Meet Solar

Hello, everyone! I want you to meet a character of mine. He’s a fairly recent addition to the ever-growing family in my brain, but he’s quickly endeared himself to me as one of the most complicated, fun guys I’ve ever written.

Therefore, I now introduce you to Chace Tomlinson; known on stage as SOLAR!

Solar was more or less introduced to you in the last post, with my excerpts from Face Value. The gist of the book is this: Scholarly high school graduate Kate Frietag (a nod to amazing author Jenny Frietag from The Penslayer and the lovely Katie from Whisperings of the Pen) is roped into tutoring the twenty-year-old Chace Tomlinson; a famous rock-and-pop star who goes by Solar on stage. Her mother happens to be Chace’s PR Angent, and so Kate doesn’t have much of a choice (not to mention it’s earning major credits toward her favorite college). The deal: Chace’s GPA has to raise to 3.0 and he has to graduate high school before he turns twenty-one, or PopNote cuts him loose. Kate gets paid handsomely and receives college credits toward her favorite college, which she could never afford otherwise.


The only trouble is, Chace isn’t easy to get along with. He’s attitude and a smirk on two legs. He’s shallow, self-centered, arrogant, just-plain-trouble and has always had it easy…

Or so Kate thinks.

The two don’t get along at all to begin with – Chace isn’t the least bit interested in his schoolwork, and Kate’s just trying to not hit him over the head with a two-by-four every time they see each other. But little by little, as their lives begin to unfold, Kate begins to see that the boy she thought she knew is only a mask for someone much deeper and much, much different.

Chace was born Ji So-Kwon in Seoul, Korea but was abandoned by his parents when he was four. He was adopted by Americans and re-named Chace Tomlinson – but his adoption turned out to be far from wonderful. He suffered abusive parents until his talent was discovered over a radio show when he was fifteen, and PopNote gave him a contract.


Kate knows none of this at the beginning of the book, and instantly judges him by what she sees over music videos and what her mother reports (her friend, Birdie, is a huge fan of Solar). However, one incident changes the way she sees him, and she begins to realize that not everyone can be taken at Face Value.

I’ve been working on this one for about two months and have just passed fifty pages (insert spastic happy dance here) – and so, to celebrate, I’m going to give you a few more snippets. =) One of the awesome things about this book is that I’ve taken many of the events from the life of a real person, adding an element of realism in an otherwise YA fiction book.

So without further gilding the lily –

As if by magic, the dozens of people who had positioned themselves on the stairs, waiting for Solar to walk by, rushed after him. She walked at a slower pace behind them, just wanting to reach the vending machine below and wondering how people could be that crazy, when she heard a noise above the shrieking of fans.

            A child screaming.

            Her heart jumped into her throat and she tried to find the source of the sound amid the throng below – was it being trampled? She saw Solar turn around, his bodyguards now slightly ahead of them where they had cleared the way for him to get through. His eyes searched, like Kate’s, for the source of the screaming.

            And what he did gave Kate the shock of her life.

            He turned around and ran into the mob, like a shark diver swimming into a feeding frenzy. He disappeared amid other bodies for a moment, and Kate climbed up onto the railing trying to see what had happened to him.

            Her heart, already in her throat, gave another lurch as she saw Solar was crouched on the floor, his body curled protectively around a small boy who could not have been any older than three or four…


Kate stared, unable to believe the amount of people attending the concert. She had seen the lines outside, stretching a full three blocks and mostly consisted of screaming teenaged girls. She wanted to go up to them and shout “THE CONCERT HASN’T EVEN STARTED YET!” but she didn’t think it would have gone over very well, assuming she could have made herself heard.


Her face flaming with embarrassment, Kate stepped out from behind the rack of clothes and stood as stiff as a poker for Rock Star Inspection.

            He leaned a little, holding his elbow with one hand and rubbing his chin with the other. “You look like you just got electrocuted,” he said finally, after thirty seconds of study.

            Kate glared at him. “Thanks a lot, Armani. You designed the dress, you know.”

            He waved a hand. “It’s not the dress,” he said, one lip curling slightly. “It’s you. You’re standing like you think you’re a coat rack instead of a person. Relax a little, would ya?”

            Kate frowned and tried to situate her body into something more model-like. “That better?”

