Friday, May 5, 2023

Q&A with Rachel Lacey




Rachel Lacey is the author of the new novel Stars Collide. Her other novels include Read Between the Lines. She lives in North Carolina.


Q: What inspired you to write Stars Collide, and how did you create your characters Eden and Anna?


A: As a lifelong fangirl, I’ve always been drawn to celebrity romance – both as a reader and as an author – and there’s always been something extra magical for me about pop stars. We hold them to almost impossible levels of perfection, which always makes me want to know what the woman behind the glossy image is really like.


As I started plotting the book, I knew Eden would be an industry legend who’s become very lonely and guarded over the years. She assumes she’s straight but doesn’t understand why she’s never had much passion in her relationships. And Anna is a very bubbly up-and-coming young star with a very queer brand who’s idolized Eden since she was younger.


I loved the idea of taking these two very different women and pairing them up for a Grammy duet that would rock both of their worlds and set them up for the start of something much bigger.

Q: What do you think the novel says about fame?

A: I show a little bit of the ugly side of fame – how Eden was sexualized by the media when she was just a teen and how the fans who love her sometimes overstep her boundaries – but mostly I wanted to write this book as a love letter to pop music and the singers who bring that magic to life.

Q: Did you need to do any research to write the book, and if so, did you learn anything that especially surprised you?


A: A lot of the research that I did for this book was actually on the different places that Eden and Anna visited, both for their lives in LA and while they were on tour. One surprising thing I learned is that the Staples Center (where the Grammys are held) is now called the Arena, which doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

Q: How would you describe the dynamic between Eden and Anna?


A: I love the dynamic between them! They’re such different people, and yet, almost from the start, they just click.


In the beginning, Eden is more of a mentor to Anna, as someone who’s been at the top of the charts for 20 years. Anna’s very new on the music scene, but she’s been out since she was a teenager, so when Eden starts questioning her sexuality later in the book, Anna steps into that guiding role. And the whole time, they’re just falling more and more in love with each other. I loved writing every moment of their journey!

Q: What are you working on now?


A: Right now, I’m working on a sapphic bodyguard romance called Cover Story. It features an A-list actress in need of extra protection who hires a female bodyguard to pose as her girlfriend to keep the real story under wraps. Look for it in spring 2024!

Q: Anything else we should know?


A: I hope readers will be left feeling like it’s okay to be yourself, whoever you are and however long it takes you to figure that out. Like Eden, I came out later in life, so I really related to a lot of what she went through on her journey, and I hope that some readers will to, whether it’s a realization about sexuality, gender, career, or something else entirely!


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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