Chanel has jetted in for a round of Twenty Questions to celebrate her debut release, I See London released earlier this month by Harlequin HQN.
ACT ONE – all about you...
Chanel Cleeton writes New Adult contemporary romances. Her New Adult debut, I SEE LONDON, will be released by Harlequin (HQN) on February 3, 2014, followed by a sequel, LONDON FALLING, on July 7, 2014. An avid reader and hopeless romantic, Chanel is happiest curled up with a book. She has a weakness for handbags, puppy cuddles, and her fighter pilot husband. Chanel loves to travel and is currently living an adventure in South Korea.
1) Have you always been a writer or is it something you fell into?
It’s sort of something I fell into. I’ve ALWAYS been a reader. Books have played a huge role in my life. From there I progressed to writing. Once I caught the writing bug I was a goner :)
2) Do you have a particular writing style or ritual?
I don’t! I wish I did. My schedule is a bit chaotic right now so there’s really no method to the madness. The only thing that is normally a given is that I always write short and then add more when I’m editing.
3) Is there a book or an author that has influenced you in your writing?
Everyone :) I’ve been reading romance novels since I was ten years old so the romance genre has been a huge inspiration for me. Authors like Nora Roberts, Judith McNaught, and Brenda Joyce changed my life.
4) Is there one piece of writing (or life?) advice that has stuck with you, or that you would like to share?
Write daily. Nora Roberts gives that advice and it really helps to make writing a habit.
5) Can you tell us three things about yourself that we probably don’t already know?
I can’t whistle, my first language was Spanish, and peas are my least favorite vegetable.
6) What five luxury items or gadgets would you hate to be without?
Ooh this makes me realize how bad my technology addiction is…my iPhone, laptop, Kindle…actually I think that’s it. Three’s not so bad :)
ACT TWO – all about your new release...
Maggie Carpenter is ready for a change— and to leave her ordinary life in South Carolina behind. But when she accepts a scholarship to the International School in London, a university attended by the privileged offspring of diplomats and world leaders, Maggie might get more than she bargained for.
When Maggie meets Hugh, a twentysomething British guy, she finds herself living the life she always wanted. Suddenly she’s riding around the city in a Ferrari, wearing borrowed designer clothes and going to the hottest clubs. The only problem? Another guy, the one she can’t seem to keep her hands off of.
Half French, half Lebanese, and ridiculously wealthy, Samir Khouri has made it clear he doesn’t do relationships. He’s the opposite of everything Maggie thought she wanted…and he’s everything she can’t resist. Torn between her dream guy and the boy haunting her dreams, Maggie has to fight for her own happy ending. In a city like London, you never know where you stand, and everything can change in the blink of an eye.
7) Congratulations on your recent release of I See London, what was your inspiration for writing Maggie’s story?
When I was seventeen I moved to London to attend an international university. It was an incredible, life-changing experience. I wanted to write a story about a girl who had a similar adventure in her life.
8) Did the story flow from your finger tips or did some scenes take a bit of cajoling?
In the beginning the book was a bit challenging because it was my first attempt at writing New Adult. But once I settled in and caught my stride it began to flow really well. I just needed my characters to tell me their story :)
9) I realise I See London is your debut, how long did it take for the initial spark of the story to make it onto the page and then onto the publisher’s desk?
I started writing the story in October of 2012, we went on submission in May 2013, and had an offer in June. I wrote the book through one of the CRAZIEST times in my life- I was working, finishing my final year in law school, and preparing to move to South Korea. I literally got my agent’s notes on the manuscript as we were boarding our flight to Seoul. It was hectic and exciting :)
10) Do you have a favourite paragraph or sentence from your story that you would like to tantalise us with?
“There was something magical about London nights, something in the air that whispered possibilities—and adventure on the horizon. It was in the air tonight.”
11) Over to you, what can you tell us about I See London, to make us rush out and buy it?
I See London is set at an international university in London. The characters are from all over the world and bring unique life experiences with them. It definitely provides for a different take on the traditional university experience. Plus, there’s the added bonus of trips to Paris and Venice and a very swoon worthy half French, half Lebanese hero :) It’s a romance but it’s also very much a story about following your dreams.
12) What can we expect from you next? Is there something you are working on right now?
The sequel to I See London, titled London Falling, will release from Harlequin HQN on July 7th. I just turned it in to my editor last month. I have two NA projects in the works right now but they’re still “in development.” :)
QUICK FIRE ROUND – it’s pop quiz time...
13) Plotter or pantser?
14) Digital books or print books?
15) Tea or coffee?
16) Extrovert or introvert?
17) Facebook or Twitter?
18) Christmas or birthday?
19) Morning person or night owl?
20) Sweet or savoury?
And that’s a wrap!
Thank you so much for taking part, Chanel, I wish you every success with your new release.
To discover even more about Chanel Cleeton, and to keep up with her latest projects and shenanigans, you can visit her at:
Buy it now...
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Released: 3rd February 2014
Barnes & Noble
(not currently available in the UK)