4 August 2009

Author Interview: Lindsey Kelk

Lindsey Kelk's first novel I Heart New York hit bookshops in July and has been a hit. I loved the book, and could fully imagine myself in poor old Angela's shoes, although I bet my luck wouldn't have been as good as hers! We were thrilled to see Angela's next adventure I Heart Hollywood is coming in January 2010, followed by the third installment I Heart Paris later that year. We managed to get an exclusive interview with Lindsey herself, and she gives fans a fab bit of news about her I Heart... books, read on to find out what!

Q1: Tell about us about your latest book in a sentence!
I Heart New York is a funny book about a girl who loses everything in London and has to find it all over again in New York.

Q2: Where did you get the inspiration for I Heart New York? Is Angela based on you and your experiences?
Unfortunately for me at the time, it was more based on what I wished was happening in my life rather than what was actually happening! I'd just got back from a holiday to New York, it was cold and horrible in London, I was broke after Christmas and everything in my life was just a bit generally rubbish and so I started writing the story as a way of escaping my every day life. I love New York, I love shopping and I love boys so it just made sense. Also, I think my bank manager was happier with this than another flight to New York ending up on my credit card.

Angela and I started out quite alike, we had the same job and the same hair but she went shorter and lighter and I went longer and darker. Weirdly, we're more alike now, two years after I wrote the book. I got dumped by my boyfriend of seven years and have moved to New York, so maybe I'm based on Angela? Life imitating chick lit. Although I'm not sure that's very healthy.

Q3: Have you written the last book in the trilogy, I Heart Paris? Did you always plan for 3 books to be written about Angela?
I'm writing I Heart Paris now (I should actually be writing it RIGHT now) but I can exclusively reveal, at the moment, I'm planning for five I Heart books, so there will be two more after Hollywood and Paris. I always wanted there to be more after New York because I loved the characters so much but obviously I didn't know if anyone else would want more - it's a bit of a relief that they do... I love following characters through a series and am always heartbroken when they finish, so I'm really happy that I'm able to do that with Angela, Jenny and all their friends, boyfriends and even their enemies!

Q4: Are you working on new material for when the "I Heart" books are all done and dusted? Have you written anything else or got any ideas in the pipeline?
I've got loads of ideas but no time! Once Paris is all written, I'll start working up some of my notes. I'm really excited to see what comes out to be honest. When I started writing I Heart New York, I loved Jenny SO much that I did think about writing a Jenny based-book but we'll have to see about that.

Q5: What do you personally love about New York?!
Oh, it's such a difficult question! I actually moved here yesterday and so my answer today is the $16 lobster I had for dinner at The Essex last night. I'm going to be working out here for a year or so so hopefully I'll get lots of inspiration for more books. I Heart New York fans will be pleased to know I'm moving to Williamsburg, which is where Alex lives in the book - it's TOTALLY coincidental but I do have my eyes peeled for hot hipster boys. Other than that, it's the feeling I get walking down the streets, all the different people you meet, all the things there are to do. Oh, and how bloody easy and cheap it is to get a cab. Love that.

Q6: How long did it take you to get published? Was it difficult?
It wasn't easy! I work in children's publishing as an editor so I knew how hard the process is and that far more authors get turned away than ever even get a meeting with an agent but I kept at it. All in all, it took two and a half years from writing the first draft of the book to seeing it in a shop.

Q7: Who are some of your favourite authors? Do you have an all-time favourite book?
I read a lot for work, mostly YA fiction series but then, you can probably tell that from I Heart New York. I love the Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepherd, The Confessions of Georgia Nicolson from Louise Rennison and the Gossip Girl books. I love Meg Cabot's books too because they straddle the teen/adult market so well. She's so much fun to read. When I've got my grown up head on (which isn't often) I love Bret Easton Ellis, Margaret Atwood, Douglas Coupland and Donna Tart. The Secret History is my favourite book of all time, I read it at least once a year. There's always something new to find in the book and I love how well controlled it is. It's such a great piece of storytelling.

Q8: What's the best thing about being an author?
It's going to sound really cheesy but I love that people are out there, reading something I wrote and even if it's just for a little bit, it's making them smile. I'm a terrible attention seeker but I love to make people happy and make them laugh so the book really is just giving me a massive platform to do that! HarperCollins have created a monster...

Thank you so much Lindsey!


  1. I can't wait to read I Heart New York! I'm totally picking this up next trip to the bookstore.

  2. Great interview! I have I Heart NY to read (eventually) and am pleased there'll be 5 in the series. I hope there's an I Heart London! (Surely there will be?!) Also an I Heart Australia would be great as I love books set in Aussie!

  3. Great to see that there will five books in the series and I wonder where they will be set?

  4. I just finished 'I Heart New York' and it was absolutely brilliant! Have gone through a similar situation, it was very therapeutic for me as well gave me hope! I am so pleased to hear that there will be 4 more coming in the series! Again, AMAZING BOOK! Definitely in my 5 top all time favourites. I have been recommending to everyone!

  5. I have read "I heart new york" and currently reading "I heart hollywood" and can't believe theres going to be another 5 books in the series. What about "I heart scotland?" and "I heart ireland" they'd be good titles. :)