Spotlight on Starlight - Week 2 - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Spotlight on Starlight – Week 2

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This is week 2 of our Spotlight on Starlight by Alexandra Richland!
There is lots of cool info in this post including a book trailer, teaser pic, excerpt and an interview with Alexandra Richland! Plus, don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post! Next week, I’ll share my full review of Starlight! Stay tuned!

Also, make sure to join the ongoing virtual release day event by clicking here!

 Book Trailer ♥


♥ Teaser Pic ♥


♥ Excerpt ♥

Constance talked to two other girls while she waited for her call. One was petite with short black hair, wearing a bright orange wool sweater and tight black pants. Aidan figured she was Connie’s assistant because she wasn’t dressed like any of the other actresses on set.

The other girl was petite, too, but not as short as Orange Sweater Girl. She was dressed in a sparkly black dress and stood with her back to him. Despite the fact that Constance and Orange Sweater Girl were the most animated in their trio, Aidan felt drawn to the other broad more. He admired her nape and the curve of her hips . . .

And then she turned around.

Aidan swallowed hard, unable to hide his fascination. Her brunette hair was curled and pinned up on her head and her flushed cheeks lent her face an angelic glow. She wasn’t pretty in a Constance Murphy kind of way, but a true knockout; the girl-next-door type, despite her fancy outfit.

When her dark eyes locked on his, he had to stop from gaping. He forced himself to look away to avoid humiliation, and with the action, his heart squeezed. He searched for an alternative reason to stick around without looking out of place, deciding to wait until she wasn’t looking his way before he glanced at her again. His eyes landed on the cameraman standing next to him.

He hated small talk but offered his hand anyway. “Hey.”

The cameraman’s eyes brightened. “Hey, it’s Aidan, right?”

“Yeah,” he mumbled, not the least bit surprised the man knew his name. There was plenty of gossip traveling around the studio about him since he’d been chosen for the role of Spike.

“I’m Christopher. Nice to meet you.” He shook Aidan’s hand. “So what are you doing here?”

Aidan shrugged. “I just came to check out the set.”

“Well, you won’t see much here. It’s a typical, fluffy Mertz romance picture called Checkmate. Nothing like the brilliant film you’re doing.”

Aidan’s mind focused elsewhere as the cameraman droned on about Spike Rollins. Unable to stop himself, he took a risk and glanced over at the Brunette a couple of times. He was unnerved to discover that she was still looking at him. As the cameraman started talking about some new lenses the studio recently acquired for all of their cameras, Aidan listened halfheartedly, nervous as to why he’d held the Brunette’s interest for this long. Then Orange Sweater Girl pointed at him. He froze.

The Brunette’s blush reappeared as she swatted her friend’s hand down. Orange Sweater Girl giggled and Aidan’s joy plummeted. Had he become the butt of some cruel joke?

As the three young women conversed, he wondered what role the Brunette played in the motion picture. Her makeup wasn’t over the top; she didn’t look like a typical Mertz Studios manufactured star, and being the avid movie fan he was, he didn’t recognize her from any of the films he’d ever seen.

“Places, everyone,” the director called.

♥ Interview with Alexandra Richland 

1. What’s a typical day like for Alexandra Richland?

I do shift work as a nurse, both twelve-hour days and nights, which means my schedule is all over the place and no day is similar to another. I absolutely love it. During my free time, I enjoy running, writing, reading, and expanding my vintage Hollywood memorabilia collection.

2. Who or what inspired you to become a writer?

My boyfriend. I always enjoyed writing, but my interest in science during high school led me on a different path, and I stopped altogether (I am not counting research papers). After high school, I completed a Bachelor of Science (Honors) in Chemistry. It was a lot of time spent isolated in a lab setting. I really missed the human interaction component, so I completed a second university degree, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

When my boyfriend and I started dating almost five years ago, he would send me photographs and encourage me to write short stories, using the images as inspiration. It was an activity he enjoyed, and after I shared my interest in writing again, he thought it would be a great reintroduction for me. I wrote three short stories using different photos. Reading them now is embarrassing; they were poorly written, but the creativity was definitely there, and the exercises did reignite my passion for story telling. Around this time, I was hit with an idea to write a romance set against the backdrop of 1950s Hollywood, now known as The Starlight Trilogy.

Since I started The Starlight Trilogy, I’ve been writing continuously and have expanded my resume to include a modern day romance/mystery, Frontline, which will be released later this year, and an angst-ridden rock star/romance short story, Gilded Cage, which is available on Amazon now.

3. Are there any authors or books that influenced you in any way, either growing up or as an adult?

There are many books I’ve enjoyed and many authors I admire, and obviously, on a sub-conscious level, they have probably influenced me in some way, but I’d have to say that not one author or book stands out in particular. Fellow authors have told me they must read a lot in order to get inspired to write their own stories. While I enjoy reading, I tend to draw upon my own feelings and ideas, and what I wish to accomplish in a story, rather than refer to other works for inspiration.

4. What do you do to prepare yourself before writing? Do you listen to music? Do you look at visual aids?

When I first started writing The Starlight Trilogy, I wrote in silence. In the last two years or so, I have been writing while listening to music. Music creates emotion, which is very helpful for me, since my stories cover a broad spectrum of feelings. It helps me get into certain moods, depending on what is required for each chapter. Now I can’t write without it. I also like to have a mug of coffee next to me and often drink one or two of them in one sitting. Along with music, coffee helps to kick start my creativity and launch me into the writing process.

5. What motivated you to write Starlight?

I’m a huge classic film fan, and I especially admire Method actors like Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, and James Dean, and director Elia Kazan, who co-founded the Actors Studio in New York. The Starlight Trilogy was a great way to explore my love of film and writing.  I was also fascinated with the psychological effects of fame and the art of acting, which I was able to incorporate into the story as well.

6. Give us the 140 character TWEET description of Starlight.

Rebel Method actor, Aidan Evans, meets Starlight Studios’ newest ingénue, Elizabeth Sutton. A story of love & redemption set against the backdrop of 1950s Hollywood.

That’s 141 characters (Can I use Twit Longer? 🙂

7. What part of the writing process is the hardest for you, whether it’s first draft, rewriting, or editing?

The hardest part of the writing process for me is opening a blank Word document and writing the first paragraph of a chapter. Whether I have a specific story/chapter outline or not, it is always challenging. I must also have a mental picture of the “scene” I’m about to write. The Starlight Trilogy played out like a classic film in my mind, complete with dramatic dialogue and a musical score in the background. This helped me visualize each chapter and execute it in words. Thankfully, once I start writing, chapters tend to come quite easily. A lot of editing and rewriting always follows the first draft, but as long as the chapter is there in rough, I can fix it up and create a final draft I’m proud of.

The most enjoyable part of the writing process for me is editing the first draft of a story. I edit my friends’ school papers, other people’s stories, and my own stories (though I rely on a professional editor, Toni Rakestraw of Rakestraw Book Design, for the official editing and approval of the final draft, since I believe a writer should never be the only editor of his/her own work).

Editing also helps me improve my own writing. I’m a perfectionist and a stickler for details, so everything about it is rewarding for me. This also means I will never be satisfied with the final draft of my stories. There comes a time when, after the final third-party edit, I just have to let go and realize there will always be small changes I want to make to the manuscript. The most important thing is whether the story is grammatically correct, void of spelling errors, flows well, and told the way I want it to be told, with no plot holes.

8. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

I love writing angst and darker emotions because they are far removed from my own personality and entertaining from a creative standpoint. This is why Aidan was such a great character to write. He’s complex, conflicted. Never boring, always experiencing extremes of emotion. In contrast Beth is straightforward, uncomplicated, and optimistic. The juxtaposition in their characters, as well as the complication fame and the structured studio system introduce, are what make their romance so intriguing, I think.

The tender moments between Beth and Aidan were also enjoyable to write. Aidan is typically tough, moody, and standoffish; Beth is his weakness. It was great to explore the more sensitive side of his character, especially as he grapples with superstardom and the lingering effects of his tragic past.

9. Name one thing Beth would not leave home without. How about Aidan?

The answer will be different for each book in The Starlight Trilogy, so I’m responding according to Starlight (book #1) only.

Beth: Beth would most likely carry a picture of her parents. Inasmuch as she left home to start a new life for herself, her family is still very important to her and thoughts of them bring her comfort while she’s on her own for the first time in her life.

Aidan: A package of Winstons (cigarettes), matchbook and/or lighter, and whatever film script he’s working on at the moment (which you can bet will be heavily marked with personal notes on his character and revisions to his lines).

10. What project are you working on now?

I’m actually juggling several projects at the moment. I’m approving the final edits on Starbright, the second book in The Starlight Trilogy, as well as my modern day mystery/romance, Frontline.  My plan is to release Frontline after Starlight, and then release Starbright. The final book in The Starlight Trilogy, Stardust, is also already written, so that is the third task on my agenda. Then I will start writing the sequel to Frontline, which I already have outlined.

It took me four years to write The Starlight Trilogy and two years to write Frontline, so I’m really excited to finally make them available to the public. Now that I feel I have a better grip on writing novels, I’m excited to see if I can speed up the process while still working at a creative pace and not sacrificing any of the standards I’ve set for myself. It’s going to be a very interesting challenge!

♥ Giveaway 

1 lucky winner will receive a $15 giftcard to B&N or Amazon plus a
Starlight e-book & Gilded Cage e-book


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