I can’t lie. I love chick lit. LOVE it. It’s by far my favourite style of literature, and it’s the same with films (so much so I insisted I’d only see the new Bond film if it was called ‘James Bond has a baby and buys some new shoes’- alas it was not). After reading some less than satisfying, and pretty unrealistic girlie books in the past (candy floss shoes raining from the Eiffel Tower kind of thing) I was a little giddy with excitement when I discovered the work of Miss Kelk. Having received ‘I Heart London’ as a 19th birthday present from my dad (yes, the man that also loves Take me out and Girlfriends) I fell completely in love with Lindsey, and Angela, and her dreamy rock star boyfriend Alex- so couldn’t wait to ask the lady a few questions about living in the Big Apple, Friday nights in gold hot pants and marrying Joseph Gordon Levitt …
Hi Lindsey! For those that haven’t read your books, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi! My name is Lindsey and I write funny books for a living. I’m from Yorkshire originally but now live in New York, via a seven year stint in London. I love reading, writing, watching way too much TV, wandering around the city and spending as much time as humanly possible gossiping with my friends. This is essential.
When did you first get into writing?
I’ve always written, ever since I was very, very young and then I studied writing as part of my degree, worked as a copywriter and an editor. I was just desperate to be near books or writing of any kind, even if that writing was a Fructis press release. Once I’d been in publishing for about four years, I decided enough was enough and I started writing I Heart New York. Haven’t stopped since!
What inspires you to get writing- how do you avoid the dreaded writers block?
Deadlines! No, really, it’s the hardest part. I recently went on a crazy writing spurt and did 11,000 words in two days and then haven’t typed a single word in two weeks. It’s bad, I just have to force myself to get on with it, I think that’s all you can do.
Would you say your life is a somewhat parallel to Angela Clarks? What inspired the I heart series?
It is but she usually goes first. I let her take the falls and then learn from her lessons… I’ve always loved New York but I couldn’t have imagined moving here, so I write a book about it instead. It was a fantasy, because I couldn’t see how it could possibly happen for real, I wrote about it instead. About a year after I finished the book, a job opportunity came up and I followed Angela stateside.
Can we expect any more adventures from chic-lits favourite Angela Clark in the future?
Angela’s on hiatus but she’ll be back one day. Right now I’m working on something new, a new series that publishes next summer. The first book is called ‘About a Girl’ and I’m working on it right now!
Living in the big apple, how would you describe your day-to-day style?
I love fashion and playing around with my look so it could really be anything. I’m a huge fan of stripes and sequins – my friends constantly make jokes about my magpie tendencies. Today is was Topshop skinnes and an American Apparel striped tee. Yesterday it was a vintage tea dress. Last weekend I went out Friday night in gold sequin hotpants, gold YSL Tributes and an ASOS panda jumper and on the Saturday, I wore a gorgeous paisley silk shift from Club Monaco. For every designer piece, I have a dozen eBay vintage dresses and Primark rompers. My closet is disgusting and wonderful.
Where’s your favourite place to hit the shops?
I love to shop online. I get so giddy that I can hit up all my favourite brands, look for bargains and pick up tons of vintage finds. Etsy and eBay are my favourites. If I’m in New York, I tend to find myself in Soho a lot even though it’s SO crazy down there, I hate it on the weekends. Love Bloomies and I love Club Monaco at the moment. I love simple, soft, sexy pieces. In London, it’s Topshop and I bought a ton of stuff from Jaegar Boutique the last time I was home. Plus I always end up emptying the rails at Beyond Retro.
Who is your ultimate fashion girl crush?
I don’t think there’s one person, my style is always changing so much! I love Zooey Deschanel’s style (we both love the bangs) and I love everyone on Mad Men, I’ve been feeling a big sixties vibe this year. Plus, according to my friends, I dress like a hooker crossed with a Japanese baby. So that’s nice.
What’s your favourite thing about living across the pond? How does it compare to London?
New York is the best place on the face of the earth. I wish it wasn’t, it’s so hard to live here but I love it completely. It doesn’t matter how miserable I am or what’s going on, that city gives me such a kick. I love to wander around and see all the stories writing themselves on the sidewalks. I am completely and irrevocably in love with it. London is a great city too but it doesn’t make me nearly as happy. I just feel more alive here, like there is more opportunity, more inspiration. There’s always a million things to do and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.
Who is your favourite author? What books should the What Olivia Did readers rush to check out?
My favourite book in the entire world is The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Love it. Books I’ve read this year and loved include Drowned by Therese Bohman, Stone Arabia by Dana Spiota and All That Glitters by Ilana Fox.
As well as being an (amazing) writer, your a keen beauty blogger- which products do you swear by?
Oh YOU. Um, I love so much stuff. I love Armani and Benefit foundations – I’m too pale for most high street brands which is tough. Rimmel concealer, Maybelline mascaras can’t be beat. I like MAC and Nars blusher, Chanel waterproof eyeliners, L’Oreal pessed powder, Dior Lipglow and YSL Glossy Stains. I cannot cope without make up, it is my favourite thing in the entire world. I can lose days in Duane Reade, Sephora and the Bloomingdales beauty counters.
What’s next for Miss Kelk?
Well, first I’m having dinner with my friend Jackie and then tomorrow I’m going away for the week so I can do a ton of writing because I’m SO behind on the new book. Hopefully there’s lots to come – I’m planning lots of fun articles and I hope to marry Joseph Gordon Levitt very soon. He doesn’t know yet. But it’s on.
If this hasn’t got you booking a flight to New York, beginning your first novel (it’s safe to say I am now in the planning- thanks Kelk) then alternatively you can visit Lindsey here and pick up her amazing books here!