11 June 2012

Author Interview: Lindsey Kelk

Lindsey Kelk has just released the fifth story in her 'I Heart...' series, and I reviewed the fab book the other day, and loved every page! Lindsey was kind enough to answer some of my questions about the book, her career (and her WWE obsession), so here is the interview, enjoy! My hugest thanks go to lovely Lindsey for answering all of my questions!

Q1. Please tell us about your new book I Heart London?

I Heart London  sort of brings the series full circle. Angela is back in London and really forced to take stock of what’s happened in the past two years, where she’s been, where’s she’s going and what’s next. It was really nice to look at how things have changed for everyone – Angie and Alex are engaged, Louisa has a baby, Jenny’s on a bit of a downward spiral and on top of all of it, she’s yanked out of her safe little New York cocoon and thrown back into the middle of her old life. It was really about that feeling you get when things feel like they’ve changed so much but when you look outside yourself, you see they haven’t really. Plus la change, and all that jazz.

Q2. It's fab to have Angela back again - how much fun is it to step back into her shoes and write her next adventure?

It’s so much fun. There really was a lot of me in this book, a lot of what I was feeling at the time. Not specific scenarios obviously but definitely emotions I was going through with deciding where home was going to be for the foreseeable. Plus, you know, she has very lovely shoes.

Q3. What inspired the 'I Heart' series? I personally love diving back into a book where I know the characters, their pasts and seeing how things unfold for them in the next installment - is it the same for you when you're writing them?

It’s exactly the same. Every time, a couple of chapters in I freak out and panic that there’s nothing to say and that the story doesn’t make sense and then by the end, I can’t bear to finish it. It’s more everyone else from Angela, they’re always clamouring to have more to do and more to say. Angela’s pretty passive really! Everything happens around her, she’s never the voice that wakes me up in the middle of the night. Maybe because the story unfolds through her.  I hate thinking I’m putting her on the shelf for a while.

Q4. Your last novel was a stand-alone story - The Single Girl's To-Do List. Why did you choose to write a non Angela Clark book, and do you have plans for any more stand alone books? Was it strange to start with a whole new group of characters?

It was strange but it was liberating. I had another story to tell – that book was really personal and I couldn’t write it into Angela’s story, she’s got her own stuff going on now. The next book will be the first in a new series but I’m excited to write some new people, make some new friends, try out some new places. It’s fun. A change is as good as a rest.

Q5. I think you have some of the most beautiful book covers out there, especially for a book series. How have you felt about your covers so far, and how much say do you get in the design process, if any?

I get no say. Seriously, when HC showed me the first cover, knowing how much I love my edgy American lit, they told me my opinion didn’t count. Actualy said ‘we don’t expect you to like it but remember who it’s for.’ It was hilarious, I think I’d sold myself in as too much of a hipster. But I love them so much, Adrian who illustrates them is amazing. The London cover is gorgeous – have you seen the travel card case? It’s AMAZING. The weirdest thing for me is seeing the different covers in different countries. America and Canada go for more hipstery photo covers to make it less chick-litty. They’re super cool. The Dutch and Polish covers are hilarious.

Q6. As well as writing adult fiction, you work as a children's book editor. Has working in publishing been something you've always wanted to do, and how did you go about getting your book deal for I Heart New York?

More than anything, I’ve always wanted to write. When I was little I used to write stories all the time and it just grew with me. I studied writing at uni as part of my English degree but honestly, never thought it would come to anything. Even being an editor seemed like a pipe dream then – I went to Nottingham Trent, I come from a pit village – publishing and writing seemed like a very fancy thing to get into. Once I  made it through the door as an editor and started writing again, it all just sort of fell into place. Lots of hard work, lots of persistence and lots of talking to anyone who would listen to me, same as anyone else. I had my manuscript with an agent but she and I did not get along so I spent a year trying to find another one and eventually asked a friend at HarperCollins to recommend and agent for me. She passed it on to Lynne, the publisher of HarperFiction and I just couldn’t believe it when she said she wanted to sign I Heart New York. I did my first deal directly with Harper but I would never recommend acting without an agent. I was lucky because I’d got experience of publishing contracts but I wouldn’t be without Rowan (Lawton, my agent at FurnissLawton) for anything now.

