Paige Toon: A Self Portrait
Paige Toon Revealed
About Paige Toon
What is your birthdate?:3/12
Previous occupations:Before I became a journalist and then an author, I had summer/temping jobs as a waitress, receptionist, in customer services and in telemarketing, so I know to always leave a tip and to be nice to people on the phone, no matter how annoying they may be!
Favorite job:Being an author, of course! And I love being a full-time mum – it's the only reason I could bring myself to leave heat magazine, because I loved that job!
High school and/or college:Mt Barker High School in Australia, then Altwood School in Maidenhead, Berkshire, followed by the University of Greenwich in London.
Name of your favorite composer or music artist?:U2, Blur, The Verve... Don't have a favourite.
Favorite movie:Strictly Ballroom, Dirty Dancing, The Notebook, Twilight, The Hunger Games – can't choose!
Favorite television show:Kath & Kim – hilarious! An Idiot Abroad 2, Alan Carr's Chatty Man, Never Mind The Buzzcocks and The X Factor are all recent must-see TV shows for me.
- Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
- A. Australia, England, heat mag, author, wife, mum, Cambridge
- Q. What is your motto or maxim?
- A. Think the worst and you'll be pleasantly surprised
- Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
- A. Seeing my children laugh at each other – pure, unadulterated bliss!
- Q. What’s your greatest fear?
- A. As a mother, this will always be anything bad happening to my children – my overactive imagination has been known to keep me awake at night!
- Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
- A. If I could click my fingers and go to Australia in an instant, I would love to give my parents, brother and the rest of my family a hug, and go for a cup of tea at the houses of my oldest friends – I miss them.
- Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
- A. I wouldn't have a clue! Someone with a tendency to be a little melodramatic, probably.
- Q. Which living person do you most admire?
- A. Too hard to say – my husband is impressing the hell out of me at the moment as he's designed our new house. Massively respect my dad who became a racing driver against all the odds – and my mum, who had to watch him risk his life while caring for two little kids – so many drivers lost their lives back in those days. And my brother, who's a top menswear designer in Australia and who is so creative and cool - he came up with the titles for some of my books, too. Cheers, bro!
- Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
- A. 'That behaviour is completely unacceptable!'
- Q. What do you regret most?
- A. I wish I hadn't invited the idiot around who let my pet budgie out of his cage when I was a teenager. Our dog Mishka caught him - with her teeth. Trixie was the coolest bird ever. He said loads of words, and would use inflections, so he'd say: 'good, good, good, NAUGHTY, BAD boy!' You could teach him to say pretty much anything. He used to climb into my dad's cereal when he wasn't look and kick the cornflakes around. The day I got braces on my teeth, he nearly fell off my finger backwards, he was so shocked when I opened my mouth - hilarious!
- Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
- A. I wish I could play the piano and guitar really well, or be fluent in another – actually, make it several – languages.
- Q. What is your greatest achievement?
- A. Apart from being Indy and Idha's mum, it would have to be getting a book deal - which was one of the happiest days of my life. Writing a book a year while still being a full-time mum can be a challenge, but I know how lucky I am.
- Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
- A. Thinking I know best when (very, very rarely, ha ha) I don't.
- Q. What’s your best quality?
- A. My mothering (and hopefully not smothering) nature!
- Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
- A. It'd be fun to be a successful actress with a killer body to go with it. But only for a while – I like my life! Actually, scrap that, I'd like to be a bird so I could fly. Yes, I know I sound like an eight-year-old, ha ha.
- Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
- A. People have said it's my smile. But plenty have taken the mickey out of my laugh!
- Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
- A. Edward. Sigh. Or Jake... Swoon.
- Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
- A. Lex Luther from the Superman movies. Kevin Spacey did a good one! That Superman was pretty hot, too...
- Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
- A. Anne Boleyn. 'Don't marry him; he's going to lop off your head!'
- Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
- A. I'm pretty intolerant of incompetence. I also get annoyed with the daily calls from telemarketers. At our old house in London they always used to ask to speak to Mrs Shambalah - who? Now they're always electronic recordings so you rush to the phone and have to slam it down in disgust.
- Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
- A. Am I going to bore you with the 'being a mummy' answers? Sorry, but it's the truth!
- Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
- A. Secret agent. Sometimes I miss working in the heat office, too, but being a full-time mother came first.
- Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
- A. Kindness, sense of humour, honesty
- Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
- A. Pasta with tomato, basil, mozzarella and parmesan.
- Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
- A. These change all the time. A few years ago when I wrote Lucy and Johnny, it was: Radiohead's Talk Show Host, The Verve's Bittersweet Symphony, U2's With Or Without You, Kingmaker's You And I Will Never See Things Eye To Eye, and The Killers' When You Were Young. But I wrote The Longest Holiday listening mainly to songs like Kal Lavelle's Shiver (this reminds me of Leo), Ellie Goulding's Anything Could Happen, Ai Se Eu Te Pego! which has a fun Latin feel, Youth by Daughter, and a few of James Arthur's songs which he performed on The X Factor!
On Books and Writing
- Q. Who are your favorite authors?
- A. I love chick-lit so Marian Keyes is my all-time favourite – especially The Other Side Of The Story – and Lisa Jewell is great, too. I also love the teen/adult crossover series by Suzanne Collins, Stephanie Meyer, JK Rowling and Philip Pullman.
- Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
- A. Everything by the authors mentioned above, but I also loved Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary, Arthur Golden's Memoirs Of A Geisha, Carolyn Parkhurt's Lorelei's Secret, Dan Rhodes' The Little White Car, and Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones
- Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
- A. I would read Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series again, and I can't wait to read the Harry Potter books to my children when they're a bit older.
- Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
- A. If you're not enjoying writing it, chances are your readers won't enjoy reading it, so if you're stuck, start afresh or move onto another scene you want to write instead.
- Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
- A. How could you do that to us, ending Johnny Be Good in that way! Please write a sequel!!! So I did...