Monday 8 April 2013


What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Fleur Gaskin. I was born in Wellington, New Zealand. I currently live in Shanghai, China.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
Yes I always wanted to be a writer. I announced to my teacher when I was 12 that I was going to write a novel and be the world's youngest author. I also planned on being a vet and a famous actress. 

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
When  I was three quarters of the way through my novel Arabelle's Shadows. One day I realised that I wasn't struggling so much any more, things came naturally to me. I'd faked it till I made it into a reality. 

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
Arabelle's Shadows. A model travels the world learning about the fashion industry, love, friendship and how to respect herself. 

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I have two or three new books formulating  in my head.  I can't wait to write them! They are all  going to be different genres.  

What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I wrote Arabelle's Shadows as a Young Adult book because it's my absolute favourite genre. I feel like YA books can have a depth and darkness to them, a raw emotion that seems to disappear as book characters get older. 

Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
My favourite character is Bee. He's not in the book for a long time but I love him anyway. He shows Arabelle that there are good guys out there. It's important to remember that, though there are lots of bad people in the world, there are also people who are kind and giving simply because that's the right way to be. 

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I play a ridiculous amount of spider solitaire before I write a single word. It helps me clear my mind. 

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Yes I do. Please let me know. I want lots of reviews!

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
Absolutely not! If I only had positive reviews then people would be very suspicious. I know my book is not for everyone. I've read plenty of books that I hated but other people absolutely loved. Besides perhaps a bad review will encourage other people to read or review my book simply because they like to disagree with other people!

Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I know where the book is going before I write a single word. I like to plan! I can't imagine just letting the book go off on it's own path. But perhaps I will experience this in the future.

Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
Yes I've had lots of writers block. It used to stress me out and make me feel super useless. Finally I worked out that you get writers block because writing is a creative process. Sometimes you have to wait until the inspiration pops into your head. So now when I get writers block I try to relax, do lots of different activities until the answer magically appears in front of me.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
Arabelle's Shadows was based upon my own experiences. It was really, really hard. I wanted to tell my story as truthfully as I could, but not the story of my friends and family as they are entitled to their own privacy. So all of the other characters in my book are either a blend of a few different people that I know or made up.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Don't give up. And expect everything you write in the first draft to be terrible, that's okay it gives you an outline to improve on. Also be prepared for criticism. It sucks, but don't take it out on those who provide their honest opinions. Once you get over the hurt you'll realise that their ideas will help you write an even better book. 

If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
J.K. Rowling, John Marsden and William Shakespeare. 

Where can readers follow you?

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Don't forget to enter the YA GIVEAWAY 31st March 2013 ~ 26th April 2013 for your chance to win this book amongst other great titles in the Giveaway!

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