This was originally published in June 2014 on I Prefer Writing.
Lindsey Kelk, best selling chick lit author, journalist and former childrens book editor. Originally from Doncaster the author wrote her first novel I Heart New York after a visit there and since has written 8 novels, 6 of which follow the life of Angela Clark, 1 based on Rachel Summers, 2 based on Tess Brookes (What a Girl wants is avaliable to pre-order now on Amazon) and 1 e-book based on Angela Clark’s best friend Jenny Lopez. Kelk’s works has been described by Closer magazine as “Littered with plenty of laughs and surprises, this won’t fail to satisfy your expectations” and she has been priased by the Daily Mail “Kelk has a hilarious turn of phrase and a sparkling writing style”. So I was pretty excited when she replied to my email saying she was happy to be interviewed.
So, writer, journalist, blogger, tweeter and former children’s book editor. You clearly have a love of writing, what inspired you to start writing in the first place?
My mum taught me to read when I was very little so I was always obsessed with books. It always seemed natural to me to write stories, maybe I was just being a little drama queen! There really isn’t a time when I was ever not writing – even in infant school I was writing a series of stories about a superhero teddy bear called Tellina. She retired when she got pregnant with triplets. Seems fair to me.
Your first book was I Heart New York, based on your visit to New York, so was any of the events that happened to Angela Clark based on your own events in the city?
The book was inspired by my visit to NYC, it definitely wasn’t based on it! I’d been a few times for work but then I was able to visit for a week with my brother. Obviously we didn’t get into any Angela-like scrapes! Although we did get lost in Williamsburg… It wasn’t the hipster haven it is now back in 2006.
Lots of things that happened on the book are based on things that happen to me or my friends, only I turn them into much more dramatic versions. My life isn’t quite as exciting as Angela’s unfortunately!
It’s no secret that Angela Clark has some very embarrassing moments, what’s your biggest embarrassing moment?
Oh god, I’m forever making a prat out of myself. Happily I have a very acute sense of humiliation so I try to avoid it wherever possible. A couple of weeks ago, me and friend were walking into this super trendy basement bar in Manhattan and the entire place started going crazy. They were throwing their friend a surprise birthday party and they thought we were her – as soon as they realised we weren’t, they started booing. And then she walked in right behind us. We accidentally ruined everything. That was pretty mortifying.
If there was a screen adaptation of I Heart New York who would you love to see play Angela Clark?
I get asked this all the time and I’m terrible at choosing. It’s weird to think of anyone playing a girl I’ve made up in my head. I love hearing suggestions from other people though!
At the end of I Heart London you stated The End however you followed it up with I Heart Christmas, can we expect any more books about Angela?
I really did think it was the end! Then I Heart Christmas popped into my head and that was that… Angela is on hiatus for a while but I imagine she’ll be back. I’m writing a Jenny Lopez ebook for Christmas so there’s a bit of a taster coming.
About a Girl was incredibly successful and a thoroughly enjoyable read, so what can we expect to happen to Tess in What a Girl Wants?
About a Girl was all about what you do when you’ve got absolutely nothing to lose. What a Girl Wants is about making choices. I think it’s hard for women in their twenties and early thirties these days – you’re always so conscious of making the wrong choice. What happens if you pick the wrong man or the wrong job or the wrong friends? Do you close the door on everything else? Can you ruin you life with one wrong turn? This time we get to see Tess deal with that kind of pressure. It’s funny though, honest.
I Heart New York was based on your experience in New York, what was your inspiration for About a Girl?
I get inspired by different things all the time. It’s never really the place, it’s the situation. With I Heart New York, I was feeling very stuck in my life and I had loved my visit to NYC so the two things combined. With About a Girl, Tess came about as a reaction to a lot of friends who were losing their jobs in the recession and also because of that feeling of getting so far up a ladder and then having to start all over. I think that’s something universal, whether it’s a job or a relationship. I’ve definitely been in the situation where I’ve been unhappy but my commonsense kicks in and says ‘yes, you don’t like it but you’ve put x number of years into it so you’re stuck now’. The book was based on the idea of what happens when that choice is taken away from you and you have to start again.
The men in your novels seem wonderful – must admit have small crush on Alex Reid – are the leading men based on anyone in your own life?
HAHAHAHHAHHAAAAHAHAHAA. Next question.
If you had to pick a team would you pick team Nick or team Charlie?
I’ve dated Charlies and I’ve dated Nicks and I have to be honest, nine times out of ten I would say stick with the Charlie. Nicks are not reliable! But you never know, do you? It only takes one, after all.
Tess, Angela, Rachel can we expect a new heroine in a new series or novel?
Yes! I’m writing a new book to release next spring that will feature an all new character. I’m excited about it. She’s foul-mouthed and brilliant.
Quick quiz to help my readers get to know the real you:
I’m a Libra, I can never pick a favourite anything! Maybe The Little Mermaid? I watch so many bloody movies…
Shorts, striped top, ankle boots
Either The Hot Rock by Sleater-Kinney or anything by The National
The Secret History by Donna Tart
There’s no answer to this one, I read all the magazines on earth. Newspaper-wise, I read The Guardian online every day.
Thankyou Lindsey for this amazing opportunity!