Sophomore Spotlight: Trish Doller

I'm very happy to welcome Trish Doller to the blog to chat about her Sophomore novel, Where the Stars Still Shine! First here's a little info about the book:

Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller.

Published: September 24, 2013.
Published by: Bloomsbury Children's

Goodreads Blurb:
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.

Now onto the interview:

First off, thank you for joining me, Trish! Where did the idea for Where the Stars Still Shine come from?
T: I was visiting Tarpon Springs, Florida, a small community on the Gulf of Mexico that has a significant Greek-American population. As I walked through the tourist area with all its restaurants, gift shops, and sponge diving tours, I couldn’t help wondering what it would be like to be dropped into the middle of this as an outsider. Then I started thinking about what sort of character I would write into a town like Tarpon Springs and Callie started taking shape. At first I thought maybe she was new to the area, but that wasn't terribly exciting or original. So then I thought maybe her parents had divorced and she'd moved away...and then I realized that her mother had abducted her and that she was returning to a place she didn't remember anymore.

Sounds like a beautiful place for inspiration to strike! How did the journey for Where the Stars Still Shine differ from that for your debut?
T: The journey's were surprisingly similar. Something a lot of people don't know is that I sold a book before Something Like Normal. It was in the pipeline to be published when the deal was canceled by the publisher, so it was kind of like a trial run to publication, you know? So when we sold my debut, the process was pretty smooth. My editor and I were in sync, edits were pretty painless, and we brought the book into the world. It was very exciting! The nuts and bolts of getting Where the Stars Still Shine published were very much the same and my excitement for this book is even bigger than for my debut so it's like debuting all over again! The biggest difference, I think is that while I liked my Something Like Normal cover, I am head over heels in love with the cover of Where the Stars Still Shine.

That is exciting! Loving the cover that much would certainly help, I bet. What is the best part of already having a book out in the world?
T: I think already having debuted I know what to expect this time around. I have a track record. I have fans––which boggles my mind on a daily basis, but is pretty darn cool!

Did you change anything about your writing process for this novel after having written your debut?
T: Having run the review gauntlet with Something Like Normal, I was kind of a basket case for awhile while writing Where the Stars Still Shine. I had a head full of potential blogger complaints. I had an internal editor that said this book was going to suck and I was going to be a one-hit wonder. Fortunately, and with help from some friends, I managed to turn off those voices and get to work. And I'm pleased to say that I don't think Where the Stars Still Shine sucks at all.

That's always good to hear from the author! ;) What made you stick with contemporary for your second novel? Are you interested in writing another genre other than contemporary in the future?
T: Contemporary is my favorite genre of young adult fiction. I like reading it, I like writing it, and I feel it's where my strengths lie. That said, I do have a science fiction story brewing in my head, as well as a paranormal-ish sort of thing. So there might be a day when I write something other than contemporary, but I'm not quite ready for that yet.

Interesting! Well I think one thing about contemporary is that as long as there are writers of it, there will be plenty of readers of it, so I think it's a good one to keep writing. Can you share a favourite quote from this book?
T: This is from near the beginning of the book, but it's one of my favorite descriptions of Callie's mom: 
"It’s as if she hears things at a different frequency, the way a dog picks up sounds the rest of us miss. Or maybe she hears something that isn’t really there at all. Either way, when she’s ready to go, there is no arguing. There is only leaving."

If you could introduce one of your characters from Where the Stars Still Shine to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
T: Wow, this one is tough! There are so many interesting characters to chose from! But, you know, I think I would love to introduce Callie to Carly from Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar. Not only do I think they'd get along, Callie would see that there is life after trauma––and it can be great.

That sounds like it'd be a great experience for Callie. In keeping with our theme here, are there any other sophomore releases you've either loved recently or are looking forward to?
T: I am really looking forward to Amy Spalding's sophomore novel, Ink is Thicker Than Water, and Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt.

Excellent picks! I'm looking forward to those as well. Can you share any details about your next project?
T: My next book is tentatively titled Arcadia Falls (although that title will definitely be changing) and it's due out April 2015. It's the story of Arcadia "Cadie" Wells, a girl from a small town in Florida whose life has been burdened with responsibility ever since her mother died. She's tired and lonely and when––on a rare night off––she meets a couple of good looking boys on a road trip of Florida, she jumps at the chance for adventure. But when the trip goes tragically wrong, Cadie wants nothing more than to get back home alive.

Oh, I'm intrigued! Looking forward to it! Thank you again, Trish, for joining me for Sophomore Spotlight! I can't wait to read Where the Stars Still Shine!
T: This was a lot of fun! Thanks for having me!

A big thanks again to Trish for coming on the blog!
Trish was kind enough to offer up a signed copy of Where the Stars Still Shine to one US or Canadian reader. Good luck!

Some Rules (aka the not so fun but important part):
~ This giveaway is open US/Can ONLY.
~ No P.O. Boxes.
~ Must be 13 or older to enter.
~ Winner will be chosen randomly and contacted via email. The winner has 48 hours to respond to my email, otherwise they forfeit their prize and I will choose another winner, who must abide by the same rules.
~ Neither Trish nor I is responsible for lost or damaged packages.
No cheating! In this case, I have the right to disqualify entries as I see fit.
~ By entering the giveaway, you are agreeing to these rules.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Great post. Can't wait until tomorrow to read WTSSS!

  2. I can't wait to read Where the Stars Still Shine. It sounds like it's going to be an amazing book. I get excited when a summary has me counting down the days until the release. Loved the interview. It's always great to here from an author. She gets us excited to read even more. So thanks for the interview and the giveaway. And thank you Trish for writing what I hope to be an incredible book.

  3. I'm so excited to read Where the Stars Still Shine! A few of my friends have read it and loved it, already, plus it just sounds like the kind of book I LOVE.

  4. To be plopped back into a town that you ought to recognize but don't is such an interesting plot. I look forward to reading how this story unfolds. Thanks for the great interview!

  5. GAH! Just reading the blurb makes me want to cry, because it sounds so sad and meaningful and JUST GIVES ME FEELS.
    But, yes, I'm in the mood for a good contemporary, and heard rave things + I just want to see how awesome it really is!

  6. I really want to read this one. I don't read much Contemporary, but I'm addicted to the cover!

  7. I love contemps that just tug at your heart strings and that is exactly what I think this book will do. I can't wait to read it. Trish is an amazing writer!

  8. Awesome interview! I really look forward to reading this book, I've head that it's amazing!


I'd love to hear what you think!