Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Racheline Maltese and Erin McRae for taking the time to talk with us today.
Author: Racheline Maltese and Erin McRae
Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: BS Clay
Traveling on the Page
While Starling is the first book in the Love in Los Angeles series, it’s actually not set just in Los Angeles, but also in New York City and Washington, D.C. I and my cowriter, Racheline, each have our own relationships with each of those locations.
While I currently live in D.C., and have spent a lot of time visiting New York City, I’ve never actually been to Los Angeles. I don’t consider it a particular obstacle as a writer. After all, Google exists, and I write about vampires, too, having never actually met one. But there is a difference between just Googling a lot, and writing about places I’ve been. New York City and two a.m. in the snow is a tactile memory for me. Los Angeles, in too-bright winter sunlight isn’t. Yet.
Sometimes this hands-on experience — or lack of it — doesn’t matter as a writer. Different characters have different relationships with different cities, and so do I. New York, for our hero Alex, is all about loneliness and homesickness, but for his friend Liam it’s where he grew up and his parents still live. For Paul, Starling’s other hero, it’s just a place he hasn’t had to schlep to for anything work-related when the book begins.
With Starling coming out this month, it can feel absurd that I’ve not been to L.A. I’m remedying that early next year thanks to a reading we have scheduled in Anaheim adjacent to some stuff that has us based in Burbank for the week, but in the meantime, I’m left with Google and an epic stack of photos and emails from when Racheline was in the area in February.
Some of what she sent was mostly practical stuff texted quickly while she was on the go to and from other obligations: “Here’s what the beach looks like. Here’s what the brunch place looks like.” Visual references are, after all, handy. Some of it was Racheline seeking out parts of the city she hadn’t seen before and that only meant anything to us because of the scenes we’d already set there. Some of it was even “Hey, look at this cool thing I found, how can we use this?”
So while there’s truth and at least some truthful personal experience written into every location in Starling (Racheline is very adamant about the fact that she’s been to all the restaurants in the books but is likely disinclined to disclose any of them), there doesn’t actually need to be. Cities like Los Angeles and New York and Washington D.C. already exist in pop culture as fictional versions of themselves.
As a fairytale where fictional lives and cities are dreamed up, Starling seeks to take apart the fantasies of success and fame. Sometimes, the location of a story is a character as much as any person in it, and sometimes locations — like characters — also lie, sweetly and seductively.
We hope readers who know the places we’re writing about recognize not only the truth of them in our stories, but the fiction of them as well.
When J. Alex Cook, a production assistant on The Fourth Estate (one of network TV’s hottest shows), is accidentally catapulted to stardom, he finds himself struggling to navigate both fame and a relationship with Paul, one of Fourth’s key writers. Despite their incendiary chemistry, Alex’s inexperience and the baggage they’re both carrying quickly lead to an ugly break-up.
Reeling from their broken hearts, Alex has an affair with a polyamorous co-star and Paul has an ill-advised reunion with an old flame. Meanwhile, the meddling of their colleagues, friends — and even the paparazzi! — quickly make Alex and Paul’s real life romance troubles the soap opera of the television season.
But while the entertainment value may be high, no one knows better than Alex and Paul that there are no guarantees when it comes to love in Los Angeles.
About the Author:
Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese’s gay romance series Love in Los Angeles, set in the film and television industry, is published by Torquere Press. The first novel, Starling, was released September 2014; its sequel, Doves, is scheduled for January 2015. Racheline is a NYC-based performer and storyteller focused on themes of sex, gender, desire and mourning. Erin McRae is a writer and blogger based in Washington, D.C. You can find them on the web at http://www.Avian30.com.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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