Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby

Woot! Today I’m celebrating the release of my friend Allison Rushby’s new book Shooting Stars.

Allison is a fellow Brisbanite and our mothers actually worked together long before either of us had ever thought of being writers (okay, so perhaps Allison had but I was far too busy dreaming of my upcoming wedding to Simon Le Bon to think of such grown up things!).

Anyway, I was lucky enough to have a sneak read of Shooting Stars and let me tell you that as a long time fan, I think this is her best book yet!!! Plus, could the cover be anymore adorable? I think not! So here’s the skinny.

Meet Josephine Foster, or Zo Jo as she’s called in the biz. The best pint-sized photographer of them all, Jo doesn’t mind doing what it takes to get that perfect shot, until she’s sent on an undercover assignment to shoot Ned Hartnett—teen superstar and the only celebrity who’s ever been kind to her—at an exclusive rehabilitation retreat in Boston. The money will be enough to pay for Jo’s dream: real photography classes, and maybe even quitting her paparazzi gig for good. Everyone wants to know what Ned’s in for. But Jo certainly doesn’t know what she’s in for: falling in love with Ned was never supposed to be part of her assignment.

Told you it was amazing! Anyway, before you rush out and buy it I decided to ask Allison some hard hitting questions and here’s what she had to say:

What was the inspiration behind this book?
The initial inspiration was reading an article about a real-life sixteen-year-old paparazzo. I found my eyes boggling as I read about how he got around LA either on his pushbike, or his dad drove him late at night. I couldn’t imagine what this part-time job must be like (as I guessed it had to be extremely cut-throat, especially compared to working at McDonald’s!), so I decided to imagine away and came up with Jo. I had an absolute ball researching this book, including reading trashy magazines and a lot of books written by, and about, the paparazzi (fellow Aussie Darryn Lyons’s Mr Paparazzi is a fabulous one if you’re looking). The things they had to say about celebrity — about  the dark side of celebrity and fame — were truly revealing. When I lived in England Darryn had a fly on the wall show about him and his paparazzi business and I might’ve been slightly addicted to watching it!

Are you a plotter or a pantster and do you find your process changes from book to book?

I’m a terrible, awful plotter. In fact, I’m such a plotter, I have a little formula for writing my books now which is a very odd combination indeed of three-act structure along with a bunch of other plotting methods. Of course, it’s only a formula that works for me! I don’t change process from book to book and, like a lot of novelists, find I have to write from beginning to end, too. However, I’m on a very steep learning curve right now as my next project is an e-serial I’m writing for St Martin’s Press. Serialised fiction is a whole other ball game!

I’m a quote queen and there’s nothing I like more than reading other people’s words of wisdom. Do you have a favourite quote that motivates you or sums up the way you write?

I really love this quote from Harlan Ellison. I’m often asked where I get my ideas from, or people will tell me it must be amazing having such a creative job. When they do, I’m always reminded of this:

People on the outside think there’s something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn’t like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that’s all there is to it.
Harlan Ellison

This is so true. In so many ways, it’s a job like any other. Sometimes it’s very, very difficult, sometimes it’s easy. You have good days and bad days. And deadlines! I never forget, however, it’s a job I’m extremely lucky to have.

What’s your favorite television series right now? Okay, I know this isn’t a writerly question, but I’m a very nosy person who has a very large television habit to feed!!!

Oh, that’s easy. Downton Abbey, Downton Abbey, Downton Abbey (*shakes pompoms*)! I am completely in love with this series. So much so, I’m ashamed to admit I know they’re starting filming again next week at Ealing Studios and will then move on to filming the scenes at Highclere Castle (one must refrain from stalking!). I’ve always been a huge fan of the 1920s and am very excited that this is where Downton is headed next. Of course, I’ll have to wait for some time to watch the next series as we’ve seen all of season 2 in the UK, as well as the Christmas special. In the meantime, I’m having my own fun watching both season again on DVD and writing about the 1920s for my e-serial.

Everyone has a talent. Mine is being able to discover chocolate no matter where it is hidden in the house. What about you? What is your secret talent (apart of course from being a fabulous writer!!!).

I think mine would have to be my secret bargain hunting habit. I am a slave to eBay and Gumtree. I love a bargain and am good at selling, too. It’s the Taurean in me (I like to blame it on this or I just sound cheap!). I love giving things away on Freecycle too.


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