I’ve done a heap of interviews since my first book was published back in 2012. Some for newspapers, some for vlogs, oodles for bloggers. There are some standard questions that are asked frequently and one is “Where did you/do you get your inspiration for books/your new books?” to which I usually say something like, “I find inspiration all around me.” Which is true. There is no telling when or what will make an author have that lightbulb moment of realization. It can be a song on the radio, a meal out, a wedding, something that happens in a hockey game, seeing a movie. The list really is endless.
For me, Shake the Stars had two dual cogs of inspiration. One was Call Me by Your Name, which is one of my favorite romances ever. I’ve not been moved by a book/movie like that in ages. My copy of the book is covered with yellow highlighter swipes from marking incredible moments or passages or a turn of phrase that made me gasp in sheer joy or brought about tears. After I recovered from the emotions that had run me over like the bulls of Pamplona, I knew that I wanted to pen a story that covered more than a few months or a year in a couple’s lives. A story where that first love remains the truest love my hero will ever know. A story where the two men experience love and loss and life. That story turned out to be Shake the Stars.
Once I knew what I wanted as the main tropes – first love and second chance – I had to figure out a few details. I’m not a plotter so there’s never any note cards or detailed storylines written down. But this story required a key item before I could really get rolling. I found that item in the comments section over at YouTube in one of the songs for the Call Me by Your Name soundtrack. I can’t go into great detail about it now as it would spoil a major plot point but I can say that this one comment made me weep when I read it. As I sniffled and coughed I knew I had the answer that I was seeking for Kahlid and Dane. Talk about finding a hidden gem among the flotsam and jetsam of the internet!
Shake the Stars will be released on July 10th but you can preorder now-
Shake The Stars
Can this summer romance survive the chill of autumn as well as the winds of time?
Spending time in the Poconos with his family was the last thing Dane Forrester wanted to do over the summer. He had dreams of spending his last break touring Europe and gathering story ideas for his upcoming creative writing classes before heading to college. Maybe even finding that elusive first love in a small café in Paris, or along the Rhine, or even in a sultry villa in Italy. But no, he was stuck at the Silver Fir Lodge with his family where his dreams of romance and passion would wither and die a slow painful death, or so he imagined.
When all seems lost, the budding wordsmith is saved - in more than one sense - by Khalid Novak, a lifeguard at the lodge’s pool. Khalid is two years older, a bit more sophisticated, and the most incredibly beautiful thing Dane has even seen. The two young men find themselves joyously wound in a searing romance that teaches Dane that love can be wildly intense yet fleeting so one should revel in it when the discovery is made.