Author interview – Chantal Gadoury

Thrilled to introduce Chantal Gadoury, a talented author with an incredible knack for storytelling. Her upcoming book, Until the Last Page, promises to be a captivating read, filled with rich characters and a compelling plot. Chantal has a unique ability to blend romance, fantasy, and real-life emotions into her narratives, creating stories that resonate deeply with readers. With several successful books already under her belt, she’s known for her vivid imagination and engaging writing style. Keep an eye out for Until the Last Page—it’s sure to be another gem in her growing collection.

Hey Chantal Gadoury, it’s great to have you with us at The Top Author. Can you tell us a bit about your journey as an author?

Hello! I am the author of the upcoming release “Until the Last Page.” This novel is actually my 11th publication, which is incredibly exciting! I graduated from Susquehanna University with a B.A. in Creative Writing, which I suppose means that I know what I’m doing (but very much don’t!) I grew up always wanting to be a published author and dreamed of the day when I’d hold a book with my name on it in my hands. It’s very surreal to see the collection of novels I have written and accumulated.

Great to know! So, what sparked your passion for writing? Would you like to share any early memories of writing?

When I first saw the Nickelodeon movie “Harriet the Spy,” I wanted to be just like her. I wanted a composition notebook and I wanted to write everything I saw and everyone that I knew, and I can attest that I definitely got myself into some trouble as a young child doing so. That love for writing only developed further, as I started creating my own stories based on movies I watched. I re-wrote “Titanic” (with drawings, mind you) with a much happier ending. I cut up coloring books and re-created stories for my little sister. Fast forward to when I was 14, I spent my entire summer in front of my computer, writing. I started having writing journals with my high school friends, where we’d take some of our favorite anime characters and build new worlds around them. That love of writing and creating fueled my desire to go to school for creative writing. Years after my college career, I was still writing in communities and outlining my first “novel.” I loved being inspired by the things that I watched as I grew up, and was drawn to creating my own stories; it’s certainly shaped me into the writer that I am today.

You mentioned building worlds around your favorite characters. Now, when you create characters for your stories, do you draw inspiration from real-life people or experiences?

To be honest, both! I’d claim that in almost every one of my novels—previously published and about to be published—there are bits of my friends and loved ones. I often write my dad into my books; after the sudden loss of him, it was a way of keeping his memory alive. I sometimes draw inspiration from the people around me, their habits, and the things they might often say. In “Until the Last Page,” I actually drew on a monumental moment in my life and made it another character’s experience too. I think it really all depends on the character and the situation, but I leave little Easter eggs—though I don’t always mean for anyone to really find them or understand them.

“Until the Last Page” is available for pre-order on Amazon here.

the top author chantal gadoury
  • Save
Pre-order your copy from Amazon

 

What habits and routine do you have as an author?

As irresponsible as it sounds, I really don’t have a writing routine. At least, not something that I can officially claim as “what I do when I write.” Each story takes shape differently. Sometimes, I buy myself a notebook to write down ideas, and whether I actually use it is something else entirely. I’ll create a Pinterest board to get an idea of what a story might look like, or what the characters look like. I’ll create a playlist of movie scores to build out what the story feels like emotionally. Often, when I’m writing, the soundtracks play into how the characters are feeling; it influences their dialogue and how the scene appears in my mind. Much of my writing is guided by the music I put together for myself. Aside from that, I’m afraid I’m rather boring.

As an author, who does Chantal look up to? Whose work inspires you?

I can remember when I first read “Shiver” by Maggie Stiefvater; it changed my life. After having poured over the “Twilight” series for years and wanting to be an author just like Stephenie Meyer as a 15-year-old, reading Maggie’s work was revolutionary; her series actually made me feel things—I mean, I cried. Since then, authors like Sarah J. Maas (ACOTAR), Erin Craig (A House of Salt and Sorrows), Kelly Creagh (Phantom Heart), Rainbow Rowell (Fangirl), Anna Bright (The Beholder), and A.M. Wright (The Mourning of Leone Manor) have all been very influential in my writing. I know without these authors and their stories—or their immediate influence on me—I wouldn’t be the writer I am today!

When it comes to the author’s mindset, how would you define yours? What fuels your creativity as a writer?

Whenever I go out into the world, I’m not always “looking” for experiences or people to inspire me. I don’t go through a drive-thru hoping that something will spark in my mind, but rather go about living my daily life and, when it comes time to write, reflect back on the interactions that I have with the world around me. When I’m focused on writing, I have to shift my mindset from the happenings of the day and the things that are going on in my life, and sort of dive into this other place in my mind where my story and characters reside. I can’t say that I completely lose myself there; it’s usually a struggle to stay there. I almost imagine it like trying to go underwater with floaties on. Music definitely fuels my creativity. Reading books, watching movies or shows that are even slightly relatable, talking to trusted friends about my story ideas (they pump me up so much that by the end of the conversation, writing is all I want to do!), and sometimes treating myself to something like an iced coffee all help.

As an author, it can be tough at times to get into the zone with all the daily chores. What challenges do you face, and how do you handle them?

Writer’s block is a huge hurdle that I encounter daily. I’ve had incidents where I’m in this block for extended periods, making it hard to focus on writing or even just the act of writing in general. I’m still figuring out how to overcome that. Making time for writing is another struggle. Balancing a full-time job, maintaining consistency with a weight loss journey, being present for loved ones—it can be a lot to navigate, while also wanting to have some downtime (no writing included in that). I just try to do what I can with the limited hours in the day.

What do you think are your strongest qualities as a writer?

I’ve been told that I write emotion well, so I guess I always try to approach my writing with that “strength” in mind. Once I’m in the zone, and I’m fleshing out a character—whether that’s with dialogue or a description, or writing down their inner thoughts—I always try to approach them with a lens of what they’re feeling; why they’re reacting the way that they are. I like to have my characters feel like real people. (I guess all authors do!)

