Book Tour Q&A: Pink Guitars and Falling Stars by Leslie O'Sullivan
Today we're taking part in the book tour organized by Escapist Book Tours for Pink Guitars and Falling Stars by Leslie O'Sullivan! Continue reading for the book blurb and a Q&A with the author.
About the book
Zeli’s signature pop diva sound and image are nothing short of magical—literally. Her fame comes with hidden costs, a curse that could ruin her voice forever.
Aspiring indie musician, Justin MacKenzie, is determined to kick it to the top of the Rampion Records’ Summer Number One professional vs. amateur singing competition.
The favorite to beat in the annual televised contest is none other than the label’s smoking hot superstar, Zeli, whose crazy extensions flow the length of a football field. Those ridiculous extensions, coupled with her bubblegum brand of pop are an affront to everything Justin loves about music, until a stolen kiss blazes into a romantic encounter.
Once inside Zeli’s world, Justin discovers things are not as they seem. In their quest to allow the real Zeli to step into the spotlight, the pair must confront the mysterious force behind the dazzle of Rampion’s success. If these star-crossed lovers can’t rally their own magic to defeat the darkness, they will lose everything—including each other.
On to the interview...!
Thank you so much for joining us for this Q&A! We’ll start off with one of our standard podcast opening questions–tell us something great that’s happened recently.
I surprised my 90-year-old mother by dedicating Book 2 in my Rockin’ Fairy Tales series, GILDED BUTTERFLY, to her. She was the person who first taught me to love Shakespeare whose plays are a major influence on my work. It was an emotional moment to watch her read the dedication and be completely blown away. There were buckets of happy tears from both of us.
What are you currently reading or what’s up next on your TBR? What made you pick up this book?
I found this super cool translation of Madame de Villeneuves’s original Beauty and the Beast. I can’t wait to dig in and find gold nuggets in the story that didn’t trickle down to the more popular modern versions. The dark and twisty aspects of OG fairy tales can be quite delicious.
What is one thing that you love about the current state of SFF and what is one thing that you wish you saw more of?
I will read any fairy tale retelling I can get my hands on. It constantly amazes me how root stories can have so many fascinating and entertaining variations. I’m also a pushover for any pitch that’s: (Fairy tale title goes here) in space.
How much do you plan when you write? What’s your writing process like?
I am an obsessive planner. In the beginning, I do tons of research, character development work, and world building before I start the story. My discovery process results in at least a hundred sticky notes with ideas that I organize into the shape of a story on a wall of my office. From there I apply a 5-act story structure and romance beats to the piece to nail down specific scenes. The book exists as a complete entity before I begin to write the first draft. Even with my crazy prep, my characters still have the freedom to surprise me and make me scrap original intentions. I love it when they challenge me to go in unforeseen directions. I do numerous drafts until I feel the story is ready to share with beta readers and ultimately my editor. Yes, I am a control freak.
What comes first to you when you’re writing, the world, the characters, or the storyline?
For me, it’s always the characters. They have the responsibility of living the story, so I have to know who they are, what they are capable of, and their vulnerabilities before we head out together on the journey of making a book.
They say to never judge a book by its cover, but a cover is still a marketing tool that helps sell books. Can you tell us about the idea behind the cover of your book?
I’m a huge proponent of using silhouettes on my book covers. I believe that gives a ready the chance to fill in their own versions of the characters as they meet them in the story. I love covers with lots of background, midground, foreground layers, and details that mean nothing at first glance beyond setting a mood, but turn out to be significant story tie-ins the reader will recognize after they finish the book.
Can you give us an elevator pitch for your book?
In the heat of Rampion Records’ nationally televised musical smack down, indie rocker, Justin Time, must unite with rival, pop diva Zeli, in order to defeat the dark power behind Rampion’s dazzle that threatens to ruin her voice forever.
Describe your book in 3 adjectives.
Hopeful, Heart-thumping, Heroic
In your opinion, what kind of reader would like this book?
The perfect reader for this book would be my fellow romantics who love to see OG fairy tales come to life in a modern setting. Of course, fans of Shakespeare will have fun finding references and the occasional borrowed quote from the master.
What would you like readers to take away from this book?
I would love readers to feel that staying true to your dreams and your heart give you the strength to take control of your creative life, and that making art in your chosen form will bring joy and fulfillment.
Do you have a favorite quote from your book that you can share with us? What about this quote in particular makes it your favorite?
The following quote from Justin Time defines his experience of making music to Zeli. It’s my favorite because this truth is the essence of connection between the two lovers in the story.
“You know how a song feels when it’s right. A note trembles, floating in inner space. It glides inside you, an ethereal mist next to your heart before it flies through the resonating chambers of your instrument. You either coax a gentle note, or push out a quiet roar, gritty or harsh as it travels from inside to outside. Songs are a complete relationship with your spirit, deserving of devotion.”
Is there anything you can tell us about any current projects you’re working on?
I just turned in Book 3, WILD AZURE WAVES, a Little Mermaid/The Tempest mashup coming in early 2023 to my editor. It’s another in the adult romantasy “Rockin’ Fairy Tales” series. I’ve been a Little Mermaid fan girl from day one. I grew up by the beach and was forever searching for signs of merfolk. It was a dream come true to have fun putting my own spin on the love story between the mermaid and her prince.
I also have an adult romcom series called “Behind the Scenes” which follows the sizzling offstage romantic entanglements of a fictional Outlander-esque period TV drama that films in Ireland. I’m enchanted with Ireland and all the wonderful people I’ve met there. I spent several years working in the world of TV art direction so it’s a blast to revisit that reality through this series. HOT SET, Book 1 of the series hit the scene in September. It’s a celebrity crush, forbidden love trope between a swoonworthy Irish TV star and the newest staff writer transplant from the U.S.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for us! Do you have any parting thoughts or comments you’d like to leave for our readers?
It’s an honor to be able to share my stories with readers. The people who dive into my books are the joy and the motivation to keep chasing those ideas that ping inside my head. I am forever grateful for the community of readers and authors that make this crazy world a more positive place.
And finally, where can you be found on the internet if our readers want to hear more from you?
My website, book info, and social media can all be found via https://linktr.ee/LeslieOSullivanWrites
Where to buy the book:
Publisher Direct: https://cityowlpress.com/product/pink-guitars/