Saturday, September 05, 2020

Q&A with Teri Bailey Black

From my Q&A with Teri Bailey Black, author of Chasing Starlight:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

For a year, this book didn’t have a title as I waited for the right words to pop into my head. You know, that perfect little phrase that explained to readers that this is a murder mystery set in Old Hollywood, with a main character inspired by Katharine Hepburn and Nancy Drew; a mansion filled with quirky, aspiring actors; a gangster subplot; the inner workings of a movie studio; and romance.

Then cover design started and I needed a title fast. I frantically scribbled ideas in a notebook. At first, I wanted something a bit obscure and literary. Maybe ... The Luminosity of Stars? My publisher (wisely) wanted something more sellable.

Since my main character is an aspiring astronomer, I thought it would be fun to play off the double meaning of stars—both the glamorous type and heavenly. I wrote down every star-related phrase I could think of, but nothing felt right—until I wrote down Chasing Starlight and knew it was perfect. I couldn’t understand why I hadn’t thought of it sooner. But isn’t that always the way with good ideas?

What's in a name?

My main character was inspired by Katherine Hepburn—a smart, no-nonsense, say-it-like-it-is girl, who’s trying to remain sensible as she’s caught up in the allure of Hollywood and a murder mystery. I named her Katherine Hildebrand, and she went by Kate.

As the story evolved, I realized something significant...[read on]
Visit Teri Bailey Black's website.

The Page 69 Test: Chasing Starlight.

Q&A with Teri Bailey Black.

--Marshal Zeringue