I’m so excited to share this interview with you all today. If you follow me on twitter or Facebook you will of course know I stalk this lady very openly 😉
Yes, I was lucky enough to interview Kirsty Greenwood.
Kirsty is the founding editor of Novelicious. In addition to working at Novelicious.com, Kirsty Greenwood is an author of comedy romances, and director of the Novelicious Books imprint. She likes American TV, green clothes, Point Horror, Kristen Wiig and funny stories. She doesn’t really like the Ironside theme tune or the phrase ‘nom, nom, nom’.
This week Kirsty’s book, Yours Truly was released on paperback which is one of my most favourite books EVER. You can read my review here
And now for the interview:
Natalie experiences a horrific haircut that scares the general public, have you had hair disasters, if so what’s the worst?
I am Queen of Hair Disasters. The worst is hard to pick as I have many and varied options to choose from. Maybe the time when I was fifteen and attempted to bleach my mousy hair platinum-blonde like Abi Tucker in Heartbreak High. It turned out corn on the cob yellow and the bleach made my hair so dry that it went huge and fluffy. For a while I looked a lot like the stalker in The Bodyguard. Natalie’s hair experience in the opening chapter of Yours Truly is based on a real life experience too. I think that one was probably the worst. I have a super round face so the chin length bob really enhanced that. After years of searching I have finally found my perfect hairdresser and I am never letting her go.
*hairdresser cries can be heard from the basement*
Natalie finds she can no longer lie and has to tell the truth no matter how excruciatingly embarrassing, have you ever told a lie and been caught out?
Like Natalie, I used to tell lots of little white lies to avoid conflict. But I don’t think I’ve ever been caught out. Or have I… As I get older I’m happy to say I’m less afraid of conflict and feel a lot more comfortable being honest.
You have said that Riley has some of your partner Edd’s traits about him, was this your way of telling Edd he wasn’t a great cook?
Ha, no. Edd is actually an excellent cook, thankfully. I stole Riley’s ability to laugh at himself and his generosity from Edd, though. Also: his messy hair.
I really love when Natalie first realises she has been hypnotised and tells Olly the truth about his bedroom skills. As well as many more scenes. What’s your favourite part of the book?
Thank you! I had such a chuckle writing the Olly bedroom scene. It was one of the first ones that popped into my head when I thught of the idea for the book. I think my favourite scenes are the cooking scenes with Riley in the Winter Wonderland of Little Trooley. I like the frozen waterfall scene. And any scene that Dionne’s in. Dionne was absolutely my favourite character to write.
Is there any of yourself in Natalie?
Yeah, I think so. We share a mischevious sense of humour and a love of 90s R&B.
Yours Truly was originally self published and you are now with Macmillan Publishers. How does that feel? Can you tell us how it happened?
It feels awesome. It’s something I wanted to happen for so long, and the way it eventually happened –after self publishing – felt like the way it was always supposed to be. The incomparable Caroline Hogg (my editor at Pan Mac) and I had wanted to work together for years and kept missing each other, so to be signed by her now makes me feel dead lucky.
When writing, was there anything you edited out?
So much! There was a whole plot thread with a psychic character called Juniper, that got cut. Juniper was a chump. Dionne was actually never supposed to be in Little Trooley, but I loved her so much I ended up changing everything so that she could be in the book more. There wasn’t a barn dance in the early drafts. A lot of the jokes were taken out and replaced with (I hope) better ones.
Yours Truly has some amazing reviews, what does it feel like when you see what people have said?
It feels kind of bizarre, in a nice way. A lot of the time, I don’t believe it. I still look at those reviews and I’m like, ‘a real person LIKED it? They got my jokes? This can’t be real!’. But I reckon it’s definitely given me more confidence in what I’m writing and a bit more belief that what I think is funny, is probably funny to other people too.
I’ve seen lots of reviews comparing you to Sophie Kinsella, who is pretty much the queen of Chicklit, how does that make you feel? (I wholeheartedly agree by the way!)
Thank you! I love that! I’m a huge Sophie Kinsella fan, so any comparison is supremely flattering.
Before writing Yours Truly did you speak to other authors and ask for tips? If so was there any advice that really stuck?
Ha, I’ve never really told anyone this, but the whole reason I set up ‘Top 5 Writing Tips’ in the early days of Novelicious was so that I could collect the writers tips and use them to improve my own writing. I made a document with all of the best tips and revised them like a geek. Particular stand outs:
From Lucy Diamond: Don’t worry if you get bogged down in the middle of your novel. Most people hit a wall at some point so you’re in good company. The crucial thing is just to keep on going.
