I’m thrilled to have Lindsey Kelk as my guest on The Dark Phantom today. Lindsey is a children’s book editor at a top publishing house and the author of I Heart New York, a delightful chick-lit novel featuring the incorrigible Angela Clark. I Heart New York is the first book in a series of five. The second book, I Heart Hollywood, is due out January 2010. Visit her website and her blogs, BeautyMecca and BeautyAddict.
Thanks for being my guest, Lindsey. Tell us, how did you come up with the idea for I Heart New York and the series?
I’d just come back from a holiday in New York and was incredibly broke and depressed. New York has been amazing, and I just couldn’t seem to shake myself out of the post-holiday blues, so I decided, if I couldn’t go back (and my credit limit said no, I could not) that I would write about it instead.
I always conceived the books as a series, taking in different cities around the world — I love fiction series, I blame my teen obsession with Sweet Valley High. I never want books I love to end.
Tell us a little about your protagonist. What about her will women readers identify with the most?
I hope people will like Angela because she and I are a lot alike! Except she gets the boys and, sob, I don’t do quite so well (send any and all viable applicants to my Facebook page please). People have said they like her because she’s funny and down to earth. Of course the book is a fantasy, so it’s not like stuff like that happens every single day, but I like to think that Angela deals with the situations she finds herself in like an actual person would.
That and she really likes shoes. And boys. And karaoke. And cocktails.
Like I said, we’re a lot alike.
Are you a disciplined writer? How long did it take you to finish the first draft? What about the editing process?
I really wish I could say yes, but since I finished I Heart New York, I’ve been terrible. In my defense, I work as a senior editor in children’s publishing so writing, editing and rewriting is my entire life! I Heart New York was really quick to write, the first draft took just six weeks, but I dedicated my life to it. I would come home from work, cook dinner, eat, open the laptop and write until I fell asleep. By the time I had a book deal and was writing I Heart Hollywood, SO much more was going on in my life and I didn’t have as much time. That one took maybe four months? Now I’ve just finished the first draft of I Heart Paris and just to make my life that little bit more difficult, I upped and moved to New York halfway through, BUT it still only took six months. I guess I’m a lot faster than a lot of other writers but, really, I should be more disciplined.
Editing is easier, my editor is AMAZING and always gives the most insightful and inspiring advice, so once I get her comments in, I can turn them around in a few weeks.
Is your second book already finished? I understand it’s scheduled for publication in early 2010.
Yup! I’ve just had the proofs, the cover is gorgeous. My cover designer, Lee Motley, is a goddess. And, yes, I Heart Hollywood is out January 2010. Scary.
Did you move to Paris for a while in order to write it?
I wish! I visited LA and Paris for research, but I wasn’t able to move. I just moved to New York with my job; it’s really a coincidence that I’m following in Angela’s footsteps, alebit a very big coincidence!
How many books are you planning to write for the series?
There are five books planned in my head, three written, two sort of plotted out but who knows? Maybe I’ll finish these five and then come back to it in ten years…
You also keep a popular blog called BeautyMecca. Tell us all about it!
I LOVE make-up! Basically, before I moved into publishing, I used to work in beauty PR, and, while I loved the products, PR wasn’t for me. BeautyMecca was my way of staying involved with the side of the industry I loved and steering clear of calling up journalists and asking if they wanted to try my new wonder foundation.
It wasn’t wonderful, but I will spare the innocent.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers?
Thanks so much Mayra, that was fun!
Thanks, Lindsey, and good luck with your book. I look forward to reading your second one!