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).