Why I like an unrequited love story by Paige Toon
As anyone who has ever read one of my books will know, there’s nothing I like better than an unrequited love story. And what could be more unrequited than a wedding photographer who falls in love with a groom?
I first had the idea for Thirteen Weddings when I went to four weddings in one summer – no funerals, luckily. I remember musing that it must be weird to be a wedding photographer, to be an important part of a bunch of strangers’ Best Days Of Their LivesTM, yet know so very little about them.
Then, of course, as it has a tendency to do, my over-active imagination ran away with me and made me think, ‘Imagine if you were in love with the groom and had to photograph him getting married? ARGH!!!!’
And so Thirteen Weddings was born. The number in the title could have been anything, but I thought thirteen had a nice ring to it, and it’s also a very manageable amount of weddings to pack into the course of one book. Not that I wrote about all of the weddings in detail, but the ones I did are based almost entirely in reality.
Many of my lovely readers were kind enough to share their wedding stories with me on Twitter and Facebook, but I also had an amazing amount of help from two real-life wedding photographers: my friend and former bridesmaid, Hannah Waddington from www.bluebirdweddingphotography.co.uk and a woman named Lina Orsino from www.linaandtom.com.
Hannah, who is the picture editor of Brides magazine, also helped me with my magazine picture desk research. As for Lina, we got in touch after she won a bid in a local charity auction to have a character named after her in my next book. At the time she had no idea that my next book was set to be about a wedding photographer – it was a crazy coincidence and I would have been lost without her help. It was Lina herself who gave us the book’s tagline: ‘Always the photographer, never the bride,’ although, since then, the ‘Tom’ in linaandtom.com proposed and they’re getting married later this year. Lina is now in the tricky position of having to pick and choose details from all of her favourite weddings over the years to create a dream wedding of her own.
This reminds me of walking into Accessorize and then turning and walking straight back out again because there’s just SO much I want to buy that I end up buying nothing at all. (Odd comparison, I know – and I’m certain Lina is much better at decision making than I am!)
Anyway, my regular readers will hopefully be happy to know that there are updates from a few characters from past books, including Lily and Ben from Pictures of Lily and Alice and Joe from One Perfect Summer. Bridget from The Longest Holiday also plays a major part, and there’s another small cameo, but I’ll save that surprise for the book…
One chapter of Thirteen Weddings sees One Perfect Summer and Pictures of Lily collide. I plan to write this chapter from the point of view of either Alice or Lily and will email it out as part of the first edition of ‘The Hidden Paige’, my new free club for readers. If you haven’t signed up already, please visit www.paigetoon.com so you don’t miss out. I’ll also be asking you to vote soon for Alice vs Lily, so stay tuned!