Interview with C.M. Albert, author of The Stars in Her Eyes
25 Mar 2019
What can you tell us about your new release, The Stars in Her Eyes?
Thank you so much for having me here! My newest release, The Stars in Her Eyes, is unlike anything I’ve written so far. It’s a new adult-aged reverse harem love story set in Hollywood, California. Even though the book is smoking hot, there is also an unparalleled depth to the friendships in the story, complex and painful pasts that the characters have lived through despite being so young, and most of all, a burning desire for the main character to achieve her dreams—all while stumbling upon an unexpected love affair unlike anything she’s ever experienced.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
It’s cliché, but I really have been writing for as long as I can remember. My mother was a natural writer and editor, and my whole family was big on reading. So even though we didn’t have a lot growing up, we always had books. I started my first journal when I was in third grade (it was a Judy Blume diary!), and have kept one ever since. I wrote my first family newsletter when I was in sixth grade called something stupid like The McCarey Gazette. And of course, I was an angsty, boy-obsessed teenager who wrote horrible poetry about love and heartbreak. But it wasn’t until high school when teachers started noticing my writing, making me aware of my abilities, and encouraging me to continue with it after graduating. When I attended Queens College, my professors there really helped me craft my writing in both organizational and business communications, as well as poetry and creative writing. One of my professors, Dr. Ron Bassett, basically told me on every paper that I needed to do something with my writing. So . . . I listened. Eventually.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
No fair! Don’t make me do this! Seriously . . . it is so hard to choose. But one of my all-time favorite books is The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton. It’s the only book I can still quote the first line from, and where I fell in love with both Robert Frost and Rob Lowe. I mean, what’s not to love? Off the top of my head, I’d have to say I also loved The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay, Beloved by Toni Morrison, Salt by Nayyirah Waheed, and basically anything by Colleen Hoover (though I always recommend Confess first).
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
So, first of all—I can’t even imagine this scenario! I am a far better writer than speaker, and I get super tongue tied when I’m fangirling. Seriously. I once met Mary Higgins Clark and, literally, I couldn’t get a single word out. Even though I was in my twenties, my mother and brother had to save the show and jump in to make things less awkward while she signed my book. But I’d probably interview Toni Morrison, because Beloved is one of my favorite books. I guess I’d just want to talk to her about character development and how her characters come to her (to see if it’s a similar experience that I have), if they’re based on any one she personally knows, and how she’s able to tap in to write such intensely beautiful, poignant, complex, affected characters without absorbing too much of their pain.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
Hands down it’s the creative process. I’m a panster, and when a character “comes to me,” they come to me screaming for their story to be told. I love nothing more than to sit down and actually write and get lost in the words and conversations and romance. I love how my characters surprise me and have very distinct voices and ideas of their own. For me, writing it a very intuitive process, and I listen to my heart and my gut first when it comes to the both the story’s plot and the character’s motivations. And when I’m inspired, I can’t wait for any opportunity to snuggle up with my lap top and get lost in their world.
What is a typical day like for you?
Coffee, carpool, breakfast, working out/meditation/journaling time, walking the dog, writing, lunch, writing some more, carpool, then family time for the rest of the night. I’m in the car for over two hours every day so that’s usually when ideas come to me or I run character conversations and scenarios through my head. Sometimes I have to pull over and type it up on Notes or dictate something really fast because I can’t wait till I get home! But I’m very fortunate to be a stay at home parent who also gets to write full time.
What scene inThe Stars in Her Eyes was your favorite to write?
Omg . . . so many! I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but basically any love scene where the main character, Creslyn Knight, is building her relationships with her three love interests—Matías, Knox, and River—I had so much fun writing. They were each so different, and one of the hard things with contemporary reverse harem love stories is how to sell the fact that the female MC could realistically fall for multiple men. So there is a lot of character and relationship building. I also loved writing all the texting conversations because it really gave a chance for some fun, sexy, witty banter to transpire where we learn so much about the characters.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
I do, actually. My favorite quote of all time is: “It doesn’t take a Herculean effort to be a miracle in somebody else’s life.” We impact, interact with, and influence people every day and it takes nothing away from your own being to be kind to someone else, to lift someone else up, or to help someone find the resources or assistance they need. Sometimes it can be the littlest things that can have the most profound impact on somebody else. You may never know what it is, or that you even did anything. But they know. I think we’d all be better off if we remembered there’s enough to go around for everyone, and even the smallest act of kindness or compassion can make the biggest impact in somebody else’s life.
Thank you so much for having me today! It’s been so much fun.
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