8 December 2011

Author Interview: Paige Toon

Today it is my absolute pleasure to be welcoming the fantastic Paige Toon to the site for an author interview!! I have been a fan of Paige ever since I read and loved her debut novel Lucy In The Sky a few years ago now, but I eagerly await each of Paige's books every year, because I just know they are going to be amazing reads, and she's never let me down yet! Paige was kind enough to answer some of my burning questions for her, so do enjoy, and I once again thank Paige for taking the time to answer these for me!

Q1. Let's kick off with a hard question... could you possibly pick any of your books as your favourite?! If you can't, which was your favourite to write and why?

Paige: Lucy in the Sky has always had a very special place in my heart because it was my first book and I wrote it in two and a half months with a full-time job – I was massively into the story and the characters, and I was so happy to have a book deal. But I have to say, my new book One Perfect Summer (out May 2012), could actually top it. I absolutely loved writing it – I’m still thinking about the characters every day.

Q2. Your fans always wanted a sequel to Johnny Be Good, which you kindly gave us with Baby Be Mine. How easy was it to go back to writing those characters after a gap of several books, and did you always intend to give them the ending that you did?

I always intended to give them that ending. I wasn’t sure for a while how I was going to get to that point, though! For a year after Johnny Be Good, I wondered how I could do that to Christian – I even wondered if killing him off might be a kinder option!! But that would have been a cop-out. It was hard – and emotional – writing that scene where Meg tells Christian – and later when he has to say goodbye to Barney. But it was nice to revisit the characters. I read Johnny Be Good again to make sure how they were in my head was how I had written them on paper – and they were. And I loved getting to the point where Johnny returned to the story – I’d missed him!

Q3. Now that there is an ending to the question of who fathered Meg's baby, do you think you will ever go back to those characters again, or do you feel you've put them to bed now and it's time to move on?

I actually have a story idea for a few years time if my readers are still reading! And I’m sure I’ll drop in on them from time to time in future books. They get a small mention in One Perfect Summer.

Q4. If 'Johnny Be Good' and then 'Baby Be Mine' were ever to be made into movies, who do you see playing the lead roles of Meg, Johnny, and Christian?

This is a hard one! I actually asked my Facebook and Twitter readers this question recently. In my mind, Johnny looks a bit like a cleaner-cut Kurt Cobain – those beautiful piercing green eyes. Readers have suggested everyone from Johnny Depp to Russell Brand and Josh Holloway (the latter is my preference, I think!) – I’m honestly not sure, so you if have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them! As for Meg, she was based on a character I remember watching on Home & Away YEARS ago! She had leukemia and, ahem, died. She was called Meg as well. And Christian kind of reminds me of the boy from Entourage – Adrian Grenier. A British version though, obviously. They have the same hair.

Q5. Your latest book cover for 'Baby Be Mine' has come under criticism from quite a few bloggers for not matching your previous covers, and being a bit too bland compared to your other books. What is your opinion of it, and were you happy with the change when you first saw it? Also, which is your favourite book cover of all of yours? I have to say mine is probably Pictures of Lily!

I absolutely loved my old covers – I think Chasing Daisy might be my favourite, or Lucy in the Sky. Lucy was different to anything else when it came out, but then other covers came along and seemed to imitate it a little, and it didn’t feel as fresh, so my publishers thought it was time for a change. I was sceptical at first, if I’m honest, but I do like the Baby Be Mine cover – I actually think it’s very pretty. I was a bit shocked when I saw the cover for One Perfect Summer – because it’s VERY different AGAIN! It’s classy, pretty and unique – and that’s the thing about my publishers, Simon & Schuster, they want to make sure my covers are standing out on the shelves and looking unlike anything else out there at the moment. I have a very strong fanbase and I’m very, very lucky, and S&S strongly believe that my books should be getting out there to an even wider readership. They hope that my loyal readers will come with us on the cover journey – because my writing style is unchanged, and everything my readers have come to expect from me is still present and correct. But we’re hoping we might pick up some new readers who might have been put off by the younger, glittery look of my first four books.

Q6. Who are some of your own favourite authors? Could you pick your top 3 'desert island' reads?

Anything by Marian Keyes – I absolutely love her! I adored the Twilight books, so Stephenie Meyer is right up there, too, and I’m always a fan of Lisa Jewell. Sadly I don’t have much time to read – maybe when the kids are in school, but for now all my spare time is taken up with writing or spending time with my husband.

Q7. When you aren't writing books, what do you enjoy doing?

I’m a full-time mum so my days are taken up doing kiddie things – playdates, playgrounds, feeding the giant geese down by the river, zoos, parks etc. We moved to Cambridge in the summer so I also just love parking near the city centre and wandering through the colleges and across the River Cam, armed with an enormous two-seater buggy! In the evenings I usually chill out in front of the telly with my husband. I love going to the movies, too. When I was Reviews Editor of heat magazine, I used to go all the time – sometimes during the day, too! I miss that, sometimes.

Q8. What do you think of the bashing that the term chick lit is getting lately, and what's your opinion of its usage when its applied to female fiction? Do you mind your books coming under the 'Chick Lit' umbrella?

I don’t mind at all. Chick-lit is MY favourite type of book to read, so it is of course the sort of book that I would feel most at home writing. It’s no different to calling a film a chick-flick – which is basically a romantic film aimed at young women. That sums my books up, too, so I’d never be offended by the term.

Q9. You have recently joined Twitter, and you're active on Facebook also. Do you enjoy the interactions these social networking sites allow you to have with your fans, and what would you say is the best compliment you've ever received from a fan about your books?!

I absolutely love interacting with my readers. Nothing makes me smile more than getting messages on Facebook from them. The messages come through to my main email address so I read them as and when they appear, but it can take me a long time to go onto Facebook and reply to everyone individually. When we moved in August, we were without broadband for five weeks, and then my deadline was looming so I’ve only just now replied to everyone from the summer! Now I’m up-to-date though so I should get onto it every few days. I’m still getting the hang of Twitter… In terms of the best compliment, it’s too hard to pinpoint one. The most heartwarming thing is when people tell me they’ve recommended me to their friends – there’s no better compliment than that, and I love the idea of them talking about my books between themselves.

Q10. You have a book coming out this summer, One Perfect Summer, (cannot wait!!) but can you reveal if you're working on a 2013 release just yet?!

I certainly am! I always have the idea for the next book I’m going to write, while I’m writing the one before, so in the next couple of weeks I’ll tackle the synopsis, but I won’t actually start writing until the new year. My head is still so full of One Perfect Summer – I don’t want to let it go, yet!

Thank you so much, Paige!

1 comment:

  1. I love Paige, she's fantastic. Her books are amazing, I've read them all and I have started giving them to my friend, she's up to Chasing Daisy and has fallen in love with them too.