The world thinks that pop superstar Kiara Anderson has it all, but she spends her nights drinking away memories of her childhood and life as a teen runaway.
The Jacobs family are desperate to see the girl next door again and discover why she ran away, especially their son Shane, who blames himself for her disappearance.
When Kiara’s manager forces her into a reveal-all TV interview she knows the family she loved more than her own will finally discover the truth.
Can she overcome her demons or will the shadows of the past rob her of fame, fortune, and a chance to finally fall in love?
Only the brave write
Writing a book is one of the most enjoyable things I have ever done. Publishing a book? That’s by far the scariest!
Tapping away at my computer, merrily jotting down the story at 5am in the morning, the book is something secretive and undiscovered, like buried treasure, and only I know of its existence. Sending the book out to people to actually read makes it a tangible thing that can be critiqued, criticised, even made fun of. It’s like sending a small part of your heart out into the world, praying people won’t be too rough with it.
As the publication date has drawn ever closer my nerves have grown too. But I keep gritting my teeth and telling myself this is an experience I’ll learn from, both the good and the bad feedback, the pitfalls and the pleasures.
I’m proud of my book and proud of my achievement of writing it at a difficult time in my life, but realistically I know it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and it won’t meet everyone’s expectations. My greatest fear as an author is having people laugh at my work behind my back, but tell me something different to my face, out of pity or misguided kindness.
Anxiety is one of the few things I have in common with my main character
Anxiety is the seemingly uncontrollable treadmill of worried thoughts that spiral into doom mongering, making you feel paralysed and distraught by things that haven’t even happened yet and may never happen. It’s living with daily nerves, paranoia, sweaty palms, a shaky stomach, and a tight chest. It grinds you down, physically and mentally.
Fear and anxiety play a large part in Kiara’s life in Star in the Shadows. Kiara is a troubled pop star, desperate to forget the memories of the past that haunt her. Despite her fame and fortune, she’s still struggling with anxiety – the shaking hands, the churning stomach, the nightmares, the washing machine of unhelpful thoughts tumbling in her mind, seemingly out of control.
She’s lived through traumas, and they have left her with a residual level of fear from which she makes unhelpful decisions and develops unhealthy coping mechanisms. She also puts her trust in the wrong people, who take advantage of her loyalty and naivety. It’s only when she’s able to confront the things that trouble her that she’s able to find some healing and move forward with her life.
My advice – feel the fear and do it anyway!
Though the idea of putting my book out there is terrifying, the thought of not trying and looking back and regretting it, is enough to compel me to continue on this precarious path as a fledgling author! Please don’t let fear hold you back from putting your stories out into the world. Be bold and brave and give it your best shot, because there may be a reader out there who is just waiting and hoping for a story like yours.
Giveaway to Win a signed copy of Star in the Shadows, a beautiful dreams and goal planning journal, a star print scarf, and three yummy chocolate bars from Creighton’s Chocolaterie. (UK Only)
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About the Author
Helen has spent over thirteen years working and volunteering for charities in the UK and abroad, including four years in Honduras. She currently works as a charity communications manager and lives in Bedfordshire with her husband and son.