Being an author can be really satisfying. What’s the most fulfilling part of it for you?

I find it most fulfilling when I see that someone enjoyed my story. They want to gush about the characters, the plot, or the dialogue. There’s just something about knowing that your book brought joy to someone else. All those long evening hours, all the words you struggled to type, all the tears you might have cried over how “dumb” your writing sounded—at the end of the day, someone felt less alone. A reader was lost in your world, loving your characters—and it might be a stretch, but they got to know a bit about you too. There was a time early on when I was editing my book, “Until the Last Page,” with my mom. I spent a few evenings reading it out loud to her, and when the dialogue was funny, she laughed! When there were moments of sadness and plot twists, she waited with anticipation for the next scene. It was thrilling to know that something I created did that for someone else (and my mom at that!). Books provided me so much comfort when I was growing up, and if I can do the same for someone else, all of the writing and editing is worth it.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors who are just starting their writing journey?

Anytime I’m asked this question, I always refer to “just write.” Just write for yourself. Write down the idea that hit you in the shower—even if you’re not sure how to use it, write it down. Don’t worry about the fear of “who will want to read this?” because your audience is out there. And most importantly—don’t be afraid of criticism; it can feel scary to think about someone not liking your story, but it’ll be okay. If someone is trying to help you, remember that their criticism is just to help your writing. It’s not about you personally.

Do you have any writing techniques or tips that you find especially effective?

I always love some good foreshadowing in stories. I certainly haven’t perfected it yet, but it’s definitely a technique that I really love and admire when done well in a story! I enjoy point-of-view novels (which is why I often write in the first person). Imagery is also a really good writing technique to focus on; paint the scene. Just as everyone says in writing, “show, don’t tell.”

How do you envision your writing impacting readers?

I always envision my writing impacting readers positively. When I wrote my novel “The Songs We Remember” back in 2018, I wrote about grief and indirectly about the loss of my dad. I wrote the story with the intention of helping myself, and perhaps indirectly, helping others. It was my hope that my writing would help someone else struggling with grief to make them feel less alone. I think with any of my novels, I’m always hoping that they bring comfort and joy to those who read them. If it can leave them with something to think about or a message that resonates, then I think my job as an author is a success!

With numerous books under your belt, you must have built a strong fan base. Do you recall any memorable moment with the readers that have influenced your writing journey?

My interactions with “readers” probably really began when I was in a writing community on Tumblr during 2011-2013. I remember a lot of people writing in and saying they enjoyed my writing, which I found very surprising and encouraging at the time. When I shifted into writing novels and started to send out ARCs, it was terrifying but thrilling when I’d receive feedback on how well the story had been written. Anytime I wrote a new story, I’d go back to those reviewers and wait with anticipation to see how they enjoyed the story. To this day, receiving messages and fan art, it’s all such a wonderful surprise and something that I really cherish. It really encourages me to continue writing.

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you or your work?

Just to go into “Until the Last Page” with an open mind, and be willing to take a fantastical adventure with Josephine and the frog prince. And to keep their eyes peeled for more!

What genres do you predominantly write in, and what attracts you to these specific genres?

I predominantly write in the fantasy/romance genre. I did venture into writing a contemporary romance duology once, and it was fun! There’s something about writing fantasy and romance that I love; the borders of reality and fiction can be fuzzy, and anything is possible. I’ve always been attracted to love stories, so it feels only natural to want to write my own in my career.

How do you maintain motivation and inspiration while battling writer’s block?

I’m still struggling with writer’s block. When I was in the middle of writing “Until the Last Page,” I had an intense period of time (like a whole year) where I didn’t write anything. It finally took signing myself up for Camp Nanowrimo to feel a sense of responsibility to finish the story. I wanted to hold myself accountable and follow through; I owed it not only to myself but to Jo and Aneurin in the story. And I think I just kept telling myself that. I really don’t have a cure for writer’s block—I take the motivation when I can and inspiration if it finds me.

As an author, you’ve probably faced creative stagnation at times. How do you handle those moments when your creativity feels stuck?

I think from the other answers I provided, you’ll see that I take inspiration from all the things around me. It can be a song that I hear on a playlist, a picture I see on Pinterest, a comment that my friend makes to me, a name that I see at work that I want to use—it’s just little moments. And just as I mentioned with writer’s block, creative stagnation is something that I struggle with. There can be periods when I don’t feel creative; everything that I write feels just silly. I’ve learned that I have to write it down anyway and then walk away. I know that if I continue to focus on things, it makes the stagnation even worse. Writing is like a marathon. You don’t do it all at once; you set a pace—sometimes it’s faster, and sometimes it’s slower. It’s about learning to listen to yourself and remembering to be kind to yourself.

What can readers anticipate from your future projects?

I have a few ideas in the works, but that’s all I’m really comfortable saying right now.

Beyond writing, what keeps you busy?

Well, I am a huge fan of historical dramas and learning about British history. Sometimes as I’m getting ready in the morning for work, I’ll turn on “Reading the Past” with Dr. Kat on YouTube and learn something new about history! I’m a lover of K-Pop and K-Dramas and love to spend time watching them with my mom. I enjoy taking walks and crocheting. I’m definitely a homebody and live for the mornings where I can hang out in my pajamas. If you haven’t already guessed, I’m a huge nerd when it comes to Disney. I like to be with people that I love—there’s just nothing better.

 

Thank you so much, Chantal, for this insightful interview. We really appreciate you taking the time to share your journey and experiences with us. We’re excited about your upcoming book, “Until The Last Page,” and we wish you all the success with it. Looking forward to seeing it on the bestseller list!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link