There are Authors whose work you admire for their phenomenal ability to tell stories in such a unique way. Gill Paul is that Author for me!
I first came across her work when I read The Lost Daughter and completely FELL IN LOVE!
Never had I seen historical fiction that was based on real people, where the stories did such justice to the characters they mentioned!
I’m thrilled to be able to interview Gill today, and want to thank her for this opportunity!
Q: What inspires you to write your books?
A: I write about real women in history whom I think have been misrepresented or marginalised by historians, and my goal is to stand in their shoes and try to imagine what it felt like to be them.
Q: Is there any truth in the storyline of any of your books that relates to your own life?
A: Of course! In trying to see through the eyes of my characters, I am inevitably using my own experience. I haven’t been an opera singer, like Maria Callas, but I know what it feels like to put myself forward for public scrutiny. I haven’t lost a husband, like Jackie Kennedy, but both my parents have passed away so I can understand a bit about loss from those experiences.
Q: What have been your favourite moments of being an author?
A: Hearing from readers, getting lovely reviews, and hitting bestseller lists are all very special, but the best bit for me is when I’m immersed in writing a new novel and can feel it’s working. That’s the best feeling in the world.
Q: What motivates you to keep writing?
A: The joy of writing. Plus, I have no other talents so it’s the only way I can earn a living.
Q: How do you come up with the plots of your books?
A: My novels are based on real historical events and characters, so I start by reading all the research and gradually the story I want to tell reveals itself to me.
Q: Of all the books you have written, which would you say is the most special to you or your favourite and why?
A: My favourite is always the one I’m currently working on because I’m living it. If you twisted my arm, I’d have to say I have a soft spot for The Lost Daughter, a novel about Maria, the third daughter of Tsar Nicholas of Russia.
Q: Are there any characters that have felt so real to you that you feel you could keep writing about them?
A: All of them. In every one of my novels, there is at least one character I find it hard to let go of. At the moment, I’m missing Lady Evelyn Herbert, my heroine in The Collector’s Daughter. She’s adorable!
Q: If you could choose to have an exclusive book club with three authors, dead or alive, who would you choose and what would be your ideal discussion to have with them?
A: Dorothy Parker, Jane Austen, and Edith Wharton. They all wrote about relationships, and all had a wickedly cynical edge to their writing, so I would ask them about love. What a fun book club that would be!
Q: What books do you currently have on your bedside table?
A: I’m reading an ARC of my friend Liz Trenow’s new novel Secrets of the Lake. I love her books and this is no exception. After that I’m looking forward to Tana French’s The Searcher, which everyone raves about.
Q: What book is your latest, or releasing soon and can you tell us a little about it?
A: I’ve always been passionate about Tutankhamun, and a couple of years ago I got to wondering about Lady Evelyn Herbert. She’s in all the photographs of the discovery of the tomb in 1922 but it was her father, Lord Carnarvon, and the archaeologist Howard Carter who got the credit. What was Eve’s story? That’s what I explore in The Collector’s Daughter, coming out in September.
Q: What is the kindest thing a stranger has ever done for you or said to you?
A: When I left university I wanted to work in publishing so I sent my cv to virtually all the publishers in London. Five women contacted me saying they didn’t have a job available but if I wanted to go for coffee they would give me advice on the industry. These meetings were incredibly useful, and I’m grateful to this day for the time they gave me. I try to pass on the favour now by helping young people who want to write or work in publishing.
Q: Lastly, something fun that our readers might not know about you?
A: I’m a year-round swimmer in a Pond near where I live, and in winter this can mean melting a channel in the ice. I’m also a curry addict and grind my own spices to make exotic concoctions. Heat and cold: I like the extremes.
Title of latest book: Jackie and Maria
Blurb of latest book:
The President’s Wife; a Glamorous Superstar; the rivalry that shook the world…
Jackie Kennedy is beautiful, sophisticated, and contemplating leaving her ambitious young senator husband. She is madly in love with him but life in the public eye with a man who is obsessed with politics and seems incapable of fidelity is breaking her spirit. When they are invited for cocktails on the luxurious yacht owned by billionaire Ari Onassis she is intrigued to meet him…. little suspecting that the encounter will ultimately change her life.
Maria Callas is at the height of her operatic career and widely considered to be the finest soprano in the world. And then she’s introduced to Aristotle Onassis, the world’s richest man and her fellow Greek. Stuck in a childless, sexless marriage, and with pressures on all sides from opera house managers and a hostile press, she finds her life being turned upside down by this hyper-intelligent and impeccably charming man…
Little by little, Maria’s and Jackie’s lives begin to overlap, and they come closer and closer until everything they know about the world changes on a dime.
About the Author:
Gill Paul is the bestselling author of ten historical novels, many of them describing real women she thinks have been marginalised or misjudged by historians. Jackie and Maria looks at the way Jackie Kennedy’s and Maria Callas’s lives began to overlap as they became rivals for Aristotle Onassis, and her forthcoming novel The Collector’s Daughter, due out in September 2021, is about Lady Evelyn Herbert, a remarkable woman who was part of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb. Gill lives in London with her partner, who is a light artist, and loves wild swimming year round.
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