What happens when one goes from obscurity to celebrity, overnight?
Thirty-year-old Arya Alvarez is a travel manager at Isle Z, a luxury travel company in Singapore where she creates bespoke trips for celebrities and influencers. Discretion is her specialty at work and personal life: few people know that she’s fled her home city, Manila, to get away from the scene of a devastating break-up.
When she travels to Svaneti, in the Republic of Georgia, Arya briefly encounters the mysterious Dave in a remote village high up the Caucasus mountains. Intrigued, she posts his photos on Instagram-which goes viral the very next day. Turns out, Dave is Davit Nadibaidze, a famous yet reclusive artist who’d retreated from the public five years ago and Arya is the first person to see him since he disappeared.
In less than 24 hours, Arya gains hundreds of thousands of followers. She’s deluged with invitations to talk shows, influencer parties, and celebrity junkets, all as her social media apps overflow with DMs, tags, and comments, both nice and nasty. Men are suddenly vying for her attention, including her ex, Jake.
Arya tries her best to step up, but she also struggles. What she really wants is to finally get over her painful break-up, find herself and a fresh start. But can she really, when she’s caught in this complex whirl of viral fame?
About the Author
Claire Betita de Guzman is a Filipina writer based in Singapore and author of four rom-com novels: Miss Makeover, Budget is the New Black, Girl Meets World, and No Boyfriend Since Birth, which was adapted into a TV series. A former journalist, she started as a news reporter for the broadsheet Today before becoming a lifestyle editor for international and local magazines including Cosmopolitan Philippines and Harper’s Bazaar Singapore. She is a member of the Singapore Writers Group and has led talks and panels at literary events in Southeast Asia, including the Singapore Writers Festival. She studied Journalism and graduated cum laude (with honours) at the University of the Philippines. She has taken writing courses at the University of Oxford in England and was a fellow in literary workshops in Europe and Asia, including Miradoux, France, Bali, Indonesia, and Tbilisi, Georgia. She is co-author of a poetry collection, Dreaming of the Divine Downstairs and is co-editor of Get Luckier, an anthology of Philippine-Singapore writings. Find her online at www.clairebetita.com.