Hello, tea party attendees! We’re so excited to have Gabriela Martins, author of Like a Love Song as a guest at our tea party today. I was incredibly lucky to read an ARC of Like a Love Song, and absolutely adored it. You can read more about my thoughts here!
Hi Gabhi! Thank you so much for joining our tea party today! We’re so glad you’re here! What gave you the idea to write Like a Love Song?
Hi!!! It’s such a pleasure to be here!
Hmm, I feel like there are a lot of answers to what gave me the idea to start writing LALS, but the most accurate is that I had a dream about a celebrity I love and personally consider super fierce dating a boy considered too soft for her, commented that laughing with a friend, and the concept didn’t leave me alone. Parallel to this, I was having a hard time with depression, and needed a break from my usually dark stories.
LIKE A LOVE STORY was my first-ever attempt at a romantic comedy, and I immediately fell in love with Nati’s voice; a little conceited but deeply insecure. She reminds me just enough of how I felt at her age, but with so much heart.
If Nati and Will had to pick their personal anthems from any song, what would it be? If you had to pick a personal anthem, what would yours be?
Nati would go Brazilian with IZA’s wonderful “Dona de Mim“, taking ownership of her own narrative — seriously, the lyrics are perfect for her! — and William is a big Arctic Monkeys fan, so he’d probably choose “Fluorescent Adolescent“, not so much because of the lyrics, but because of the ~vibes.
I’m not as cool as either of them, and I’m going to pick an oldie for this one. Billy Joel’s “Vienna” is my forever go-to anthem.
Don’t tell anyone I’m telling you this, but William loves “Wicked”. Like, yeah, he’s a bit Shakespeare nerd, he unironically loves every single retelling there is, from “10 Things I Hate About You” to Chloe Gong’s “These Violent Delights”, but his favorite show is definitely “Wicked”. (He’ll kill me if he knows I told you this. Pls don’t tell the press.)
Who are some of Nati’s favorite artists to listen to? Do any of her favorites align with yours?
I feel like Nati would listen primarily to pop music, and would be a big fan of IZA, Ludmilla, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, BLACKPINK, Ariana Grande, Little Mix. I love all of these artists, but she would study them and what works about their music. I listen to some of these artists a lot, but my heart is more set on rock, too.
Were there any songs (or albums) that you listened to while writing Like a Love Song?
“Lover” by Taylor Swift! The album had just come out, and I was obsessed with it! Some of the songs felt absolutely perfect for the story, like “I Think He Knows”, “London Boy”, and others. Honestly, that whole album felt like a hug, and I listened to it on repeat listening and editing LIKE A LOVE SONG.
Finally, what’s the main thing you hope readers will take away from Like a Love Song?
[looks at the camera like she’s in the office, except it’s to talk directly to readers] LISTEN!!! You are so wonderful exactly the way you are. I know the world wants you to change. I know the world is inundating your head with messages saying that you’re not enough and that you’ll be happy and perfect if only you become more X or less Y. But they are wrong. I was you. I still remember. Please trust me.
You are already perfect. That you are. You got it all. You’re already a star. ❤
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. Her YA romances, LIKE A LOVE SONG and BAD AT LOVE, come out summer 2021 and summer 2022 (Underlined/PRH). Find her on Twitter at @gabhimartins, on Instagram at @gabhi, and visit her website at gabrielawrites.com.