This week’s interview is with Ali Hazelwood, a fellow Berkley author of Deb Lyn Liao Butler. We are so excited to have Ali here because her debut, The Love Hypothesis, which will be out on September 14, 2021 is about a fake relationship between two scientists. How could you not want to read that! It’s also a BuzzFeed Best Summer Read of 2021. The MC, Olive, is so endearing and real that you’ll want to be her friend. And Ali is not only an amazing writer, she also crochets the cutest things (see the picture at the end of the post) for her fellow authors. So, without further ado, here’s Ali!
I’m originally from Italy, lived in Japan and Germany, and eventually moved to the US to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. I recently became a professor, which absolutely terrifies me. Oh, the sheer dread of being entrusted with the care of young minds!
When I’m not at work you can find me binge-watching shows with my feline overlords (and my slightly less feline husband), running, or eating candy.
I’m represented by the amazing Thao Le of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.
Tell us a secret about the main character in your novel — something that’s not even in your book.
Can it be about the love interest?
At the start of the book, Adam Carlsen hasn’t gotten laid in like… a billion years. Seriously, we’re approaching the decade mark.
Do you have a regular first reader? If so, who is it and why?
My friend Jen, who is amazing and whom I love sooooo much. Truly, everybody needs a Jen in their life. I mean, she’s funny and beautiful and smart and understands that pumpkin spice is the worst substance in the history of carbon-based matter (if it even iscarbon-based, I mean, does it even contain traces of real pumpkin??? WHO’S TO SAY?). But also, I just think that her personality is a perfect match for mine, because she’s really calm and logical and chill and wise, and I am… not. She is an amazing writer, and I’m in awe of her for that, too, but I also love the way she is always able to give honest feedback, and the fact that she’s really good at helping me flesh out my characters and figure out the story I want to tell.
Also she fixes my typos and my ESL mistakes, which is not for the faint of heart.
Okay, I’m done.
TL;DR: I love Jen.
What first inspired you to start writing?
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
SCRIVENER! Scrivener!!! EVERYONE SHOULD BUY SCRIVENER! It’s an excellent writing software!!!!!! MR. SCRIVENER I AM POOR AND AVAILABLE FOR PAID PARTNERSHIPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you could have any fictional character over for dinner, who would be?
I want to have dinner with Roy Kent and Keeley Jones from Ted Lasso. To be clear: in this scenario I am not in any way involved in the dinner. I’m a giant, hairy spider on the wall. My only goal here is to watch them interact and soak it all in.
Roy is crabby and growls a lot.
Keeley beams at him.
They are crazy about each other.
I’m in giant, hairy spider heaven.
Describe your perfect day.
I wish I could say that my perfect day is spent hiking in nature, reading some good books, and then having a quinoa-based dinner while enjoying intellectual conversation with my friends, but truthfully I’d love to:
– Wake up late
– Have 7 bowls of cereal for breakfast (I’m talking Lucky Charms or Reese’s Puffs, no Kashi 7 Whole Grain Nuggets pls.)
– Go back to sleep in a sugar coma.
– Wake up again. Put on a YouTube video or The Office or 30 Rock while I crochet for a bit.
– Sleep some more. (In this Alternate Universe my cats are quiet and snuggle with me while I sleep instead of trying to eat my eyes out of my orbits; I know, improbable.)
– Wake up and have a snack that involves chocolate.
– Watch TV, crochet some more. I dip in and out of the group chat, graciously offering my brilliant takes on the constant stream of excellent memes and porny gifs being shared.
– Husband makes dinner. Couscous with stir fry.
– I watch Pride & Prejudice 2005 while CROCHETING SOME MORE.
– Bed. Husband miraculously doesn’t snore.
ABOUT THE BOOK
When a fake relationship between scientists meets the irresistible force of attraction, it throws one woman’s carefully calculated theories on love into chaos.
As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.
That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding…six-pack abs.
Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.
And as promised, here is a picture of the sesame ball and dumpling hats Ali knitted for Lyn’s dogs Mochi and Lokie, and the bubble tea for Lyn!