About Starless Sky
In the midst of loss, there is life; a sentiment Kahlen was not quick to accept. But in the process of the daily routine of school, dropping grades, frustrated parents, and pain, Kahlen begins to gain insights (the kind that comes from fortune cookies or good friends). Her new found wisdom and the strain of dealing with Kennley and his troubling past lead her to an exciting new phase of life.
Starless Sky is a genuine portrayal of grief and loss, yet comforting and filled with hope and expectation. It is a book of encouragement through following the lives of high schoolers.
What inspires me to write is my love for books. Every time I read a good book, I think about my own, I think about how I can improve my writing skills, I think about how one day I want someone to read the final page of my book and just say ―wow‖ the same way I do with others. I love stepping into others’ worlds in the realm of literature. I just hope other people enjoy the adventure as much as I do.
Where did you get the idea for Starless Sky?
Sitting bored watching TV is when I generally come up with an idea for writing. I wanted to take on the challenge of writing a book about death that wasn’t entirely sad. In addition, the story gave me an opportunity to draw from my own very real pain of having recently loss someone I loved so much.
What makes Starless Sky unique?
How many times have you read a book or seen a movie where a character dies and you can’t help but bawl your eyes out? (Never? Well then, may I recommend Nicolas Sparks? Great writer, but grab a box of kleenex). Because I have experienced my share of tears reading and watching movies, I wanted to write a story where I could tap into something as deep as death, but instead of leaving the reader in despair, I would portray hope. This makes Starless Sky unique.
Is any of the book from your real life?
It is funny when people who know me think the book is all about my real life just because they know about the loss I experienced. There are bits and pieces that come from real people, but the book is not a replica of my life. For example, the ―Random‖ game in the book comes from a game a friend and I made up while bored and waiting for track practice to come up. However, the character is not like my friend. Another example occurs when the parents and Kahlen go to the movie theater; in real life, we laugh about movies my dad wants to see. However, the parents in the story are not the same as my parents. Most genuine are the feelings of Kahlen; I felt those feelings and I experienced that pain when my friend died.
What advice can you give to a teenager who is grieving?
Talk about your loss, write about it if you are not a talker, but get it out somehow. Share your feelings with someone who can help you and that is not always peers as their knowledge may be limited regardless of how mature or well meaning. Ask to speak with a counselor for additional support. Know that the stages of grief and loss are not really stages that happen in a specific order; know that you are not losing your mind. Healing takes time and it is a deliberate process. Healing does not truly happen just because you will it. Mostly, I am saying, do not go through it alone – let others help you – take some time to be alone if needed but balance it with self care and support.
What can you tell us about your next book?
My next book is titled Seven; it is a fiction, mystery, suspense-thriller. Seven tells the story of seven people whose lives come together because of a kidnapper. The story of each individual leads to the time they all come together. For example two characters are escaping an abusive childhood home and one character is an attorney without much direction. In the book there are clues (or things that appear to be clues) that mislead reader thus building the suspense. A common thread I have recognized in this book (as in Starless Sky) is self exploration among both the teens and the adults in the book. Each of the seven characters is forced (literally) to look at their own talents and lives in order to escape. Not all of them are willing. So, will they all be freed from the grips of the kidnapper? Want to know the answer? Great, read Seven.