Q: How come it took more than seven years to write the first draft?
A: In short, life got in the way. For a long time I had no idea if I’d ever want to finish Not Famous or even want to publish it, so it was constantly backburnered. Believe me, it’s not as if I spent the entire time writing and editing… most of those seven years were months-long stretches where the book wasn’t even touched.
Q: Why does the novel take place in 2015?
A: It took me nearly seven years to complete the first draft of Not Famous. Perhaps it was OCD, but I felt it was important for dates to be accurate. I created a timeline in Excel that matches the events of the book to actual calendar dates. As much as I wanted to have the novel be current to the year of publication, by 2015 I was far enough along with the manuscript that I decided to leave it at 2015, regardless of how long it took me to finish.
Q: Why does the book take place in Boston, MA? Are the clubs in the book real?
A: One of my beta-readers suggested that there were probably other, more appropriate cities to set this novel, like New York City. I had considered New York City, but the more I got to know the Alli Conwell character I felt she, as a sheltered 19-year-old, would find NYC too intimidating. I had other reasons for choosing Boston. I went to school in Boston for a few years, and loved the city, its history, and its local music scene. In a way, this novel is a tribute to my short time in Boston, but there were other reasons as well.
Some of the clubs in the book are (or were) real clubs and others are fictional. Revolution, for example, is fictional. Scollay’s is also fictional, but based on a real place.
Q: Are the bands featured in the novel real, or based on bands you saw?
A: No band is a direct fictionalization of any that I saw during my time in Boston. None of the bands named in the novel are the names of any bands I saw or are aware of. So, my apologies if there are any bands out there with the same names of any of the fictional bands in the novel!
Q: Is Alli Conwell based on anyone?
A: When I was first developing her character, I put a lot of thought into who she was as a person and an artist. Researching her character led me to discover Taylor Swift’s earlier music, and from there I would say much of what made Alli Conwell was inspired by Taylor Swift. I wrote about this more extensively in a blog post from September 2018.
Q: Is Not Famous autobiographical in any way?
A: I don’t think there’s enough about my life that would be interesting to anyone. My novel’s plot has absolutely no resemblance to my own life. Bits and pieces maybe have been inspired by incidents or people I know, but there’s nothing autobiographical about it. The main character is not a fictionalization of myself.
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