Publisher: Plexigirl Media
Publish Date: October 22, 2012
Order From: Amazon
Author Interview: Q. Please tell us about your current release.
Robin’s Blue is an addictive read about a suburban girl turned high-class call girl, set against the Reagan-era 80’s, when divorce was the norm and casual sex and recreational drugs were ubiquitous. Robin Daniels, a runaway from a violent and emotionally desolate upper middle-class home, repeatedly navigates her world without guidance.
Before AIDS and addiction became household words, Robin’s Blue speaks to a generation that basically raised itself. Robin’s journey takes her from suburban Philadelphia to Miami to the South of France and ultimately to New York City where she is obliged to make peace with the girl inside she left dormant at sixteen.
Q. How did you come up with the idea for your book?
I’m a former Television writer and playwright. I’ve had a burning desire to cover the 1980’s era since I came of age during that time. I hadn’t seen it well-depicted from a young girl’s point-of-view and set out to do it. So much of the time had to do with a societal negligence, naiveté and over-indulgence.
Q. Can you tell us about the journey that led you to write your book?
The television show I created for ABC/Lifetime was cancelled in the aftermath of 9/11 and the re-shuffle of network executives. It’s common story in the business. Having been in that world for a long time, I wasn’t interested in getting “back in the mix” of selling another show. I keep a folder of “in progress” ideas that I’m working on and decided to face my fears and write the book I’d wanted to.
Q. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about the book?
I worked on Robin’s Blue for 10 years. There’s nothing I’d change. For more of Robin, there will have to be a prequel or sequel.
Q. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part of the process was writing in first person.
When I embarked on this project, I had no idea how to write fiction. I was in a professional writer’s group and came in with a first draft of my manuscript and everyone looked at me like “What the hell is that?” Embarrassed and humbled, I went back to school to learn how to write prose. It’s a completely different muscle than writing television or comedy or playwriting, which was my background.
I immediately realized my mistake of having started the book in first person. I limited myself and the use of my adult “wisdom.” When writing in first person, the omniscient is missing, the reader only knows what the character knows at that time --which in Robin’s case was very little, as the book deals with the experience of a teenage girl. So, it was as if I had to remove my brain and re-learn life as I went along on her adventure through her eyes. Her motivations mostly came out of survival and her “known world” up until then.
I have some colleagues who have re-written their entire manuscripts from the first person into third person for this reason, because it’s very hard to get clarity from such limited perspective. I took it on as challenge. But it was many drafts and agonizing days of trying to strike the right chord.
Q. Do you have a musical playlist you listen to when writing? If so, what kind of music?
Fun question. When I was writing Robin’s Blue, I’d listen to 70’s stuff like Jackson Browne, Tom Petty, Linda Ronstadt, BeeGees, if I was writing for that decade --they conjure images. I also liked Sirius/XM Satellite Radio First Wave, or Pandora 1980’s for inspiration. Sometimes I’d even listen to current pop music like Katy Perry or Kelly Clarkson because that’s what Robin might listen to. Presently, I listen to new music in various genres.
Q. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Not sure if it’s a quirk, per se, but I do work forward in the story. If I can’t solve the problem, I know I’ll get it in the next pass. I have a creative thing where I have to dream on something, even after I get the structure of a scene down. I need to let it ruminate to get to the truth of it. The answer may come in the middle of the night and I’ll get out of bed to write it or I won’t be able to go back to sleep.
Q. Do you plan any subsequent books?
A writer writes. I have a couple books in the works now, which one takes front stage remains to be seen. For the moment, I’m doing press for Robin’s Blue and blogging. A lot of my ideas come from articles from my blog.
Q. Please tell us your latest news.
I’m thrilled to say I’ve had a successful release with Robin’s Blue -- over 12,000 books sold/downloaded and climbing. I’m presently #63 on Amazon’s Bestseller list in Contemporary Coming of Age Fiction, which fluctuates daily – it’s been as high as #31. So, that’s exciting. It’s been a long road getting here, so it’s nice to have a chance to talk about the process. I appreciate your giving me the opportunity to do so.
Q. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Read Robin’s Blue. Available on Kindle or in Paperback. If you appreciate my work, I’d love a review. I’m interested in hearing from my readers --friend me on Goodreads, follow me on Twitter @Plexigirl or “Like” my Pam Alster Facebook page. Also, check out my blog Posts from the Evolution at www.pamalster.com. And thanks, it’s been an epic journey.