I am very happy to welcome Kristen Bailey to my blog today!
Kristen is the author of Souper Mum, published by Accent Press (16th June 2016) and Second Helpings, also published by Accent Press (17th November 2016).
Kristen very kindly agreed to an interview. Enjoy!…..
For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
Hi! My name is Kristen Bailey. I live in Fleet, Hampshire with four young children, a mad dog and a very understanding husband. I write contemporary women’s fiction that takes a (hopefully) humorous look at modern family life. My first novel, Souper Mum was published by Accent Press in June and the sequel, Second Helpings was released on Nov 17th.
Where did/do you get your ideas from?
I have to admit, with four kids, it’s easy to draw inspiration from my own adventures in motherhood! A lot of the anecdotes you read about probably happened to me at some point. But I’m really interested in popular culture and both of my novels make a statement about that and our preoccupation with celebrity and the media too.
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
The question I get asked the most by readers after they finish Souper Mum is whether I’m Jools Campbell – we both have four kids; we don’t know how to cook; the school run is the bane of our lives!! We are similar, I think we’d be great mates but she’s a lot braver than me. Other characters are amalgamations of other people I know – Tommy McCoy is a number of TV chefs in one and I have to admit the school gate did give me plenty of inspiration for some of my other mum characters….
How do you pick your characters names?
I will admit, there is no science behind it but I do have an old baby name book that helps! I also like to honour people from my own life though. Jools is named after a lovely friend of mine who lives in Australia, Jake is the name of one of my own kids (he asked specifically for a mention!) and Millie was the name of a little girl I used to nanny for who had gorgeous auburn curls. With Second Helpings, I needed a lot of kids’ names for the contestants in the show so I randomly went through my kids’ friends and members of my son’s football team – I hope they like seeing their name in print!
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
It’s not much of an organised process I’m afraid as my real life is quite hectic so I write when I can, usually at night! But I’ll run with an initial idea and try to build a first draft around it. There’s usually very little planning until I get to the halfway stage. After that I’ll plan the final chapters so I know where the story’s going and how it will end. Then I go back and edit, re-write chapters and move them about. The whole process is also fuelled by a lot of caffeine, Minstrels and sometimes gin.
Do you have a favourite author?
My all time favourite is Roald Dahl. I think he’s taken on more significance as I’ve had kids as well and I get to re-read all his stories to them. His writing is just pure magic.
If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
I’d love to sit down and have a goss with Jane Austen. We could have a cuppa and I’d ask her all about her love life and whether all those brilliant male characters she wrote were based on her exes…
Were you a big reader as a child?
I was a very avid reader when I was little. A lot of it came from having an incredibly overactive imagination so reading just fuelled that. My dad often tells me he used to find me reading under my duvet with a torch and then spend days drawing and writing down my own stories.
When did you start to write?
I think I always used to write in some capacity. I used to keep diaries and loved writing letters but I never really thought about it as a career. I started writing fiction around the time my eldest was a baby (he’s ten years old now!)…I had an idea about a novel to do with first-time motherhood, the opening scenes being the actual birth. I remember writing it into the night in between feeds…the rest they say is history…
If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?
Although it’s one of my favourite books ever, David Nicholls’ One Day. I remember when I read the ending I threw my book across the room and was sobbing uncontrollably! I took that as a sign that I cared but for all they went through, Dexter and Emma deserved a happier ending.
What are you working on right now?
After promoting Second Helpings, funnily enough I’ll be returning to that first novel I ever wrote! Accent are looking to publish it next May, it’s called I See You Baby. At the moment, I’m editing the manuscript and giving it a good rewrite.
Do you have a new release due?
Second Helpings is my newest release, it came out on the 17th Nov. It’s the sequel to Souper Mum and both books look at the adventures of Jools Campbell – a mother of four who ends up as a celebrity after an encounter with a TV chef goes viral.
How can readers keep in touch with you?
Please pop along to my website: www.kristenbaileywrites.com to find out more about me. I’m also on Twitter and Instagram as @baileyforce6 and you can also message me via my author page on Facebook.
Thanks for having me!!
Souper Mum is the story of Jools Campbell, a stay-at-home mother of four, who becomes an unlikely foodie hero when she stands up to a pompous celebrity chef, Tommy McCoy on a reality show. Armed with fish fingers and a severely limited cooking repertoire, we watch as she becomes a reluctant celebrity and learns some important life lessons about love, family and the joyless merits of quinoa.
Exactly eighteen months after squaring up to a pompous TV chef, Jools Campbell finds herself back in the fame game as she becomes a judge on a family cooking show. How will she cope being back in the limelight, juggling being a working mum? What happens when she finds out her old nemesis, Tommy McCoy is her fellow judge? The knives are sure to fly as ‘Souper Mum’ makes her triumphant return.
Buy Links –
Thanks so much for answering my questions, Kristen 🙂
Make sure you catch up with, and follow, the rest of the Second Helpings Blog Tour…..