Discussion Questions from Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Kick off your discussion by watching Anna Caterina Antonacci’s version of
“Habanera” on YouTube. As I’m sure you can imagine, this provided me with loads of inspiration. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJ_HHRJf0xg

WHEN STARS COLLIDE is part of my Chicago Stars series, but as many of you know, each book in the series is free standing. (FIRST STAR I SEE TONIGHT is Coop and Piper’s story.)

  • What’s your favorite literary series?
  • Do you have to read the books in order, or are you happy to dive in anywhere?

Thad Owns has been a jock from birth, unlike some of us.

  • What’s your relationship with team sports?
  • Do you have happy or unhappy school memories?
  • Would you describe yourself as athletic or “exertion avoidant”?

I confess that I knew little about the opera world when I started this book, but I learned a lot.

  • Who in your group has seen a live opera?
  • Are you a fan of the art form or only certain arias?
  • Does the world of opera interest you?

Music runs through this book. (I’e even put together a play list.) https://spoti.fi/2PJqklN

  • What’s your relationship with music in general?
  • What soothes you? What energizes you?
  • When do you most enjoy listening to music? As you work? Do chores? In the car?

Olivia experiences a heavy weight of guilt.

  • Is guilt ever useful in our lives, or is it only destructive?
  • I had a friend who used to say, “Let your guilt guide you.” Discuss. (And let me know what you decide.)

As a writer, I love to make a character’s clothing show something about his/her personality or state of mind.

  • Were you aware of this as you read?
  • Did I make good choices?
  • Just for fun, would you like to do a small writing exercise and write a short, one paragraph description of an outfit for Olivia or Thad that speaks to either character or situation?

In general, romantic comedies, despite how difficult they are to write, are regarded as a more “lowbrow”t fair?

  • (P.S. There’s only one right answer to the above question.)
  • What are your favorite romcom movies and books?

Thad has difficulty imagining himself in a true relationship with Olivia because of her star power. Olivia won’t let her career take second place to her personal relationships.

  • Do modern gender roles make romantic relationships more complicated than they used to be?

Thank you for reading WHEN STARS COLLIDE, and here’s hoping you all have a fun and lively discussion.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips