Interview with women’s fiction novelist A.K. Arlington

Novelist A.K. Arlington joins me today to share a bit
about her new women’s fiction novel, Anna:
The Story Behind the Star.
Arlington lives in Los Angeles with Bella, a fairly ancient Silken Windhound. A
dog lover. An optimist or a pessimist, depending on the day (and sometimes the
time of day). Loves reading, but can’t help writing. Years of acting,
directing, and writing plays and screenplays, have led to ANNA: The Story Behind the Star.
Welcome, A.K. Please tell us about your
current release.
ANNA: The Story Behind the Star is a novel, written in the form of a
memoir, about a young woman growing up in Des Moines, Iowa, who decides at a
very early age that she wants to be an actress. In her own words, Anna tells us
how she made that happen and, often in intimate detail, about the men she
encountered along the way. Ultimately, it’s about a woman who sets her mind on
a goal and will stop at nothing to achieve it.
What inspired you to write this book?
Having acted
for many years, the idea of a young woman’s rise to stardom seemed a natural
fit. Many events in the book are inspired by events I encountered in my own
career (although Anna is definitely more “adventurous” than I was).
Excerpt from ANNA: The Story Behind the Star:
must have had feelings for me for months. We’d been in each other’s company
nearly every day all that time, but he never pressed it. He waited until I
brought it up, in that basement Chinese restaurant on Mott Street.
I leaned
across the table.
though I made my intentions clear, he still hesitated. Then, slowly—achingly
slowly—he moved his lips to meet mine.
His kiss
was sweet. Tender.
A grumpy
voice interrupted the moment. “You finished?” Our waiter dropped our check on
the table and stood there, poised to grab our plates.
looked at me. I nodded. “Yes, we’re—”
table,” the waiter snapped. “You go now.” He hurried off with our plates.
As we
climbed the steps back to the street, I stopped Jake and leaned against the
rail. It took him a moment to figure out I wanted him to kiss me again.
He did,
lightly—once, twice. Then he looked into my eyes and kissed me a third time.
I pulled
his lean, hard body against mine. I slipped my fingers under his t-shirt to
feel the abs that occupied my thoughts so many times.
I asked,
“How far away is your place?”
blocks. Did you want to …?”
nodded. He took my hand, and we and headed up Mott Street.
What exciting story are you working on
I’m still
deciding, actually. I’m developing outlines for a few things, which tends to be
how I work. I’m outlining one about a group of women in a trailer park; a
detective romance; and one about a lawyer who gets involved in a case that’s
way over her head, both with the case itself and becoming involved romantically
with the shady client. At some point, one of them will demand to be written,
and that’s what I’ll do.
When did you first consider yourself a
I began
writing short plays and monologues to get scenes to perform in acting class. I
found it easier to write a scene that focused on what I wanted to work on than
to search through plays for the right material. An agent called me in from a
showcase I’d done, where I’d performed something of my own. It turned out she
wasn’t interested in taking me on as an acting client; she’d called me in to
find out about the writer who’d written the scene. That’s when I knew I was
onto something as a writer.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?
My day job is
actually a fairly boring office job at a law firm. Finding time to write is
hard, but I try to carve out at least an hour or two a day to do it.
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
I talk to my
characters. This is a carryover from my acting days. They become real to me. I
can hear their voices, and get the cadence of their speech. When I write, I
give just enough character description to allow the reader to decide for
themselves what the characters look like. But I could tell you what Anna looks
like to me, how she walks, what she wears. And even though all this comes from
inside my head, I’m always delighted when I character decides to do something I
don’t expect.
As a child, what did you want to be when
you grew up?
veterinarian, of course. Then, I think, a singer. Then an actor. But I’ve
always been interested in writing. I remember writing short stories as far back
as elementary school.
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
I’ve been
most gratified by comments from friends, and reviews I’ve received, in which
people seem to “get” that Anna’s story is about a woman taking charge of her
own life, her own body, and her own sexuality. I was concerned that in the
#metoo era, some people might be uncomfortable with a woman using her sexuality
as one tool in her struggle to get ahead. And, to be fair, some have felt that way. Mostly, though,
people find it refreshing that Anna’s journey is one of empowerment.
Thank you for joining me today, A.K.

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