AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Melissa Kite
Having just read hilarious memoir Real Life: One Woman's Guide to Love, Men and Other Everyday Disasters by journalist and columnist Melissa Kite, it was even more exciting to read her answers to this weeks author Q&A! Melissa's witty accounts of life and dating are extremely memorable (especially the chapter about the ex-boyfriend and the shoes..), and we couldn't wait to put our questions to the lovely Melissa! (You can follow her on Twitter here.)
Please describe your latest book in 15 words or fewer.
An ode to the bits of life that were not meant to be that way.
What inspired you to write Real Life?
The bits of my own life that I was hoping would not be that way: Cancelling my wedding, having an affair with a married man, being tormented by unfair parking tickets, exploding boilers and hanging on the phone all day trying to downgrade my Sky package. I could go on...
Where do you do most of your writing?
In the attic room of my friend Ingrid's country house. It's fantastic up there, no one can find me. I can't think straight in my London flat because there are too many distractions, usually boilers exploding.
What is your favourite book?
Don't Tell Alfred by Nancy Mitford, or anything else by Mitford, a comic genius. The best thing I've read recently is Tina Fey's Bossy Pants, which is beyond hilarious.
Which part of Real Life was the most enjoyable to write?
Strangely, the chapter based on an ex-boyfriend who used to make me line up my shoes. My mum said she could barely read it because it was so distressing, but I found writing it really therapeutic. Happily, the things that made me cry my heart out at the time made me laugh my socks off when I was writing them down. Love is funny like that.
What are you currently reading?
A Dan Brownesque thriller called The Rule Of Four. You can't read too many daft novels about cracking ancient codes, can you? I bought it years ago at an airport and found it at the bottom of the "pile" the other day. I hoard books and keep random piles of them by my bedside, climbing half way up the wall.
Who is your favourite heroine?
I like difficult women. Ursula Brangwen from DH Lawrence's The Rainbow is fabulously stroppy. The imperious Lady Montdore from Love In A Cold Climate has the best put-downs.
Do you have any tips for readers who are looking to become published authors? Just do it, as the sportswear manufacturer would say. If you have an idea that pleases you, the chances are it will please someone else. Keep writing until it's finished and don't be tempted to stop and start again.
Are you working on anything else at the moment and if so, can you tell us?
I long to write a book about horses. I have three now and I met my current boyfriend Will when he rescued an old race horse who was about to be put down. I have a great idea for a book about the way horses change people's lives...