Q7. You now live in New York. Why did you move there, and is it as much fun as it sounds living in the Big Apple?! What do you miss most about home?

It’s an obscene amount of fun. I want to lie and say it’s the same as living anywhere else but it’s just fantastic. I think everyone has a place that completes them and New York is definitely that city for me, there’s always something to do, someone to see, places to visit. Plus I love travelling around the States, it’s just bonkers. This year alone I’ve seen frozen lakes, a goat pageant show, sausage dog racing festival and sung a lot of karaoke in a lot of random little towns. Next week I’ going to the Appalachian mountains to see bears. Giddiness. That said, I miss my friends and family so much. And London is beautiful. It really hit home on this last visit, the jubilee injected this massive jolt of primary colour into the city that made you look at it with fresh eyes and sweet jesus, that city is one hell of a looker.

Q8. You, like me, are a massive fan of WWE (thanks for getting me hooked again btw lol). What is it about WWE that you like so much, and why do you think it is so globally successful? 

Ha! I was going to say it’s my secret shame but it’s so not a secret. I lost more twitter followers when I live tweeted Wrestlemania than when I live tweeted the general election… whatevs. I think I just love the glossy soap opera-ness of it all. I used to watch it obsessively with my brother when I was growing up and now it’s just such an easy way to switch off. It’s that classic good versus evil storyline, the goodies and the baddies, the twists and turns and um, you know, the really hot men. Really. Hot. Men. I was at Survivors Series in New York when Punk won the belt last year and I lost my shit so badly. My friend was quite scared.

Q9. As a writer, do you ever think you could write better stories than the WWE creative team?! Do you think you could write them without ever being biased towards certain wrestlers?! (*cough* CM Punk *cough*)

I love him. Seriously, it’s not a crush. I want that made abundantly clear. L. O. V. E. But I could  definitely put my feelings aside to be professional. Besides, I’d need to write him out for the honeymoon. Basically, I think the WWE creative team should call me immediately, if only to dig themselves out of this abhorrent pit of divas storylines they’ve got themselves in at the moment. Everyone knows the women’s division is never going to pull in as many viewers as the men’s but it’s downright disrespectful right now. Triple H! Call me!

Q10. Name 3 things you couldn't live without and why!

So hard! My iPhone because I’m a twitter/facebook/email/text/iTunes ADDICT. I need to be occupied every single hour of every single day so I’m constantly tweeting or texting and I have music running all the time. Unless I’m watching wrestling, obviously. My iPhone changed my life. I’m not ashamed. The other two things would probably be my laptop and my kindle although all three of those are sort of related, aren’t they? I can’t imagine not having something to write with and I can’t imagine not being able to read. I love that I can download pretty much anything on my Kindle, even though I do still prefer the feel of a good solid book. I suppose I could cope with just my laptop since it’s a MacBook Air which would mean I could have my Dior Lip Glow lip balm and Mulberry Alexa handbag to keep them both in. That lip balm is a miracle and the handbag cost so bloody much if I don’t use it at all times, I get the guilts. Not proud, but very happy.

Q11. Can you PLEASE tell me something about Angela's next adventure? You've written 5 of the 7 books in the series so far - do you know where Angela's last books are going to be, and would you ever bring her back once the series is done? (please say yes, please say yes).

Eep, please don’t hurt me but I Heart London is going to be the last in Angela’s adventures for a little while. She isn’t gone away forever, just having a bit of a rest while I tell some new stories. When I first started London, I actually thought I wouldn’t write anymore but by the time I was halfway through, I knew I would. well, if the publishers let me, that is!

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