1. Welcome to the blog, Christine! Tell us a little about yourself, and about LIGHTS, CAMERA, ALI.
Thank you so much for having me. I’m delighted to be here. LIGHTS, CAMERA, ALI is the second book in my REALITY ALI series. In the first book Ali wants to be famous like her movie star mother, but her plans back fire when her new status attracts a stalker. In LIGHTS, CAMERA, ALI we leave the Pennsylvania boarding school and Ali is in Hollywood with her mother for the Thanksgiving break. She’s ready for a nice relaxing week, but her half-brother is snatched from a playground while she’s in charge of watching him, and suddenly all the world’s attention is on Ali as the horrible big sister who let her brother disappear. She needs to find Brennan, and she needs to use the fame she hates so much as a way to do it.
2. How did you come up with the idea for this book? What kinds of things inspired you?
In a previous incarnations of one of the Ali stories, Ali is the one who gets kidnapped, but I decided it would be a more action filled story if Ali were the one trying to find the kidnapped child, as well as being partially responsible for the disappearance in the first place.
I think it is simply the world around me that inspires me. Everywhere you look there are stories. And some of them might even make a good book.
3. Tell us something no one else knows about the book—a ‘behind the scenes’ moment.
When imagining a beach house for Ali’s movie star mother to live in, I found one for sale. I patterned the house after it, and even came up with times for traveling from place to place based on that house. It seemed fit for a movie star since it was (according to the real estate ad) a former Disney Compound.
- 4. If you could go anywhere with your main character, where would it be? What would you do?
If I could travel anywhere with Ali, I think I’d go to Europe with her. She spends part of every year there with her grandmother, so she knows her way around. Plus, her father is rich, so we could travel in style. I think I’d let her show me Paris. I’ve never been there, and that could be fun.
5. What are five things most readers don’t know about you?
1) I married my college sweetheart.
2) I spent a college semester in London, and never even got to half of the touristy things, but did see 15 shows on the West End.
3) When I was sixteen I went to an immersion language camp over the summer. It would have been even more fun if I’d packed my German dictionary instead of my thesaurus.
4) I’m a wimp when it comes to horror movies, and won’t even consider watching them.
5) I like to do crafty things like quilt and crochet. I crochet a lot of lap blankets for donation, and I’m currently working on a new quilt for my bed.
6. Pantser or plotter?
A little bit of both. I don’t get very far in a story if I don’t have a vague idea of where it is going. Usually with that in mind, I’ll write a quick first draft, and then use that as a way to figure out where my story is really going. So I kind of pants my way through a first draft, which I use to plot out the outline of the final version.
7. Favorite junk food?
Chex Mix. Especially the kind my mom makes and always seems to have on hand during the holidays.
8. Camping or hotel with room service?
Room service is not necessary, but more than a tent definitely is. I like real bathrooms and real beds. Air conditioning is nice too. When I was a kid we used to camp a lot, but it’s not something I’ve done as an adult. My kids complain that they missed out on the camping experience. I think they’d miss the bathrooms and beds if we were to actually give it a go.
9. What’s next for you?
There are still two books in the Ali series, so I’m working on those. Beyond Ali, I have a time travel story that I’m hoping will find a home soon. And after that…who knows.
10. Anything else you want readers to know about LIGHTS, CAMERA, ALI?
I had the hardest time finding a title for this book. Usually I have a working title as I’m writing, and this time it never got past Ali2 until the book was done and I was getting ready to send it to my publisher. Friends helped me brainstorm names, and that’s how the title came about. I think it fits the story nicely, as Ali has to learn to make the fame and the media work for her instead of against her. LIGHTS, CAMERA, ALI will be available in August, REALITY ALI is available now, if you want to find out about Ali before jumping into her second book.
You can buy REALITY ALI here: http://www.zumayapublications.com/title.php?id=295 And look for LIGHTS, CAMERA, ALI coming next month!
Christine’s website: www.christinemarciniak.com