Paige Toon Gives Us a Tour of her Office Transcript
Hello, I’m Paige Toon, and my book The One We Fell in Love With is part of Zoella’s Book Club Exclusive to WHSmith. I thought you might like to see where I write my books, and this is my office. It’s pretty small.
The other thing you’ll notice about my office is that it doesn’t have a door, and the children’s bedrooms are literally right outside. I didn’t want to be shut away from them, but it does mean that I do all of my writing pretty much when they’re at school. I’ve got a nice view across the fields, but it gets pretty hot in the summer so I tend to leave the blinds shut. I’m going to just shut them now so that I can see a bit better in here.
Okay, so first thing you see when you walk into my office is a massive pile of books on the floor that I still haven’t managed to sort out. I get sent loads and loads of lovely books, there are more up here, which is fantastic. Definitely one of the perks of being an author but it is difficult to find time to read them all.
And I have a little height chart here. And you can see that mummy! – that’s me – is the height of genius. Yes. Also I’ve got a couple of posters here on the wall. Both of Cambridge, which is where I live. I actually moved to Cambridge at the point in the story that I was writing One Perfect Summer. My – there it is – my fifth book!
Quite a few of my foreign editions. I have published in about I think 13 or 14 different languages. And I recently got sent this copy here which is hilarious, it’s Lucy in the Sky in Russian. I love it. Check it out. How cool is that? I think the chinese one of Lucy in the Sky is my favourite with all the characters, but that’s downstairs on another bookshelf. So what else have we got here? Here we go! That is my dad! He won Le Mans in 1983. We’ve got these little mini versions of his cars. And yeah, got a bunch of other cars here that he used to drive, which my husband has been collecting for my sons, so at the moment they’re here in my office and at some point hopefully we’ll be able to stick them somewhere else. What else have I got? I’ve got my mugs, which were designed by one of my readers. Got all my favourite boys there at the front. And the same reader designed this amazing infographic. I did a competition a couple of years ago, and she designed this infographic and somebody else designed this one, showing how some of my books are linked.
You can see what I’m working on at the moment. My next book, The Last Piece of my Heart. And there’s a tiny little bit of a sneak preview for anyone who’s interested. On my desk I’ve got a notepad and very very messy writing. I write all of my books on the computer but I do make notes, especially if I’m doing research. And in fact, speaking of research, I’ve got all of my research books down here, which I got out of the library. My next character is a travel writer so I just wanted to kind of really get a sense of the kind of places that she might have gone. And I do try to visit all of the places that I’m writing about. As many as I can anyway. I just really find it brings the story to life. And I write all of my books to music so those are my noise cancelling headphones which are really really useful if for example I’ve got the kids in the bath, that is the bathroom right there so you can imagine the noise that comes from that direction.
Ever since writing Lucy in the Sky back in 2006 I’ve really liked to visit the places that I’m writing about. I think it’s really important when doing research to be able to see what the heroine is seeing and feel what she’s feeling when she’s sitting in that particular place. So for Lucy in the Sky I went to Sydney, For Johnny Be Good I went to L.A., Key West for The Longest Holiday and for The One We Fell in Love With I went to Chamonix in the French Alps. I actually went there on a summer holiday with my family, and it wasn’t until I was there and I found the mountains so inspirational that I decided to set a big chunk of this book there.
The One We Fell in Love With was definitely the hardest book I had to write because I was writing about triplets and so I had to get inside the heads of three different characters within the same book. Phoebe, she’s adventurous and she climbs mountains and couldn’t be further from the sort of person that I am, I’m never going to go trapsing up a mountain. So to connect with her involved a lot of research and it really helped going to visit Chamonix, and she works at the top of the Aiguille Du Midi and sometimes that involves staying overnight by yourself or with one other person, which I just found absolutely terrifying, the idea of this, but after being inside her head for the year that it took me to write this book, plus all the editing time and research time, it was really amazing going back this summer because we went up to the top of the mountain again and this time I just tried to embody Phoebe, and it didn’t feel anywhere near as scary as it did the first time around.
My girls are triplets, they’re identical triplets, they look exactly the same but they are really really different in personality. You know about Phoebe, she climbs mountains, Eliza is an aspiring singer-songwriter. I used to write loads of songs when I was younger, haven’t done in a while, probably just as well. But I could connect to her in that respect. And as for Rose, she is a nurse who goes to work in a bakery so I needed to learn how to bake bread. That was kind of fun, getting to see how that was done. Research is really important, because if you don’t understand your characters then you can’t really get inside their heads and write from their perspectives, so I had to do a lot of research for this book, and yeah hopefully it paid off!
So anyway, that was me talking about The One We Fell in Love With. I’m Paige Toon, hope you enjoyed seeing inside my office. I probably, better get back to work! So see you later. Bye!