Welcome back to BreakfastAtShelbys, I’m so happy to have you return and give us all the behind-the-scenes gossip of your newest release – which I absolutely adored by the way!. How about we kick off this interview with you telling us all about ‘As Luck Would Have It’?
Thanks for having me, Shelby! I’m so glad you loved As Luck Would Have It!
The book is a romantic beach read about a 32-year-old single mum called Natalie whose life isn’t quite what it seems. Despite running her own successful PR business, Natalie has wound up living back home with her mum after things went badly wrong with her fiancé. Although Natalie keeps up appearances on social media, in reality, she’s a bit lost. Then she wins a holiday in a raffle and due to an administrative hiccup, ends up jetting off with her first love from her school days, Will.
Your two main characters, Natalie and Will, are forced to go on a romantic getaway for two in an unlucky turn of events during a raffle – Who would you love to be accidentally paired with for a getaway? This can be friends, a family member, a celebrity, etc.
Oh God, that’s a tough one! Maybe Thom Yorke as I love him and perhaps a getaway would bring us together!
Was there any monumental moment from your own life that inspired you to create Natalie and Will’s story or was this purely made from the wonderful imagination you have?
Actually, the idea for Natalie and Will ending up on holiday together through a twist of fate was inspired by a story I read in the news years ago. It stuck in my mind as it seemed like a real-life rom com. A 28-year-old Canadian man, Jordan Axani, had booked a round-the-world trip with his long-term girlfriend, but when the relationship ended, he didn’t want to miss out on the holiday. With the ticket booked in her name, and completely non-transferable, his only choice was to either go alone and waste his ex’s ticket or find a stranger with the same name that he could go with. He made headlines by posting an ad on Reddit for a travel companion – who must be called Elizabeth Gallagher like his ex and have a Canadian passport.
After receiving hundreds of emails, Jordan found a suitable Elizabeth Gallagher and the pair embarked on their trip, taking in New York, Milan, Prague, Paris, Bangkok and New Delhi.
I absolutely loved this quirky story and it planted the seed in my mind of writing a rom com about a holiday bringing two people together.
Before or during writing ‘As Luck Would Have It’, did you get the chance to visit Morocco yourself and experience the same as Natalie and Will did?
I’ve been to Morocco three times. I absolutely love it! It’s such an exotic and beautiful place, you feel like you’re very far away from England yet it’s only three hours away and flights are really cheap.
When writing As Luck Would Have It, the characters win a romantic getaway for two. I could have set this somewhere like Spain or Italy, but I felt like doing something a bit different. I wanted my characters to feel slightly outside their comfort zones and since I love Morocco and know it fairly well, I wanted to relive it on the page, so I decided the holiday would take place there.
I found the whole fake marriage situation absolutely hilarious, especially when they went as far as taking wedding photos that was definitely my most favourite scene of the entire book! What was your favourite scene to write about throughout the process of ‘As Luck Would Have It’?
I really enjoyed writing the fake wedding photos scene! So glad you enjoyed reading it too!
I think my favourite scene to write was the raffle scene, where my main character, Natalie, ends up winning a getaway to Marrakech. The raffle is part of a charity fundraiser in the local village hall, and it’s where Natalie runs into Will, her first love from back at school, who she hasn’t seen for nearly two decades. I enjoyed writing the awkward interactions between them as their paths cross again!
Who was your favourite character(s) to write about throughout the book? Tell us a little about them!
It has to be Natalie! The heroines in my other books have all been in their twenties, unlucky in love and a little lost when it comes to their careers and sense of direction. Natalie was a departure from that as she’s 32, has her own successful PR business, she’s a single mum, and all in all, a very strong woman. You could say she’s been unlucky in love, but she’s not down on herself about it. She’s been hurt in the past and her number one priority now is the wellbeing of her daughter. I feel like if I met her in person, I’d really like and respect her, and I definitely enjoyed writing about her.
If you could describe ‘As Luck Would Have It’ in three words, what would they be?
Funny, sweet, heartfelt.
Lastly, are you able to share anything at all regarding upcoming projects that are currently in the works? I can’t wait to see what you have for us next!
I’m working on a thriller at the moment, actually! I’m taking a bit of a break from rom com, but I do intend to write another one at some point. Maybe next year or the year after. I have a few ideas so there will definitely be more to come!
As a big fan of Thrillers, I am so excited for this! Thank you so much, Zoe, for being on the blog again – you’re always welcome here for a chat!
Read my book review for ‘As Luck Would Have It’ here.