July 15, 2020: This Week We're Wild About... Amelia Diane Coombs

I'm first in line to read the library copy of our next author's book. So all of you rom-com lovers will have to wait until I'm done to get your hands on it (sorry, not sorry)! The good news is I'm a fast reader so you won't have to wait too long. It's been a heavy day (week, month, etc.) out in the world so it's the perfect time to revel in some romance, some banter, and a fantasy life where we can hang out in bowling alleys in beautiful San Francisco (will we ever share rented shoes again?)

Keep My Heart in San Francisco is about a girl who has to save her family's bowling alley if there's any hope for them to stay in the city (we all know making it in the Bay Area ain't easy and rent ain't cheap). Her cute ex best friend comes along to help her out and then...we'll all have to read to find out how it all goes down!

- Natalie McCall (Head of Youth Services)

Amelia Diane CoombsWhat's the title of your upcoming book?

Keep My Heart in San Francisco

What book should readers go to for an escape from reality?

Any fluffy YA contemporary romance or adult rom-com! They are such sweet escapes from reality.

What book should readers go to when they want to face reality?

Right now, I can't stress the importance of reading books (fiction and nonfiction) from Black authors. There are so many fantastic Black YA debut authors this year (Leah Johnson, Roseanne A. Brown, Bethany C. Morrow) as well as new classics like Angie Thomas, Tiffany D. Jackson, and Nic Stone.

What was your reading life like before the pandemic?

Before the pandemic, I was reading a lot of YA and keeping up with new releases within my age group and genre. I'm in a debut group for my release year, and we were swapping ARCs pretty consistently until February of this year.

What has your reading life been like since the pandemic?

I've been leaning into comfort and escapist reads lately. I reread the entire Harry Potter series during the first two months of quarantine, for example! Now I've been reading a lot of adult rom-coms, because all those fluffy feel-good vibes are much appreciated right now.

Why should people read for pleasure? Is that any different now?

I think people should always read for pleasure, especially during stressful times. Reading gives us an escape, but also a portal to someone else's world and viewpoint. Books that can offer an escape and foster empathy give us the best of both worlds.

What do you hope your book gives to readers?

Keep My Heart in San FranciscoOh gosh, so many things?! But if I had to boil it down, I really hope it entertains readers while educating them about mental health and stigma.

Should book lovers worry about the future of publishing during the pandemic? If so, how can they help?

Publishing will always be volatile on the author's side. There's very little stability! The pandemic definitely hasn't helped that aspect. I wouldn't say book lovers need to worry, necessarily. But it's more important now than ever to support authors-especially debut authors-and indie bookstores.

If you could imagine your dream virtual library, what would it be like?

Oooh, I don't know! Since I've lived almost exclusively in small apartments the last eight years, I've mostly purchased virtual copies to cut down on space. Right now, I'm just dreaming of the day when I can have a massive library a la Beauty and the Beast. A gal can dream!

Where can readers find you online?

Twitter: @sincerelyamelia

Instagram: @sincerely_amelia

Website: www.ameliadianecoombs.com