Interview with Paige Toon – Author of I Knew You Were Trouble

I am very excited to welcome Paige Toon to Bookbabblers today, as part of the blog tour for I Knew You Were Trouble.

Please tell us a little about yourself
I grew up mostly in Australia, but would spend half of each year in either America or England. My dad was a racing driver, so it would depend on where he was racing at the time. I didn’t see a winter until I was about twelve when we moved permanently to England. I think my upbringing inspired me to write about different countries in my books. I’ve written nine adult women’s fiction books and they’re set all around the world. The Jessie series is mostly set between Berkshire and LA, the latter of which I researched when I wrote my second book, Johnny Be Good. Now that was a fun holiday…

Please tell us about I Knew You Were Trouble and your inspiration for the book
I Knew You Were Trouble is the sequel to The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson, which is about a fifteen-year-old girl who discovers her real dad is a famous rock star. I first wrote about bad boy rock star Johnny Jefferson in Johnny Be Good, and the sequel, Baby Be Mine. In those books, the heroine, Meg, falls pregnant by accident with Johnny’s baby and she wonders whether he has any other children out there that he doesn’t know about. This gave me the idea for Jessie. I love reading YA, so when I was thinking about writing two books a year and my author friend Ali Harris suggested I make one of them YA, I was very excited about the idea.

What are you working on now?
I’m writing my tenth adult novel, which is about identical triplets who, when they were seventeen, all fell in love with the same boy. Now, in their late twenties, one of them is getting married to him. But there are lots of twists and turns…

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Always write what you love, not what you think you should. If you’re not enjoying what you’re writing, chances are your readers will drift and won’t feel connected to it, so skip to a scene you’re excited about and come back to the hard stuff later when you’re more up to it. Also, consider journalism as a way to get into becoming an author. I worked at Heat magazine as reviews editor and it was a lot easier getting a publishing deal when you’re already a working writer. Work experience is a very good way to get into the publishing industry, but you might have more luck making a good impression if you get work experience at a smaller magazine where journalists have a bit more time to pay you attention! I got one week of work experience at Neon film magazine (it closed down soon afterwards, sadly) and asked if I could stay on another week and clean out their video cupboard. Afterwards, the editorial assistant asked me to do holiday cover for her. When I left, having done a month in total, I asked the editor to please think of me if he heard of anything coming up. A few months later I got a call from the editor of teen magazine Big (another one which sadly closed down), and that was my first job in the industry. I started at the bottom and worked my way up to Heat Reviews Editor.

Can you tell us about your typical writing day?
It has always revolved around my children. As of last September, my daughter went to school along with my son, so I have loads of time to crack on. Prior to that, the only book I wrote without it having to be around children’s nap or short nursery stints was Lucy in the Sky, my debut novel, and I wrote that while doing my full time job at Heat. My most recent book, The Sun in Her Eyes, was the easiest book I ever wrote thanks to school! After the kids go to school, I get ready and catch up on social media and any blogs or interviews I have to do before writing, breaking for lunch and then writing some more. Usually I only really get into the swing of it an hour or two before the kids come home, but it works really well on the whole. I’m very lucky.

Thanks, Paige! Look out for our review of I Knew You Were Trouble, which will be up soon.