From Hester Brown: Think twice to avoid clichés. It’s easy to write on autopilot, or mirror Characters You Have Loved Before. Be honest: is your heroine’s mother a control freak who’s desperate for grandchildren? Does she max out her credit cards? Is she, in fact, Becky Bloomwood/Bridget Jones/Bella Swann?
From Sue Moorcroft: Use vivid verbs.
And all five of these tips from Pamela Ribon, which I think are the best we’ve ever had on the site.
What is your writing process?
I don’t think I have one yet, in terms of how I tackle a whole book. I’m only on my second one so I feel like I’m still figuring out what works best. I’ve never planned a book in advance before but now, writing to deadlines, I’m beginning to see that I probably should do! In terms of my working environment, when writing a first draft, I have to be in a room on my own with the door closed. I like listening to music while I write, but lyrics distract me so I listen to movie soundtracks, classical music and, er, Karaoke backing tracks. When I’m editing, I work from the Novelicious Books office (in our house!) because I like having the company and I don’t need silence to edit. Oh, and I can’t start anything until I have a cup of tea. But that’s true of most things in my life.
If you had to cast people for Yours Truly the movie who would you pick? (If you chose Ryan Gosling, please understand Ryan would have to be topless, it’s the law!)
Ha! As much as I would like any excuse to think abut a topless Ryan Gosling, I think he’s a bit too perfect for Riley. I like Gabriel Macht, but with messier hair. For Natalie and Dionne I think Kev at the fabulous I Heart Chick Lit got it pretty darn spot on!
Riley being a “chef” were you not tempted at all to do a naked chef scene at all?
Man! Now I wish I had done! That would have been top. Though, Riley is so tall I don’t think we’d have been able to find an apron to fit him and his junk would just be poking out at the bottom. Would anyone find that attractive? Probably best for him to be full nude.
If you had to sum up Yours Truly in five words what would you say?
Mischevious comedy with food & kissing (the ampersand doesn’t count!).
What’s your most favourite book? (I think I know this by the way! As only a stalker would.)
Wah! Such a tough question! I have loads and loads, for different reasons and moods, but a few that stand out: Talking to Addison by Jenny Colgan (is this the one you were thinking of, V?!) which always makes me cry with laughter. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell is kind of perfect, I recommend that to everyone. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood is pure brilliance. Bossypants by Tina Fey is so hilariously acerbic. Pride and Prejudice, obviously. Saving Grace by Ciara Geraghty, The Secret History by Donna Tartt, Much Ado About Nothing which is technically a play, but something I re-read every year. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver was AMAZING. Ooh, anything by Sophie Kinsella, David Sedaris, Roald Dahl, Sarah Addison Allen…I could go on forever. It’s hard to choose one favourite!
If you had to pick 5 writers to have dinner with who would you choose?
William Shakespeare, JK Rowling, Nora Ephron, Sophie Kinsella and Roald Dahl.
You have a massively popular website called Novelicious, what’s your favourite thing about it?
Team Novelicious, man! To get to work with a bunch of smart, funny booknerds everyday is so cool. A fair few of the team are writers and we’ve developed a great writerly support network amongst us. I always feel really proud when a Novelicious team member has a success. In the past year or so five of us have gotten book deals, and seven now have literary agents!
I also love the community surrounding Novelicious; established authors, other book bloggers, aspiring writers and, of course, readers. So many passionate, bookish people talking about books all the time. It’s awesome.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
That just made me think of Jedward’s X Factor audition when Simon asked where they saw themselves in 5 years time and they said, ‘Older’. Ha. In 5 years I hope to be pretty much doing what I’m doing now, but in a more accomplished way and with a smaller bum.
If you could give any advice to someone writing a novel, what would you say?
Get it finished. You can’t see any of it until it’s finished. Then rewrite and rewrite and rewrite it. Also (brazen plug approaching) visit Novelicious! So much helpful content for aspiring writers. *Wayne’s World style thumbs up to camera*
And lastly, are you ok for me to steal you and feed you cake? (Indefinitely!)
I would absolutely love to come and hang out at The Stones’ for a while. But I’m dieting so I can’t have cake. Maybe a rice cake. Can I bring my hairdresser?
Now you are all aware of my stalking of Kirsty (which she positively encourages). And I know you all think it’s me…..but I now have proof it’s a two way thing….
(I’m now off to go steal something from her bins!)
Thank you SO much Kirsty for taking part, I really appreciate it.