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May 17, 2018

Dads and Daughters --- Guest Post by Lisa Brown Roberts, Author of SPIES, LIES, AND ALLIES

Posted by Catherine B

Lisa Brown Roberts is used to writing about relationships. With releases such as YA contemporary novels PLAYING THE PLAYER and HOW (NOT) TO FALL IN LOVE, readers have grown accustomed to getting swoon-worthy love stories with every new book she writes. But in her latest, SPIES, LIES AND, ALLIES, Lisa Brown Roberts decided to explore a different kind of relationship --- the father/daughter dynamic. In this touching blog post, Lisa Brown Roberts discusses how her own relationship with her father informed the one she wrote about in SPIES.

When I initially began writing SPIES, LIES, AND ALLIES, I intended for it to be another YA rom-com like my previous books, with a fun cast of characters and romance. It checks those boxes, but this novel also ended up being a love story about dads and daughters. 

I say “ended up” like the book just happened somehow, but the truth is I wrote SPIES as my dad struggled with the end stages of Alzheimer’s. It was incredibly tough to “write funny” while grieving, and this book went through the most intense revision process of any of my books. For a while, I wasn’t even sure this one would make it into print, but my editor was patient, and I revised…and revised again.

This book is still a rom-com, and no one dies, I promise! I strived to make the dad and daughter dynamic of this story funny and poignant, and I’m so pleased that readers are enjoying with this dynamic. As an author, the reader response is gratifying, but as a daughter who said a final goodbye to her dad seven months before SPIES was published, the reader response touches me on another level altogether.

Many YA novels portray strained parent/child relationships (I’ve written several myself), but I didn’t want to do that in this book. Instead, I wanted to show a relationship built on affection and shared interests (Star Wars), as well as a daughter coming into her own and surprising her dad, in a good way.