14 Aug 2015

The Morning After Memoirs by Kate Michaels

Title: The Morning After Memoirs
Author: Kate Michaels
Publication Date: 14 July
Publisher: Ago Publishing

Introducing one of the freshest voices in women’s fiction today... 
A smart, candid slant on the world of dating, Kate Michaels’ sexy, laugh-out-loud debut novel reimagines the world of Sex And The City with the biting realism of Lena Dunham’s Girls.
Twenty-nine-year-old Jess wakes up on New Year’s Day a touch hungover and a whole lot confused. The man in bed next to her is not her boyfriend, Ben. In fact, she doesn’t even remember Not-Ben’s name. It won’t be the first time she finds herself in a questionable situation in a year that proves her new single-in-the-city lifestyle is far from the glamorous, Sex And The City world she’s been promised on TV. Between hacking through last year’s leg hair, accidentally snogging someone who may well be her cousin, getting hit over the head with a sex toy that isn’t even hers, and ending the night with a walk of shame into her parent’s garage, Jess’s single life is turning out more cockroaches than cocktails.
The Morning After Memoirs is the story of one woman’s search for love, meaning, and a low-calorie alternative to wine.

When did you first start writing? And when were you first published?
I’ve loved writing since childhood. The first thing I had published was probably an article in my university newspaper. I think I wrote something about 50 Cent – that guy has the best arms in hip hop! In terms of books, The Morning After Memoirs is my first novel to be published, so I’m really excited!

What is it about 'chick lit' / 'romance' that appeals to you the most? Do you read other genres?
I read so many different genres! I’m a huge fan of magical realism. I love authors who can create different worlds that play on the absurdities of our own world – like Matt Ruff, Terry Pratchett and Jasper Fforde, or Gordon Dahlquist. When I read chick lit I like it to be lighthearted and make me laugh. I’m not a particular fan of a straight-forward romance, but I like lively characters and irreverent humour.

Can you tell us a little about your latest release?

The Morning After Memoirs is told through the eyes of 29-year-old Jess, who is newly single after a particularly disastrous New Year’s Eve. The book follows her over the course of a year as she deals with embarrassing family members, chaotic nights out, major diet fails, questionable romantic encounters and excessive leg hair in her quest to reinvent her life and find the perfect job, flat and man before New Year’s Eve rolls around again. She’s a bit of a disaster, but she’s easy to relate to and hopefully her antics will make readers laugh!

What inspired you to write it?
Like so many people, I’ve been saying for years that I want to write a book! The title came to me first, and then the characters and situations just evolved from there. I wanted to bring readers into a fun world where you can live vicariously through the characters. Hopefully Jess lets you do that!

If it was made into a film, who would you cast as the main characters?
I think Kate Mara is great. I haven’t seen her do a lot of comedy, but I’m sure she’d make a fabulous Jess! Or it could be Lindsay Lohan’s comeback role…

What is your favourite book that made it to the big screen?
When they adapted Dangerous Liaisons into Cruel Intentions it was absolutely genius. I LOVE that film. It’s one that I always watch with wine and chocolate if I’m feeling down! I also love Fight Club, The Shining, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Before I Go To Sleep. They are all such incredible stories and they were adapted really well.

What was the last book you read and would you recommend it?
I tend to read a few books at a time – different genres so there’s always something to suit my mood. I’ve just finished Yes Please by Amy Poehler, which I would heartily recommend. It’s just as funny as you’d expect from her! I’m a big fan of books by female comedians at the moment. I’m also just finishing Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel and The Mirage by Matt Ruff. I’m loving them both so far.

Where do you currently write? And where would be your dream writing location?
I write all over the place. Most often I write at the table in our lounge, but sometimes I sit on the bed with my laptop, or I scribble down notes on the bus. There are so many little pockets of time that you can use to write, so I try to be as flexible as possible to make the most of them. In an ideal world I’d have a super comfy study with huge windows and amazing views over London. It would have a mini fridge and somewhere comfy for the cats to sleep, of course!

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I used to go to maths club after school. Not because I was bad at maths, but because I loved it! I was pretty cool…

Tell us an interesting fact about where you live.
There are always at least two cats in out garden at any time. Usually they’re not even ours. We’re very popular within the feline community.

What inspires you as an author?
Creating something that exists beyond me. Something that will make people laugh and escape into the character’s world. I find it so interesting that everyone who reads The Morning After Memoirs will be visualizing it in a slightly different way.

Who would play you in the movie about your life?
Sandra Bullock! For no other reason than that I LOVE her!

What are your (writing) plans for the future?
I’m working on a few different ideas at the moment, and waiting to see which ones takes shape. They are not all chick lit, but I’ll see which one comes to life first. In the meantime I’m catching up with all the friends I’ve neglected over the past few months!

Tell us one thing that's on your bucket list.
This changes all the time! At one point it would have been write a book, so I’ve ticked that off. I guess now I’d like to try another format at some point, so maybe it would be a play, movie or TV show. Or some comedy sketches. Who Knows...

What do you listen to whilst writing?
I tend to prefer silence when I’m writing, but if I need to drown out any noise I’ve mostly been listening to Taylor Swift!

Name one of your all time favourite songs.
My music taste changes so much with my mood! I love Love Shack and Dancing In The Moonlight to cheer me up or get me dancing. I discovered Ingrid Michaelson recently, so anything from her Lights Out album… particularly Wonderful Unknown. It’s really magical.

Kate Michaels was born in Birmingham. After studying English, drama and film, she moved to London where she currently lives with her boyfriend and two cats. As a journalist and copywriter she writes about everything from bars and theatre to luxury property. The Morning After Memoirs is Kate’s debut novel.

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