Star in the Shadows is my debut novel, published by Austin Macauley on 30 October 2019.
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The world thinks that pop superstar Kiara Anderson has it all, but she spends her nights drinking away memories of her childhood and life as a teen runaway.
The Jacobs family are desperate to see the girl next door again and discover why she ran away, especially their son Shane, who blames himself for her disappearance.
When Kiara’s manager forces her into a reveal-all TV interview she knows the family she loved more than her own will finally discover the truth.
Can she overcome her demons or will the shadows of the past rob her of fame, fortune, and a chance to finally fall in love?
Writing the book
We live in a world where fame and fortune is often seen as a solution to our problems. Many people aspire to it in the belief that being rich and famous will make them happy. I wanted to write a story that showed how someone can still struggle with the same demons that haunted them both before and after fame, how the past can shape us in the present and affect us in the future, and how it’s important to face up to the shadows of the past rather than trying to out run them or drown them out by other means.
The book does contain scenes of sexual assault. I wanted to show how women can experience abuse whether they are in a position of poverty or privilege, and how even fame can’t protect a person from abuse. I took particular inspiration from women in the music industry who recently spoke out about exploitation and abuse in the sector.
A key theme in the book is the nature of family, and how those who aren’t related to us by blood can still offer the love, care and encouragement we need if our own families are unable or unwilling to do so.
A number of characters in the book have overcome challenges and trials. One thing we all have in common as human beings is that we will face difficulties at some point in our lives. The way that we move on from them and learn from them can shape who we are and our outlook on life – they can make us, or break us.
I loved writing Star in the Shadows, and I really fell in love with the characters. I hope you do too!