1. How did you get into writing?
I've always scribbled down stories ever since I was a child but I first started writing chick lit the summer I turned twenty-one. I'd had a bit of a rough time in the months leading up to that birthday and I found it to be quite cathartic making things turn out well for my characters. It was definitely much more fun than working on my dissertation which was what I was supposed to be writing that summer!
2. What do you think makes your book ‘Kept’ stand out in today’s market?
Kept has a flawed main character - you're supposed to hate Arielle at the start and then slowly warm to her, though perhaps not love her by the end of the book. Often characters in chick lit books can be quite two dimensional and they don't really struggle to achieve their happy ending - Arielle's journey is hopefully more relatable to readers and that should make her story more unique and compelling.
3. Do you have any ‘must haves’ while you are writing?
I'm relatively easy going when I'm writing - I don't have any special writing rituals or quirks, and I can work with background noise or in silence. Having a deadline is probably my most important 'must have' so I can have a target to focus on and work towards.
4. If you couldn’t have been a writer what would you have liked to of been?
I would love to have been a West End musical star as I'm a big musical fan. It would definitely have to have been something creative!
5. What type of books do you read when you are not writing?
All types! I obviously read a lot of chick lit/contemporary women's fiction as that's the genre I write, but you'll also find me reading crime fiction, thrillers, travel writing and dystopian YA books. I'm currently reading the A Song of Ice and Fire series, which is fantasy and amazing - if someone recommends a book to me, I'll give it a go regardless of its genre.
6. Where have you got the inspiration for your books?
Like Arielle I’ve known what career I’ve wanted to do ever since I was a child (Arielle’s childhood dream was to be a fashion designer). Writing Kept made my dream happen, but I won’t spoil it by telling you how things work out for Arielle! I take inspiration from anywhere - it could be a friend's announcement I see on Facebook or something random that has happened to me - real life is definitely a great place for book inspiration but I always make sure to add a fictional twist.
7. Can you tell us what you are working on now and give us a sneak preview of your new book?
I've just finished editing Geli Voyante's Hot or Not, which will be released on October 17th (in paperback and Kindle formats). It's about Geli Voyante who works in the Gherkin as a newspaper's Hot or Not columnist. Of late she's fed up of the fickleness of her job, even though it comes with the perk of sitting next to Theo, the newspaper's very Hot political columnist.
When Geli's arch-nemesis Tiggy Boodles gets engaged, and other loved ones start to settle down, it spurs Geli on to convince Theo that she’s not as shallow as her column suggests and, more importantly, she’s the one for him. There are two sides to every story though, and that applies to people too...
Sneak preview from Geli Voyante's Hot or Not:
Today is going to be another same old, same old day. I can feel it in my bones as I plonk myself down in my Todd chair, which immediately relieves my bones but does nothing to shake this feeling of repetition. Mitch Todd may be a fashion genius, but he’s not a miracle worker.
The chair, if you’re interested, is the most succulent and soft black leather chair your derrière will ever enjoy. So Hot I’d wildly declared it to be when I spied and sat upon it in Harrods’ furniture department, much to the sales assistant’s disgust which only turned into delight when her colleague realised who I was... When the nation read my declaration – Not Hot that week included snooty sales staff – which included Mitch Todd’s PR team, the next thing I knew I had a Todd chair delivered to my office, plus one to my house, on the house.
This happens a lot. And no, I’m not a clairvoyant. That would be my sister. I wish I was joking, but my parents really called her Claire and our surname is Voyante. I know. My mother thought Claire sounded pretty with the surname; forgivable – I suspect going through the rigours of labour can send a person a bit loopy in the mind – but my father? He should have known better, a sentiment still applicable to this day with his behaviour.
Claire can’t wait until marriage allows her to change this crime against an innocent babe-in-arms. Until then though she’ll pronounce “Claire” in the flattest English-tone she can muster up (hard with our embedded South African twang), then pronounce Voyante in an exaggerated Italian accent: “Voy-on-tayyyyyy” instead of “Voy–ont”.
She gets very vexed about these sorts of personal injustices, but she wasn’t the only one to suffer. I was named Angelica, Angelica Dawn Voyante to give you my full moniker, all because I looked like an angel at birth and was born at dawn. I kid you not. With parents like these and their naming skills, you must think that they too suffered... no. They have nice normal names: Rupert and Isabelle. Lucky them. Everyone calls me Geli though. As in “jelly”. Haven’t you read my column? Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not.
8. What has been your best moment so far since becoming an author?
The feedback and reviews I have received have definitely been the best moment so far since becoming an author. It's obviously quite nerve-wracking putting yourself out there; people's reactions to your work can feel quite personal and cut deeply if it's a negative response. Thankfully I've mostly had a positive reaction and that's the best thing - knowing people are enjoying my fiction as much as I enjoyed writing it.
9. What advice do you have for new authors starting out?
Don't give up. You might not make it today, tomorrow, or for another ten years... if you give up though, you'll never make it.
10. Are any of your characters based on people you know?
There might be a trait here and there derived from people I know but I don't intentionally base my characters on people I know. A few people have remarked on similarities I share with some of my characters but, again, that's not intentional. However, I do think it is inevitable as a writer that a few of your own experiences or quirks might make their way into your books!
About the Author:
Elle Field is a twenty-something chick lit author who lives in London with her boyfriend. She enjoys exploring and photographing Blighty's capital, seeing far too many musicals, and eating her way around London's culinary delights.
Kept is her first novel -Buy Kept here - which will be followed by Geli Voyante's Hot or Not on October 17th. You can read her blog here, follow her on Twitter: @ellefie and find her on Facebook