On their way to start a new life, Tula and her family travel on the Prairie Rose, a colony ship headed to a planet in the outer reaches of the galaxy. All is going well until the ship makes a stop at a remote space station, the Yertina Feray, and the colonist's leader, Brother Blue, beats Tula within an inch of her life. An alien, Heckleck, saves her and teaches her the ways of life on the space station.
When three humans crash land onto the station, Tula's desire for escape becomes irresistible, and her desire for companionship becomes unavoidable. But just as Tula begins to concoct a plan to get off the space station and kill Brother Blue, everything goes awry, and suddenly romance is the farthest thing from her mind.
Hi lovelies! A few months back I was very lucky to have read Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci a few months back and totally LOVE IT. If you missed my gushing review you can check it out here. If you’ve already read the review you know how absolutely thrilled I must be to have MS. Castellucci on the blog today to discuss the inspiration behind Tin Star. This book was so far outside your normal YA storyline and I appreciated the fact that Castellucci had enough faith in us readers to try something different. So without any more babbling I give you……Cecil Castellucci and her inspiration behind this amazing books!
If you’ve read Tin Star and you’ve seen the movie Casablanca, you’ll see immediately where I got the inspiration. If you haven’t yet seen the movie Casablanca, then I suggest you get yourself a hot chocolate, a cozy blanket and put it on. You’re in for a real treat. A few years ago I was having one of those must-watch-a-black-and-white-movie days and I put in Casablanca. It’s an amazing film and a pretty simple story. And it struck me as I watched it that I loved that it was this place where all of these desperate characters fled to and are trying to flee. They can’t go home and they can’t go elsewhere due to the war and world politics beyond their control. On top of that, you’ve got secrets, sliding alliances, black market trading and the fact that every person is looking out for themselves. I thought, “What if you put that in outer space?” That’s how the Yertina Feray was born.
Now that you’ve seen the movie yourself, you’ll notice that TIN STAR is totally different. It’s more like a fractured, cracked version of the story. Of course a major plot point, the Nazi passes is mirrored in the need for Imperium passes. And I would say that the Imperium is probably a lot like Nazi Germany.
When it comes down to characters, I’d say that there are three in the book who were born from the characters in the film. I like to think of Tula as Rick. She’s been betrayed. She’s stuck in a place. She has to make due. Everyone respects her. She’s Tula. She’s not one of them, but she’s one of them. Rick is stuck. He’s respected. And he’s been betrayed and hurt. But of course Rick was betrayed in love and Tula was betrayed in trust. One thing they share is that they can’t stand certain things. Tula can’t stand being a human and Rick can’t stand anything that reminds him of Elsa, including that song, As Time Goes By.
Then there is Tournour. Tournour takes his cue from Captain Renault. Renault has to keep the peace in Vichy controlled Casablanca. For those who don’t know, the Vichy was a puppet government set up by the Nazi’s where the French had rule over a “Free zone.” But it was not really free. Renault is part of this Vichy, but he’s a bit loose with his loyalties. Tournour is like Renault, he has to work for the Imperium on the outside, but he has his own ideas about loyalty and justice and follows that through to the end.
Heckleck was inspired by Ugarte, the petty crook who has the stolen Nazi passes. I always loved Ugarte and loved the relationship he had with Rick.
There are other little things that have some parallels; Kitsch Rutsok’s place has an echo of the Blue Parrot. There is a song that Caleb and Tula sing together. There is no Elsa. Or is there? Could there be things from the film that will swing their way over to book two? Signs point to yes. But there are other inspirations at play in the new book. And that’s what makes being an artist such fun.
When you are inspired by something, you crack it. You break it up into a million little pieces and reinvent it. TIN STAR is not Casablanca, but Casablanca and those characters are in the DNA of TIN STAR.
Sweet goodness woman! Casablanca?! I remember my granny tried to get me to watch that as a kid and I just was not ready to sit down for that but now?! Now I MUST!
Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing what inspired you to write such an amazing story. Everyone else….
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