Author Spotlight with Caroline Khoury
An Interview with Caroline Khoury
Caroline Khoury was born in Beirut to a Lebanese mother and a Welsh father, she grew up in suburban London, recently returning to the UK after more than a decade in Hong Kong, Japan and America. It must be love is her new debut novel. Khoury's hobbies include, art, climbing mountains, dancing and watching Turkish soap operas. Her writing was also shortlisted in the eHarmony/Trapeze competition in 2018. Caroline's debut novel is published by Arrow in 2022. Caroline Khoury is a fantastic new author which I feel so privileged and overwhelmed to be interviewing after the publishing of her debut novel "It must be love". The reason why I am so happy about this interview is because she is an incredibly strong, inspiring and likeable woman, her journey to where she is now is incredible and I have been so excited to watch her journey unfold. I am eagerly looking forward to the future of her writing career.
Your debut novel "It must be love" is known as this years most poignant and romantic love story! What part of your book would you say is your favourite bit?
My favourite part of the book is when Abbie and Oz meet at the peace rally in London and the time they spent together that day and night- all that flirting, the chemistry building, and the first sparks of attraction. I loved writing that and reliving all the marches that I had attended in my youth.
At what age did you realise that you wanted to become a writer? What would you say your favourite book was as a child? I was approaching forty and wondering what direction my life was going to take. I had given up my career in finance in my early thirties when I moved with my family to Asia (for my ex's work) and had a flash of inspiration to write a love story when I was living in Japan. My favourite book as a child was Anne of Green Gables. Such a beautifully written book with fantastic characterisation and the sweetest love story!
With so many sales on Amazon and various other platforms, and incredible reviews found on GoodReads, Instagram and other social networking sites, how does this make you feel and how do you process or deal with any negative reviews?
I am not sure about 'many sales' but I have been overwhelmed with the reviews on Instagram and so grateful for the bookstagram community for their support. I don't really read the reviews on other platforms. Negative reviews are part of the course- you can't expect everyone to like your book and people are entitled to their opinions.
What would you say has been the most valuable piece of advice you have ever been given within writing?
Don't compare yourself to other writers. Everyone is on their own journey and there is room for many wonderful books.
What is the most important thing in your writing space that helps you focus?
It's not really in my writing space, but I find going for a walk with my dog in the park helps me to clear my head and then I can focus more. I also like to have a tidy workspace, so before settling down to write, I like to clear up the room I am in.
Who has been the biggest supporter within your writing career so far?
My mother is probably the biggest champion of my writing. She has always believed in me, and her support means the world to me.
If "It must be love" was made into a movie, who would you pick to play the main characters?
For Oz, it has to be my favourite Turkish actor Cagatay Ulusoy. For Abbie, I like Sophie Skelton who played Brianna in Outlander.
After reading your book myself and totally engrossed in your writing style and imagination, what advice would you give to a writer first starting out?
Try and create a rough outline of your book before you start otherwise you might find you run out of steam after twenty thousand words. Once you start the first draft, keep going, even if you don't believe it is any good. Remember, no one will ever see it. The magic happens in the editing.
What is the first book that made you cry, when you were a child or adult?
It has to be Little Women and when I watched the recent film adaptation, I remembered how much it made me weep as a child.
Your book has been a huge success and you must be so proud of yourself especially with your recent interview explaining your life story. You are an incredible woman. How did you choose to celebrate when your book was published, how did it make you feel?
That's very sweet of you to say, but it is still early days as to whether it is a huge success or not (fingers crossed). I am proud of myself. I went through a lot of difficult times in my private life during the writing process and there were a couple of times I wasn't sure if I could continue, but through sheer grit and determination I did. I wanted to make my girls proud more than anything to show them that anything is possible if you work for it and never give up on your dreams. On the day, I had breakfast with my mum at my favourite cafe and my agent and editor took me out for some lunch in London. Apart from that, I enjoyed interacting with friends and bookstagrammers online who were so supportive. It felt like all my best birthdays when I was a little girl rolled into one.
Have you ever googled yourself? If so, did you find anything surprising?
Yes. I google myself. I think it is good to get a feel of what is out there, and I discovered a site where you could download the book for free so had to flag it with my publishers. Piracy is rife so it is important to know what is out there.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions Caroline. What is next for you in your plans, as I know most fans of your work are eagerly waiting for your next book?
I am currently waiting for line edits on my second book which is already written, and I am very excited to share it. It is a 'friends to lovers' story with more international locations, this time- Cyprus, Mumbai and LA. I am also working on a synopsis for my third book.
Many thanks Caroline for your time and answers in this interview, I wish you all the best for your next chapter and can't wait to see more of your work.
To follow Caroline on social media check out below.