Monday, September 1, 2014

Author Spotlight on Carla J. Hanna

Carla J. Hanna is author of the coming of age series, The Starlet Series. Recently, I had a chance to sit down interview her about writing career and what inspires her.

When did you begin writing?
I studied persuasive communication in graduate school and used my Master of Arts in English to write copy, brochures, and user manuals for a marketing communications firm. During my years as a marketing executive, I wrote about why a user should buy semiconductor and high tech products.

I did not expect to write novels. Only after I moved to the suburbs did I want to share my experiences as a former executive turned mother of toddlers who found herself rubbing shoulders with the Hollywood elite during play dates.

What genres do you write?
Coming of age fiction, cultural fiction, young adult fiction, Christian romance.

Who do you imagine you're telling a story to as you write?
Teens who aspire to be singers or actors. When my kids are teens, I want them to read the Starlet series so they can learn about the business of Hollywood and the price of fame. I want them to ponder the influence Hollywood stories have on their self-esteem and values and figure out what they can do to control that influence.

What's your latest book about?
Starlet’s Man explores the contradictions inherent in raising a teen in Hollywood. Most celebrities send their kids to private schools, many of them Christian schools, at the same time that the same celebrities produce violent and sexual films. Accountability of the story’s content gets passed onto the fans that choose to watch the film -- that Wolf of Wall Street or Fifty Shades is not the producers’ responsibility but the viewers’. I challenge that the producers are victims of supply and demand.

Which authors inspire you?
I respect so many authors and value their works. I love reading anything by Michael Lewis, Nicholas Sparks, Elizabeth Gilbert, Madeleine Albright, Meg Cabot, John Green, Daniel Silva and so many more.

What's your favorite book?
Born to Run. It got me running on the balls of my feet and injury-free.

Why did you choose independent publishing?
I wanted the flexibility to tell my story the way that I lived my life as a housewife in Santa Monica where wealthy, successful entertainment moguls raised their kids with multi-cultural value systems and religious beliefs while answering to the business’s trend reports, sexual emphasis, and violent content. I worked with a traditional publisher’s editor before I chose to self-publish and learned from her that in order to be traditionally published I needed to remove any Christian content from my novel, to use White characters rather than mixed-race protagonists, and to add sex scenes for a steamier read. I think my readers are smarter than that and more honesty about the business of ‘The Story’ from film and books is what teens should read instead.

What one piece of advice would you offer other indie authors?
Indie publishing provides the freedom to tell a story without the constraints of the traditional publisher’s fear of the unknown. Publishing is a business and the product needs to fit into a genre without alienating a large group of genre readers. Traditional publishers have to take a risk on that debut author and the less that story offends people, the easier it is to sell. As an indie author, ask yourself if you are willing to speak up and take a stand.  What are your goals? If you want success and money, write to the market. If you are writing a social commentary, self-publish and be patient.
Thank you very much for the opportunity to discuss the Starlet series of books in this interview. Award-winning Starlet’s Web, Starlet’s Run, and Starlet’s Light are available in paperback and ebook on Amazon and Kindle. Starlet’s Man, a stand-alone novel, will be available September 8, 2014 from Amazon, Nook, Apple, and Google.


Carla J. Hanna is the author of young adult romance and coming of age fiction novels for readers who enjoyed Nicholas Sparks' A Walk to Remember, Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love, Gayle Forman's If I Stay, or John Green's The Fault in Our Stars.

A former housewife of Santa Monica, California, Ms. Hanna shares an insider's perspective on Hollywood and celebrity influence in her multicultural novels. These are not steamy novels; they are realistic contemporary stories that examine the cultural clash between Hollywood values and religious morality.


Starlet's Man - Lights, Camera, and Lies. High school student athlete, Manny Biro, is caught between the boy he should be and the man he wants to become.

Starlet's Web - Hollywood entangles talented teen actress in a web of lies.

Starlet's Run - In a world where an actress is a product and everyone is a critic, can young love survive? Should it?

Starlet's Light - Young Hollywood actress is 'so done' with acting. She gives up the fight until she sees the light.

~ STARLET'S WEB FINALIST: 2014 Readers' Favorite International Book Award Contest in 3 categories: Young Adult: coming of age; Fiction: cultural; and Romance: Christian ~


  1. Thank you for featuring me in your author spotlight! I'm happy to announce that Starlet's Web won GOLD and Starlet's Light won SILVER in the 2014 Readers' Favorite International Book Award Contest! Please enjoy the series!

  2. I love author spotlight's it is always nice to get to know the author's a little better and to see how their minds work :)..Thanks for sharing!


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