How can you know where you're going... if you don't know where you're from?
Angie has always wanted to travel, but at twenty-seven she has barely even stepped outside the Australian mining town where she was born. Instead, she discovers the world through stories told to her by passing travellers, dreaming that one day she'll see it all for herself.
When her grandmother passes away, leaving Angie with no remaining family, she is ready to start her own adventures. Then she finds a letter revealing the address of the father she never knew, and realises instantly where her journey must begin: Italy.
As Angie sets out to find the truth – about her family, her past and who she really is – will mysterious and reckless Italian Alessandro help guide the way?
Paige Toon grew up between England, Australia and America and has been writing books set in sun-drenched locations around the world since 2007. She has released eleven fiction novels and a three-part spin off series for young adults.
In 2014, Paige set up a club, The Hidden Paige, in order to share free short stories and extra content with her readers.
If You Could Go Anywhere
Author: Paige Toon
Question: How did your own travels inspire the story of If You Could Go Anywhere?
Paige Toon: I've been experiencing a lot of wanderlust lately, so much so that we recently bought a campervan so we could hop across to Europe from the UK, where we live, to see more of the world. In order to research the book, I visited both Italy and Norway.
Question: What was the best part about creating the character of Angie?
Paige Toon: Being able to create any character, to live inside their heads and imagine experiencing things from their perspective, offers an author the most amazing sense of freedom. Angie was especially lovely because she's such a good person and I really wanted the best for her. I've travelled my whole life so it was a challenge for me to imagine never having been anywhere. Angie had never even seen a train, let alone flown on an aeroplane.
Question: How much of your inspiration comes from real life and real people?
Paige Toon: I am occasionally inspired by real people and real events, and also sometimes by fictional characters or situations in films or books – a personality trait or something about the way someone looks might plant a seed inside my mind that will grow into an entirely new character. I'm probably more inspired by real events than real people – mostly my characters are figments of my imagination – I can see them inside my head and they never look like people I know. It's why, when readers ask me who I'd cast as the main characters if my books were made into movies, I always struggle to name actors and actresses. I love hearing my readers' suggestions, though.
Question: What inspired you to make the move from non-fiction to fiction writing?
Paige Toon: I've always written fiction, ever since I can remember. I always thought, one day, I'll be an author. Then, at about the age of twelve, I started reading magazines and thought it'd be fun to become a journalist first. Only when I was older did I realise just how hard those two professions were to get into, and when journalism worked out, becoming an author seemed oddly further out of my reach than ever. As Reviews Editor at Heat magazine, I'd see so many books come into the office, and even though I had the idea for my debut novel, Lucy in the Sky, and knew the start, middle and end points, I just couldn't imagine how I'd ever fill out all of those words in between. I didn't have the courage to begin writing because I couldn't bear the thought of failure. When I got a book deal based on my idea and the first three chapters, writing the book turned out to be easy – it was one of the happiest times in my life. I have so much respect for anyone who has ever written a book with no guarantees of it being published.
Question: What's next for you?
Paige Toon: I need to get stuck into researching and writing my next book. I was all set to get started with that, but a couple of weeks ago I came up with a brand new idea – and I think I might write that book first. I just need to make up my mind one way or the other!
Interview by Brooke Hunter
If You Could Go Anywhere
Author: Paige Toon