A huge welcome today for Lucy Keeling who has popped in to talk to us about her latest release, Just Friends. Lucy, can you tell us a little about it?
Thank you so much for inviting me onto the blog, I’m so happy to be here. My latest book is called Just Friends and it follows on from my *Joan Hessayon Contended debut Make It Up To You. (*Shamelessly dropping that in
there). Just Friends is about Polly and Bailey, two friends who once shared a kiss. But now find themselves faking a relationship, overcoming fear and oh yeah having to organise a stag and hen do. It’s about how people can change, and how we can grow up in many different ways. But mostly it’s just fun, and oh yeah at one point, there’s an ‘only one bed situation’.
How long did the book take to write? How much re-writing do you normally do?
So this book took about nine months from start to finish, which honestly I was pretty happy with. As you will see in the question below I don’t tend to have a lot of writing time. I try and write the first draft as quickly as possible or rather with as few breaks as possible. I also can’t work on multiple projects during a first draft stage, it has to be my only focus. That’s not to say that my first drafts are any good, they are usually rubbish, but once the first draft is done, then I can work on it. My first edit is where I try and look at the structure and for any glaring plot holes. I also avoid character profiles, I find that I learn more about my characters as the story develops. So, in my first edit I also need to make sure that my characters’ development fits. This sometimes means re-writing some of the beginning. More recently this has meant deleting the first 10,000 words. After which I needed a lie down in a dark room.
What is your writing day like?
My writing day is a bit tricky and even more so because 2020 is just… a whole thing. But I usually work in the day and then sort out dinner for my family get my two young boys settled in bed and then finally I get time to work. But sometimes, I am also completely shattered. I do what I can, when I can and I try not to feel guilty on the days I don’t get much work done (doesn’t always work). I set myself small achievable goals and I have something to show for achieving them. This can be something like a box chart that I colour in to show progress, but more likely it’s chocolate. So if my goal one night is to write 500 words, then once i’ve done that I can have a bag of maltesers yay.
Where did your research for the book take you?
It was terrible. I had to research garden transformations, which meant watching loads of before and after videos on youtube and tiktok, and I also had to listen to lots of music. I also had to find the right type of hunky gardener, I mean I spent AGES on that task, but you know research is so important when writing a book. I mean sure, some might call it procrastination but I think it was essential.
For Make it Up To You I had to watch lots of makeup tutorials. I wish I could say I was good at make up as a result but honestly, no i’m terrible. It turns out I don’t have the patience to contour. I also had to find out about fostering kittens, it’s incredibly cute but hard work, much like having a newborn. I also had to drink lots of tea and eat lots of biscuits – all in the name of research, obviously.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
It’s so hard, you have no idea how close you are to being published, no idea how you might be one email away from a big ol’ ‘yes please we love your work and would like to offer you a contract’. Keep learning, keep writing, keep pushing forward and don’t give up. Find those that will offer support and cheerlead your journey, because it’s incredibly lonely without them.
Can you tell us what you are working on now?
Well, I have just sent off the third book in the series. Make It Up To You was about Marcus and Sophie, Just Friends was about Bailey and Polly, and Book three is all about Mya. She has a very secret career, and anyone who has read the first two will tell you that they cannot wait to find out about Mya, and it will have been worth the wait, because all will be revealed in book three. She is a super confident bad-ass and I adored writing her story. I wish I could tell you more but spoilers. All i will say is that I had to research Vegas for this one.
About the Author:
Lucy Keeling is an author writing fun, sexy, stories with all of the happily ever afters. When she’s not typing at the kitchen table, she’s arranging and then re-arranging to see her friends for the occasional spot of day drinking*. Lucy is currently writing the third book in the Friends Romantic Comedy series, the first of which was Runner-Up in ChocLit’s ‘Search for a Star’ competition, ‘Make It Up to You’. The sequel ‘Just Friends’ is also available with the third book due out early 2021. *Lucy is aware that her bio needs updating to reflect life more accurately for 2020.
Purchase links for Just Friends:
And if you need them Make It Up To You:
Keep up with Lucy:
I am most active on IG instagram.com/lucy_k_author
About the Interviewer:
Lucy was talking to Ruby Moon
Ruby Moone lives in the wilds of Lancashire with her husband and writes historical and contemporary romance. At school, her teachers said that she lived with her head in the clouds and if she didn’t stop daydreaming she would never get anywhere. She never did stop daydreaming, and after years of happily living in the clouds, decided to write the stories down.