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Carina Catch Up ~ Q&A with Samantha Tonge

Hi there everyone, 

I've managed to organise a very special feature here over the coming weeks. I've managed to secure Interviews with some TOP authors from Carina. Carina publishes all over the world so we have authors from the UK and even as far as Australia!! 

Kicking off "Carina Catch Up" (which by the way, please use the HASHTAG #CarinaCatchUp if you are on Twitter and Social Media), is one of my favourite authors who has written and published the BESTSELLING Game of Scones   which I utterly raved about. 

Please welcome, Samantha Tonge; 

Hi, and welcome to A Page of Fictional Love. It's lovely to have you here for a Q&A. I love being able to do these Q&As because we get to chat with the author of books we love and we meet the real person behind the words.

Thanks so much for having me here, Dawn!

Congratulations on your published novel/s; Being a published author must make you feel so excited? 

Yes, I still can’t quite believe it. It took me eight years or so to get my novel publishing deal, and many times I felt like giving up – but I didn’t. I think perseverance is one of the most important qualities for a writer... along with a good stash of chocolate!

Can you remember the moment that you discovered that you were going to be a published author? 

Yes, my then agent emailed me. There were two offers on the table which were very exciting. It did take a few days for it the news to settle in properly though. My editor-to-be did a print out of comments from members of the Carina team, saying why they liked my debut book, Doubting Abbey. That was special.

What is your experience of being an author? 

There is a lot more to it than the writing, and that surprised me – especially for a digital-first author. All the promotion, to get your book noticed... Luckily I enjoy social media but it can be time-consuming!

As someone who has written extremely short stories, I know how difficult I find the process of writing to be when you're trying to cram all your bursts of ideas in. How do you find the writing process? Are there any tips you have on writing a better novel? 

Look on each chapter as a short story – it must have a good start, good end and not just fluff in the middle. And if you break a novel down in that way, it doesn’t seem as daunting to write.

Can you share with us a typical writing day for you? 

At my desk by eight, catching up with Twitter and Facebook. Then bath and breakfast, um, ahem, anywhere between then and eleven! If I can, I work more or less through until the kids come home from school and then I continue, as they are older now. I am very lucky to be able to write more or less full-time – apart from the moments I really must stock the food cupboards and clean!

Where did your inspiration for writing come from? 

It sounds a bit cheesy, but I always kind of knew that one day I would be a writer. Just a feeling inside – a love of words. I really used to craft letters that I wrote to people and back then the inspiration was a passion for words and sentences. Now it is also about sharing emotions with readers.

What comes first when inspiration strikes; The characters, the plot, or the ending?

With me, it is the title first! Title is everything to me (so it is rather upsetting if it gets changed!) Then character comes shortly before plot.

Do other authors inspire you, if yes, who and why?

Sophie Kinsella has inspired me – creating ditzy character in the Shopaholic series who was loveable as well. And John Green, his teenage voice in The Fault In Our Stars is exquisite. I’ve never read Barbara Cartland, but her output was inspiring. And Stephanie Meyer of the Twilight series, who wrote something so original that grabbed the public’s imagination.

What was it like when you first submitted your manuscript?

The first ever manuscript I subbed was to the Darley Anderson Agency and I was hugely (and naively!) shocked when it came back! I soon grew a thick skin as rejections rolled in over the years, although the odd one always hurt. I think in the beginning I thought that writing a novel was a real feat and it would just, kind of automatically, get published. I had a lot to learn!

What is your biggest “Author Dream*?  

A Hollywood movie based on one of my books. Yes please!

How do you celebrate Publication day? 

Usually low-key, as I am working late into the evening, promoting. But I always have a lovely lunchtime launch party on Facebook and that means everything.

What is it like to hold your paperback/ebook reader in your hand and see the words you wrote available for millions to read? 

Some days it still hasn’t sunk in that people have not only read my work, but enjoyed it. It’s made all the sweat and tears along the way worth it.

What was the last book you read, and what did you enjoy most about it? 

I read Love, Lies and Louboutins by Katie Oliver and loved it! A chicklit book with a bit of a difference, and fast-paced writing which I love.

What would your dreamiest book hero hunk be like? 

Ooh, well my heroes have come in all shapes and sizes  - in my new book, Game of Scones, there is tall, suave, executive half-Dutch Henrik and mocha-eyed, flirty fisherman Greek Niko.... But certain characteristics in all my heroes are very important, like determination, kindheartedness and loyalty.

Following on from your HUGE success of Game of Scones (Congratulations!), What can we look forward to in your *new* book out later this year? 

Well, it’s called My Big Fat Christmas Wedding, so I think that says it all! It is a standalone sequel to Game of Scones.

Are any of your characters based on you? Or someone you know?

The character of Henrik in Game ofScones is based on a charming Dutch flight attendant I met last year. Twitter put us in touch and he has been lovely, sending me photos for promotional purposes.

Before we finish up, can you share where you love for the fictional pages first came from? Perhaps a memory from childhood?

Enid Blyton. I used to read her books in the bath, and still have them, brown and curled, in the loft. They provided pure escapism.

I can't believe this is the end of the interview (sob!) I've had such a great time talking with you I'd love to invite you back to talk more your books in the future. 

I would love that! It’s been huge fun. Thanks so much, Dawn!

From all my readers here and myself, we wish you the very best success with your books, and can't wait to see them listed as a Bestseller! 

Thank you!! xx

Well fictional lovers, I don’t know about you but I really enjoyed catching up with Samantha. I just need to imagine what the dishy Dutch Flight Attendant looks like now to drool over… Ahem, I mean visualise Henrik more accurately ;)

If you haven’t already got yourself a copy of Game of Scones then I strongly urge you to. You can buy it HERE and read my review HERE
. And if you STILL want more from Samantha, you can pre-order her NEW book out later this year HERE.

1 comment

  1. Thanks for inviting me on here, Dawn, the questions were fun!

    Sam x