            He looked doubtful. “Well… just…” He grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her. “Loosen! Up!” he barked.

            Kate was so taken aback that she could only stand and gape. “What on earth-”

            “There,” he interrupted, smiling. “You look better already.” He lifted the balloon and blew, filling it until it was basketball-round. “Now,” he said, tying the end off and attaching a string that had been in his pocket, “take this.”

            “I look like I’m six years old,” Kate complained.

            “The line is for summer, you’re supposed to look carefree,” was the answer.

            “Well, I’m not,” Kate grumbled, taking the balloon. “I feel like a total idiot.”

            He posed a thoughtful expression, his eyes alive with mischief. “Hmm, I wonder why that would be.”

            Kate fought back the urge to hit him. Hard. “Shut up and tell me where to stand,” she growled.


“Hey, honey.”

            “Hi, mom – where’s Chace? It’s like ten minutes to school time and I can’t find him.”

            “Oh, he’s probably in the studio, filming for the new Stellar CF-thing.”

            “Stellar?” Kate asked, puzzled.

            “You know, Stellar. Solar’s clothing line.”

            Kate’s voice dripped with disbelief. “He has a clothing line?”

            “And more,” said Mrs. Frietag, obviously not catching her daughter’s incredulous tone. “It’s practically a given these days.”


He twisted his mouth but said nothing, so Kate asked “Which Caesar reportedly started a fire inRome, only to help with rescuing the wounded afterward?”

            “Um… Nero?”

            “Right.” Kate felt an inordinate amount of pride in the correct answer. “Who was the last emperor of the Flavian Dynasty?”

            Chace’s eyes opened farther and he blinked several times at Kate before waving a hand. “Who cares?”

            “The author of the book cares. Your GPA cares. Answer the question.”

            “I dunno.”

            Kate let out a loud sigh. “Casperius Aelianus. Remember that.”

            He gave her a sarcastic thumbs-up. “Sure thing.”


His movements lacked the trademark energy they ordinarily sizzled with, and his voice sounded strained, even in the softer parts. She was fishing her phone from her purse to text her mother when it happened.

            The heavy chorus was building up to execution, and Chace’s well-rehearsed dance steps were bringing him closer to the edge of the stage.

            “BURN! BURN! BURN!”

            Rockets ejected from their places around the stage. Kate saw Chace stumble, and he stopped singing, the music sounding strangely bare without his voice to fill it in. It took the crowd only seconds to realize what had happened.

            Chace stood, swaying slightly, and collapsed onto the stage.

There you have a bit o’me book, ladies and gentlemen! I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing =)


25 thoughts on “Meet Solar

  1. I love the plot! It seems like YA fiction is often really unoriginal and either follows the predictable teenage murder myster line or the even more predictable fantasy-fairy-elfin-evil wizard line. But you’ve created something wonderfully original! I love that you’re diving under the shallow persona of celebrity and reminding your readers that there is always something significant and real underneath.

    This sounds like an amazing story and I can’t wait to read more of it! I rarely buy books written in before 1900, but I would definitely consider buying a copy of your book when it comes out! Amazing work! 😀

    • Oh, you have no idea how happy that comment made me!!! Thank you SO MUCH!!!!!! I try and be original *grins* and give good messages. I’m so tired of most modern junk =)

  2. Cool! Reminds me a little of one of the books I’m reading on and off called “There You’ll Find me” by Jenny B. Jones. I’m only reading it on and off because other things keep intruding. Basically, Christian teen girl getting ready for college tutors a fellow in the entertainment industry and discovers that not all things are as they seem in the entertainment world.

    😀 Jenny B. Jones is a fantastic writer, and that your book is reminding me of her, is a definite complement.

  3. Oo la la!
    How very interesting! I’m quite captivated by it so far 🙂 Even when your stuff ISN’T fantasy it still draws me in!

  4. You’ve sure written a lot more since you sent it to me ;). The whole story was captivating, and I just like the whole culture and look of the Orient in general, so having a Korean main character, that’s pretty awesome!

  5. I’m glad YOUR characters are loved! Aish… my blog is practically dead. I post stuff about my characters, and NOBODY comments. It’s… frustrating. Hey – and we’re even *using the same guy*. Mine’s simply named Jungsu. BWAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!
    *stalks off*

    Anyway… brilliant story – you know *I* love it. 🙂

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