Today I’m joining the blog tour for The Paradise Chapter. I’m sharing my Q&A with the author with thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on the tour and to Blake Salazar for answering my questions!
Have you always wanted to write?
Yes. Even as a child, I remember scavenging an old-fashioned typewriter and beginning to write a murder mystery-type of story. Which of course I never finished! But I continued to write in different ways and always admired the idea of ‘writers’, such mysterious creatures.
What were your previous jobs? Have they helped you with your writing process?
I’ve had several careers by now, all very different from each other. In one, I was immersed in the world of super luxury and despite the fact that I cherish the experience and what I learned from it, I don’t really wish to revisit that world. But I think that all my varied experiences have fed into my writing. I am a jack-of-all-trades, a bit of a magpie and writing is the perfect way to express this.
What was your inspiration for The Paradise Chapter?
I have spent the past few years working remotely and so I decided to travel while working. This opened my eyes to the entirely parallel world of Digital Nomads. I didn’t see any depiction of these people in books or the media, so I thought it would make for an interesting topic. Also, non-nomadic people kept asking me about this lifestyle so I knew there was curiosity.
How do you construct your characters? Do they have traits of people you know?
It varies. Sometimes a character just pops into my head fully formed, other times it is a drawn-out process where I write letters or journal entries as that character. And sometimes yes, they will have traits of people I’ve met but, mostly, they are all different aspects of the me!
What does your writing process look like? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
For this book, the story came to me almost complete, top to bottom, so I just sat down to write it (albeit in spurts). The next novel instead is much more planned out. Neither process is easy, for me at least. It just depends on how formed the original idea is.
How did you research? Did you enjoy it?
For this novel I didn’t need to do any research, as I was (and am) living the kind of life the characters are living, a life of totally untethered work. And I have also spent a lot of time in Thailand, where the book is set, so that even when I was writing in other locations, I could conjure up the sights, smells and feelings of Thailand without too much effort.
Who are your favourite writers? Are you influenced by them?
So many! Currently I am really enjoying reading the Expanse novels by James S. A. Corey, but sadly I do not think I am suited to write sci-fi. I also love classic authors like Agatha Christie and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
If you could invite three people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be and why?
Agatha Christie, see above, Nelson Mandela and David Bowie. I think they would have a lot to talk about, it could be a really fun dinner party!
Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
I don’t really want to be controversial here, but probably a certain orange-haired US politician… I do not think I could stand even a few minutes in his company.
Who would play the main character/s in a film version of The Paradise Chapter?
This is a very good question because, when the idea first came to me, it was to make it into a TV series. I ended up writing a novel but in my mind’s eye I see them all very clearly. Sadly, my mind didn’t pick any famous actors for my vision!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Surprisingly (!), travelling is the big one for me. I’m almost always on the move. Reading, for pleasure and not just work. Hiking. Board games.
What is next for you?
More travel. This year I would like to go to at least one country/location I haven’t yet visited, likely in Latin America. And spending time with family. I am still catching up with lost family time due to the pandemic, it might take me a while as they are scattered all over the world.
Agatha Christie’s And then there were none
The Royal Tenenbaums
Chocolate chip cookies (crumbly, not doughy)
The Paradise Chapter is available from Amazon.
You can follow the rest of the blog tour here: