So I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing one of my favourite authors Paige Toon. I would like to say a big thank you to Paige for taking the time to answer my questions.
Paige Toon was born in 1975 and grew up between England, Australia and America. A philosophy graduate, she worked at teen, film and women’s magazines, before ending up at Heat magazine as Reviews Editor. Paige is married, has two small children and lives in Cambridge.
The Longest Holiday is her seventh book.
1. Where does your inspiration come from when writing a story?
Anywhere. Often an idea will just pop into my head – I’m always thinking, ‘imagine if….’, For example, on a flight to Australia, ‘imagine if a girl got a text from her boyfriend’s phone on a flight like this, saying that he was cheating…’ (Lucy in the Sky.) But films and books also inspire me. If I love something, often if spins off a new idea.
2. Out of all your books has there ever been a character that you have struggled with at all?
I had an original idea for how Will from Chasing Daisy would be, but when I wrote him, he came out differently: darker, less pure. Nobody else would have noticed – it didn’t really matter to the story – but I knew it would bother me if I didn’t get him exactly how I’d imagined him, so I spent ages re-writing the first half of the book.
3. My favourite Hero, as you well know, is Ben. How do you write the perfect Hero?
Ha ha, yes, I know how much you love Ben! I love him, too. I don’t know, my leading male characters don’t look like anyone I know (famous or otherwise) in my head. An idea of them forms as I’m thinking about the plot, and then they come to life when I’m writing about them.
4. Do you ever put bits of yourself into your characters?
Of course, it’s impossible not to. But reading the stories back, they don’t seem like me at all. I’m pleased about that, as I want them to have their own personalities. But I’ll often think about something and then have them think it.
5. You are doing a YA series on Johnny’s secret daughter Jessie, (which will be released spring 2014) are you finding it difficult appealing to a younger audience?
At the moment I’m writing it my way, in my own, usual style, but with a younger protagonist. I’ll only know if I’ve got it right when we come to edit it. My editor is used to teen books, so I’m sure she’ll tell me if I’m doing it wrong! I already have a lot of younger readers, so I really think these book will appeal to my current readership, and hopefully open up a new one.
6. You are also doing a short story, Baby Be Mine, (a sequel due for release this autumn) can you tell us anything about it?
I haven’t started writing it yet, but it will tell things from Meg’s POV when she discovers Johnny has a teenage daughter called Jessie. They’ve moved back to LA and she’s feeling a little unsettled. I can’t wait to write about Meg and Johnny being openly in love and married.
7. You also have Thirteen Weddings (due for release next summer 2014). You always include old characters in passing, can we expect the same in this novel?
You can indeed! In fact, I’ve just written a Joseph Strike (One Perfect Summer) mention in Jessie’s story. Thirteen Weddings will feature a character you heard about in Pictures of Lily, so Lily and Ben will no doubt crop up.
8. When you aren’t busy writing what are you reading?
I’ve joined a book group so my reading is often dictated by that, but I do love YA sic fi. I’m going to read Matched next. The book I’ve just finished for my book group was The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton – I cried so much! Absolutely loved it.
9. If you had to choose one of your Hero’s to marry for yourself who would you choose and why?
Oh now, that’s just plain mean. I love them all! I read Pictures of Lily not that long ago – the first time since writing it – and I fell in love with Ben all over again, so go on then, let’s say him. I’ll fight you for him.
10. Lastly, you are always in contact with your fans through social media, how important is this to you? Do you think this helps to get more people buying your books?
It’s so important to me – I love hearing from my readers. I can’t tell you how much it puts a smile on my face. Sometimes I’m really under the gun with deadlines and I find it hard to keep on top of my messages – that stresses me out because I hate letting people down. But I wouldn’t change a thing. I don’t know if it helps book sales yet because I only joined Twitter just over a year ago – if The Longest Holiday does amazingly well this summer, then I’ll have to say, yes!
This is the link for Paige’s latest book The Longest Holiday;
To follow Paige on twitter; https://mobile.twitter.com/PaigeToonAuthor