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Thursday, November 9, 2023

Book Feature: Shoot to the Stars + Exclusive Author Interview with Vittena Eloisa Tiongson Vibar

Death is a very complex thing to understand. It involves too many negative emotions, sadness, fear, anger, grief, hopelessness and misery. No matter how much they say it inevitable and it's part of the normal cycle of life, it is one of the things that is so hard to accept. Many of us fear the loss of our loved ones. 

However, knowing you are the one going to die soon or that you are running out of time is a totally different story. Nothing can prepare you for a news like this.  

The book, Shoot to the Stars is about a diagnosis of an incurable neurodegenerative disorder that severed the main character's (Kerri) time shorter than willed, foreshadowing an early demise. Fate leads her to a serendipitous meeting with Jared, an eccentric Hollywood musician and spontaneous philosopher, who grapples within himself a longing to fill an inner void. Jared carries Kerri under his wings as she finds her epiphany in a Hollywood musical cult.

If you loved or cried a lot reading John Green's "The Fault in Our Stars" then this book is for you. Just imagine it intertwined with classic rags to riches tale like "Cinderella"

The story will make you ponder - "What if you were given a chance to life, to relive dreams and hopes with no bounds, and to love with no limits... except for time?" 

This book by Author Vittena Eloisa Tiongson Vibar features a beautiful and unique tale in a culture deeply entrenched in pop idol reverence. (We can so relate!) The main characters, Kerri and Jared embark on restless yet whimsical adventures along the philosophical strings of love, dreams, and fate while navigating the distractive glamour and excess as they edge towards powerful awakenings in search of life's meaning. 

And today, we are so happy to get to know more, Author Vitz, an academic achiever who swerved away from the nursing profession to do creatives as she shares more about this masterpiece. 

1. Can you share with us something about the book that isn't in the blurb?

The story includes some very familiar people in the popular music scene locally and internationally. They appear as cameos. The story setting jumps from country to country. The story can be described as extravagant yet still grounded and heartfelt.

2. What inspired the idea for your latest book?

Honestly, there was no focal point for inspiration on this one. Here it goes: It was way back my first try of venturing here in Manila from Mindanao, which didn't turn out well. Later, I found a small yet quite pricey room space around Malate and shut myself in there, for months. Cut off social media and everyone even my family, from expectations and all. 

In that small room in Manila, I dipped really deep in depression. Mind shutting down and such. Everything was black and white. And yet, like a person drowning, the mind drowning in depression is independently/automatically trying to catch its breath, clawing for dear life and it independently creates scenes of exaggerated hope, almost intoxicating itself with colors and dopamine (I could feel the adrenaline rushing during that time) and I had a scratch paper or tissue towel at that time and so I wrote the first scene that the mind delivered to me. And for the rest of the book, I kept up with writing its entirety.

This novel was born out of darkness, but the process of writing it lit a fire in me—one that I thought had been extinguished.

I think it’s hope --- the epinephrine that revives anyone even in the most dire of situations. It drugged me into writing a life, despite inevitable death, is given a chance by destiny to live longer a bit but in a grander way.

3. How long did it take you to complete the book?

It took me two years to 'finalize' the book. Actually, the novel has multiple versions with slight differences, and was revised at least 6o times, I guess. My aim was to direct the novel to bridge local and international markets through utilizing commonalities like music, Golden Age ambition, the universality of plight, a little bit of “fate” thing… it took time to tie all those together.

4. What part of the book was most challenging to write and why?

Trying to incorporate social issues, sense of familiarity, and ontology/philosophy in a “romance novel” model… Delivering a sense of uncanny speculation that an exaggerated story might be true or that it can plausibly happen in reality. And being “medically accurate” in terms of describing and mending the protagonist Kerri’s Huntington’s in the novel.

5. What do you hope your readers take away from this book?

Life’s too short. Love as much as you can. Dream as much as you can. Hope as much as you can. Life is not all about fame and money. It’s all about how you live it.

6. If you’re planning a sequel or writing the next book, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?

Yes. Looking forward to write new books. I plan to finish a scifi novel and complete an anthology of short stories.

7. Where can they buy your books or find out more about you?

The book is available on the 8letters website and through Shopee and Lazada. 

Ebook is available on Gumroad

You may follow me in Goodreads and on social media accounts:  
Instagram: limettelineonve


  1. What an insightful and clever author! Sounds like a book I would like to read to understand how one might react to an impending death. Stephanie

  2. I read Author Vitz's responses very carefully. As an author myself, i felt for her journey. Quite interested in her book distribution outlets because i just do Amazon.

  3. I'm a big fan of stories that make you think and pull at your heart. I definitely need to give this one a read. It sounds very powerful.

  4. "Shoot to the Stars" seems like an exciting read. The mix of adventure, romance, and suspense sounds like a winning combination.

  5. I love a good cry and this story sounds right up my alley. Very thought provoking and a subject we all need to ponder. - Heather

  6. Aaaahhhhh....I know for a fact that I would love every second of life, that I have got. I am always fascinated by death and now, I've picked keen interest in this book.

  7. That sounds like an interesting story! I will love to read that.

  8. 2 years to write a book. Wow, that's amazing. I cant wait to read this book. I'm sure I will enjoy it.

  9. Death is inevitable. Indeed, it is a topic that not many discusses openly, and we should! I prefer knowing my expiration date so that I can prepare myself, and the people that I love. I might be overly thinking, but I don't want to leave this world with a heavy burden.

    I will check on this book and learn something from it.

  10. waaa, two years, that's a loong time to finish the book but seem worth it. Thank you for sharing with us.