Describe Someone I Used To Know as a bio on a dating profile.
PT: On the surface, I may seem easy to read, but I have lots of layers and emotional depth so don’t mistake me for being predictable. There will be moments when we laugh and cry and feel crazy chemistry – I wear my heart on my sleeve so you really will feel it all with me. Life won’t always be easy and there will absolutely be difficult times ahead, but ultimately our relationship will be uplifting. Pick me up if you like the sound of all that, otherwise feel free to leave me on the shelf.
How do you create a unique love story?
PT: I’m only compelled to write stories that feel unique, so although I am sometimes inspired by things I’ve seen or read, it’s only after an idea has brewed inside my mind for a while and developed into something different or unusual that I feel driven to write it. Sometimes I’ll come up with a twist and then I love working out how to pull it off. It appears easier to write romance in a fantasy setting because there are any number of reasons for characters to be kept apart – there’s nothing like a slow-burn impossible love story, in my opinion. It’s what I strive for every time and in the case of Someone I Used to Know, the foster setting provides a good backdrop for a forbidden love story. My character Leah’s parents are foster carers so Leah is used to sharing her home with troubled teenagers. When she’s fifteen, George comes to stay with her and she finds herself getting drawn to him, but nothing can happen between them because her parents wouldn’t allow it. The situation makes for some tense chemistry-laden scenes. At the age of thirty, George is back in Leah’s life, but she now has a daughter and a husband who is not on the scene – again there are reasons for them to keep their distance romantically, but they might not be the reasons you expect.
What makes a great romantic lead in a contemporary romance?
PT: I like male leads to be conflicted – and they are, for any number of reasons. There has to be something that’s keeping them – or the female lead – from rushing headlong into a relationship. When I’m writing, the male lead has to be someone that I could personally be attracted to. I’m living inside my female characters’ heads for months on end, seeing what they’re seeing and feeling what they’re feeling, so the male characters have to be appealing to me as an author, otherwise I’d find it hard to connect to the story.
If you were to give your characters some dating advice, what would it be?
PT: Listen to your head, but ultimately follow your heart.
Which books have you recently read and loved?
PT: I like reading the same sort of impossible love stories that I write – I want to go on an emotional rollercoaster ride and feel heartache and passion and longing. I don’t care if a book is funny, I just want to believe in the characters and their connection. Recent books that have engaged me in this way are The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker, Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane, The Idea of You by Robinne Lee and You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry.
Someone I Used To Know by Paige Toon is available instore and online now.