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Friday, July 31, 2015

BOOK CLUB FRIDAY--GUEST AUTHOR BRENDA HIATT

Brenda Hiatt is the NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty novels (so far), including sweet and spicy historical romance, time travel romance, humorous mystery and young adult science fiction. Learn more about Brenda and her books at her website. 

Never give up, never surrender!

Nearly a decade ago, after publishing more than a dozen historical romances with big New York publishers, I hit a wall. Several too-tight deadlines back to back had taken the fun out of writing, instead making it a source of stress. For a while, I stopped writing entirely. Finally, hoping to rejuvenate my joy in writing, I decided to try something totally different from my historicals--a teen science fiction romance.

The idea had been nagging at me for years, ever since remembering how, back in third or fourth grade, a girl in my class claimed she was really a Martian princess. In fact, she was ADAMANT about it. No matter how we made fun of her (as kids will) and tried all kinds of things to convince or trick her into admitting she was making it up, she stuck to her story—probably for at least a month, though looking back it seemed much longer. Decades later something brought that girl to mind and my writer-brain suddenly whispered, “What if she was telling the truth? What if she really WAS a Martian princess?” That “what if?” eventually became Starstruck.

It took me over a year to write that book. This was my first foray into the young adult genre and I was absolutely determined to get it “right.” Then, when it was finally finished, I realized it had all the makings of a series. Which was fine because I absolutely LOVED writing again! Getting into my heroine’s head turned out to be surprisingly easy—I just had to channel my own inner fifteen-year-old. Through her, I got to live out all kinds of teen fantasies—having the hot new quarterback fall for me, making the cool, popular girls jealous, and being in on a huge, cool secret that nobody else at school knows.

I’ve always enjoyed stories with fantastical hidden worlds that coexist with our own (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Harry Potter, Twilight) so it was a blast creating my own secret world with its own rules, quirks and people. Though I wrapped up Starstruck’s original story arc in four books (all now available) I’m definitely planning more books in that universe as soon as I finish writing my first historical romance in nearly ten years…which I’m also enjoying again!

Starstruck
Book 1 of the award-winning Starstruck series, where teen romance blends with science fiction to open a whole new world of action, adventure and discovery.

The middle of nowhere just got a lot more interesting!

Nerdy astronomy geek Marsha, M to her few friends, has never been anybody special. Orphaned as an infant and reluctantly raised by an overly-strict "aunt," she's not even sure who she is. M's dream of someday escaping tiny Jewel, Indiana and making her mark in the world seems impossibly distant until hot new quarterback Rigel inexplicably befriends her. As Rigel turns his back on fawning cheerleaders to spend time with M, strange things start to happen: her acne clears up, her eyesight improves to the point she can ditch her thick glasses, and when they touch, sparks fly--literally! When M digs for a reason, she discovers deep secrets that will change her formerly mundane life forever . . . and expose her to perils she never dreamed of.

Buy links
ebook (currently free) 

6 comments:

Angela Adams said...

Enjoyed the post. Great read with my morning coffee (smile!). Have a wonderful weekend!

PJ Sharon said...

So glad you persevered, Brenda, and found the joy of writing again. Your YA readers would have missed out on a wonderful series:-) Best of luck with your Historical. I'm sure it will be awesome!

Stephanie Queen said...

This series sounds FABULOUS! Love the premise and the teaser.
Thank you for sharing, Brenda.
Stephanie Queen

Tamara Hunter said...

Starstruck sounds like a great story, Brenda. I'm intrigued. And since i adore paranormal, I'd totally have believed your classmate.

Brenda said...

Thanks, everyone! This was a fun post to write, I have to admit. That trip down memory lane made me even more grateful for the joy I've rediscovered in writing! :)

Kathleen Baldwin said...

I'm so eager to read this book, Brenda! And I appreciate you sharing your journey with us. JOY is so important. I'm on a similar journey, so it encourages me to read about yours and I'm very excited to read your Starstruck series.
Wishing you tons of success and bushels of joy!
-Kat