Fridays off the Wall with Paula Martin

Today, I’m welcoming Paula Martin to Fridays off the Wall. Her latest book, His Leading Lady, was just released from Whiskey Creek Press. 

Joselyn: Who would you cast as the main characters in a movie of your latest book?

Take 15 years off Colin Firth i.e. about the age he was when he played Mr Darcy (quick drool!) in the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice and he’d be perfect as my hero, Kyle Drummond, in ‘His Leading Lady’.  And Jennifer Ehle, who played opposite him as Elizabeth Bennett, would be good as Jess (again as Jennifer was 15 years ago). 
Joselyn: Who wouldn’t love those actors?  They would be perfect. If your main character could invite anyone to dinner (fictional or otherwise), who would it be?

Jess would invite the medieval ‘Lady Kate’, the role she plays in the West End musical called ‘Token of Love.’
When I first wrote ‘His Leading Lady’, I didn’t want to use an already existing musical, so I searched for a Scottish legend on which to base ‘my’ musical.  When I found the legend of ‘Black Colin of Argyll’ I knew I’d found the right story (wonder if Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber would be interested??). 
In the legend, Colin, laird of Glenorchy decides to join a Crusade to the Holy Land.  His young wife is unhappy but Colin has a ring made, inscribed with both their names, then breaks it in two and gives her one half.  He says that if she receives his half of the ring, she’ll know he is dead.  That, of course, is their ‘Token of Love’.
During Colin’s absence, the neighbouring lord, who wants to add Colin’s lands to his own barony, schemes to convince Kate that Colin is dead, but of course she hasn’t received Colin’s token.  However, she agrees to marry the lord as soon as the tower of her new castle is completed.  She tells the workmen to work as slowly as possible, and also instructs them to pull down, under cover of darkness, what they had built during the day.  What a girl!
All ends happily of course, when Colin eventually returns, just as she is about to marry the lord – and then she and Colin live ‘happily ever after’.    
Joselyn: I love that she has the castle torn down at night. It’s fabulous. Do you have any characters who keep bugging you for their own book? Will you give them one?

Lora, the twin sister of the heroine of ‘His Leading Lady’ keeps bugging me to write ‘Lora’s Story’.  Maybe I will, because I have a vague idea about what happens to her a year or so after the end of HLL.  It will start tragically, but end happily – of course. 
Joselyn: What is the most unexpected thing that has happened in one of your books?  As in you didn’t expect it to happen until you wrote it?

Lots of unexpected things happen while I write, because I tend to let the main characters ‘lead’ me and I follow them.  I love it when they surprise me by revealing something about themselves that I didn’t know before (just as people in ‘real life’ can do as you get to know them).
One fun thing occurred as a kind of ‘fill-in’ in my current WIP  The hero and heroine cross the Nile by motorboat and the boat-owner, a young Egyptian, “invented” himself as an Elvis look-alike and impersonator.  No idea where he came from but I love him!  I think I’m going to find him a job as an entertainer on one of the Nile cruise ships – and he might just have an important role to play in helping the hero and heroine get back together when various things have forced them apart.
Joselyn: My favorite characters are like this.  They have some kind of quirk that is so useful in the story. When the power goes out, what do you do? (Cell phone service is out too.)

Scream, spit and curse!  I can live without a phone, but I HATE being without my internet connection, so I do all the aforesaid when the connection goes down, let alone a full-scale power-cut.  But, if it did happen, I have plenty of candles, so maybe I’d light a whole bunch of them, and then pull out my notebook and start scribbling down my story, just like I did with my early novels which I wrote in pre-computer days. 

I hear ya.  Take away my phone, I wouldn’t notice.  Take away my internet connection and I get the shakes. 🙂
Blurb for ‘His Leading Lady’:
Jess Harper’s predictable life is turned upside down when she discovers that Lora, her twin sister, has disappeared.  It’s just a week before rehearsals are due to start for a new West End musical in which Lora has the lead role.  Jess decides to pose as her sister in order to save Lora’s career.  This brings her into close contact with arrogant theatre director Kyle Drummond.  Attraction sparks between them but there’s also evidence that he had been dating Lora.  So is Jess simply a substitute – in real life as well as in the show?  And what will happen when Lora eventually returns? 
You can find out more about Paula at:
Writers Blog (with 4 other writers):
Thanks so much for hanging out with us, Paula!

Hope you all have a great weekend!


  1. I love the legend! What a great inspiration for the musical! Can't wait to read the book.


  2. Great choice of actors!! How exciting…once my eyes heal up…I'll be reading your book. 🙂 Cheers, JennThe Short Story Gal or Wine-n-Chat


  3. Jennifer, am sure Lloyd Webber could make a wonderful musical from the legend!


  4. LOL, Jenn, glad you like my actors. Mr Firth can do no wrong for me 🙂


  5. The legend is a great tool in HLL, Paula, I think. Things in life are often predicated on what's come before. I like books that incorporate that theme, and it sounds like yours does it very well!


  6. I was so excited when I found the legend, Ana – I could immediately see it being acted out, and even wrote my own song for it!


  7. Hi,Ah, how a legend can be turned into a fab historical epic! I see your cue for writing that historical… Nice interview! ;)bestF


  8. Thanks for stopping by, Paula! Hope you have a great week.


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