Books, Blogs, and Bits
is proud to present,
the fabulous FLEUR GASKIN!
BB & B: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Fleur: I’m from New Zealand but I haven’t lived there for the past twelve years. I’ve been living in Asia mainly– with a year in Europe and six months in New York.
I traveled a lot because I was an international model. These days I live in Shanghai with fiancé and my two cats. I tutor English for an income but most of my time is spent working on my novels. I do yoga for exercise and I really miss living near the ocean.
BB & B: What inspired you to write your book?
Fleur: When I first began to write Arabelle’s Shadows I wanted to expose the world of modeling for what it really is, not how it’s portrayed in the media. Modeling is not as glamorous as it may appear and when I was modeling I often felt that the fashion industry was taking advantage of young girls who didn’t know how to stand up for themselves.
Then I started writing the novel and it formed into something else. Modeling in Arabelle’s Shadows is now mainly just the setting. The story is more about depression and Arabelle struggling to learn how to love herself. In the end I was inspired to try and show that no matter how bad things are, if you just keep going, keep trying, eventually things will get better.
BB & B: What was the hardest thing about writing this book? Can you explain why?
Fleur: The hardest thing about writing Arabelle’s Shadows was talking about the depression. If you have been depressed before and have dealt with your issues then the best way to stay healthy is to not dwell on your past any more. It is a terrible idea to replay in your mind your worst thoughts over and over again. Bringing up the memories of my darkest moments and then attempting to turn them into words was really tough. I had to work hard to make sure my depression did not return. But, as with many tasks that are extremely difficult, in the end it was all worthwhile. Writing Arabelle’s Shadows was very therapeutic and now that it’s done I feel like I have left my past behind and am now a whole new person.
BB & B: If there is one lesson, one message, or any one thing you can share with your readers, what would that be?
Fleur: Love yourself. Accept yourself the way that you are. If you don’t like something about yourself, change it or forget about it. It’s very difficult to find love and happiness if you don’t already love yourself. That’s what Arabelle needed to learn. That happiness doesn’t come from wealth, beauty or dress size. That another person cannot solve all your problems for you. Happiness comes from within.
BB & B: What do you love best about being an author?
Fleur: My new favorite thing about being an author is being quoted. Often when people write reviews they quote something from the book and I’m always amazed at the sentences they find. I read the quote, think that it’s really quite lovely and then I realize I wrote it! It’s all very surreal.
BB & B: What can fans expect from you in the future?
Fleur: I am working on a novel at the moment about being good. I’m hoping it will be more lighthearted than Arabelle’s Shadows. I have no idea just yet which genre it will fall into. I do know that it won’t be based on my life which will make it a lot easier to write!
BB & B: Do you have any tips for new writers?
Fleur: Your first draft probably won’t be very good and that’s okay. Just get something down on paper and then develop your storytelling skills from there. When I wrote Arabelle’s Shadows I had to rewrite it over and over again. And every time I thought it was done, someone would come up with another thing that needed changing. I learned not to take criticism as an insult to my writing skills, but rather as helpful guide to improving my book. Because I kept going and going even when things were all going wrong I ended up with a piece of writing I am really proud of.
If you’d like to find out more about Arabelle’s Shadows, here’s a little summary to whet your appetite:
Everything in Arabelle’s life is coming together. She has confidence, great friends, she’s even dating Naak, a wealthy Thai socialite. But there are too many models in Bangkok. Arabelle’s broke, she can’t find an agent in New York, and Naak isn’t as wonderful as he first appears. Slowly the Shadows creep back into Arabelle’s mind, bringing with them thoughts of hopelessness and despair. The vile Shadows know something Arabelle’s refusing to remember and, if she’s not careful, they’ll use it to destroy her. Based on a true story, Arabelle’s Shadows takes us on a journey through the struggles of growing up, not quite making it as an international model, and attempting to overcome a crushing depression.
You can purchase Arabelle’s Shadows at the following retailer:Barnes & Noble
Be sure to follow Fleur, by visiting her at: