Sunday, 20 July 2014
Author Interview: Samantha Tonge
What does a typical writing day look like for you?
I am fortunate in that I can write full-time, as both my children are now at High School. So, quite often, I plant myself in front of the computer at 8.30 am and don’t move again until 3pm. Tis wonderful for the writing but terrible for the figure!
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book From Paris with Love?
From Paris with Love is the standalone sequel to my debut fun novel, Doubting Abbey. Former pizza waitress Gemma and her aristocratic boyfriend Lord Edward spend a month in Paris – she wants to be a chef and Edward is going into journalism and they can both develop their skills whilst there. Except that things take an unexpected turn after Gemma develops new friendships with a mysterious sexy man called Joe Bloggs (yes, really!) and hot French rockstar, Blade. This is a romantic, action story about Paris, romance and food – what more could a girl want?!
Where did the inspiration come from to set it in Paris and feature cookery?
As a young woman I lived in Paris for a while and adored the city’s romantic atmosphere and treasure trove of wonderful, unique places to visit. It has always held a special place in my heart. The food angle is the continuation of a plot in Doubting Abbey, where Gemma finally realizes that her vocation is to become a chef.
And, of course, who doesn’t like writing about food?!
Are you currently working on a new book? If so, can you tell us anything about it?
Ooh, I am currently working on a Christmas book (yes, seasons are so messed up for writers!) It has yet to receive the official go-ahead from Carina, but involves a suspected haunting, yummy-licious Christmas cakes and a rather hunky gardener called Luke!
Are you a plotter or a start writing and see where it takes you writer?
Definitely a plotter these days. I didn’t plan my first ever novel AT ALL and got to 90,000 words and realized I’d only written four chapters!
If you were going to look back on your career in the future, what do you hope to have achieved?
I really hope, one day, to have physical copies of my books in shops. Dreaming, a movie deal would be amazing... But the most important thing, is to be able to look back and know that I made people laugh and helped them turn a bad day into a more bearable one.
Are there any authors who inspired you when you were starting out on your writing career?
I love Sophie Kinsella, she really has the fun factor in her writing. And I have always been inspired by a childhood obsession with Enid Blyton who offers great escapism.
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Don’t give up. The main difference between a published and unpublished author is the degree of determination and perseverance - and the ability to copy with rejections.
When you’ve finished writing a book, do you treat yourself to a reward?
Er, no, I treat myself constantly throughout the process of creating a book, just to get through it (nice drinks, nibbles) – once I’ve finished it is time to take myself in hand!
Where would be your idyllic location for a writing retreat?
It has to be Paris, doesn’t it? A little flat near Montemartre. Baguette, cheese and wine on the table. Parfait!