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.What got you into writing? I’ve always wanted to write – it wasn’t a choice, it was just something I did. To be able to write for a living is so crazily brilliant, it still makes me laugh.
2.What is a usual writing day like for you? I drop my kids at school and nursery then go to a local coffee shop and write for four hours (squeezing in some Twitter & Facebook, too), then collect my daughter from nursery and play!
3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? I usually have a tricky spot during all of my books and I’ve just had a nasty bout of writers block for Thirteen Weddings, where I stalled for about a week, just as I was approaching my deadline. I asked for a two-week extension to take the pressure off, then went for a couple of long walks until my characters started talking to me inside my head again!
4.Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to writing a story? I usually plot loosely, then let the story take me where it wants to go. I didn’t plot enough with Thirteen Weddings though – hence the writers block probably!
5.What was the publishing process like for you,& any advice to aspiring authors? I was very, very lucky and got a book deal based on an idea (for Lucy in the Sky) and a synopsis and the first three chapters. But I worked at heat magazine and had met publishers, so I had an ‘in’. Don’t underestimate the power of already being a working writer – it’s worth considering journalism as a stepping stone to a publishing deal.
6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? Reading my Amazon reviews for Lucy in the Sky, my debut novel. Hearing that ordinary people read and loved my book, and could feel all of the emotions I felt when writing it, was the most amazing thing ever. Reading my reviews is still the highlight, even now.
7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. The Longest Holiday came out earlier this year and is about a girl who goes on a girls’ holiday to get away from something awful her husband has done – she falls hard for a hot scuba diving instructor and doesn’t want to go home again to face the music. Johnny’s Girl is an ebook short story which came out in November and it’s a sequel to Baby Be Mine, which gives us an update to Meg and rock star Johnny, telling us how they cope when he finds out he has a fifteen-year-old daughter he never knew about. Her name is Jessie, and in January comes the first of a new series of books about her – an ordinary girl who finds out her dad is a rock star. It’s called The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson. I’ve also just finished my next adult chick-lit book Thirteen Weddings, which comes out in May and is about a wedding photographer who falls for a groom…
8.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? Hang out with my family, catch up with friends, go to the movies.
9.If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be & why? Oh, the pressure! I’ll change my mind as soon as I press send on these questions and it will bother me for ages, but for now I’ll say Mrs Chris Hemsworth or Bella from Twilight.
10.Do you have anything that you want to say to your readers? You guys never fail to amaze me with your continuous love and affection for my books. Please keep your messages and reviews coming – and come say hi on Facebook.com/PaigeToonAuthor or Twitter @PaigeToonAuthor if you haven’t already. Love ya!