Background About REFLECTING EMMY and the MIRROR, MIRROR Trilogy
Diana Rodriguez Wallach, author of the award-winning YA series Amor and Summer Secrets, has created a modern take on the myths of Narcissus and Nemesis in a contemporary teen setting.
Her Mirror, Mirror trilogy debuts September 3rd with “Reflecting Emmy,” followed by “Nara Gazing” in October, and “Shattering GiGi” in November. Each title will be a $0.99 short story sold in digital ebook format for Kindle, nook, and kobo. The titles will be combined to create the complete Mirror, Mirror trilogy, along with bonus materials and a prequel short story, in December 2013.
In early 2014, Diana’s Mirror, Mirror trilogy will be combined with the works of YA authors Jammie Kern and Magda Knight to create the Mythology High anthology, available in ebook and paperback through Buzz Books.
Eighteen-year-old Emmy is in the family business-trapping vapid narcissistic souls into her silver compact mirror for all eternity. It’s what the Rhamnusia family has been doing for thousands of years, all under the direction of Great Grandmother. Only Emmy’s latest assignment, Nara, is about to prove more challenging than she ever expected.Gorgeous and self-absorbed, Nara is unflinchingly cruel to her classmates. Even her boyfriend, Luke, can no longer tolerate her actions–much to Emmy’s relief since she finds Luke a little more than intriguing. But when Emmy tricks Nara into gazing into her mystical mirror, what she finds there is not what she’s expecting.
About the Author
Diana Rodriguez Wallach is the author of Mirror, Mirror, a short-story collection based on the Narcissus myth, that includes Reflecting Emmy, Nara Gazing, and Shattering GiGi (Buzz Books 2013). She is also the author of three award-winning YA novels: Amor and Summer Secrets, Amigas and School Scandals, and Adios to All The Drama (Kensington Books).
In 2011, she published a highly regarded essay in Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories (HarperCollins), and in 2013, she will be featured in the anthology Latina Authors and Their Muses (Twilight Times Books). In 2010 Diana was named one of the Top Ten New Latino Authors to Watch by LatinoStories.com, and she placed second in the International Latino Book Awards. She hold a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University, and currently lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.
Q: What inspired you to write this book?
DIANA: Reflecting Emmy is the first short story in my Mirror, Mirror trilogy, which is based on the myth of Narcissus. I wanted to reimagine a myth that most people, and teens, would know very well. And honestly, within seconds of my brain contemplating Narcissus, I came up with the idea of a paranormal organization that traps Narcissistic souls by judging their reflections in mirrors. I wish I could pinpoint what part of my brain came up with this idea and how it happened so quickly, because there are times when I’m slugging through a revision and would love to manually click that switch.
Q: The main character of my first book, I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE, is the kind of girl I wanted to be (a rock star!), the MC of my second book has a lot more in common with teenage me. Is your main character someone you wish you could be, someone a lot like you, or your total opposite? How so?
DIANA: Emmy is the total opposite of me. For starters, she’s the decent of a Greek Goddess who’s tasked with trapping Narcissistic teen souls in her silver compact mirror. So it’s hard for teen me to relate to her job. Also, she’s immortal and she’s never been given the chance to be a “normal” girl. She had to become an agent, she had to follow in her family’s footsteps, and she moves around constantly never getting the chance to make friends or fall in love. Reflecting Emmy, the first short story in my Mirror, Mirror trilogy, shows how much Emmy struggles with her identity. And by the final short story in the collection, Shattering GiGi, Emmy gets to really think about who she wants to be.
Q: If there was a soundtrack for your book what are five songs that would be on it and how do they relate the story?
DIANA: You’re So Vain, Cary Simon—Reflecting Emmy, and all three of the Mirror, Mirror stories, are based on the myth of Narcissus. And falling so in love with your own image that you die staring at your beautiful face qualifies as vain. Nara, the reimagining of Narcissus, would definitely think this song was about her.
Mirrors, Justin Timberlake—Emmy’s job is wiping narcissistic teenage souls from the planet by using her shiny silver compact mirror. I’d say JT nails some of that imagery in this song.
Stupid Girls, Pink—This song is about girls becoming obsessed with the paparazzi culture and losing site of things that really matter, essentially choosing to focus on outer beauty rather than inner. It really fits my theme.
“Mirror Mirror” by Lord KraVen—I just discovered this song on an episode of So You Think You Can Dance (yes, I watch this show religiously). It fits perfectly. It’s a little Euro Techno sounding for my taste, but the beat and “mirror, mirror on the wall” refrain, would really fit well with the conclusion. I could almost imagine it playing as the credits roll in the movie adaptation. Dream big, right?
Q: In addition to writing books, I also write for a website for teens called Rookie, which has a regular feature called "Literally The Best Thing Ever," wherein we write about a thing that we think is super mega awesome (even if it is the type of thing that others might call a guilty pleasure, we believe there is nothing guilty about pleasure!) and explain why we think it is literally the best thing ever. It's generally a kind of unexpected thing, for example I wrote one about the soap opera, One Life To Live. I don't expect you to write a whole essay obviously, but can you briefly tell us what either you or your character (or both!) would say is "Literally The Best Thing Ever" and why?
DIANA: I don’t know if I can call this a “guilty” pleasure anymore because I’ve come out publicly and admitted that Literally The Best Thing Ever is General Hospital. I was raised on soap operas. Growing up, my Puerto Rican grandmother babysat me daily, and she learned to speak English from watching soap operas. So while other kids were watching Mr. Rogers, I was watching the Young and the Restless and Guiding Light. Indoctrination like that sticks. And when I went off to college, my roommates introduced me to General Hospital—this was the late ‘90s, the height of the Sonny & Brenda and Robin & Stone drama. To cheer my roommate up, I used to tell she looked like Brenda (Vanessa Marcil). I still watch the show daily. I even voted once for Kelly Monaco when she was on DWTS—that’s how much I love soaps, they actually got me to vote for a reality TV competition. But more than anything they remind me of my grandma, which is why they are literally the best thing ever.
Q: What are you working on for us next?
DIANA: I am revising, revising, revising a manuscript I started writing five years ago. It’s my first crack at a YA mystery, and I’m still learning how to properly craft a good mystery/thriller. Thankfully, right now, I have a generous editor/beta reader who is offering support as I muddle through this learning process. Hopefully, one day I will finish this book and see it in print.