Good morning everyone I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour today for One Thousand Stars And You by the Broom today. As well as sharing my review I also have a great Q&A with the author for you!
One Thousand Stars And You is published on the 23 August in ebook and paperback. You can pre-order a copy of both here.
Before I share my review and Q&A with you here is a little bit about the book.
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.
Q&A with Isabelle Broom:
1.) Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Oooh, where to start? How about five random facts?
1) Before becoming an author, I had jobs as a barmaid, cinema manager and travel agent – sometimes concurrently.
2) When I was little, I had an obsession with Care Bears and spent hours creating make-believe stories with my big collection of plastic poseables.
3) My signature dance move is the Running Man.
4) I have been in the back of police cars in England, Lanzarote and Zakynthos in Greece, yet have never been arrested…
5) The one thing I couldn’t live without is laughter.
2. What do you do when you are not writing?
So many things! I have a very busy life, which is both a blessing and a curse, depending on what stage I’m at in the writing process. At the moment, I’m freelancing for a magazine in central London, so commuting in from Suffolk every weekday. I’m also midway through the Joe Wicks 90-Day Plan, which involves early morning workouts and late-night batch cooking. I go to as many bookish events as I can, socialise with friends, hang out with my brilliant boyfriend, walk my dog, watch TV dramas, read and review books, keep up with all my social media channels, host competitions, clean my house, look after my plants, plot new books and plan my next big travel adventures.
3. Do you have a day job as well?
I’m a freelance production editor and I’m still heat magazine’s Book Reviews Editor, both of which keep me extremely busy. One of these days, I might feel like a bona-fide full-time author, but I’m not there quite yet.
4. When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I wrote stories as soon as I could hold a pen, pretty much, but looking back, I wish I had appreciated the full year it took me to write My Map Of You a bit more, because once you sign a contract and have deadlines to meet, you never get that luxury of time back. By the time the edit was done in September 2015, it felt like I’d had a good amount of time with it – about 16 months in total. I dream of having that same generous window of time again.
5. How did you choose the genre you write in?
I messed around with a few genres over the years, but I always came back to stories about people and their relationships with one another. Escapist romantic fiction contains both travel and love – two things that fascinate me – and hopefully that passion comes across in the writing. A wise author bird once told me to write the books that I want to read, and I have never forgotten that piece of advice.
6. Where do you get your ideas?
They can come from anywhere and everywhere. A tiny nib in a local newspaper, a listener ringing in to a radio show, my friends, my family, my relationships, people I happen to meet on trains, planes and buses. There is inspiration in every nook and cranny of the globe – you just have to be willing to look for it.
7. Do you ever experience writer’s block?
I think it’s more inspiration block than actual writing. I’m only human, and sometimes life intrudes and makes it difficult to concentrate – in both a good and bad way. Creative writing sounds like a dream job, and much of the time it is, but there are days when you have to force yourself to sit down and keep on plugging, even though it feels utterly impossible. I would say that having a good schedule and lots of notes helps, as does a quiet place to write. I do much of my work in busy offices or on the train at the moment, which is proving to be rather frustrating.
8. Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I have learned over the course of five novels that it is imperative to have a plan – and the more detailed it is, the better. Structuring can feel like the boring bit if you’re a burgeoning author, but the more of it you do at the start, the less painful your eventual edit will be. Trust me on that!
9. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
Jilly Cooper! I read, reread and then read again all her Rutshire novels in my late teens and twenties. In fact, I still read them now. She nails character like no other, and everything about her books and the world she created within them is fun, feisty and fabulous. If I ever write books as clever and brilliant as Jilly’s, I’ll be very happy.
10. Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
Behind every debut novel you read, there will be at least two or three more by the same author that never made the grade – and that’s 100 per cent the case with me, too. I made a few attempts at novels and was told “thanks, but no thanks” – but I took all the feedback on board and did my best to learn from my mistakes and improve my craft. The wonderful thing about writing is that the more you do it, the better you become. Nothing you write will ever be a waste, because each completed work is a step towards a proper published novel.
