Kirstie congratulations on the launch of your debut novel today Life’s a Catastrophe. We have some questions for you before you dash off to celebrate!
Tell us about your book!
Life’s a Catastrophe is a comedy about an Instagram influencer and animal lover called Aly Meadows. At the start of the novel Aly is developing quite a following online by posting pictures of her cats dressed up in tiny costumes. Her quirky feed brings her to the attention of Rick Harvard, CEO of London talent agency Glimmer who made his own name broadcasting about astrophotography on YouTube. He understands the influencer world, but more importantly he gets Aly, which is huge, as Aly has no friends or family to speak of, and the reality of the protagonist’s life is a world away from the image she presents. We follow her adventures and misadventures as he offers her a whole basket of new opportunities. And we watch their bond grow along with her Insta-fame as she stands on the brink of online and real-life catastrophe.
My debut novel is a city based, fast paced contemporary romp. looking at life behind the lens. It’s aimed at those who are social media savvy and is designed to raise a laugh and not take itself too seriously. If you’ve never used a hashtag it might leave you a bit baffled, but it’s also a tale of two cats that pet owners might enjoy.
What and who inspired you to write Life’s a Catastrophe?
I was inspired by my friend’s cats and their capacity for putting themselves at the centre of the universe, and demanding what they deserve out of life. I’ve also been a travel blogger for many years and have watched Instagrammers at work. Believe me, their habits are just as fascinating!
Can you talk us though the writing process?
For me it’s a compulsion. I have been writing professionally for thirty years as a journalist and it has always been both my job and my hobby. But I definitely compose better words in front of the window or on a sofa in a busy coffee shop, with an excellent cappuccino on the table in front of me. There’s something about the bustle that puts me in a flow state and gets my fingers going on the laptop before an interesting conversation on the next table brings me back to the moment for some eavesdropping. You never know where the inspiration will come from for your next character. However I do spend way too much money on caffeine and Biscotti biscuits.
How are you going to celebrate your book launch?
Probably in a coffee shop as outlined above, although I plan to have a glass of fizz later. I also believe I write better words when I’m drunk – I am basically F. Scott Fitzgerald after a couple of glasses of Prosecco.
Do you have any more books in the pipeline?
I have a novel about happiness coming out in November, also published by Embla Books. And two more romantic comedy protagonists are leaving me with little head space right now. I seem to always have a story inside me crying out to be written down. Luckily I learn to touch type a long time ago…