'Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.'- Angela Carter

Friday, 18 July 2014

INTERVIEW: Lindsey Kelk Talks About Her New Book

Today I have the amazingly talented and completely hysterical Lindsey Kelk on the blog to talk about her latest novel, What A Girl Wants. 

Your latest novel What A Girl Wants is a follow up to the brilliant About A Girl. Can you tell us a little bit about these novels?

The Tess books very much came about because of all the things that had been going on in my life and in the lives of my friends over the last couple of years. About a Girl was about that moment in life when you think you’ve got it all worked out and then, out of nowhere, you realise that you know absolutely nothing about anything.

What a Girl Wants takes it one step further and looks at what happens when you have to make a choice. I think there’s a massive amount of pressure on people, but especially women, to make big important choices, younger and younger these days. You’ve got to be super successful before you’re thirty, you’ve got to find the one, you’ve got to beat your biological clock… It’s all so much. What happens if you make the wrong choice? Will you regret it forever? This time we see Tess in that position – smart choice or brave choice, safe option or random chance? It’s a position we all find ourselves in at some point.

How did you find the writing process for What a Girl Wants? Was it easier/ harder than About a Girl?

The process in general was the same – equal parts fun and balls out terror – but life in general was out to get me during this one! I was going through a bad break up, my grandmother who I was very close to got ill and passed away and all other kinds of assorted nightmares kicked in. Plus we had the worst winter in decades in New York so it wasn’t the easiest thing to transport myself into a summery mindset! But writing is always cathartic so in the end, I think it helped. Hopefully you won’t see any of that in the book!

How different is the writing process between these books and your I Heart series? Do you have a preference?

Writing the I Heart books feels like such a treat now! It’s easy to slip back into the characters and I so love seeing what they’ve all been up to. I know that sounds crazy because they’re in my head but I have to be at the laptop to catch up with them. Writing the Tess books is an adventure because I’m still getting to know the characters, I feel like I learn a lot about myself when I write those books.

Who is your absolute favourite character to write and why?

Oh, it’s so hard to choose one! I really do love catching up with Angela and Jenny, it’s like sitting down with an old friend but it’s always fun to meet new characters. I love Amy in the ‘Girl’ books and I love Tess. And Al. And Keikipi. Oh god, I’m rubbish.

What’s the best bit about being an author for you?

There are so many parts of the job that I love, the freedom to travel, keeping my own schedule, not having to get up in the morning! Mostly, I think I just love telling stories. It’s all I ever wanted to do and I think it’s what I’m best at so I’ll never take it for granted.

Finally, how has ‘going digital’ been for you? Do you find that social media/ blog tours etc. are an improvement on previous methods of getting your books out there?

Oh, it’s so important. I came around at the beginning of it all – I Heart New York is five years old this year! Back then ebook sales were a tiny margin of your overall sales and there weren’t many blogs at all. I was a beauty blogger back then and I think there were maybe ten or so of us, probably the same with books! Now, everything hinges on getting the word out there and when everyone’s fighting for retail space Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are amazing ways to connect directly with the readers and blogs are great resources to get genuine feedback from genuine readers.

From a personal standpoint, I love social media. Yes, it’s important for me as a marketing tool but I’ve made amazing friends online, I’ve met incredible men and women who have made me feel less alone and stopped me from going mad. I don’t know where I’d be without it.

What A Girl Wants
What A Girl Wants
Tess Brookes was the girl with a plan. Now she's the girl with a choice. Should she stay in London and start her own advertising agency with her best friend and potential boyfriend Charlie? Or should she head to exciting Milan to pursue both a new career as a photographer and a new man, the enigmatic and elusive (and highly irritating) Nick?

For the first time, Tess has to choose between the life she always dreamed of and a future she never imagined possible. With her heart and her head pulling her in different directions, Tess has to make a life-changing decision about What a Girl Wants.

Lindsey Kelk

Lindsey Kelk is a British writer and used to be a children’s book editor. When she isn’t writing, reading, listening to music or watching more TV than is healthy, Lindsey likes to wear shoes, shop for shoes and judge the shoes of others. She loves living in New York but misses Sherbert Fountains, London and drinking Gin & Elderflower cocktails with her friends. Not necessarily in that order.

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