Lila’s The Star Shack is out this month, and we’re featuring it as one of our ‘book of the month’ reads. New York based Lila took time out from her busy launch month to answer a few questions for us..
I have always been an avid reader, everything from Tolstoy to Twilight, and in the back of my mind was always the fantasy that one day I would write a book. It took me a while and some really awful stories (don’t worry, the one where I try to recreate my own, fun-if-you-lived-it but so-boring-to- read boarding school experience has died a quiet death in my computer). But with lots of helpful critique from friends, a fabulous editor and a whole lot of rewriting, I finally do have my book!
What advice would you give to any aspiring writers?
Write what’s in your heart. It’s easy to look at trends and think, “Oh, I should write a vampire/dystopia/urban fantasy”, and if one of those is where your passion lies, by all means, do it! But if your passion is something more quiet and literary, or a fun romance, just go ahead and write that. There is always a place for a good book and that’s what you get when you write from the heart.
For The Star Shack, which takes place on the beach and features star crossed lovers who are actually the causes of those stars crossing (you might have to read the book for that to make sense!), I went with things I love. I have always been a beach girl and I live for summers on Cape Cod and Fire Island, not to mention trips I’ve taken to beachy spots like Hawaii, Cartegena, St Croix and Santa Monica. Astrology has always been an interest and then there’s the romance, and I am all about romance! I guess you could say I took my own advice and went with my heart!
It took me about four months to write the first draft, then another couple of months of rewriting, first on my own, then with my editor.
What star sign are you and how much do you think astrology does play a part in our lives?
I am an Aquarius which has always made me happy, perhaps because we have a song! I think things like astrology or Tarot cards or runes are most valuable in the insight they offer us into ourselves. I am not big with predicting the future because I like surprises, but I found getting my own astrology chart done fascinating, just because of the things it told me about myself. One theme that came up was my stubborn streak and while of course I’d noticed that I’m stubborn, seeing how it played out with other traits helped me understand places in my life where I was creating unnecessary frustration for myself. It was insight that helped me make changes that made me happier.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am shifting gears and working on a tween mystery and boy, is it hard! It is taking me forever…
What do you do with your time when you’re not writing?
I love to travel and see new places, especially spots with good beaches (you saw that one coming, right?)! I am a big baseball fan and like to go to games at Yankee Stadium, and I am also a bit of a chocolate fanatic so I spend time checking out chocolate shops. Of course there’s reading and I’m also into dancing and trying out new restaurants in my wonderful hometown of NYC.
Thanks so much for having me on your blog!!