Interview: Zoë Foster, Author of The Wrong Girl

Where did you draw the inspiration for The Wrong Girl’s wonderful cast of characters?

All my book characters are based on someone I know or have met. Or, more accurately, a kind of Frankenstein of several people. I do this to make them especially engaging, but also to protect the identities of those people they’re based on/my assessments of them.

Why Mudgee (NSW, Australia)?

It’s known to be a bit of a foody area, and I liked the idea of Jack being a good country lad and small town hero, rather than a big shot from a fancy city restaurant.

What’s your favourite way of eating peanut butter?

Ooh, good question. Either in milkshake form, Gelato Messina form, or mixed through lovely hot porridge with some banana and honey.

What were the challenges – if any – in bringing The Wrong Girl to life?

It was a delightful book to write, it really was. I would say that finding a conclusion that left my protagonist both happy and morally accountable in the reader’s eyes was probably my biggest challenge.

Why writing?

I enjoy it; it doesn’t feel like work to me in the slightest. That people enjoy reading what I write is a complete bonus… I fear I would still be thumping away at my keyboard even if they thought the end product was appalling.

What’s the hardest thing about writing?

For me it’s making sure my brain is sharp enough, ‘on’ enough to create good stuff. If I’m tired, or exhausted, or jittery and distracted (the difference between one coffee and two), I’ve done my writing a disservice, and I find it’s better to just drop the façade and come back later.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

Ricky Martin, probably.

What’s your writing quirk?

Hair up. Can’t write with my hair down, it’s impossible.

What book do you wish you had written?

Eat Pray Love. I was on holiday once and saw seven different women around the pool reading it. Seven! What a phenomenal buzz that would be for an author to see. Also I wouldn’t mind having written Twilight/The Hunger Games. People seemed to like them.

What’s your comfort read?

I love reading Dave Barry (US columnist) when I need some light relief or a bit of inspiration. He is dazzlingly good.

What are you reading at the moment?

I have several birth books on the go. I feel very much like I’m back at Uni, studying for a big, inevitable and quite terrifying exam.

What’s next for Zoë Foster Blake?

I’m launching an all-natural, confidently simple skin care line called Go-To on April 1, which sounds like a made up date but I assure you is not. Having been a beauty editor for 10 years I thought I’d try my hand at the other side.

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TITLE: The Wrong Girl
AUTHOR(S): Zoe Foster
PUBLISHER: Penguin Random House
ISBN: 9780143572411

Emma is an ardent writer, reviewer and editor. She currently lives in Orange, NSW, where she shares her time between writing, undergraduate studies in Linguistics and French (oui, c’est vrai!), and her “day job” as a yoga teacher. Emma especially enjoys reading women’s fiction, contemporary fiction and the classics.

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