You took a three-year break from writing, then published Man Crush Monday in February 2020 and now Stand-in Saturday? Did the break refresh your writing soul?
Honestly, I don’t know how the three-year break happened. One minute I was writing away happily and everything was fine, and the next words just… went! It was hard and writer’s block is a real thing, it kind of messes with your head a bit. I just fell out of love with writing. Then one day the idea for Man Crush Monday came to me but I still didn’t think I’d be able to write it. I lost all confidence in myself. But I gave it a go and the words just flowed! It was a new genre for me, and writing a romcom was just what I needed as I was going through a tough time then so writing it was an escape of sorts. I loved writing both of the books, and yes, they feel a little like I took a mental health spa day. My writing mojo is back, and so is my love of crafting stories and bringing characters to life. I loved every second of them.
Tell us about your new series. Did you decide to write romcoms, or was it just the storylines that came to you first? What do you enjoy about writing romantic comedy?
The storyline came to me first, but after my break in writing for so long I wasn’t sure I was even capable of writing the book. I sat down at the laptop and words just flowed out. I wrote the first draft of Man Crush in six weeks, the fastest I’ve ever written a book, Stand-In Saturday’s first draft was written in eight weeks. I loved every second of writing them, romcom is an escape from the tough times of real-life and it’s so nice to get into a light and fluffy headspace, even if it is just fiction!
For this series, you’ve opted for illustrated covers rather than photographic. Why did you decide to go this route?
I wanted something bright and colourful to match the fun and flirty contents of the books. The romcom genre allows you to add whatever you want onto the cover rather than traditional romance you have to stick to the more accepted and expected man/couple photograph covers. I love the freedom of romcom covers.
How has the Coronavirus pandemic affected you as a writer?
Oh man, the dreaded C word!! It wasn’t too bad for me. I work from home writing anyway and am a bit of a homebody so other than the usual struggles everyone had with shopping and staying in and homeschooling, I wasn’t as affected as some. I was lucky.
You’re probably best known for your fabulous book The Boy Who Sneaks in my Bedroom Window and that iconic cover? Eight years after publishing it, how do you feel about it now?
It’s still my most popular book and the one that sells the most even now – the funny thing is (and this won’t be a popular answer) but that book is probably my least favourite of mine! *runs and hides* Purely because it was my first and I feel I’ve grown so much as a writer over the years. My writing style has adapted slightly too, so when I think or look back at that book—of course I love it and the characters, it’s still my baby—but I see things I’d like to change about it, stuff I know I could write better now, but I won’t mess with it. It’s a lot of people’s favourites, I wouldn’t dare LOL
When did you start to feel like a writer, the moment when you thought, Yes! I’m a writer!
When I went to my parents and told them I’d published a book. Before that I hadn’t told anyone other than my husband. So telling them I’d published a book, and I handed them a copy, seeing their shock and pride was my first ‘OMG I wrote a book’ moment. The second was when that little book was directly underneath Harry Potter in the iBooks chart. Literally rubbing shoulders with one of my favourite series, I still have the screenshot on my old laptop!
What is the most rewarding part of being a writer? And being an indie?
Being my own boss. Working from home. Having the freedom to write what I want to read, rather than having to write what sells or is popular.
What’s a typical Kirsty day like?
I’m honestly so boring! School runs, as little housework as possible, loving on my dog, writing during the school hours, then lots of mum stuff. I squeeze in reading whenever I can too. I’m a night owl so tend to stay up reading or writing, mornings are my nemesis.
Does your environment influence your work? How do you think being a Brit influences your writing?
I love writing books set in the UK, I love adding little British quirks or humour or phrases. My books that are set in the UK are my favourites, though I also love setting them in the US because things are so different over there. It’s a nice balance.
What is your favourite reader experience, either in messages or at an event?
I had a lot of people message me when Nothing Left to Lose came out. That book deals with some very sensitive issues, and I had a lot of readers who had been through something similar message me and say the book had helped them in some way. I won’t go into specifics, but hearing that my words helped even one person see a brighter side to life is something I will always treasure.
Meeting readers at signings and stuff is still so surreal to me. Like, what are you there for, queuing to see me, I’m just normal. You know what I mean? It’s mad to me, especially when people get all jittery and nervous. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but it’s so baffling!
Do you think writers are different to other people?
Nope. We’re maybe a little bit weirder/quirkier than most though LOL.
Have you ever considered writing with a friend? (I don’t think you have?)
I have considered it. I’ve never done it. I would love to BUT I’m so slow at writing, I delete a lot too and take long breaks when I shouldn’t. I know that if I did co-write with a friend they’d likely end up hating me for it because I’d be lagging behind and second-guessing myself all the time. It would not be a nice experience for them, so I wouldn’t want to risk it!
Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
Still addicted to crisps, chocolate and romance novels. I’m not ambitious, I’m happy just being happy with my family.
What is your philosophy in life?
I don’t really have one. I should get one, a cool one. I’ll have a think LOL
Describe yourself in three words.
Short, sarcastic, loyal (just three, that was hard!!)
How would your best friend describe you?
Cute and friendly, probably also that I people please and am a pushover even to my own detriment. I’ve been told that before.
If you were an animal, what would you be?
Sloth. Slow, sleeps a lot, cute but will fight you.
Most likely to say…
Least likely to say…
No, I can’t do that for you
What is your favourite colour and why?
Pink. The kind of pink that is just edging towards purple. I’ve always liked it, had my childhood bedroom painted this colour too.
When you’re having a bad day, what cheers you up?
My cocker spaniel, Lolly. She is the best doggo in the world.
What would be your ideal day? Where would you be? Who would you be with?
Snow, Ryan Reynolds, coffee and chocolate
Mountains and snow, or beaches and sunshine?
Definitely mountains and snow. I can’t stand the hot weather.
Best book hangover – which book do you go back and re-read multiple times?
The Hating Game, Sally Thorne. OMG I’m not explaining why, just go buy it and read it. *sigh* Josh.
What are you working on next?
Fangirl Friday, it’s book 3 in the Love For Days series. You meet the main character in Stand-In Saturday 😊
What message would you like to give to the people who read your books?
Thank you so much. Without readers I wouldn’t be able to do any of the above, I’m honestly so lucky. So thank you.
Stand-In Saturday Blurb
Two broken hearts. One fake dating agreement. What could go wrong?
Lucie thought she had it all—a loving fiancé, a nice apartment, and a job she was great at. But that all changed the day she walked in on her perfect fiancé screwing his personal trainer on her newly purchased dream sofa. Three months later, she’s bunking with her best friend and scrambling to make sense of her life sans cheating ex.
Theo is about to jet off for a long weekend in picturesque Scotland to be the best man at his brother’s wedding. With stunning views and nothing but free food and drinking ahead, he should be more excited than he is. If only he didn’t have feelings for the damn bride.
When fate throws Lucie and Theo together under unlikely circumstances, they bond over doughnuts and their mutually disastrous love lives … and it seems like they might be able to help each other out. As long as they both stick to the rules, there’s nothing that can go wrong.
Contract in place? Check.
Hot, fake dates? Check.
Sexual chemistry steamy enough to scorch sheets? Double che—
That wasn’t in the agreement …
A standalone romcom. Book 2 in the Love For Days series. Please note: Although this book can be read as a standalone, it is set after Man Crush Monday (Book 1 in the series) so will contain spoilers.
Buy your copy ➜ HERE