when the stars align is a captivating story that shows how love and goals intertwine and the beauty of how two people make their relationship work despite the challenges. What was the inspiration for setting up your story?
I have worked in the medical environment for almost fifteen years and have heard many co-workers express their concerns about finding work-life balance. Also, like Elsie, I have personal experience dating a medical student while pursuing my own dreams.
In all of my work, I want the story to feel as real as possible, so I believe in using a “real life inspiration” piece, meaning that the events did happen but have been exaggerated or slightly altered so that the reading more interesting. . For when the stars align I used my personal experience with my breakup with said medical student and the subsequent loss of my grandmother as the main influences for the beginning of the plot of the story. Once I decided to use these two events as the inspiration behind when the stars alignthe rest of the story occurred to me.
Elsie and Augustus are compelling characters. What were some driving ideals behind the development of your relationship?
When it came to creating the characters of Auggie and Elsie, I really challenged myself. Not only did he want to create complex, realistic and relatable characters, he also wanted the reader to be able to connect with a “modern love story”.
To create their characters, I took different traits from various people I know. He added and subtracted from the characters of Elsie and Auggie until he felt that he had created interesting and well-rounded individuals. Using traits of people I know really helped me bring them to life on paper.
As far as creating a relationship that I think a lot of men and women my age (we’ll just say 30-something) could relate to, I tried to find issues that are relevant right now. Sadly, we live in an age where ex-ghosts exist and I know plenty of people who have been at one end of the “ghost.” I felt that many readers could identify with this topic of modern relationships.
We also live in a time where I feel many men and women have felt the stress of having a fulfilling career and a happy love life. That’s why I made this the main relationship struggle between Auggie and Elsie.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
What role does fate play in matters of the heart? How much control do we really have over the outcomes of our own lives?
What is the next book you are working on and when will it be available?
I am currently looking for a literary film agent to When the stars align. I would love to see Elsie and Auggie come to life on screen.
I also have several finished manuscripts. At this time, I can’t share any more information other than that I hope to have another job published within a year.
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