Lindsey Kelk is a bubbly and lovely bestselling author. Originally from The United Kingdom, today the thirty-something novelist resides in the Silverlake neighbourhood of Los Angeles with her boyfriend and two beautiful cats. A prolific writer, Kelk already has thirteen books to her name, including the wildly popular I Heart New York, We Were On a Break, and A Girl’s Best Friend.
Reading one of Kelk’s novels is a delightful experience. Cozying up with one is a joyful experience, akin to catching up with your very best friend. That’s probably because Kelk specializes in creating comedic stories about strong but refreshingly flawed female protagonists. They consistenly feel like real-life women you know and love.
Kelk’s newest book, One In A Million, tells the story of Annie Higgins, a social media guru trying to get her marketing startup off the ground. Everything is going to plan, until a rival agency proposes a wager; they bet Annie can’t make a random nobody Instagram-famous in only thirty days. Obviously, Annie accepts the bet, taking on the challenge of turning mild-mannered historian Dr. Samuel Page into a social media sensation. And with that, a modern, gender-swapped version of My Fair Lady begins. Soon, hilarity ensues!
Recently, we sat down with Lindsey to talk about her writing, her feminism, and her feelings about social media. One In A Million is now available wherever books are sold.
On How Feminism Informs Her Writing
I was always that shouty kid in school who was 11 year-old and campaigning to start a girls’ football team. That was my “well-behaved child’s” way of rebelling. I always had that feminist mindset. I was raised by my mother and my grandmother, and I don’t know if they would have identified as feminists, but I was raised with what I call “a why not?” attitude.
My books are by a woman, and mainly for women. So I don’t want to patronize anyone or put them into an uncomfortable place. I always try to lift people up. Growing up, I felt patronized by lots of books I read. In so many novels, I felt what was happening to women characters wasn’t healthy for them. And I wanted to create books that didn’t feel that way. I wanted to create books about women who felt real to me, and who had the opportunity to see some victories in their lives.
On Writing Female Friendships
The female friendships for me are the most important part of the book. Anyone can write a love story, but having female characters who love and respect each other is much more important of a message. Boys come and go, but I genuinely want to push and promote the importance of female friendship.
On Her Love/Hate Relationship With Social Media
I love to use it because I’m based in the US and I have family and friends in England, and readers all over the world. So I like to use it to stay connected. But I avoid falling into the Instagram clickhole where I’m following someone’s posts back for weeks and weeks and comparing myself. Of course, sometimes I see other people’s posts, and I think, “Why am I not standing on a beach, staring at the sunset?” I have friends who are influencers, and I know it’s not all real, but it can be hard not to get taken in by the perfect pictures.
However, I also love the body positivity movement that social media has helped make possible. It made me feel better about myself and I love seeing different types of bodies looking beautiful on Instagram. One account I really love is Fashion Foie Gras, because she’ll tell you that even when she looks beautiful on a beach in a bathing suit, the experience wasn’t perfect. She’ll let you in on the secret that her butt was wet because the gorgeous sand she was sitting on was wet, too.
Social media isn’t going anywhere, so I feel like we just have to work with it. To feel good about being online, you have to make good choices. I have to protect myself. I’m a big fan of the blocking feature on Twitter, or pushing back with kindness. Sometimes I even ask trolls, “Are you doing okay today?”
On What Makes a Great Fictional Couple
I always try to start with a female character who feels real, and is processing something either I am going through or my friends are going through. Then, for her love interest, I’m looking for someone who ignites something within her. With Sam in One In A Million, he’s not an obvious heartthrob. But he’s a good guy, and soon Annie realizes he’s cute.
I try to make love stories that feel spontaneous and not calculated. That’s what we all want in real life, the love that just jumps out at you. I want readers to want the love story for my characters.