I’m so excited about this guest post, like SO excited! Lindsey Kelk, the uber fantastic best-selling British author has written a guest post for me here at Flamingo Monroe! Lindsey gave us the I Heart series, and other hits including About a Girl and Always a Bridesmaid, and is also an inspiration to many wannabe novella writers out there.
I’ve admired Lindsey for a while now. Her cheeky and witty writing style is second-to-none and I bet all of us in our 20s and 30s who read her books relate to the story lines in some capacity. We all think we’re a bit of Angela, mixed with a bit of Jenny, combined with an ounce of Tess, right?
Having got to know Lindsey over the last couple of years, we often exchange email chat between London and LA (her current home) covering off all our common ground – from cats, thyroid issues and family tragedies, to annoying taxi drivers, driving in America and cocktails. She’s pretty funny to follow on Twitter & Instagram too.
I hope you enjoy this little exclusive insight in to her world – her career, her relationship, her cats, her LA lifestyle, why she left New York and overcoming a tragic 2014 losing her mother and both grandmothers.
(She’s also very kindly dropped in a few tips for any aspiring writers out there.)
Here we go, a glimpse in to the life and mind of Lindsey Kelk…
“Trying to describe an average day is quite difficult for me as I’m always up to different things and travelling around and having adventures. Recently, I’ve been attached to my laptop for twelve hours a day as I’ve been finishing up my next book, A Girl’s Best Friend, which comes out in November – nothing like a tight deadline to encourage you!
I moved to LA in January this year, after five and a half years in New York, so that’s been a huge life change. New York is incredible but it’s also exhausting. LA is a lot more laid back and I feel as though I have more time to live a life out here.
An average day in NYC would mean waking up late (the perks of working from home), hitting the gym, grabbing a bagel on the way home, working all afternoon and then breaking for dinner or drinks or a gig or something fun around seven and then staying out far too late until you poured yourself into a taxi at one am to do it all again the next day. Obviously if I’m working, there are no drink and dinner breaks and I’d be up writing until two am or so. New York made a night owl out of me.
A lot of people were surprised when I moved. I think a lot of people, women especially, hear New York and think of Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada and imagine this glamorous, exciting, romantic city and do you know what? It really is exactly like that. Unfortunately, that’s a lot to live with every single day!
2014 was crazy for me and New York was getting to be too much. I lost my mum and both my grandmothers in the space of a year and I really felt lost and overwhelmed for a while, everything was tiring me out and I didn’t know how to stop and take a time out. As much as I loved my home and my friends, I needed some headspace and I found it in California. It’s just a more nurturing, patient place. I’ve turned into a hippy, haven’t I? Also, the weather is reliable so I can buy suede boots without having to worry about ruining them. There, that’s better.
Because it’s always sunny here, I wake up a lot earlier and pretty much feel compelled to get out of the house. A few weeks ago, I was hiking in Griffith Park at 7.30, in my hiking boots, with a coffee in my hand and I stopped dead on the trail, thinking ‘who am I?’ It’s a big change but I think it’s a good one!
I’m also up early because I adopted two kittens in May and they’re tiny psychopaths who won’t let me sleep past seven. Anderson Cooper needs to be snuggled at 6.00am or he can’t cope and Belle, his sister, likes to sleep on top of my head and try to eat my hair. She’s adorable but odd.
So now my mornings start a lot earlier and I feel as though I’m more productive. I’ll go hiking or go to the gym and run, then I’ll start work around 10.00 or 11.00 am, much earlier than I ever would in NYC. New York is a city that convinces you you’re missing out on everything, every second that you’re in your apartment. LA is way more like, ‘we’ll still be here when you’re done’ and I love it.
Sometimes I’ll pop out into the neighbourhood and get lunch at one of the restaurants like Home or Alcove and then I’ll get back to work. Obviously if there is any wrestling to watch, I’ll have that on in the background. I love wrestling and I am not even slightly ashamed.
The biggest change in my life since I moved to LA is my boyfriend. I was always dating in NYC but things always felt so dramatic and temporary, it was hard to lockdown a real relationship. Horrible for your stress levels but great for your writing! Things here are so much more relaxed and natural and my boyfriend is fantastic. We just came back from a weekend in San Diego because he surprised me with Taylor Swift tickets. He’s a keeper.
That said, I still struggle a little as I’m used to being so selfish. When I worked in New York, I would lock myself away for days on end and wouldn’t see anyone until I was done. It’s odd, adjusting to a life where you have responsibilities and obligations to other people. Not unpleasant but definitely difficult. Sometimes as a writer, I need to be selfish and say ‘I can’t come out, I have to work’ and I think people who don’t have similar jobs can find that hard to understand.
There’s no such thing as the end of the working day for me, I have a deadline and that deadline needs to be met, even if I have to work weekends and evenings. Ideally, you can pace your workload but I’m not good at that. I tend to binge write and let everything else slip for a couple of weeks – not healthy in an adult relationship! But as I said, I’m incredibly lucky. My boyfriend is a TV editor and he has a crazy schedule too so he gets it. And he feeds my cats when I travel. So. Lucky.
When I’m not working, I love to travel so I’ll be on a plane or in the car whenever I can be. I think it helps my writing, to see as much of the world as I can. At the end of the day, all my books are just stories around people so meeting as many different people and hearing about their lives can only help me. Even when our experiences are so different, there tend to be fundamental things everyone has in common and that’s what I try to write about – the things we all want, the things we need and the things that change our lives, whether we like it or not.
My advice to writers is always the same; read as much as you can and write as much as you can. Every time I pick up a book, I’m inspired in some way, by a turn of phrase or a brave plot twist. My books are obviously not real life but they’re inspired by things my friends and I are going through, they are factual but I try to write honestly. I think that’s why they ring true to so many people and it makes me insanely happy that people can find comfort or happiness in them, even if it’s just for ten minutes or so on their way to work.”
A massive thank you, hug and a smooch (also a purr and a lick from my kitten, Dolly) to Lindsey for guest blogging here at Flamingo Monroe. Some people on this planet are amazing – and she is totally one of them.