Bookish faves, how are you all? Today I am SUPER excited to share with you all an interview I have done with quite possibly my most favourite author on the planet….. Kirsty Greenwood! Author of Yours Truly, The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance and her newest and best yet, Big Sexy Love!
‘Olive Brewster is living a small, safe life. She’s happy enough with her job at the local market, it’s no big deal that doesn’t have boyfriend, she even likes that she still lives in her childhood home. No drama and no fuss means no problems! And that’s just how she likes it.
Except … Olive’s best friend in the world, Birdie, is dying.
Birdie has one final wish. She wants to track down her first love, her epic once in a lifetime love, her “Big Sexy Love”, Chuck. And because she’s stuck in the hospital she needs Olive’s help to do it. But there’s a teeny problem: Chuck is somewhere in New York and Olive has never even left her home town, let alone roamed the crazy streets of Manhattan!
As if the big city isn’t scary enough, Olive has to contend with Seth, a cocky comedy TV writer who thinks she’s a joke; Anders, a bored socialite who’s taken a shine to her; and the fact that no matter how hard she tries to track down Chuck, he does not seem to want to be found.
Can Olive learn to overcome her fears, abandon her old safe routine and fulfil her best friend’s dying wish? It’s going to take extra bravery, one badass attitude and a whole lot of Big Sexy Love to make it happen …’
I recently reviewed Big Sexy Love and you can check that out here!
1. Olive is such a wonderful character, I truly love her, she is ACE! For so MANY reasons! She is so lovely and kind, an amazing friend to Birdie and the most hilarious things happen to her. But what I loved most about her is how relatable she is, for me personally…. I felt like I went on this journey with her. Her fear of EVERYTHING held her back from truly living her life and I was sitting there cheering her on to grab life by the balls, realising that actually I could do the same! That if I go on a plane I probably won’t die in a fire ball. Where did Olive come from?
Thank you! I’m psyched that she made you feel stronger! That’s amazing. I love Olive. With new characters, I tend to think of a ‘voice’ and write. It usually takes around half of the first draft for the character to become someone other than me and then when they do, it’s very easy to write about how they would respond in certain situations. I thought Olive would be a little more sedate than she turned out to be. She’s a livewire! I miss her so much now that I’m not writing her everyday.
2. With Big Sexy Love you have gone back to Self Publishing, was this for any particular reason at all?
Man, I loved being traditionally published but I have a really strong entrepreneurial streak and I love being in control of my output. I get a real buzz from it. Romance is a very strong genre in the digital space and, with my previous digital publishing experience, it didn’t make sense for me to go with a traditional publisher when I could do it myself. When you publish yourself you’re at the top of your own list. I don’t have to compete for marketing budgets and attention from publicists or supermarket shelf space. I have to make it work for myself and there’s something very rewarding and exciting about that!
3. What is the best thing about being a writer? APART from the fact it brought me into your life, I know this will be the number one best thing ever, but control yourself!
Well it did bring you to me and for that I will be forever thankful. I will never again meet another person in my life who fancies Mick Dundee AND Mick Hucknell. It sometimes just pops up in my head and randomly makes me get the giggles. Mick Dundee. Mick Hucknall. WTF, GIRL?
I love that being a full-time writer makes me sound cooler than I actually am. I love that I can work from home although I do sometimes get a bit lonely and miss having colleagues. Mostly I love connecting with readers. When you’ve spent months on your own with a bunch of made up bonkers people and then real life people get in touch because the books made them laugh or helped them to escape or made them feel stronger, that is an unbeatable feeling! I know it sounds a bit ched, but it’s true. Sometimes when I get a good review or an email from a reader I get teary and stare at the computer screen with a dopey smile on my face. And if you’re really lucky, one of these readers will declare themselves your number one fan and stalk you, causing you to become as obsessed with them as they are with you.
4. What’s the worst thing about being a writer?
Hmmmm. I think the lack of colleagues. I read an article the other week about the author Jane Green and how she set up a co-working space for authors near where she lives. That sounds perfect to me.
I used to care a lot about bad reviews but now I’m pretty chill about them. The reviews I dislike the most are the three star ones. So MEH. Would rather have someone obsessively-love or rage-hate my books than be tepid about them.
5. Of all your books who is your favourite heroine so far? I LOVED Jessica Beam, I can’t help it. BUT I also adore Natalie Butterworth actually, oh god I Can’t chose between the two. But you MUST!
I think Olive! But she’s the one I’ve been hanging out with recently so I don’t know how true that is. I love all of them. I think I would be best friends with Jessica Beam, though. She’s so fun! Ooh and Natalie is a sweetheart. I dunno!!
6.Talking of old characters, Yours Truly, your first book, has had a fancy new makeover! I love the new cover, who designed it?
It was me! And Edd, my partner, did the illustrations. I love making book covers. I think I’m going to do a different one for the US version, though. They tend to like photographs there, rather than illustrations.
7. Now if you remember from our last Q&A you had some serious beef with Benedict Cumberbatch, is this matter finally resolved?
