1 Nov 2013

Meet the gorgeous Martel Maxwell!

It's a huge honour to be chatting with the stunning chick lit author and former showbiz reporter for The Sun, Martel Maxwell. 
When did you first start writing Chick Lit?
I remember it vividly. On a beach in Kenya with mum. I think it was seven years ago. I was at a bit of a crossroad - I'd given up showbiz reporting on a daily basis for newspapers and I thought it was as good a time as any to reflect on my experiences - so created a character who was a showbiz reporter who partied. A lot. Basically, 'Max' she was me without the cellulite.

What is it about this genre that appeals to you the most? Do you read other genres? If so, which?
I feel like I can write 'chick lit'. Science fiction I'd struggle to make sound real to a reader. Chick lit encompasses so much. Some writers do glamour or escapism or sex brilliantly. Others are quite emotive; life-changing even. As I've grown up, my tastes have changed. I notice styles of writing more and I want to be moved. I also love really gritty books, often written by men - like Irvine Welsh (I've read all of his books) or Kill Your Friends by John Niven - something so far removed from my life, it takes me somewhere else. I find the darkness fascinating.

Name one of your favourite Chick Lit books?
Don't make me choose!!

What's the title of your latest book? Can you tell us about it?
My last book published was Scandalous. It's about that showbiz reporter called Maxine Summers who drinks and parties a lot and her half-sister Lucy, a willowy fashion writer who is dating one of the UK's most eligible bachelors. It offers a real glimpse into what really happens at the A-list parties. Piers Morgan, who used to be a showbiz reporter said it was really accurate, which thrilled me. The dastardly Lady Bridget Beames is the baddie who tries to wreck Lucy's love life while Max finds out her Mr Right could be very wrong.
I've doing the final edits on my next book. I can tell you it's really quite different to the first. It's set in London and Loch Inver in the Scottish Highlands, so the settings are pretty different. It follows Natalie who has to escape to her family home after her life crumbles. There are also a lot of pants. Yes, pants. I'll let you know more very soon.
I can't wait to find out more, Martel!!

What inspired you to write it?
The second, well, I've lived in London and spent time in Loch Inver. And I wanted a real champion for readers to love. That's Natalie.
For scandalous - my own experiences and imagination. I'm a fantasist. I look out train windows for hours, I dream endlessly.

Is it part of a series?

Who designs your covers?
Someone in-house at Michael Joseph at Penguin designed Scandalous.

If your latest book was made into a film, who would you cast?
Isla Fisher as Max, Russell Brand as Kirk Kelner the movie God (and sex fiend), Bradley Cooper as Max's love interest Luke, I'm always stuck on who would play Lucy. Tall, beautiful, kind, blonde (though that could be changed) - any ideas?
Err... Gwyneth Paltrow? Sienna Miller? Gemma Arterton?

What's your favourite Chick Lit book that made it to the big screen?
PS I Love You was pretty romantic.

Who is your all time favourite Chick Lit character?
Obvious I know, but I do have a soft spot for Bridget Jones. I just like that her thighs were soft and she battled not to booze and smoke. She was attainable and made us feel better about ourselves.

Which author deserves to be better known?
Read this brilliant anthology called Sunlounger. It was put together by author Belinda Jones. If you've not heard of any of the 44 authors, that's my answer. The short story collection is truly brilliant in it's diversity and fun factor.
I adore Belinda Jones!

Where do you write?
My flat in London or Dundee, on holiday in Lochinver, in cafes anywhere and everywhere.

In the movie of your life, who would play you?
Image courtesy: Georges Biard
Isla Fisher. We have red hair in common..and that might be about it. But she's obviously the dream version of me.

Martel Maxwell is the author of best-selling novel Scandalous. She is also a journalist and presenter for shows including BBC1's The One Show, Lorraine on itv1 and her own radio shows.
After training to be a criminal lawyer, she opted for a career in journalism, becoming The Sun's first graduate trainee. Spotting her love of partying, she became the paper's showbiz reporter and lost a few years to free bars and canapes. Martel drew on her experiences to write her debut novel SCANDALOUS, published by Michael Joseph (Penguin). It was named 'book of the week' by Heat and Piers Morgan described it as 'a brilliantly waspish insight into the mad world of showbiz.'
Martel has just given birth to baby boy Monty, after marrying the first boy she kissed (it took him two decades to ask her out). She splits her time between Dundee and London and is adding the finishing touches to her next novel.
Contact Martel on Twitter.
Visit www.martelmaxwell.com
Get your copy of Scandalous from Amazon.

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