ALESSANDRA TORRE: THE FLOW WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE AT HOLLYWOOD DIRT
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
One month ago, Hollywood Dirt by Alessandra Torre was released. The novel became part of Amazon Top 10 books for September and gathered almost 700 reviews with flawless average 4.7 Stars. The newest book by NY Times bestselling author is a classy romantic comedy. It’s a great honor to have as a guest at Land of Books lady Alessandra Torre.
– Alessandra, what is your book Hollywood Dirt about?
– Hollywood Dirt is about a small country town that is filled with millionaires and secrets. When the biggest movie star in Hollywood comes into town to film a movie, things combust in a very interesting way.
– How did you decide to write the story?
– It was a story that I originally pitched to publishers a year ago. I had really wanted to write an enemies-to-lovers scenario and I had this town sitting in my mind, a small Southern town, similar to so many, that I wanted the story based in. It’s been rolling around in my mind for a while… I finally had an opening in my writing schedule and decided to dive into it.
– What was the biggest challenge during the write up process?
– The flow. I’m constantly second-guessing myself in terms of how long it takes for the story to unfold, and whether to flesh out the characters more… or if I’m overdoing it… I can never tell if I am at a point of driving the reader crazy with anticipation or giving them what they want.
– Tell us something more about your main characters Cole and Summer? Are they close to someone from your real life?
– Cole is a Hollywood prick, someone who has been catered to for the last decade, and who is fresh off a divorce and rebounding with every Hollywood female he meets. Summer is a country girl who is very set in her ways, isn’t impressed with Cole in the slightest and has been shunned by her town for something that happened years ago. I don’t personally know any Coles… but I grew up with a lot of Summer-types. I love Summer for her spunk and Southern ways.
– How much time did you need to finish the story and to publish it?
– I wrote the first 10% of this book back in 2014. It took me almost two months to write the rest of it. This is my longest book to date, over a hundred thousand words, which is twice the length of most of my books, and I didn’t expect that. So I was really in a time crunch trying to make my announced release date. After I finished the book, I had about a month to edit/rewrite/proof and then market and format the book.
– Did you expect the success of Black Lies?
– Every single book you hope is successful. Every single book you have big dreams and aspirations for. Black Lies surpassed all of my dreams. So has Hollywood Dirt. Both of them have shocked me with the reader reaction and the amount of spread-the-word attention that they have received. Readers are what made both of those books successful.
– Who are you (Would you describe yourself with few sentences)?
– I am foremost a wife. My marriage is the most important thing in my life. Other than that, my passion is in my current book, long afternoon naps, and reading.
– What are your writing habits?
– I typically write very early in the morning, when everyone in my household is still asleep, or very late at night. Our home is very chaotic, so I try and fit in my writing when it is quiet. I typically write on the couch or in a big leather chair, with blankets and pillows all around and my dogs curled up at my feet. I often will fall asleep while writing.
– Are you satisfied by the sales of your books?
– Sales are very hard to be satisfied by. Whenever I hit crazy sales numbers, I celebrate, walk around in a ten-minute state of bliss, then spend the next day worried that sales will fall. Sales spikes are so temporary. Reviews last forever, those are always coveted. And reader conversion… hooking the reader into buying another book, that is what I treasure the most.
– What are you doing to promote your book by the best possible way?
– Focusing on creating the best product I can. Reader referrals are the number 1 way to ensure success. But marketing is a full-time job, and I spend 2-4 hours a day on social media, my website, working on newsletters, communicating with reviewers and bloggers, and building relationships.
– When we will see your next novel If You Dare, and would you unveil something more about it?
– If You Dare comes November 10th. I am terrified to say anything about it.. other than that I think readers will either absolutely love or hate it. I took so many risks with that book and I can’t wait for it to hit shelves.. but I’m also terrified by how some of my readers will react.
– How your life changed after you became NY Times Bestselling author?
– Ha. Very little. I gained some street cred with my husband. I get to stick the title a hundred different places. But the NYT title is really more a vanity thing. Touching readers and giving them an escape from daily life… that’s what is more important. No one is at home dancing up and down because I hit the Times list, other than me.
– How came the idea of Bedroom Blog and how did you find inspiration for such a different topics?
– I was shooting for a modern day Sex-in-the-City vibe and had recently visited New York. I’ve had a lot of fun with the Bedroom Blog because of the constant cliffhangers from episode to episode (episodes post 3x a week) – it has allowed me to be drama-filled and fun and silly, which is a good outlet.
– If you may ask yourself one question in the interview what it will be?
– If you could live the life of one of your characters, which would it be? It’s a hard question to answer because I actually wouldn’t want to be most of my characters for one reason or another. But I’d have to say Summer Jenkins (Hollywood Dirt) or Candace Tapers (The Dumont Diaries).