BLOG TOUR: The Inspiration behind Lost Stars!

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Hello, internet people! On the blog today, I have the author of Lost Stars, Lisa Selin Davis, talking about the inspiration behind her latest novel. I couldn't turn down Bonnier Publishing's offer to be a part of this blog tour, Lost Stars is a fantastic and poignant novel, it was a stunning read! It's out now; so go get yourself a copy; it's worth the read!

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Displaying Lost Stars or What Lou Reed Taught Me About Love.jpgIt was on my bucket list: I’d always wanted to perform at a storytelling contest called The Moth, which has a different theme at each show. When I finally screwed up the courage to try it, the theme was “Dirt.”

At first I was at a loss—dirt? But then I remembered the summer I was 16, when my father and step-mother made me take this terrible job building footbridges in the state park, as a way of curbing my bad behavior. I had to wear a hard hat and work boots and I was mortified and sure that I’d never get a boyfriend (which I wanted more than anything). But the cutest boy ever loved those work boots and hard hat, and he became my first boyfriend, my first love. He was beautiful, smart, talented and troubled, and he loved me: the misfit in the hardhat, building footbridges in the park. The story was about being loved despite, maybe even for, what shamed me most.

After I told the story (and didn’t win the contest, by the way!), I realized that it would be a good fit for a column in The New York Times called Modern Love. Luckily, they took it? And then a novelist friend of mine told me, “You know that’s a Young Adult novel, right?”

Actually, it hadn’t occurred to me. But the plot was there, and the love story, and the hard hat. I had a skeleton on which to hang a story. But the minute I started typing the character ceased to be me. The girl was way, way, way smarter and more talented than I could ever hope to be, and (slightly) more troubled.

It’s not that I didn’t have things in common with her. She got her taste in music from me (and from the boys I had crushes on), and I love astronomy and what I think of as the story of the stars: the idea that the light from the stars takes so long to travel here that by the time we see it, it might not even exist anymore. If I really wanted to blow my mind, I could just think about that for a while instead of taking hard drugs.

I used to play guitar (what happened? I hardly ever do it now), but not anywhere near as well as she does. My friends really were older and really did introduce me to things that I wasn’t really old enough to handle. They were also my protective shield, my makeshift family.

Like Carrie, I had a lot of anger and a lot of shame. And some of the really bad stuff that she does in the book? I did that stuff, too. I’ll let you try to figure out just what is autobiographical.

The comet came out of nowhere—I don’t know how it got in there! But I worked with an astrophysicist at New York University figure out the velocity and how often the Vira comet appeared, so it would be feasible that Carrie is following it. In some ways, my life was the inspiration. In other ways, the comet was.

Displaying Lisa Davis cred.Dave Bigler (1).jpg
Lisa Selin Davis is originally from Saratoga Sprins, N.Y., where she spent summers playing and listening to music with her (older) friends and riding her bike. She has written articles for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine and many other publications. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kids, and a very old cat. (Author photo: Dave Bigler)
Visit her website, or follow Lisa on Twitter

Thank you to Bonnier Publishing for allowing me to partake in their Lost Stars blog tour!

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