even better, their relationship earns her tons of attention at school.

Then Julia finds out Tyler’s true plan, and her world is turned upside down. She fiercely guards her secret, but could her silence allow her friends to fall into the same trap?

In this timely, heartfelt debut, author Sydney Dunlap tells a story of a middle-school girl who narrowly escapes becoming a victim of human trafficking and must find her way toward hope and healing after this traumatic event.


Sydney Dunlap is a former elementary school teacher who has worked with at-risk youth in a variety of settings, and she enjoys reading and writing heartfelt, hopeful fiction that expands young readers’ awareness of tough topics. She is a published poet and has also written for a newspaper. A lifelong animal lover, Sydney lives with her family in a home where the dogs and cats outnumber the people.

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