Sian Ceinwen - Rock Star Romance with a Twist
Sian grew up in the Hills of Perth, and her passion for storytelling began at a young age. She now lives by the scenic coast in Western Australia with her husband and two sons, where she is currently writing the Cruise Control novels, a rock band romance series inspired by her love for music-makers and their lives behind the fame. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her book, The Album.
Please give us a short introduction to what The Album is about.
The Album is essentially about what really happens when you meet the perfect man, but he’s a rock star, and you’re too insecure to really inhabit his world.
What inspired you to write about someone who falls in love with a rock star, but hates the world he lives in?
I was inspired by The All-American Rejects’ song “Gives You Hell”. It brought Gabriel and Ariana to life in my head. A girl gets involved with a rock star but leaves him. Why would she leave? What happens then? He writes a whole album about her. She goes back to her old life. Do they ever meet up again?
Tell us more about Ariana. What makes her so special?
Is anyone special, really? She’s special to Gabriel because they connect, he senses that she’s shy and it brings out his protective side. He’s attracted to her and wants to get to know her better.
Why is Gabriel Knight so irresistible to her?
Well, I mean, he’s Gabriel Knight. He’s pretty much perfect! She wants to say no to him when he asks her out on a date because of her fears of his lifestyle, but he’s sweet and funny, and she enjoys spending time with him.
Did you plan from the start to make Cruise Control into a series? How do the other books tie in with this one?
Yes, as soon as I started writing, I wanted to do a book for each member of the band. I loved the idea of being able to follow the stories of the characters through the background of the other books. The Wedding came out on the 6th of June and tells the story of Heather and Harrison, and it picks up at the end of The Album.
How is your book different from the regular Rock Star romances?
I’ll be honest; I haven’t read a lot of rock star romances! I wrote The Album based on the song I was inspired by and my own experiences with a band and what life is like on tour and being in their fandom. I have been told that the rock star being the one who wants to tell the world about their relationship is different.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I can say “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch”. My family don’t actually speak Welsh because they came from the South of Wales, but I learnt this town’s name because it’s a fun party trick to say it. In English, it translates to "St. Mary's Church in the hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio near the red cave."
What is your favorite line from the book?
“The world is your oyster sweetheart. You just have to pick the pearl you want.”
Tell us more about the cover and how it came about.
When I was first writing The Album, I was sending the chapters to my friend as I wrote them. One day, she said, “I’ve come up with a cover for your book”. I was terrified that I would hate it and didn’t know how I would tell her if I did. It turned out that I loved it, and when the time came to publish the book, I said to my cover artist “just do exactly this”. He basically said, “hold my beer”, took her idea, and made it even better.
Which of the characters in The Album was the most challenging to create?
Hands down, Hayden. He is still the member of Cruise Control that I connect with the least. It’s hard because I write from a single point of view. Ariana didn’t have a massive amount to do with him, and Heather is far closer to Sebastian than Hayden. Lita is becoming good friends with him, though, so I’m hoping that by the time I finish writing The Baby, Gabriel’s Album, and Harrison’s Wedding, I’ll have a much better handle on Hayden as a character before I write The Stalker.
Ari has a lot of insecurities - why did you create her this way?
From the song that gave me the inspiration to write the book, I knew their path to true love wouldn’t be easy. If Ariana had been able to cope with living the rock star lifestyle, amidst her own anxiety and self-worth issues, there wouldn’t have been much of a story to tell, and she wouldn’t have done what she did. Anxiety is cruel; it’s literally your brain invoking the fight, flight, or freeze response when there’s absolutely no need for it. Many people have told me that they dislike Ariana, they wish she had been able to just get over it and be happy with Gabriel…well, yeah, so did Ariana. Nobody who has experienced mental health issues will tell you that it’s easy to live with them, just getting over it isn’t really an option. It takes hard work and often medication for people to overcome these issues.
I really want to write books that have representations of real humans, not some cookie-cutter heroine who has never had a bad day in her life. Ariana’s issues are real, and part of their story is about how badly she wants to be happy but just can’t let herself be.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
I tend to write in two blocks of time. My lunch break at work, where I try to get out 1,000 words and then after I’ve put my boys to bed, each night. On weekends, I’ll try and get a lot more done. It took ten years to finish The Album (I just stopped writing for years!) and only five weeks to finish The Wedding. Once I had people who actually wanted to read my work, I couldn’t leave them hanging for years!
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on two projects. I’ve almost finished the third Cruise Control novel, The Baby. That comes out on the 17th of November this year (each novel is being released on the band member’s birthday). The other one is a standalone novel called Dreams. Oh, and I started a Young Adult Cruise Control novel about the band when they first meet on Wattpad. When I said that I couldn’t stop writing, now that I’ve finally published something, I meant it!