Saturday, March 16, 2013

Book Spotlight: Arabelle's Shadows & Author Interview with Fleur Gaskin

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Author: Fleur Gaskin
Genre: Contemporary, Adult, Indie
Publication Date: November 25,2012

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Everything in Arabelle's life is coming together. She has confidence, great friends, she's even dating Naak, a wealthy Thai socialite. But there are too many models in Bangkok. Arabelle’s broke, she can’t find an agent in New York, and Naak isn’t as wonderful as he first appears. Slowly the Shadows creep back into Arabelle’s mind, bringing with them thoughts of hopelessness and despair. The vile Shadows know something Arabelle’s refusing to remember and, if she’s not careful, they’ll use it to destroy her. Based on a true story, Arabelle’s Shadows takes us on a journey through the struggles of growing up, not quite making it as an international model, and attempting to overcome a crushing depression.




Interview With Author Fleur Gaskin 

1.For those readers who might not know your work, Can you tell them a bit about the books you write? 

Arabelle's Shadows is my first book. By being in diary form, it gives a raw, personal account of the dark thoughts that accompany depression. Many of Arabelle's adventures as an international model, she travels all over Europe and Asia, lighten the mood of the book. I wanted to write a book about depression, but I didn't want it to be depressing! 

2.What is your perfect writing environment?

Somewhere with lots of light and a chair that sit cross-legged on (I get very restless and shift around a lot when sitting down.

3. You mentioned that it took you ten years to write Arabelle's Shadows. How does it feel now that its completed? 

It's such a relief to be finished. Arabelle's Shadows was based on my own experiences which is why it took so long to write. I wanted to be as truthful as I possibly could and that meant whilst I was writing I was often reliving the worst times in my life. I am happy that I can finally leave my past behind and am excited to move on to writing books that aren't about me!

4.I love the mod design of the cover for Arabelle's Shadows. Who designed it? 

I actually attempted to design the cover myself. I had a cartoon girl with a giant black shadow monster sneaking up behind her. I have the good fortune of having several friends who are graphic designers. I sent it to them, merely asking for their thoughts and comments, and a few weeks later Vasil Hnatiuk emailed me back with a version of the cover I have now. I'd been thinking my cover was quite good, but when I saw Vasil's cover I realised just how amateurish it really was. Naturally I chose to go with Vasil's design!

5.What has been the toughest criticism you've received as an Author? What has been the best compliment? 

When I wrote my first draft and gave it to my friends to read. Some of them came back to me and told me it was too simple and quite hard to follow. It was quite crushing to be realise that I wasn't naturally incredibly talented at writing. I sulked for a little while then I realised that my friends were right my book needed a lot of work and ultimately they helped me write a much better novel.
The best compliment was when someone told me that whilst reading Arabelle's Shadows she started dreaming a lot about her dad. A book that climbs into the reader's subconscious must really be creating an impact.   

6.Can you give us a small (2 or 3 lines) excerpt from Arabelle's Shadows?

Desperately I blinked. Tears were threatening to arrive any second. I felt something cold brush against my arm. I looked down and saw a small patch of my arm hairs standing up. It was as if a ghost had just reached out and touched my arm. I looked to my right, the space was empty but it felt as though someone was sitting there with me, ensuring that I wasn't alone.

7. If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring Author. What would it be?

Don't give up. Keep going, rewriting, rearranging your work until it finally fits together properly. Writing is only a little about talent and a lot more about hard work.  

8.One last question, Can you tell us about any upcoming projects?

I have a plan for a much lighter, more comical novel next. I want at least one character to be from China, which is where I've been living for the past 6 years. There are so many fascinating true stories here, you could pick any Chinese family and turn their story into a blockbuster movie, so many ups and downs.

Author Bio & Links
Fleur Gaskin is from New Zealand. She was an international model for six years, working in over ten countries, mainly in Asia and Europe. She has been in TV commercials, walked on runways and appeared in many magazines including Elle, Marie Claire and Vogue.
She presently lives in Shanghai, China with her fiance.

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