December, 2009


Lindsey Kelk is the author of the five-part series which so far includes I Heart New York (2009), I Heart Hollywood and I Heart Paris (2010). She works as a children's book editor in London. (Interview by Angela Smith)

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  1. 1. Where did you get the idea for the I Heart series?

    I'd just got back from a trip to New York and was ridiculously miserable so to cheer myself up, I sat down with my laptop after everyone else had gone to bed on Boxing Day and just started. Everything was cold and wet and dark, I was bored at work, totally broke and not incredibly happy with my boyfriend, so my writing became a 'what if?' story, sort of my fantasy Sliding Doors and before I knew it, I had I Heart New York finished. As soon as I was done, I knew I wanted to write more about Angela and I had sort of fallen a little bit in love with Alex so it was a huge relief when HarperCollins said not only that they would publish it but that they wanted more books about Angela as well!

  2. 2. What is it about Angela that will appeal to readers?

    I hope the readers like her because we're very similar people! I think she's pretty funny and although she obviously finds herself in unrealistic situations sometimes (it is fiction after all...) she deals with things the way I think I would deal with them. Plus, she lives by the 'bros before hos' code, recognises the value of a beautiful handbag and knows when to tell people to sod off, all which are very important qualities to have.

  3. 3. In I Heart Hollywood, Angela meets the gorgeous movie star, James Jacobs. Is his character based on the antics of a real movie star?

    Not at all. Mostly in the interests of not being sued, Not. At. All. I do love him a little bit though and have spent many, many happy hours fantasy casting him in the non-existent movie of I Heart Hollywood but I can never decide on one actor. Also, I am greedy and fickle.

  4. 4. Did you get to do much travelling for your research?

    I went out to Hollywood with a friend for about 10 days and we went EVERYWHERE. We also apparently made it rain EVERYWHERE. We even got rained on at Disneyland, can you think of anything more depressing? The best part was possibly when I was forced to snatch a Marc Jacobs handbag out from under Rachel Bilson's nose in Nordstrom at The Grove. I figured she didn't need to buy it on sale and I did. But then again, it is a long time since she was on The OC... sorry, Rachel. I actually didn't think I'd like LA so much because I have such a crush on New York but I really did. It's a completely different beast and I really don't think I could live there but it's a fantastic place to visit. As long as it's not raining.

  5. 5. Tell us about the next book I Heart Paris.

    Hmm, what can I tell you without spoiling Hollywood?! Obviously Angela goes to Paris and if you've ever seen a map, you'll notice that Paris is a lot closer to London than New York or LA, so she's forced to deal with a lot of stuff that she's been pretending she doesn't have to think about. And you know, Paris is the city of love, so I would say it's safe bet that there will be some romance involved.

  6. 6. Where is Angela heading for her next adventure after Paris?

    The series is all more or less plotted out so it's Vegas next and then London but I'm also writing a non-Angela book right now, so there's that treat to look forward to/bridge to cross first.

  7. 7. What is your personal favourite city that you'd like to see Angela visit in the future?

    I am slightly obsessed with Tokyo. I just think it looks like a city-sized version of Alton Towers and I really, really want to visit so I very much think that Angela ought to get her arse over there pronto and then I can go and 'research'.

  8. 8. Do you have much input into the cover designs?

    I have absolutely nothing to do with them and they are amazing. Probably because I have absolutely nothing to do with them. The cover designer, Lee Motley at Harper, is a goddess. Fact. The cover for Paris is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, honestly, I had a little cry when I first saw it.

  9. 9. Is being a children's book editor a fun job?

    It is! Every day is different, you meet loads of great people and at the end of the day, you're helping create something that could potentially change a child's life. I was a massive reader as a kid and the books I loved growing up had more impact on me than anything else, I still have them all and I still read them. I love that I'm involved with this side of the industry.

  10. 10. Did working in publishing give you an advantage in getting published yourself?

    Hmm, in the end it did because I'm published by the same company I work for but at the beginning, it made things much harder. You see hundreds of great (and admittedly not so great) books getting shot down every day for different reasons and you get very cynical, very quickly. If you're not in the industry, it's easier to believe that just having what you think is a great book is enough and often, it isn't. Fewer books are being published at the moment and most of the ones that make it are by famous authors or celebs, it's a hard time to be a debut author. But I persevered! I went about getting published the same way as everyone else, hunting for an agent but I couldn't find anyone and ended up asking someone at work for advice. I was just so lucky that they handed the manuscript over to my publisher and even luckier that she loved it. The book was originally circulated under a fake name so no one would know it was me but once it was signed, everyone was so supportive.

  11. 11. How do you find the time to do your job, write novels and blog?

    I honestly do not know, I think my fingers must be typing in my sleep. And I'm a massive fan of sleep so that has to be squeezed in somewhere on occasion...

  12. 12. What is your favourite chick lit book?

    I remember reading Bridget Jones's Diary when I was about 16 and being obsessed with it but since I'm such a New York obsesso-girl it's probably The Devil Wears Prada. When I first read it a few years back, some of the experiences in there were altogether too familiar... I will say no more.

  13. 13 Who is your favourite chick lit author?

    I love Meg Cabot. Seriously, I just want to be her. That woman writes and writes and writes until her fingers fall off. She's never out of ideas, she writes chick lit and YA which is my dream and have you SEEN her author photo? HAWT.

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