Trish Doller writes books (her website says so), but you find those in the doller bin where she works at B&N as a bookseller. Hahaha! Sorry, but you know I can’t resist a corny joke. For the record, her last name isn’t pronounced like dollar, and you should know this because there’s no doubt in my mind you’ll become her biggest fan if you pick up one of her books. I just finished Where the Stars Still Shine a few weeks ago, and it was so awesome, I emailed her right away to see if I could get an exclusive interview. Everybody give it up for Trish, woot woot!!
Tell us a little bit about Where the Stars Still Shine. What was the catalyst for this particular novel?
Stars began with a trip to Tarpon Springs, which is a small tourist town on the Gulf coast of Florida. There’s a significant Greek-American culture there and a lot of the tourist attractions revolve around Greek food and the sponge diving industry. So while I was walking around the tourist area, I started thinking what it would be like to be dropped into that town and expected to be Greek. And when I started thinking about who I might drop into Tarpon Springs, Callie’s character started coming to life.
How long have you wanted to write? Are you a plotter or a pantster?
I’ve been writing for as long as I’ve been able to write, but I didn’t write with an intent to be published until about 2006 when I had an idea that wouldn’t let me go. I tend to be a pantser when I write, but I do have a rough plot in my head. I know the direction I want the story to go and then I let the characters take me there.
Tell us about your publishing journey. How has the experience been so far?
My publishing journey started in early 2008 when my agent sold my first book to Random House. I was working on revisions when my editor was laid off. My new editor wasn’t in love with the book so my contract was cancelled and that book was never published. While we were on submission again, I started working on the book that would become Something Like Normal and after sending the first few chapters to my agent, she decided to submit it to a few of her favorite editors. Bloomsbury bought it and the rest is pretty much history. Bloomsbury bought Where the Stars Still Shine and they’ve also bought my upcoming book, which is still untitled. I’ve been really happy with my experience. Both of my books are doing well and I’m always thrilled to hear from teenagers who love them.
Were you ever tempted to censor yourself when writing this novel, especially in the famous chapter twelve?
I think I had moments when I worried that maybe I’d gone too far, but it was more important that Callie learn what a healthy sexual experience looks like. And I think there’s a positive message for all girls that sex doesn’t have to be shameful and that a good partner considers your needs as well as his own. As a parent, I know that’s a really uncomfortable thing to talk about with girls. We don’t like to think about our daughters as sexual beings. But I’d rather take the heat for writing a scene that’s “too sexy” than not talk about these things.
Tell us what you’re working on now. Will there ever be another story featuring Callie and Alex . . . at least a short story or novella showing us what happens to them five or ten years down the road? *gets down on hands and knees and begs with hands folded in prayer*
My next book is a sexy (because this is me) psychological thriller about a girl who takes a dangerous road trip with two boys—one of whom is not what he seems. It’s still untitled but it will be coming out in either June or July 2015. I’m also working on a full-fledged adult novel about a young woman who goes to sea in an effort to get over her boyfriend’s suicide. That one is just a manuscript right now—no book deals to report—but I’m really excited to write that one. And as of right now, I don’t have anything planned for Alex and Callie, but they might make a cameo appearance in my next planned YA novel.
Oh, I love the sound of that idea!! Thanks so much for stopping by, Trish! Be sure to check out both of her A*W*E*S*O*M*E novels!! What’s everyone else been up to? See Divergent yet? I saw it twice already, and when I finish writing 18 Thoughts (over 70,000 words now!), I plan on celebrating by seeing it again. I’m swooning over Theo James (Four), especially after I found out he’s a musician too. Check out this adorable video of him singing (I think I just got pregnant watching it).
What a great interview! I love the idea behind the book. I’ll be adding it to the to-be-read list. I need more time in a day. 🙂 I’ll also need to visit Florida again someday. I am so over the snow.
Here’s to your continued good fortune and great ideas!
I hear ya . . . I can’t wait for spring to really start and get past these odd days in the 70s 😉
I’m sorry I think I virtually slapped you 🙂 ugh really? 70’s. That seems awful!! (That’s dripping in sarcasm.)
We hit 70, almost, yesterday. It was awesome!
Awesome interview. I love steamy YA and agree that a positive sexual experience is important for young girls to read about. It does seem like most YA sex is either traumatic or shameful in novels. Now I totally want to read these books.
Haven’t seen Divergent yet, but I will.
Good luck with teaching vs. writing, Jamie. Teaching is truly the hardest job ever, and you’ve been through a lot this year. I’m sure you will receive the guidance you need to balance it all.
Thanks, Shell! I had a school event till about 7am last night & all I could think is, “I should be at home! I’m on a deadline!” LOL . . . but it was fun 🙂
Great interview! I’m going to have to pick these up. It’s nice to see someone open to set these type of scenes in a positive light. I especially love to hear about the writing journey. It’s amazing how many authors hit stumbling blocks, and I think this is more the case than those perfect success stories that everyone hears about. It’s encouraging. Congratulations, Trish!
Jamie, thanks so much for introducing us to Trish and her amazing journey.
Trish, I love that you decided to remain true to yourself and create realism rather than fluff. I applaud your work and your courage for finding the words that teens need to hear 🙂
It’s always great to hear about a publishing journey. It reminds me that everyone’s is fraught with some hardships. Thanks for the interview.
Congrats to Trish! Way to hang in there after your editor was fired. That had to be a temporary momentum suck.
Yay for Trish! I loved hearing about her journey.
I’m a ‘pantster’, and I didn’t know there was a word to describe me until now.
Trish Doller has been on a wonderful writing journey – if only we could all follow – ahh!
I like writing psychological thrillers, but I can’t do the sex – I’ll never get an agent! I have to try, instead, to keep the story amusing, at least.
All the best to Trish with ‘Where the Stars still Shine’.
What a fascinating interview, Trish, and great job moving on to the next story after the contract was cancelled for the first one. Any chance we’ll get to read the one that got away?
Meanwhile, thanks for some great selections I can add to my To-Read list! 🙂