Monday, 7 July 2014

Lindsey Kelk Interview

Booky Ramblings were pleased to take part in the blog tour for Lindsey's new book, What A Girl Wants, and sent some interview questions off! Thanks to Lindsey for taking the time to answer them, and we hope you enjoy our interview!

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

 I’m not big on heavy messages. For the most part, I start with something that’s been on my mind and go from there. For What a Girl Wants, it’s the idea of making giant life-altering decisions and the pressure that puts on a person. Women have so many expectations of them, career, friendships, relationships, families – I think society allows men to be a lot more flexible and selfish in a way. If we don’t make the right decision right away, you’re made to feel like you’ve cocked up your life for good. I would love to live in a world where that isn’t the case. What a Girl Wants looks at a woman in that position and shows her making those choices. At best, I hope it will give someone pause to think ‘maybe I could make some braver choices too’ although if all they think is ‘that book didn’t half make me laugh’ I’m very happy.

Are your novels based on people you know, or events in your own life?

 Never directly. Some stuff inadvertently gets in there but I never sit down and plan to write about things I’ve done or people I know. Obviously everything that happens to us effects us in some way and it’s inevitable that will come out in something as personal and intense as writing but I don’t plan for it.

Which writer would you consider a mentor?

 There are so many writers who I am indebted to, even if I never get the chance to tell them (and who knows if they would be pleased if I could?) but I was so lucky to study with Graham Joyce at university and I still carry so much of his advice around in my head. He showed me how to be more free and honest with my writing when I was trying to force myself down a path that just wasn’t mine. I don’t think I’d be doing half of what I‘m doing now if it wasn’t for him.
What are your current projects?

I have a special ebook coming out at Christmas called Jenny Lopez Saves Christmas – pretty self-explanatory – and I’m also working on my new book, which will be out next spring. It’s all new, new characters, new stories. I can’t wait.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your new book?

 Nope. Once they’re done, they’re done. If I go back and look at them, I would change everything so I’ve developed a very unhealthy ‘this book is dead to me’ attitude once I send off the copyedits. No point wishing what you could have done differently, in writing or in life.
What inspired you to write your first book?

It was pretty simple, I was bored! Everything was ticking along in my life but I wasn’t especially happy, work, home, boyfriend, all stuck in a bit of a rut. I’d been on holiday to New York with my brother a few months earlier and so I started writing an ‘anywhere but here’ fantasy, six weeks later, I had the first draft of I Heart New York. 
What book are you currently reading? 

 I just finished The Leftovers so next up is either The Interestings or The Vacationers. I’m literally leaving for my holiday tomorrow so maybe The Vacationers will win.
What is in your fridge right now? 

 HA. Two bottles of champagne, a half-empty tub of I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter, a bottle of green juice and 157 nail polishes (I counted).
Favourite Ice Cream flavour? 

 Ben & Jerry’s fish food or salted caramel anything.
Cats or dogs?

 That’s a tough one because I have always, always, always been a cat person but just lately I’ve found myself falling for the odd dog. So a cat person who is dog-curious.
Pet Peeves?

 Lateness. Seriously, just be there when you said you were going to be there.
And finally, since I’m a little obsessed with the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse, your house is under attack and you only have time to grab 3 things, what do you grab? 

 Oh, you and me BOTH. A friend once said I’d be on his survival team because I’m smart and ruthless. It was the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. The first thing I would need would be glasses and contact lenses because I’m blind as a bat and if I couldn’t see, I’d be useless. I’d definitely take some warm clothes because the odds are you’re going to be on the road for a while and, for the want of a weapon (I’m sadly lacking) I’d probably load my backpack up with all the British chocolate and crisps I have in my apartment to either trade or have a massive happy binge before my untimely zombie-related death. I don’t see me making it through the other side.
Catch Lindsey throughout the rest of her blog tour!

Lisa's Review of What A Girl Wants

Lisa's Review - 4 out of 5 stars What A Girl Wants is a hilariously funny, down to earth perfect-for-summer read. Tess Brookes is a normal, girl next door, who has been in love with her best friend, Charlie for ten years. Charlie however, has not been in love with Tess. Until she goes on a trip to Hawaii, falls for Nick, then comes home to Charlie declaring his undying love for her. But there is a chance of a career change for Tess, from starting up her own advertising agency with Charlie, or travelling the world as a photographer. Tess heads to Milan, where she is then reunited with Nick. Torn between two men, Tess has decisions to make.

Lindsey Kelks writing style is fantastic. Realistic characters make What A Girl Wants a breeze to read through, and said characters are loveable, and easy to relate to. No over the top, that-would-never-happen-to-a-real-girl moments. Just lots of funny, and that-would-so-happen-to-me moments. Although there were a few times I wanted to give a virtual slap to Tess and knock some sense into her, Tess was one of my favourite characters I have read for a while. Her and her crazy BFF Amy, plus the array of characters from London and Milan, kept the book flowing and interesting.

I really enjoyed the whole book - until the end. It's difficult to write a review on a book when you felt the ending was a disappointment without giving anything away, but I had my hopes and expectations for what I wanted to happen in the end, and not only did it not happen, the other outcome didn't happen either! In fact I was quite shocked at the way it ended and felt like there was no real conclusion to Tess's story, which made me wonder (and hope) that there will be more stories of Tess's adventures to come!

A really, solid, light hearted read that is great to pop into that beach bag for a must have holiday read.