Once upon a time, Bloomsbury set me up on auto-approval on NetGalley. When I was done freaking out, I immediately grabbed Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller. And after I devoured it, I begged asked Trish if she had time to do an interview. Thankfully, she said yes!
But, before we get to her answers, let’s check out the book.
Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She’s never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love–even with someone who seems an improbable choice–is more than just a possibility.
Trish Doller writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love, betrayal, and how not to lose your mind will resonate with readers who want their stories gritty and utterly true.
Sounds amazing, right?
1. Where did the idea for Stars come from?
The first time I walked down Dodecanese Blvd–the main street of the sponge docks area of Tarpon Springs–and I was totally amazed by how very Greek it was. The people around me were speaking the language. Little old men with white beards and fishing caps were smoking and drinking coffee. There were more Greek restaurants and bakeries in that small area than I’ve ever seen in my entire life. It’s like they transplanted a little bit of Greece in Florida. And I had kind of a “what if…” moment. What if my character was an outsider dropped into Tarpon Springs and expected to fit in? What if she was always meant to be part of that community but something kept her from growing up there? What kept that from happening? When the answers came, Callie’s story started taking shape.
2. You have a way of writing realistic, fleshed out characters, and even the secondary characters are important to the story. How did Callie and Alex evolve?
Alex was actually the first character. I’d been kicking around a completely different story from the perspective of a boy who sometimes went to school smelling of fish because he had to go out early in the morning to catch fishing bait. But after I visited Tarpon Springs, I knew Alex was a sponge diver on a working boat during the week and on the tourist boat on the weekends. Until I started writing Callie, though, I didn’t know what Alex’s relationship was to the other people in the story.
Callie was a lot like Travis (from Something Like Normal) in that once I gave her the setting and the situation, she lodged herself in my head and I couldn’t stop thinking about her. Unlike Travis, though, she was a quieter character and I had to coax out her personality and her feelings about everything that had happened in her life. One thing that was unusual about Callie is that I had a hard time settling on a name for her. Travis and Cadie (the main character in my next book) came to me with names, but for Callie I need a full name that was Greek with a not-so-Greek nickname. She tried on a few different names until I found the one that fit best.
3. Both Something Like Normal and Stars deal with emotional subjects and you do them such justice. Do you enjoy the angsty goodness and the flails you’re subjecting your readers to?
I don’t consciously set out to make readers flail or cry, but I do try to get inside the character’s mind and heart so I can tell the most authentic story. If that leads to tears or flailing, I’m definitely okay with it.
4. Describe Stars in 5 words.
Food. Family. Friendship. Forgiveness. Love.
5. What is your favorite Doctor Who episode and companion?
This question is SO HARD because I have a few favorites, but if I’m forced to choose I think “Vincent and the Doctor” is my absolute favorite episode. And my favorite companion is Rose, but I will admit Clara is closing the gap fast.
Speed [ish] round:
1. What’s your go to guilty pleasure thing to eat?
Honey mustard & onion pretzel pieces
2. What are you reading right now?
The Program by Suzanne Young (although by September I’ll probably be reading something else)
3. Who are your favorite swoony boys?
Top Five: Ryan (Raw Blue), Jonah (Jellicoe Road), Poe/Jamie (Secret Society Girl series), Eli (Along for the Ride), and Brigan (Fire)
4. Are there any authors that you fangirl over?
Melina Marchetta makes me lose my mind. If I ever met her in real life, I’d probably make an idiot of myself.
Huge thanks to Trish for taking the time to deal with my incessant rambling answer my questions!
Now. Dying for a copy of Where the Stars Still Shine? Well, I’ve got one for you. Rules for the giveaway are under “terms and conditions” on the Rafflecopter widget.