11. Is anything in your book based on real-life experiences or purely all imagination?
There is plenty in all my books that has been based on things that happened, and in One Thousand Stars and You, there are loads. The skydive, for example, is something that I did for the first time earlier this year and knew it would make an amazing scene in a book. I would never have been able to write about an experience like that having not done it, and I remember clearly thinking of how I would put it into words as I plummeted screaming through the air!
12. What was your hardest scene to write?
My second novel, A Year and a Day, was probably the toughest to write. I was going through some stuff in my personal life at the time, and although this meant I could transfer those feelings of helpless despair into the book, it also meant delving deep into my own turmoil to do so. As an author, though, I think it’s important to be courageous and to share as much of yourself as you can. That is the way I write, and hopefully the way I always will. If you have a foundation of absolute truth in your work, you can’t go far wrong.
13. How did you come up with the title?
One Thousand Stars and You was the brainchild of my former editor, Eve Hall (who now works at Hodder & Stoughton). It’s the first title that I haven’t come up with myself, and it’s also by far the best – ha! I’m so grateful to her, because it’s everything I hope the book is: magical, romantic, intriguing…
14. What project are you working on now?
I’m halfway through the first draft my sixth novel, which I can’t say too much about yet, but I can reveal that the setting this time is New Zealand. I was there at the start of this year and it’s honestly the most incredible country. Up there with the best I have ever had the pleasure of exploring.
15. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
It does get my goat when reviewers accuse me of not visiting the settings of my novels, because I always make sure that I do, and that I undertake thorough research while I’m there. A Google Image search does not an authentic and evocative novel make, and I would never try to imagine what a place was like without actually going there. The best compliment I get is when people choose my settings as their holiday locations, which has happened many times now and feels simply miraculous. Through my little story, they’re able to create a new story of their own. See – magic!
16. Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
As always, just a huge THANK YOU for choosing to read my books when there are so many out there. And a promise: that I will continue to write the biggest, boldest and best stories I can, and I won’t stop until my fingers drop off. Or a Running Man-related injury renders me incapable, natch…
Ooh I do love Isabelle Broom’s books. They are always such fantastic summery reads that are a joy to read. I don’t tend to read a lot of women’s fiction but I always make an exception for her books.
The author’s descriptions of Sri Lanka were wonderful and they have definitely made me want to visit there as soon as possible. I loved traveling through this beautiful country with Alice and her friends and learning more about its sights and history. The author makes you feel like you are really there experiencing everything alongside the characters which helped make the book a truly delicious read.
The story is told from the point of view of both Alice and Max and it was fascinating to have both sides of the story. The author does a great job at making these two voices very individual and realistic with Max’s part being typically male at times. I so enjoyed watching the relationship between these two characters develop and found myself willing them to get together as I thought they would be good for each other. It was great to see how they rubbed off on one another and helped each other especially as they’d both experienced trauma of some kind.
This is a fantastic story that is easy to get immersed and lose a few hours or more in. The story flows beautifully and the love story between Alice and Max, along with the group’s exploration of the Island ensures that the book is hard to put down.
This is Isabelle Broom’s 5th book and I can’t wait to read more from her. Huge thanks to Laura Nicol and Michael St Joseph for my copy of this book and for inviting me onto the blog tour. If you like wonderful feel good books that just transport you to another country then you’ll love this book.
About The Author:
Isabelle Broom was born in Cambridge nine days before the 1980s began and studied Media Arts in London before joining the ranks at Heat magazine, where she remains the Book Reviews editor. Always happiest when she is off on an adventure, Isabelle now travels all over the world seeking out settings for her novels, as well as making the annual pilgrimage to her true home – the Greek island of Zakynthos. Currently based in Suffolk, where she shares a cottage with her dog Max and approximately 467 spiders, Isabelle fits her writing around a busy freelance career and tries her best not to be crushed to oblivion under her ever-growing pile of to-be-read books.