Q&A with Paige Toon

by - October 29, 2013

When Paige Toon offered the chance to do a Q&A I was very excited. It's wonderful to get the opportunity to delve into the minds of great writers!


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.

Paige Toon's short story e-book, 'Johnny's Girl', is out on November 7th, and is available to pre-order now on kindle and iBooks for £1.99! Paige's new novel 'The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson is scheduled for release on 30th January 2014. Be sure to check it out!!

Q: For anyone who has not read 'Johnny Be Good' and 'Baby Be Mine', could you please give us a brief history about Johnny and Meg?
A: Meg went to work for bad boy rock star Johnny Jefferson in 'Johnny Be Good'. She fell hard - and he fell for her too, but scared of committing, he pushed her away. She later fell for his best friend Christian, but Johnny found out and came back for her. They had one last fling - and she fell pregnant but didn't know who the baby's father was. In 'Baby Be Mine', she's living in fear because she's certain that her baby is Johnny's and not her boyfriend Christian's. It's very, very messy, but the truth comes out and she tries to put things right. Johnny comes good and the end of the book sees them getting married. 'Johnny's Girl' should be their happily ever after - but then Meg discovers that Johnny has a 15-year-old daughter by one of his first groupies...

Q: What made you decide to write 'Johnny's Girl' as a short story e-book, rather than a paperback novel?
A: I came up with the idea for a young adult spin-off series, the first of which comes out in Jan 2014. It's called 'The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson', and is 15-year-old Jessie's story when she finds out - after the death of her mum - that Johnny is her biological father. I wanted also to tell the story from Meg's point of view - to set the story up for my current readers, and also to give Meg another shot at being 'the voice'. I didn't feel compelled to write a whole full-length novel - and certainly wouldn't have had the time this year to do that, because I'm also writing my next chick-lit book, 'Thirteen Weddings' (out May 2014).

Q: Did you have to do any travelling/research to help with writing 'Johnny's Girl'?
A: Not much, because I went to LA to research 'Johnny Be Good', so I already knew the locations I wanted to set it in. I basically re-read 'Johnny Be Good' and 'Baby Be Mine' so I was back in the Johnny zone! I did also go to Maidenhead to research where Jessie would live, work and socialise, though.

Q: Pick  words to describe 'Johnny's Girl':
A: Sexy, fun, anguished.

Q: When writing 'Johnny's Girl', did you suffer from any writer's block; if so, how did you overcome it?
A: Not really. It was actually so lovely to be back in Johnny and Meg's world, writing about them being in love and happy together - I didn't get to do enough of that in 'Baby Be Mine'.

Q: To begin writing a sequel, is there anything you have to do to get emotionally connected to the characters again?
A: I just re-read the books - that was enough to put me back in that headspace. It's funny, sometimes I think my readers know my books better than I do! Certainly some of them have read them more than I have... I should probably ask you lot what to write!

Q: Will 'Johnny's Girl' be your last story focusing on Johnny and Meg, or is there more to come?
A: 'The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson' kicks off a whole series of books set in Johnny and Meg's world, although Jessie will be the main protagonist. I think there's every chance I'll want to give Meg back her voice at some point - maybe in the form of another ebook, or maybe a blog. I don't know, but stay tuned!

Q: Do you see any characteristics of yourself in Meg?
A: All of my characters have some of my characteristics, but equally they're completely their own people. Meg's more into pop music, I'm more into rock, she struggled with her first year of parenthood, I absolutely adored every second of mine. But we do have a lot of the same silly thoughts!

Q: What are your views on film adaptations of books? Would you like to see Johnny and Meg's story adapted for the big screen?
A: I'd love to! That would be so much fun. Can I have Chris Hemsworth in the starring role, please.

Q: Finally, do you have a favourite quote from 'Johnny's Girl'?
A: I posted this one on Twitter actually. I like Johnny's response to Meg but I'll post hers too. It's when she's just found out about Jessie:
'Don't you feel sorry for yourself!' I all but shout. 'I should have known this was going to happen when I married you!'
'But you did marry me!' he raises his voice in return, his expression fierce. 'For better or for worse!'

Thank you so much to Paige Toon for taking the time to answer my questions. I, for one, can't wait for the 7th to get my hands on 'Johnny's Girl'. Make sure you pre-order your copy!!

You can follow Paige on:

Twitter: @PaigeToonAuthor
Facebook: PaigeToonAuthor
Website: Paige Toon

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