Author Interview & Giveaway: Darius the Great Deserves Better by Adib Khorram
We are big fans of Darius the Great is Not Okay and were thrilled to hear we get more Darius in our lives. Out next week, we checked in with Adib on how he decided to start the story, what advice Darius would have for Teen Adib, and tea! Check it out and be sure to pick up your copy next Tuesday!
Darius the Great Deserves Better (Darius the Great, #2)by Adib Khorram
Published by: Dial Books for Young Readers
on August 25, 2020
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
In this companion to the award-winning Darius the Great Is Not Okay, Darius suddenly has it all: a boyfriend, an internship, a spot on the soccer team. It’s everything he’s ever wanted–but what if he deserves better?
Darius Kellner is having a bit of a year. Since his trip to Iran this past spring, a lot has changed. He’s getting along with his dad, and his best friend Sohrab is only a Skype call away. Between his first boyfriend, Landon, his varsity soccer practices, and his internship at his favorite tea shop, Darius is feeling pretty okay. Like he finally knows what it means to be Darius Kellner.
Then, of course, everything changes. Darius’s grandmothers are in town for a long visit while his dad is gone on business, and Darius isn’t sure whether they even like him. The internship isn’t what Darius thought it would be, and now he doesn’t know about turning tea into his career. He was sure he liked Landon, but when he starts hanging out with Chip–soccer teammate and best friend of Trent Bolger, epic bully–well, he’s just not so sure about Landon anymore, either.
Darius thought he knew exactly who he was and what he wanted, but maybe he was wrong. Maybe he deserves better.
Interview with Adib Khorram
How did you decide where to begin the story in Darius the Great Deserves Better?
I’m not sure it was a decision so much as it was an intuition, if that makes sense. I tend to let the characters guide me as I write, and six months after the end of book one felt right: it would show Darius already in the swing of his junior year, figuring how to navigate his life as a more confident guy, one who has come out and is in a relationship. I also think part of me likes to do the unexpected, and while coming out stories are important, it’s equally important to show what happens after: How do you navigate your queer identity? How do you navigate relationships? I wanted to explore that.
What advice would Darius have for teen Adib?
That’s a tough one. I think he would probably tell teen Adib to be braver, to trust more, to try more. Teen Adib was a nervous wreck and pretty closed off to other people.
What tea would you pair with Darius the Great Deserves Better?
I’d pair it with a nice cup of Rose City Genmaicha from Steven Smith Teamakers. It’s a beautiful blend that harmonizes aspects of tea from different cultural traditions and makes them into something new and beautiful. And it’s from Portland!
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