Proof of Lies (Anastasia Phoenix #1)
By: Diana Rodriguez Wallach
Publication Date: March 7th, 2017
Some secrets are best kept hidden…
Anastasia Phoenix has always been the odd girl out, whether moving from city to international city with her scientist parents or being the black belt who speaks four languages.
And most definitely as the orphan whose sister is missing, presumed dead.
She’s the only one who believes Keira is still alive, and when new evidence surfaces, Anastasia sets out to follow the trail—and lands in the middle of a massive conspiracy. Now she isn’t sure who she can trust. At her side is Marcus, the bad boy with a sexy accent who’s as secretive as she is. He may have followed her to Rome to help, but something about him seems too good to be true.
Nothing is as it appears, and when everything she’s ever known is revealed to be a lie, Anastasia has to believe in one impossibility.
She will find her sister.
1) What is your writing process? Are you a plotter or a panster?
I used to be an organic writer. I wrote all of the books in my Amor and Summer Secrets series by the seat of my pants. But now I’m an outliner. PROOF OF LIES is an intense mystery, and in order to keep all the necessary clues straight in my head, and make them tie up perfectly in the end, I needed to do a lot of outlining. I have entire pages detailing the motivations of every character in the book and every action they’re taking behind the scenes, especially the “bad” guys. It’s the only way to make the mystery work.
2) What are some “fun facts” you can share about the characters from your book or the world you created for it that may or may not have made it to the final draft of the book? (~3 or more)
- I had several characters die in the first draft that didn’t suffer the same fate in the final version.
- Initially, Anastasia’ love interest, Marcus, didn’t show up until the middle of the book. Now, he appears in Chapter 1.
- I added a prologue to the book, so the reader now meets Anastasia’s parents and gets to see what they were like when they were alive.
- My first title for the book was, Anastasia Rising
- For years, the epigraph was a string of lyrics from U2’s hit “One.”
3) Did you do any research for PROOF OF LIES? (this can include travelling to the places in the book)
I did tons of research for PROOF OF LIES. The espionage elements in the novel center around the practice of “disinformation,” which is covert use of black propaganda to mislead the press and the public. When I started writing the novel, the concept of “disinformation” was rarely mentioned in the news. Now, given current events and the rise of “alternative facts,” it feels like I might have picked a very timely subject.
But my novel deals more with the twisting of historical events, not current politics, and this required a lot of research. Half of this book takes place in Italy, thus I wanted to feature an Italian conspiracy theory that I could manipulate so my characters were suddenly inserted into the events. This required lots of research to pick just the right historical event and figure out how to contort it. Additionally, I met with a former communist spy, Lawrence Martin Bittman. He was the Deputy Director of Disinformation for the Czech Republic during the Cold War, and his backstory helped shape many of the espionage elements I created. Also, since all three of the novels in this series are set abroad, I did a lot of research on the settings, and this of course, included travel! I spent time in Rome, Tuscany and Venice as book research; not a bad work trip, huh?
4) What scene from the book are you most proud of (because of how you handled the atmosphere, characters, dialogue, etc)?
The one scene in PROOF OF LIES that hasn’t changed much since the very first draft is Anastasia running through the dark canals of Venice in a yellow cocktail dress. It’s the image I had in my head when I first visualized this story, and it’s the dream sequence I picture if the book every makes it to a movie. I even made a collage to commemorate the scene:
5) Is there a scene that you had difficulty with and just had to “power through” to finish the book?
I’ve written and rewritten the first 100 pages countless times over the years. While I always knew the mystery I wanted to tell, I had a hard time deciding where it should begin. The decision to move up Marcus’ entrance into the story really changed everything for me, and I think greatly helps Anastasia’s emotional journey.
6) What is next for you? What are you currently working on?
I’m working hard on Books Two and Three of the Anastasia Phoenix series! Book Two is titled, Lies that Bind, and it will come out in March 2018. I’m also working on a draft of a children’s picture book, but that’s still very much in the early stages.
7) Is there a teaser you can share from the sequel to PROOF OF LIES or from a Work in Progress?
The first chapter of Lies that Bind appears at the end of PROOF OF LIES, so you’ll have to read the novel to find your teaser. 😉
Diana Rodriguez Wallach is not the child of super spies, as far as she knows. But she is an avid traveler, and every scene in her books comes from a place she has lived or visited—from her senior year apartment in Boston, MA to the hotel where she stayed in Cortona, Italy. In addition to the Anastasia Phoenix series, Diana is also the author of the award-winning Amor and Summer Secrets series; the Mirror, Mirror short story collection; and essays in both Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories and Latina Authors and Their Muses. She is an advisory board member for the Philly Spells Writing Center, and is a Creative Writing Instructor for Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth. She holds a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University, and currently lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two kids. But of course, this all could be a masterly crafted piece of disinformation…
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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. The author images and info were acquired from YA Reads Blog Tours.