Crescendo (Author Interview)

Crescendo looks like an exciting story.  Can you tell us a little about it?

Sure! Crescendo is a story about a young woman named Lauren Page. She’s been playing the violin since she was three years old and is considered by many to be a child prodigy. After being accepted to Juilliard in New York, she gets really nervous about leaving her loved ones behind. And this fear causes her to lose the spark she felt for the violin in the first place. She’s just afraid she’s not good enough. And then Conner Reed falls into her summer and tries to show her she’s everything she fears she won’t be.


Any plans to turn it into a series?

Funny that you ask this question. Initially, the answer was no. I’ve always written books in a series, so writing a single novel was something really different for me. But after getting to know Lauren’s friends in the book (Sam and Claire), I decided to eventually write their stories as well. Because they both have such fun personalities that I don’t get to explore too much in Crescendo. And they deserve to have their stories told as well. So yes, I do think there will be more books in this universe.


What inspired the idea for your book?

Ha! I love this question, because it’s a funny story! I was at a crossroads in my own life. Facing a huge choice that involved me leaving my family. I didn’t want to, and the fear was consuming my every thought. The series I was working on at the time wasn’t cooperating, and I was just feeling so frustrated. I was working a front desk job at my college Writing Center in April of 2016, trying to write this book that did not want to be written. And this incredibly attractive guy fell on his skateboard right in front of my building. He was all banged up and came in asking for a first aid kit. I didn’t have one, so he left. But the idea for Crescendo fell into my head the moment he walked out of the building. I wrote one chapter, thinking it would be a writing exercise. Then two chapters, thinking I could make it a short story. Then ten chapters, thinking I could make it a novella. And 41 chapters later, I was done. I finished the first draft in November of 2016, and I’ve been working on it ever since. So some random guy inspired this incredible story. He unknowingly helped reignite my own spark for writing.


How did you come up with the title to your book?

The title actually came kind of easy. I knew Lauren was going to play violin from the beginning. I was inspired by this anime I’d been watching about a girl playing a violin, and I knew that’s what I wanted for Lauren. So I did some research on musical terms, and the word crescendo came up. It’s the high point of a song, and I thought it fit so perfectly. This is a crucial moment in Lauren’s life. The crescendo of this chapter of this chapter of her life. And it fit so well with the musical theme of the story. An instant hit.


Can you tell us a little about Lauren and Conner?

Lauren is a shy girl with a passion for classical music and the violin. She seems to really shine when she plays. But she thinks she’s kind of a plain girl. Very little self-confidence, and she’s got a terrible fear of failing. Which is making her scared to even try. And then Conner… well, he’s been alone for a long time. There are reasons why, and they get brought up later in the story. But even though he’s alone, he’s got a fear of being alone. So even though he comes across as this confident cutie, he’s super desperate for affection. And his connection with Lauren is pretty much immediate. I guess you might be able to say it was love at first sight.


What part of the book was the most fun to write?

This is a hard question to answer without giving away any spoilers. But just the moments between Lauren and Conner, I guess. I’m a hopeless romantic, so writing all the playful, sweet romance scenes were really fun for me. And I loved developing their relationship. It was fun for me to see how it played out. I went into this story with no outline or anything. And somehow, miraculously, it just worked.


Did anything stick out as particularly challenging when writing Crescendo?

Because it started out as a writing exercise, getting that first chapter right was incredibly difficult. I wrote most of the book in 2016, edited it a few times over the course of the last seven years, but that first chapter I wrote several different ways. It wasn’t until 2021, at about two in the morning, that I finally got the first chapter exactly the way I wanted it. That was the most challenging part of Crescendo for me.


What do you like to do when not writing?

I’m sure this is going to surprise everyone, but when I’m not writing, I love to read. My book collection is outrageous, and it’s growing all the time. I love mystery thrillers, YA romances, starting to get into fantasy a little bit. I just love to read. I paint sometimes, and I enjoy scrapbooking/junk journaling. I’m also a big Sims and Legend of Zelda fan, so occasionally I’ll stop whatever I’m doing to play video games for about a week. But reading is probably my favorite thing to do on any given day.


Where can readers find out more about your work?

They can check out, but I mostly post new stuff to Wattpad under the username @alysunsanders13. You can also find me on TikTok under the username @spinetinglers. I get on there and do LIVES from time to time, and I love to talk about what I’m reading or writing at the moment. I also post unbelievable stories on there about once a week, although I’m on a temporary hiatus until January. I’m also on Instagram under the handle @alysunnsanders, and I’m on Twitter as well under the handle @alysun_sanders.