Written in the Stars | One Thousand Stars and You | Blog Tour and Q & A

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for One Thousand Stars and You by author, Isabelle Broom. I’ve read a book of Isabelle’s before and thoroughly enjoyed it, Isabelle is sure to increase your want to travel, but first a little bit about the book.

Blurb

One spark will light up both their lives

Alice is settling down. It might not be the adventurous life she once imagined, but more than anything she wants to make everyone happy – her steady boyfriend, her over-protective mother – even if it means a little part of her will always feel stifled.

Max is shaking things up. After a devastating injury, he is determined to prove himself. To find the man beyond the disability, to escape his smothering family and go on an adventure.

A trip to Sri Lanka is Alice’s last hurrah – her chance to throw herself into the heat, chaos and colour of a place thousands of miles from home.

It’s also the moment she meets Max.

Alice doesn’t know it yet, but her whole life is about to change.

Max doesn’t know it yet, but he’s the one who’s going to change it.

Star Review – 4 Stars

A wonderfully, cute story. Set in the backdrop of Sri Lanka, this book will have you grabbing your own passport and wanting adventure. With a safari, temples, mountains to climb and monkeys, you’ll feel like you visited the wonderful country without leaving your sofa.

Alice and Max are fabulous characters, each with their own haunted past but their determination to do something for themselves is a tick up the butt for all of us too scared to try something new (myself included!)

Well-written, perfect summer read with a happy ending.

And now to the interview, read on below for Isabelle’s answers to a few of my questions.

1. First off, can you describe the book in 5 words.

To quote the lovely Rosie Walsh, it’s the “ultimate will they won’t they”.

2. What inspired you to write One Thousand Stars and You?

Oh gosh, so many things. I don’t think it’s ever just one single moment that stimulates my
inspiration, more a combination of things that drip into my mind like percolating coffee. But I can tell you that one of the first ideas for this book came to me at a party in London, where I met a man who had a huge impact on me. It wasn’t a romantic spark, as such, more just an undeniable meeting of the minds, one which reminded me just how rare and miraculous real connection can be. You can’t fake it; and when you find it, you’ll do anything to keep hold of it. I knew after that night that I wanted my next set of characters to have that same instant connection, because I knew it would throw everything they thought they knew into disarray, thus creating a meaty first plot point.

3. The book is set in Sri Lanka. Do you have a favourite place you’ve travelled to?

That is such a toughie, because there are things I love about all the places I have visited.
Zakynthos, where I set my debut novel My Map Of You, has to be right up there at the top – but it’s more a second home than a holiday destination. I absolutely LOVED New Zealand, which I visited for the first time earlier this year. As the Love Island contestants would say, that place is “a bit of me”. It’s beautiful, friendly, clean, relaxing, inspiring and full of opportunities for adventure – perfection!

4. How do you select the names of your characters? Are they based on anyone?

Sometimes the names just pop into my head, and other times I spend ages trying to pick
them. Max in One Thousand Stars and You is named after my beloved dog. I always knew I wanted to name a character after him but was waiting for the right fit, and I adore Max
(both of them). I often run competitions to win the chance of becoming a named character, too, and host polls on my Author Facebook Page where people can suggest names. Some characters have had their names changed at the edit stage, and I still think of them under their original guise, which can be very confusing! As far as basing characters on people goes, I haven’t ever done that. I don’t think it would work for me, simply because there would always be a limit on how deeply I could develop them. When the cast are 100 per cent created from your own imagination, there’s no limit on what you can do with them.

5. I love Alice’s character, I love how spirited and adventurous she is. Do you have a
favourite character in the book?

Oh, I’m so glad you like Alice. I am very fond of her, too, and I can sympathise with that
need she has to keep others happy. I was a “yes” person for many years, and in some
respects, I still am – but I have taken steps towards being be less of a human carpet. A big
part of growing up is learning to put yourself first sometimes, because if you don’t, you will never be truly happy. And if you’re sad, the people around you will be sad, too. Simple as that. Of all the characters in this book, though, I think Max has the biggest part of my heart. He came to me such a long time ago, and I still think about him every day, despite the fact that I’m now writing a whole other novel with a brand-new cast.

6. Do you have any kind of ritual when you write? (e.g. a certain place, a certain mug of tea or hot drink?)

To be honest, I’m on the go so much that I’ve had to develop the skill to write absolutely
anywhere. I’ve penned novels in airport lounges, a beach taverna in Zakynthos, my little
office in Suffolk, a piano bar in Prague, on long-haul flights, trains – you name it. As long as I have my trusty laptop with me and something to write on and with, then I’m all set.

7. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before
beginning a book?

When it comes to location research, I like to simply rock up and go on a wander. I walk for a while, explore the area and take photos, then pitch up at a café or on a park bench/fallen log/bar stool and scribble down my observations. These can cover everything from how a place looks, to how it smells, what sounds I can hear and how being there makes me feel. It’s impossible to know how a setting will affect you until you’re there, which is why I would never write about an area I hadn’t visited. I need the full experience, and I need to immerse myself in a location as much as I can before I begin to write about it. Plus, often when I’m away doing research, I will learn things about the country or city I’m in that enrich the plot, or even add an entirely new strand. It’s a magical process, and one that takes as long as it takes. Unfortunately, however, I can’t spend all my time travelling. Not yet, anyway…

8. What was the hardest scene to write?

I think for me, getting to grips with the character of Max and his PTSD was the toughest part of writing One Thousand Stars and You. I did extensive research into limb loss, blast injury and the trauma that ex-servicemen and women go through, and it was tough at times. That said, meeting people who had been through the same ordeal as Max was incredibly humbling – not to mention inspiring, and between them they helped me to shape Max into a far more intricate character. Writing about him experiencing pain of any kind was difficult for me, because by that stage in the process I was naturally madly in love with him.

9. The UK is currently in the midst of a summer heatwave and many readers are taking the time to read in the shade. What’s your summer read?

Because I review books each week, I’m often reading three consecutively. I have a proof of a new one that I read on the commute, then another upcoming title on my Kindle, which I dip into at lunchtimes, and then an old favourite on Audible, too, which I listen to as I’m walking from place to place and last thing at night. At the moment, I’m reading a proof of VOX by Christina Dalcher, The Helpline by Katherine Collette on my Kindle, and listening to Riders by Jilly Cooper on audio. The latter I have probably read at least ten times before, but I don’t care, because I love it!

10. And finally, what’s your dream travel destination? (Real or fictional)

All I’ve wanted to do since leaving New Zealand is go back there, so I would have to pick that as my top choice. That said, I have trips to Zakynthos, Athens and Canada all pencilled in for the second half of this year, so who knows how I’ll feel by Christmas. Another place I have always dreamed of going is Hawaii, but for a proper holiday rather than to research for a book. Now I just have to find a spare grand or so for the flights… *grits teeth*

Thank you so much for answering my questions Isabelle and good luck with the publication!

Be sure to follow along with the rest of the blog tour on Twitter and check out One Thousand Stars and You – out now!

One Thousand Stars and You Blog Tour.jpg

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