A short time ago, I met another Canadian romance author in one of my Goodreads groups. I was immediately caught by Zoe York’s book What Once Was Perfect and determined to read it, especially after chatting with Zoe and seeing what a fun person she is.
Well, it has become one of my fave books of the year. I don’t say that lightly. I loved it, and was so happy to hear it is actually part of a series. I asked Zoe to join us here and am so pleased she answered a few questions for me. So sit back, read on, and enjoy Zoe’s interview!
1) What inspired you to create your Wardham series? Is it based on a real place?
I grew up in small towns, and Wardham is a combination of a number of those places I’ve lived and visited. Goderich, Orangeville, Chesley, Port Stanley, Southampton, Port Elgin, Picton … I could list beautiful Ontario towns for paragraphs! The simple beauty, friendly people and potential for a number of interconnected stories made a small town series an easy choice.
2) Do you create characters totally from imagination or do you seek inspiration in real people?
Each character I’ve written so far has a bit of something familiar to me in them, but the rest of their personality is pure imagination. Laney is a doctor because I work at a medical school. Kyle renovated his house because we’re renovating our house. I know a lot of teachers. Carrie and Ian (from Between Then and Now, my free novella) are a little bit like me and my husband, but only in the ways that they’re like a lot of married couples.
3) Laney and Kyle’s relationship in What Once Was Perfect is full of angst and fear of loving. How hard was it to write?
Harder than I expected. Their story started as a novella, and I thought it would be easy to get them to reconnect. And it was, physically. They fall into bed in a fast and furious way. But then it just didn’t feel done, and it took me months to expand the book to include a full emotional journey. Getting two successful people in their 30s to admit that their paths in life weren’t making them happy was a challenge.
4) Do you enjoy writing sex scenes or are you one of the writers who cringe while penning them?
Love them. The first few were challenging, and I looped around them and kept going, leaving a “MORE HERE” note for myself. But now? I’m working on my third Wardham manuscript, and I can’t wait to get to the next sex scene. Bring it on, let’s get dirty. It’s such an important part of a romantic relationship.
5) How far do you plan to expand the series?
I have outlines up to book 6. I’m going to write the Wardham series in trilogies (maybe with an extra short or novella tossed in each round). This year, it’s Laney, Karen and Evie, with the bonus novella. Once I finish Evie’s story, though, I’m going to take a break from Wardham and write some other stuff. Then return in 2014-15 (see how I think in academic years?), but after book 6? I don’t know. That might be the end of it. We’ll see!
6) Who inspires you as a writer? Who do you read?
Who don’t I read? I think I’m at 78 books in my Goodreads challenge this year. But my biggest fangirl squeals are for new releases by Victoria Dahl and Pamela Clare. Victoria inspires me to look critically at my own work and not be afraid to write feminist heroines. Pamela writes my all time favourite series, The I-Team books, and I’d love to tackle a deeper, darker project like that. I’m in awe of how she does it. My first loves, the ones that got me hooked on contemporary romance, were Jill Shalvis and Rachel Gibson, and I still devour their books.
Quick answer questions:
– Pierce Brosnan or Daniel Craig? Both, preferably at the same time. If I must choose just one, Daniel Craig.
– rock or pop? Rock
– strawberries and chocolate or oysters on the half shell? Strawberries and chocolate
– top or bottom? Bottom
– back massage or foot rub? foot rub that goes up the calf and finishes behind the knee
Zoe York lives in London, Ontario with her young family. She has an English degree and works at a university, so it was probably a foregone conclusion that she’d write a romance novel one day. She’s currently working on her second full-length novel in The Wardham Series.
Zoe has just released a novella to introduce The Wardham Series, which is free at most booksellers. Between Then and Now is currently available at:
KoboBooks | Smashwords | Amazon | iTunes | Barnes & Noble
The first full-length novel in the series, What Once Was Perfect, is also available:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes
Follow Zoe around the internet:
ZoeYork.com | @zoeyorkwrites | Zoe’s Facebook Page | Goodreads | Pinterest