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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Where the Stars Still Shine Blog Tour & Giveaway

We're very excited to have Trish Doller, author of Where the Stars Still Shine, here today to tell us about how kidnapping became part of this story and how she researched it. Be sure to check out Jessica' review of this fantastic novel HERE.

Where the Stars Still Shine
by Trish Doller

Release date: Sept. 24, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's

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.

                     About the Author
Trish Doller has been a writer as long as she's been able to write, but didn't make a conscious decision to "be" a writer until fairly recently. For that you should probably be thankful.

She was born in Germany, grew up in Ohio, went to college at Ohio State University, got married to someone really excellent, bounced from Maine to Michigan and back to Ohio for awhile. She now lives in Florida with her two mostly grown kids, two dogs, and a pirate. For real.

She has worked as a morning radio personality, a newspaper reporter, and spent all my summers in college working at an amusement park. There she gained valuable life skills, including counting money really fast, directing traffic, jumping off a moving train, and making cheese-on-a-stick. Also, she can still welcome you to Frontier Town. Ask me sometime.

These days she works as a bookseller at a Very Big Bookstore. And she writes.

Find Trish online... 

Callie’s character started taking shape after a visit to Tarpon Springs, which is the setting for Where the Stars Still Shine. It’s a small town on the gulf coast of Florida that boasts a significant Greek-American population and a really fun little tourist district called the Sponge Docks. I was walking through the Sponge Docks, surrounded by Greek restaurants, gift shops, and attractions highlighting the sponge diving trade that’s been a mainstay of the area for more than a century. I passed little old men with white beards and Greek fisherman’s caps and elderly women who spoke the language as if they’d just arrived in the United States from Greece. And I knew that I had to write something in this interesting little place.

    So I started thinking about what it might feel like to be dropped into that little pocket of Greek life and be expected to function. And then I started wondering who. I had already started developing a local boy as the male lead, so I knew she would be a girl, but I didn’t know who. I thought maybe she was a stranger. Maybe she just moved there. But what would draw someone to Tarpon Springs? A family job? Would she be the new girl at school? None of that felt terribly compelling to me, so I started thinking about someone who had once lived there and perhaps moved away. Maybe Callie’s parents had gotten divorced and she moved away...but no, what if her mom took her away? That was the light bulb moment and the idea took off.

    From there I researched kidnapping laws, particularly what happens when the non-custodial parent crosses state lines. Would her mother, Veronica, go to prison if she was caught? Would she go to prison in the state she was caught or in the state from which she abducted Callie? I have an uncle who was the former chief of police in my hometown in Ohio and he was very helpful when it came to matters of extradition and which offenses take priority over others. I researched the Florida prison system to find out to which prison Veronica might be sent and what Callie would have to do to visit her there.

    I also spent a lot of time reading about borderline personality disorder. While Veronica’s mental illness isn’t main focus of the book, it certainly had a hand in Callie’s abduction and touches every part of Callie’s story, so I wanted to be sure I treated her mother’s disorder with accuracy and respect, and that borderline personality disorder wasn’t villainized.

    I tend to be one of those writers who learns way more than she needs to know about anything she might need to know about––just in case. I hope with Where the Stars Still Shine that I’ve done it justice.

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