Title: Center Stage!
Author: Caitlyn Duffy
Series: Center Stage! #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Release Date: September 14, 2015
Allison Burch’s wildest dream is to become a famous singer. She can hardly believe her own good luck when she auditions for the reality television singing competition, Center Stage!, and is chosen as a contestant. She finally has a legitimate shot at fame, fortune, and a chance to go on tour as the opening act for her favorite boy band on their world tour.
However, Allison wasn’t counting on one of the celebrity coaches being Chase Atwood, the famous rock star father of her former best friend. Allison’s terrified that Chase is going to find out that she and his daughter have been in a fight for months, and it’ll ruin her shot at the grand prize. Making matters worse, Allison’s own coach, Country Western star Nelly Fulsom, intends to groom her into a Nashville superstar.
As Allison struggles to decide if she really wants to win on the show if it’s by resorting to dirty tricks and assuming the image that Nelly wants to create for her, she find herself falling hard for her biggest competition on the show: a brooding songwriter named Elliott Mercer. She’s not sure if Elliott’s interest in her is genuine, or if he’s just playing along with the producers’ strategy.
It’s up to Allison to decide: how much is she willing to lose in order to win?
Fans of Caitlyn Duffy’s The Rock Star’s Daughter will enjoy this tale about Taylor’s friend Allison and her journey to fame.
1. What is the biggest influence/interest that brought you to this genre?
I have always been interested in YA, primarily because I was such a heavy reader when I was a teenager. My favorite books growing up were Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume, And You Give Me a Pain, Elaine, by Stella Pevsner, and this book called When the Phone Rang, by Harry Mazer, that I’m convinced inspired someone to create the show Party of 5. I think the books people read when their young adults reassure them that the weird stuff they’re going through is totally normal. My family moved around a lot when I was young, so I didn’t start high school with a strong group of friends. Year after year, I was always the new kids, so books connected me to the world beyond the walls of my schools where I didn’t always feel quite like I fit in. I supposed when I began writing, it was the hope that my books might also do the same for other kids.
2. When writing a book, what is your favorite part of the creative process(outline, plot, character names, editing, etc)?
My favorite part of the creative process probably is editing, surprisingly enough! Sometimes I’m so excited to jot down a plot that I’ll write as much as I can just to get it all out of my head while I’m inspired. However, most of what I write is total garbage in the first draft. My writing always gets a lot better with revisions, and as I go back through my chapters a third and fourth time, I tend to hear my characters’ voices much more strongly. That’s when I feel like they take clear shapes and when I tend to think of actions they should take that are truer to their motivations. When I was editing The Rock Star’s Daughter, the character of Taylor’s dad, Chase, began to have much more influence on the plot. Originally, he was just kind of a blank-slate father, but with time he turned into a complex figure with an ability to justify his own selfish, reckless behavior. In the final draft of the book, Chase’s actions ultimately put Taylor in a situation where she has to decide her own future, which didn’t exist in the first draft!
3. When reading a book, what genre do you find most interesting/intriguing?
I read a lot of YA, and lately I’ve been reading a fair amount of historical literary fiction, too. I really enjoy the books by a YA author named Jessica Khoury; they have a futurist/sci-fi edge and they deal with the topics of cloning and genetic manipulation. Last year I was on a bit of a WWII kick and read All the Light We Cannot See and re-read Suite Francaise, both of which I consider to be masterpieces.
4. If you could co-author with any author, past or present, who would you choose?
What an awesome question. I’d love to write something with Neil Gaiman, but primarily to observe his process. He’s a genius, and I’m afraid I’d be a little intimidated by him. Margaret Atwood, too—she’s absolutely amazing. I’d actually really enjoy co-authoring something with Isaac Marion, who wrote Warm Bodies. I think guys who write books for young adults are pretty cool, and Isaac Marion’s Twitter stream is hilarious.
5. Have you always wanted to write or did it come to you "later in life"?
I have always wanted to write. I was a compulsive diary-keeper as a kid (although who knows why I felt a need to document my life; it was pretty uneventful). In some ways I did make a career of writing by becoming a copywriter and working in the advertising industry, although anyone considering that career path should be warned in advance that it’s a huge time commitment with not the greatest work-life balance. Now that I am technically in the “later in life” part of my journey, I’ve made some adjustments so that I can devote a little more time to developing manuscripts.
Caitlyn Duffy is a private boarding school survivor and the author of The Treadwell Academy Novels, a series about privileged girls in an elite boarding school setting and the challenges they face. The series addresses issues common to teen readers including eating disorders, divorce, grief, heartbreak, first love, drug addiction and disagreements with parents. It was Caitlyn’s dream to create a series that mixed glamour and celebrity with the real-life problems that kids endure that could be enjoyed by readers of all ages. Her writing experience includes freelance editing for publishing houses and copywriting in the advertising industry.
When she’s not writing about the girls of Treadwell, she’s walking her semi-famous dog Maxim around Park Slope, Brooklyn and drinking too much coffee.