Welcome to our monthly feature for authors.
The author for the month of April 2022 is Kristen Bailey, author of ‘Has Anyone Seen My Sex Life?’, ‘Can I Give My Husband Back?’ and other books. I have read and reviewed her books on this blog and you can check out my reviews (in “Book Reviews) to see if you may be interested to read them. I really love her writing style and stories, and would always recommend her books to everyone who asks me for a book recommendation.
Today’s interview will give us a sneak-peek into Kristen’s life as a published author. I hope you enjoy reading her answers to these ten questions but first let’s begin with an introduction of the author.
So here we go…..
Kristen Bailey is a British writer and a graduate of Bristol University. Mother-of-four, rum-drinker, binge-watcher, receipt hoarder, enthusiastic but terrible cook. She used to write short fiction before her first two novels were published in 2016.
In 2019, she was long listed in the Comedy Women in Print Prize and has since joined the Bookouture family. She lives in Hampshire, UK. She also is a whizz at world capitals and thinks pineapple belongs on pizza. Don’t fight her on this. Find out more at:
Website: http://www.kristenbaileywrites.com; Twitter: @mrsbaileywrites; Facebook and Instagram: @kristenbaileywrites
HOW LONG ON AN AVERAGE DOES IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE A BOOK?
Kristen: Oh, wow. It depends on whether the juices are flowing but when I was a young mum, I didn’t put pressure on myself – sometimes I’d take up to a year. Now I have contracts and deadlines so it’s a different story. I’ve found that if I need to then I can write a book in two months. I am a wreck by the end of those two months though!
IF YOU COULD TELL YOUR YOUNGER WRITING SELF ANYTHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Kristen: You know nothing, young Kristen. Keep writing. Whether it’s short stories, letters, novels, articles – just keep writing, keep learning, keep editing, keep churning it out and that is how you will get better.
HOW DID PUBLISHING YOUR FIRST BOOK CHANGE YOUR PROCESS OF WRITING?
Kristen: I think my first ever book gave me self-belief. Until then, I was just writing not knowing if I was funny or if it made sense at all but having a publisher and editor believe in the material gave me some drive to keep going. After the first few books, I then understood my process a lot more – how my energy really comes from the first three or four chapters. I need to get those down and then plan for how the rest of the story will pan out.
DO YOU HIDE ANY SECRETS IN YOUR BOOKS THAT ONLY A FEW PEOPLE WILL FIND?
Kristen: All the time! In my first book, all the character names had meaning. The Callaghan Sisters books are all linked too, the sisters’ stories weave into each other and I love it when people see the commonality between the stories and the hidden Easter Eggs! I think in two of the books, something occurs which is in the same page number on both books. I’ve only ever had one person see this!
WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT THING ABOUT WRITING CHARACTERS FROM THE OPPOSITE SEX?
Kristen: Truthfully, it’s sometimes describing what these men are wearing. Men’s fashion is so boring. He’s either in jeans or a suit. So many of my male characters are always in plaid shirts too and they’re not even lumberjacks.
WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES A GOOD STORY?
Kristen: Relatability. In ‘Has Anyone Seen My Sex Life?’, what I loved was how much people saw themselves in Meg and Danny, the main characters. They liked how they saw their marriage and their sex lives in that story and that is what made it funny to them. I think you develop that by creating characters that people care about and root for.
DOES A BIG EGO HELP OR HURT AUTHORS?
Kristen: I think it doesn’t hurt to be somewhere in the middle. I’d say I’m not hugely confident when it comes to my work so I’d love to have more of an ego, I’d love to strut about and say ‘Hey, I wrote a book, I think you should read it, I think it’s great!’ But I guess a lack of ego also keeps you humble. I know I am always focused on where my next book is coming from, on making my writing and books better.
WHAT IS YOUR WRITING KRYPTONITE?
Kristen: As in what prevents me from writing? That’ll be snacks and box sets on Netflix… haha. In terms of what am I bad at writing? I tried writing everything at the beginning. I tried on a lot of genres to see if they’d fit but I was terrible at writing horror. I’d scare myself. I’m also not a very good poet. Words just don’t flow through me in that way. That said, I’m your girl If you ever need a limerick.
WHAT ARE THE COMMON TRAPS FOR ASPIRING WRITERS?
Kristen: OK. I’m going to be controversial here but I think a lot of aspiring authors think success is found in the traditional model of publishing. That is, you find an agent, they find you a publisher, you get a crazy advance, your books are in all the stores, New York Times Bestsellers List, and then Netflix make your book into a mini-series starring Millie Bobby Brown. Hold up there. It doesn’t always happen that way. I have no agent and I’m mainly published digitally. These days, my biggest thrill is a message from a reader telling me my books made them laugh. Am I successful? I keep my kids in shoes but I’d tell any aspiring author to research the different ways into getting a book published, dream big but really think about what success really looks like to you.
DO YOU HAVE ANY BOOK COOKING IN THE OVEN FOR YOUR FANS? IF YES, WHEN WILL IT BE PUBLISHED?
Kristen: I do! It’s going through a second round of edits at the moment. It’s pure romcom, a slight diversion from what I usually write but still lots of funny, lots of heart. It is coming out in Summer 2022. I can’t wait for you to meet Josie and Cameron, I hope readers will love them as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them.
This was such a treat! I loved reading Kristen’s responses to all the questions and I hope you enjoyed reading them too.
Do you have any more questions for Kristen?
You can put them in the comments and she will respond to you as soon as she can, so bring them on..
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