I didn’t grow up listening to David Bowie. Bowie, like Interview with the Vampire, dance clubs, and coffee, came to me late.
Around 17, the world outside my conservative upbringing finally shone in, complete with sensual vampires, cold Starbucks drinks, and weird English musicians. Bowie appealed to me then in the exact same way his Jareth had appealed to teenage Sarah in The Labyrinth. He was older, mysterious, powerful, attractive in a confusing manner, and.. those trousers. I wanted him to show up and rescue me from my boring life, even if it meant I had to face two of my greatest weaknesses: riddles, and keys. (Really. Riddles and keys have always tripped me up!)
As the years went by, I dove deeper and deeper into the massive body of work that Bowie had created. Some corners of his world didn’t really click with me. I still feel ashamed to admit that Ziggy Stardust is one of those corners. But much of his art and performances were as revolutionary for me, twenty plus years on, as they were when they first happened. He wore makeup! He wore crazy clothes! He wore DRESSES. He sang about… all sorts of weird stuff.
Ten years after discovering Bowie, I wrote Dating an Alien Pop Star. The book is a tribute to my love of music and all of the wonderful people I know because of music. My love of bands like Muse, Coldplay, and Lana Del Rey was still rounded out by my respect for legends like David Bowie and the Moody Blues. After all, Bowie’s influence touches everything, including all of the modern bands we love so much.
It only seemed fitting that David Bowie was a major plot point of a book about aliens pretending to be pop stars. The running jokes about him amused all of the book’s earliest readers, and the ladies at Crimson Tree Publishing as well. We dreamed up plots to get the book into Bowie’s hands.
One cold evening in January, I came home from a long art session with my brother. He’d created an incredible piece of vintage sci-fi inspired art for my book, and I couldn’t wait to show it to everyone. I jumped on my computer, opened up a browser window and saw the news. Bowie was gone.
It was bewildering. Bowie felt, after all, immortal. He was Bowie!
Not only did I hurt for myself and for all of my friends who loved Bowie, I also hurt for my alien protagonist, Griffin. He would never get to meet Bowie now!
In the weeks following, the world mourned losing this wonderful, strange man. Parades, photoshoots, articles, and dance parties cropped up in tribute. Even after the initial outpouring of love and sadness died down, though, I couldn’t really come to terms with him being gone. It had been too sudden to process.
If I’m being honest, it still doesn’t feel real.
I’ve made plans for how to handle Bowie’s passing later in the Alien Pop Star series, but I couldn’t bring myself to go back and make any mention of it in the first book. Dating an Alien Pop Star is a capsule of the love and appreciation I had for Bowie’s creative spirit, and I hope it will feel that way for any Bowie fans that read it.
Music, like all art, has a lasting impact on people’s lives. For anyone who is making music, or painting, or writing, or sculpting, or sewing, or making any kind of art: your work is important. Keep creating with every bit of passion and color that fills up your body and escapes through your fingers. Be as eccentric as you can dream of being.
Someday, it might be your art that some lonely teenager discovers and clings to. Someday, you might help open up the stars and skies for a million people you’ve never even met.
About Dating an Alien Pop Star
Dating an Alien Pop Star
by Kendra L. Saunders
Publisher: Crimson Tree Publishing
Publication Date: June 7th 2016
Genre: Adult, Comedy, Romance
Daisy Kirkwood has only just escaped her small-town life and run away to New York City, the land of last-minute secret gigs at famous musical venues, when she’s kidnapped by aliens. Unfortunately, no one ever writes about how to handle alien abduction in those fancy NYC guidebooks.
Griffin and Dev are supermassively sexy aliens from a politically and environmentally troubled planet who arrive on Earth with very little knowledge about human ways other than what they learned from a wayward E! News signal. Their mission is to pretend to be the most influential people on the planet—English pop stars, of course!—and gain the help of a powerful secret society. Upon arriving, they abduct Daisy Kirkwood, a nerdy young woman who loves music but could seriously use a bit of help in the love-life department. Though Griffin and Daisy initially squabble, neither can deny the intergalactic sparks whenever they’re too close to each other. Together, they must face murderous aliens, cultural misunderstandings, bad backup musicians, and the dark side of fame and the media, all set against a tight deadline…
Part High Fidelity, part Bridget Jones’ Diary, part Doctor Who, Dating an Alien Pop Star is a sexy romantic comedy.
Griffin raises a dark eyebrow. “Are you afraid of me?”
“I didn’t say I’m afraid!”
“But are you?”
“Good.” He kicks off his shoes. “This will be a nice period of bonding for us, Wanda.”
“Why are you here?” I demand, sitting on the edge of the bed and crossing my arms over my chest. “You say you want to become the most powerful being on the planet with your music and all of that, but why?”
“It’s none of your business.”
“It’s my planet, so it is my business. You’re not planning to brainwash all of us, and then harvest our organs or something, are you? Keep our livers in jars in a spaceship somewhere? Burn the planet and then plant your weird medicinal drugs here?”
Griffin stalks closer to me with every word, until he’s standing directly in front of me, the glowing light in his eyes showing through the lenses. “And if I am, do you think you’re going to stop me?”
A shudder traces through me. I’m not sure if it’s because of his words or because he’s standing so close. “I’ll have to stop you,” I say in a very brave tone. Okay, actually, it’s not brave at all. More like a wheezy whisper. But Bjork or Kim Gordon wouldn’t just bow down to an alien invasion without at least attempting to protect their planet, and neither will I.
Before I can fully process what’s happening, Griffin’s pinned me down, holding my wrists against the bed under his hands. His body, though slight, feels substantial and warm against mine—simultaneously threatening and a bit of a turn on. “You don’t know me very well at all, do you, Wanda?” he whispers, and I want to correct him about my name, but I find it hard to say anything at all. “I would never come all the way to your planet just to enjoy the food and then destroy it. I’m not cruel!”
“I don’t know anything about you, other than your bad taste in clothes,” I say, but his weight pressed against my pelvis has my body pulsing and warm all over. Bad, bad, bad.
“Then look into me, why don’t you? You could see anything you wanted, if you’d just look. I’d let you.”
When I shake my head, he releases me, climbing right over top of me to take his place on the bed. I can feel the mattress shaking a bit, and I gather my wits enough to sit up and glance at him. He’s maneuvered his way out of the rest of his clothes, leaving only the underwear.
Thank God. Especially since my close proximity reveals he’s not doing too bad in that department. Even under a layer of fabric.
About the Author
Kendra L. Saunders is a time-and-space traveling fashionista author who writes books about magical, dark-haired men, interviews famous people, and suggests way too many bands to you via whatever social media platform she can get her hands on. She writes with good humor because humor is the best weapon for a girl who can’t learn karate (or ballroom dancing).
She is the author of DATING AN ALIEN POP STAR, the magic realism novel INANIMATE OBJECTS, dark comedy DEATH AND MR. RIGHT, the upcoming romance THE UNLOVE SPELL, and has conducted interviews with NYT Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout, goth rocker Aurelio Voltaire, and Project Runway winners Dmitry Sholokhov and Michelle Lesniak Franklin among many, many others.