Never! He actually popped up in the Vintage Guide sequel (which I’ve not finished yet), telling people off for not following the rules. I don’t know why the thought of him being a total narc makes me laugh. But it does.
8. If you were stranded in the middle of nowhere in the dark and a car was coming towards you, which fictional character would you like to be in the car and why?
Oooh, this is gooooood. I think I would choose Harry Potter. He would get out of the car, open the boot, take out his lovely nimbus (not a euphemism) and we would fly about for a bit. That would be cool. And then I would tell him about contact lenses and how I get mine online and how they are reasonably priced and how he should defo invest in some contacts. Even if he only wore them for swimming and on nights out. Then he would be really grateful of my advice and give me the gift of his wand (not a euphemism). Then I would be like, ‘Dude, why do you have a car when you have a broomstick?’ and he would say ‘Sometimes I just like a nice drive, you know?’
9.If you could have a date with ANY fictional character who would you choose and what would the date be like? I would TOTALLY date Travis Maddox from Beautiful Disaster…… no actually I think maybe I would chose Gavin Blake from Collide…… or actually Ben from Pictures of Lily. I’d date them all, sod it. (I can think of another five I wouldn’t mind giving a go as I type this!)
Oh I loved Ben in Pictures of Lily! I would choose Seth out of Big Sexy Love. I know that’s a cop out but I SUPER fancy him. He’s a comedian with messy hair and glasses and broad shoulders and turqoiuse eyes. Perfect.
10. What book do you reread over and over again and why?
All of Nora Ephron’s essay books. They are magnificent and I can’t get enough of her clever, sharp funny witticisms.
11. Where did the inspiration for Big Sexy Love come from and was there much research involved?
I love big 80s and 90s blockbuster movies with high concepts. Films like Overboard, The Out-Of-Towners, Adventures in Babysitting and Filofax. Just farcical comedy with big set piece scenes and fish out of water scenarios. I wanted to write something that would put me in that kind of space. And it had to be set in New York because that’s where all my fave movies are set!
12. Describe Big Sexy Love in 5 words for us?
Hopeful, funny, unexpected, horny, exciting
13. Do you suffer with Storm Horn? Was this part of the book that you could use from your own personal experience?
NO!!! HAHA. Okay, MAYBE. That whole thing came about because I was writing a scene set in a strom and I was ike ‘this is so sexy and tense! Lightning! Oooh!’ There’s an element of danger in a storm and everyone’s wet and wide-eyed and it’s all a bit exciting. I had Olive echo these sentiments in order to justify her behaviour. Blaming it on the magic of a storm. Storm horn!
14. Donna (from Big Sexy Love)…… what a complete bitch! If you had to chose what would you rather, live with Donna for a year or have your hair made to look like a unicorn horn everyday for a year?
Unicorn horn, for sure. I could not cope with Donna. Jeeez.
15.If you could be any animal what would you be? (I will call this question an Olive special, it’s also one of my most favourite questions to ask people!) I would be an Orca, because they are seriously beautiful and they stay in their pods with their families FOREVER.
Orca! That’s a good one! Ooh… I would be a dog. Specifically, my dog Charlie. He has it really good. Fresh chicken on the daily, hair washed for him, massages, pissing in public without judgement. What’s not to like?
16. I have so many favourite parts in Big Sexy Love, when she gets accused of mastubating in a private garden and WATCH ME PIDDLE made me laugh until it hurt and I ADORED the exchanges between Olive and Birdie, but my most favourite moments were the softer parts, for instance when Seth was caught volunteering with those kids. Which was your favourite and why?
Ah, thank you! It’s scary to write so emotionally and I always worry if I’ve done a good job. I’m afraid I can’t say my favourite part because it’s a spoiler! But I loved all of the scenes with Anders. He was an unplanned character and he really made me laugh.
17. Sunday Night Live, this was clearly your love of Saturday Night Live, can you tell us your most favourite clip ever of that show?
That’s a hard one!! I LOVE SNL so much. My favourite recent sketch was the David Pumpkins one with Tom Hanks. I watch that a lot. I loved Bill Hader’s Stefon sketches and Rachel Dratch’s Debbie Downer skits. Ooh, and the What Up With That? sketches with Kenan Thompson make me howl with laughter. Oh and anything with Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett will hit the mark.
THANK YOU SO MUCH for coming and answering my sometimes crazy questions Kirsty, it is always the BEST FUN to have you on my blog.
All about Kirsty!
Kirsty Greenwood is the author of three fast-paced, funny and fearless romantic comedies. She is also the founder and editor in chief of Novelicious.com.
Kirsty sends out a really cool letter each month with wonderful giveaways, bookish updates and general good stuff. You can sign up to get the letters by copying and pasting this web address: http://bit.ly/2pe1XuP
Kirsty Tweets at @KirstyBooks, Instagrams at @kirsty_greenwood and can be found on Facebook at KirstyGreenwoodBooks. Her favourite thing is when readers get in touch to say hello!