It’s a great honor to welcome Kiki Archer.
Before we begin, thanks so much for stopping by today for a chat.
Thank you so much and thank you for all your support with my latest release, I really appreciate it.
Tell us a bit about where you grew up and how your upbringing has influenced your writing?
I grew up in a tiny village called Forthampton in Gloucestershire – imagine Downton Abby… a country estate owned by a rich family, we weren’t the rich family, we had the old thatched cottage complete with pig sheds.
I don’t think my upbringing has influenced my writing… maybe I’d be even ruder if I didn’t have such Christian parents who have a ‘standing’ in the village. They say they read my books, but we don’t discuss it, it’s one of those things that’s best left!
I’ve never written a book based in a tiny community… but you’ve just given me a new idea!
What was the first lesfic novel you read? How did it impact you?
It was Clare Ashton’s Penance. She kindly contacted me to introduce herself back in 2012 saying it looked like we were the new authors on the block and that we should beta read each other’s work… we did and we’ve been firm friends ever since. It impacted my life and work hugely as I honestly had no idea there was a world of lesfic out there. I knew about Sarah Waters, but that was it. I wrote my first novel But She Is My Student without any clue if there would be a market for it, but there was and I haven’t looked back since.
However, once I’d read Penance I realised I’d plonked myself into this wonderful world of lesfic with a novel that wasn’t quite up to scratch… come on, who can compete with Clare Ashton?! So it made me try harder – and I think I got there around Too Late… I Love You, 6 novels in! Not competing with Clare obviously, that will never happen, just producing really good lesfic that I’m proud to say I wrote.
When did you know you wanted to write and why lesbian fiction?
I didn’t. I still don’t. I fell into this career and I’ve been riding the wave ever since. I was a secondary school PE teacher before having my children and that’s where my heart lies. I am grateful though that I have a job that fits around my children. They’re my priority in life and writing enables me to be the best mum I can, so for that I’ll be forever grateful.
What inspired your latest novel, The Way you Smile?
My boring life. I dedicated the book to: ‘All of the mothers surviving. I feel you.’ And it’s not just for mothers, its for any woman feeling tired. Life can be so hard and monotonous. You sometimes lose who you are, or maybe even who you wanted to be. The Way You Smile lets you vicariously experience excitement and enjoyment through Camila’s story and hopefully it can remind us all that there’s life in us yet!
How do you overcome writer’s block?
I don’t think I’ve ever had writer’s block, I just sometimes don’t fancy writing. I do try and treat it like a job, sitting in my office and working between the school-run times. I never write in the evening or at weekend as I need absolute silence and life with a ten and eleven year old means there’s vey rarely absolute silence. I also get called for coffee with friends a lot and I never say no as that would be rude.
How do you balance writing, being a mom, and life in general?
Being a mum will always come above everything else. Next comes friends and extended family, and then writing’s just something I do when I’m alone – which is often 9.00a.m. – 3.00a.m. Mon-Fri. But I’d never tell someone I couldn’t meet them during that time, or say I couldn’t help up at the school because I was ‘writing.’ It is my job, but it’s a job that I can be very flexible with.
What advice would you give to someone who is afraid to chase their dreams?
What’s the worst that can happen? Chase. Run fast. Go like the clappers. Life is so short and it’s gone in the blink of an eye so make memories, make mistakes, have fun and do what makes you happy.
Tell us about your production company with Jade Winters.
Winters Archer Productions is alive and kicking and progressing at a nice pace. We’ve just premiered the extended trailer for the But She Is My Student film at Clexacon in London and we’re now using it to attract more funding. We’re still in the headspace of: Go Big Or Go Home! … If we’re doing this we’re doing this properly and properly means HUGE investment.
Rapid fire questions:
- Favorite snack food: Thai.
- Favorite movie: Pretty Woman.
- Favorite song: Anything by Whitney or Mariah.
- The one thing you can’t stand: Cucumber.
- Morning or night person: Both.
- If you could have one superhuman power, what would it be: To eat, drink, socialise and be merry without the consequences.
- Have you started Christmas shopping yet: Yes, and I am putting my decoration up this weekend. My house is so hot that the tree will be dead mid December.
- If you could travel to any place in the world right now, where would you go: The beach in Cuba… pure paradise.
- Favorite novel: The Roy Grace series by Peter James.
- Have you started writing your next novel: Yes, it’s called Say You’ll Love Me Again and I LOVE IT!
Thanks so much for chatting today.
No, thank you, really great enjoyable questions xxx
Real life doesn’t play out like a movie. Electric connections mostly mean you’ve got static in your jumper. Camila Moore knows that; she’s not daft. She has two teenage boys and bills to pay, plus the only man she’s ever been with has traded her in for a gym bunny.
Returning to work’s the answer, but when she finds herself in the wrong room, wrong place at the wrong time, the last thing she expects is to be promoted out of obscurity into the arms of Harriet Imogen Pearson, media darling, hotshot entrepreneur and notorious lesbian playgirl.
Camila can’t believe it; she’s an ordinary woman, nothing special – in her view – so what’s Harriet’s motivation? What’s her end game?
Are Camila’s feelings just infatuation or is it real life love?
MEET THE AUTHOR
Lambda Literary Award finalist, Kiki Archer is the author of nine best-selling, award-winning lesbian fiction novels. Guardian Pride Power List 2017 and 2018.
CONNECT WITH KIKI ARCHER
Have a wonderful weekend!
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