What can you tell our readers about your new novel Temptation Island?
Prepare to be scandalised! Temptation Island is a sexy, glitzy, glittering beach read studded with scorching-hot guys, sizzling secrets and surprises galore. It’s about a mega-exclusive celebrity island getaway in the middle of the ocean that is hiding a shattering truth about Hollywood. Three women – Spanish model Lori, spoiled starlet Aurora and British actress Stevie – are drawn to its shores in search of the facts, but nothing can prepare them for what they find.
Where did your inspiration come from for the novel?
Headlines in the press. I’m a conspiracy theorist and like to build stories that explore the difference between media spin and what’s really going on. I’m fascinated by twenty-first-century celebrity and our culture’s relationship with it, building idols as easily as it destroys them. The idea for Temptation Island stemmed from an idea I had about a very famous A-list family.
Where did your inspiration come from for your main characters?
Some are inspired by real-life people (one thing I used to love about Jackie Collins’ bonkbusters was trying to guess who might be who) while others are totally made up. I’m always asked about one of the guys in Hollywood Sinners being based on a super-famous actor, the same with a main player in Temptation Island, but as these scandals are not for the faint-hearted, I couldn’t possibly say which ones!
Why did you decide to write the novel with such a beautiful backdrop?
Islands have an irresistible air of exclusivity, privacy and secrecy; they’re severed from the mainland and exist by their own rules. They connote luxury and indulgence, jewels in the glittering ocean, an ultimate destination that is perfect for a beach-read adventure. I wanted to write a bonkbuster that scorched with sun, sea, sex and secrets, and Temptation Island was the ideal place to set it . . .
This and your previous novel hold a lot of intrigue, how do you go about developing this along the way?
Bonkbusters are all about twists and turns and cliff-hangers. Before I start writing I know broadly what revelations need to come and when, but often my characters will become so outrageous that they introduce a whole new set of juicy intrigues, surprising even me! When I’m chasing a storyline that’s delivering scandal after scandal I know I’m on to a good thing.
Both of your novels are centred around the rich, what is the reason for this?
I’m interested by how extreme wealth changes people and how quickly and easily scruples can bend when there are large sums of cash in play. Riches and fame are today perceived to be the definitive goal, but at what cost do they come? Temptation Island focuses on the mega-moneyed but each character has paid a price to be where they are. When you have everything, what is there left to trade?
When did you decide you wanted to write?
From a young age – it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do, really. I used to try and emulate the books I loved, whether that was Sweet Valley, the Point Horrors, or, as I got older, the bonkbusters that shaped my teens. After university I got a job in publishing where I learned masses about the book industry and the commercial market – I hadn’t planned to pursue a career as an author until later on but the bug caught up with me sooner than I thought. I’m a daydreamer and am happiest when making up stories.
Why were you drawn to the genre of women's fiction?
Two reasons. First, I love to read women’s fiction, and I think you should write what you know and enjoy. Second, I worked for several years as a women’s fiction editor and was familiar with the market. I’d been waiting to see a good old meaty bonkbuster to explode on to the scene but none were quite hitting it for me, so I decided to have a go myself.
What do you have in store for us next?
I’m hard at work on my third bonkbuster novel, which is a glamorous, sexy revenge thriller set in the music industry. Watch this space!
Lucy Walton Female First