Lost Stars Blog Tour | Lisa Selin Davis Guest Post | The Best Part About Writing For Teenagers

Another exciting blog tour post for me! When I was contacted by Carmen, PR for Hot Key Books, this book sounded right up my alley and this sounded like an interesting topic so I was very happy to host it on my blog. Thank you to Lisa for writing this post, and to Hot Key Books for considering me for this tour


Carrie is lost. And she’s angry at almost everything and everyone. Most of all though, she’s angry at her big sister Ginny. For dying. Pretty much the only thing that keeps Carrie sane is her music. Even her beloved comet, the faithful friend that she’s been following for years, can’t help her now that her dad has taken away her telescope.

Then she meets Dean. Gorgeous Dean. He’s sitting out on his front step playing guitar early one summer morning – and everything changes forever.

Admittedly, teens can be a tough audience. They demand authenticity, and they don’t want to see books that are too similar to one another. One teen book blogger, talking about LOST STARS, noted that she was sick of dead sibling stories and hated insta-love. Hm, I thought. I wish I’d given her this novel to read in draft form! It would have been so great to have her feedback. Insta-love, though, was very much part of my own teenage experience, especially with the character of Dean in the book, who is inspired by my first real boyfriend. I saw that guy and, man, that was it for me. I was bowled over with attraction. That’s what made the actual love that unfolded so amazing.

But writing for, and about, teenagers offers such rich territory. Jeez, I could mine the complex web of misery and joy from my teen years for a long, long time. I had so much fun, and yet I was incredibly lonely and confused, tripping all over myself, making mistakes.

Several of the scenes from LOST STARS came straight, or almost straight, from my own experiences. I did go roller-skating with my friends one night, and sweated so much that my shirt got big wet stains in the armpits. My friend Julie gave me a white button down shirt to hide them, which felt like the greatest gift ever, with so much care and generosity. And then, later, her boyfriend—or, rather, her very recently ex-boyfriend—kissed me. I’d kissed very few boys, and I was incredibly flattered and confused. It was so exciting, but maybe it was wrong, and maybe that made it more exciting. But I didn’t know what the heck was going on. I never told Julie about it. So, Julie, I’m telling you now: Mike Whatever-his-name-was kissed me at the roller-skating rink.

I know some teenagers are already better at handling life than I am, but I find that even they can relate to characters who reach and fail and deflate, then gear up and try again. It’s a magical, difficult time of life, that combination of innocence and yet knowingness, the melding of great contradictions. What could be better material than that?

Lost Stars or What Lou Reed Taught Me About Love by Lisa Selin Davis, published by Hot Key Books, out now

Photo credit: Dave Bigler

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