3 Jul 2017

Interview with the fabulous author Colette Kebell

Hi Colette! Can you tell us a little about your latest book.
My most recent book, though strictly speaking was written the wrong way around, is “The Retail Therapist”. This is the prequel to my first book, hence my comment. After writing my first “Blue and Green Should Never Be Seen! (Or so Mother Says) I felt I had more story to tell in respect of GiGi, my protagonist, so I took the story back in time somewhat.

What inspired you to write it?
The inspiration came from the urge to expand on GiGi Griswald’s story and give a little more insight to her relationship with her best friend. Ritchie and how they set out in business together. I would say though, that being a fan of Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic Series, was my initial inspiration in respect of both of my current books.

Is it part of a series?
Yes, though I only have a rough outline penned currently in respect of the Sequel.

If your latest book was made into a movie, who would you like to play the main characters?

Well, that is a tough one. I hadn’t particularly envisaged any actors for playing the main character roles, other than the hunk that crops up in GiGi’s life in Blue and Green. I pictured him, whilst writing, being played by probably one of my all-time favourite actors, Hugh Jackman, though maybe a slightly younger version. That would have made for a rather expensive movie though, don’t you consider? GiGi, on the other hand might be best played, and I’ve had to sit and consider this, by someone like Reese Witherspoon or Emma Stone…

What made you want to become an author?

That is a question that spans quite a few years. On this occasion, I had been made redundant from my legal secretarial job and had time on my hands and creativity screaming at me to be released. I have urges to create something or be creative fairly often, but usually channel those into decorating or designing my home. These were not my first two books though. Some 14-15 or more years ago I wrote a fantasy novel, which still sits in the cupboard, collecting dust to this day. At the time that was written, I had a brief period of unemployment and I guess to some extent, boredom caused my creativity to surface. I might re-visit that sometime, as being my first attempt, it needs some major editing.

Name one of your all-time favourite book covers?
Well I would say my own as I was lucky to be pointed in the direction of a fabulous cover designer by a solicitor friend of mine, but that isn’t what you want to hear. Having said that, I saw recently in a Facebook Group that I belong to, a book cover that was gorgeous. The title of the book, which is soon to be released is “Dragonfly Wishes” by a fellow Indie author called Penny Harmon. I adore the colours she chose mostly, but it is rather beautiful.

Name one book that made you think 'wow'? Why did it have such an effect on you?
That is a tough one as I have two favourites currently, both of which I read more than a year ago, but for different reasons. The first was a major weepy…and is widely known to be that way which was Jojo Moyes “Me Before You”. I went through almost a whole box of tissues reading that one…
The other is by Emma Davies, who started out as an Indie Author, who then joined The Romantic Novelists Association and was then picked up by Amazon to be traditionally published. She is a lovely lady and her first novel “Letting in Light” was just enchanting.

Who, or what, inspires you?

Inspiration comes from many places…films, books I’ve read, my husband, life, friends, so it is hard to pinpoint one thing. My current “work in progress” was inspired by a single line an old school friend of mine posted on Facebook, more than a year ago and from that one line, which may well end up being the title of my book, I was inspired to write a story.

Where is your favourite place to write?
If I’m honest, usually at our place in France, where the pace of life is far slower and the atmosphere much more relaxed. I’m not one of these people who go out and sit at an internet cafĂ© or coffee shop and write, I prefer to be in my own surroundings or my own garden, whether that be in the UK or France.

What is your favourite movie that was based on a book?

I have two currently, first, due to my love of fashion I would have to say “Devil Wears Prada”. The other, I’ve already mentioned above, Me Before You. I happened to see that at the local cinema in France, where once a month a film in English is shown, due to the number of Brits who have properties there. That evening though, I had a dual purpose for being there, firstly to see the film and secondly to sell some of my books. As I already knew the film would be a weepy, I bought a large quantity of pocket packs of tissues, had some labels made up which just stated “Colette Kebell Author”, stuck those to the packets of tissues and handed those out to each and every person that entered the cinema. There were a few smiles about those from the recipients and, yes, I sold a few books that evening too. This 20 cent packets of tissues were a great icebreaker.

Who is your favourite author (s) and why?
My favourite author, whom is sadly missed, was Jackie Collins. I have probably read almost every book of hers. Other than that JK Rowling springs to mind in respect of her Harry Potter books, Sophie Kinsella for her Shopaholic books and Jill Mansell, whom I’ve met at one of book launches. Oh and don’t even get me started on cookbooks. I probably have somewhere around 80-100 of those…and almost, during writing this, went off to count them, ha ha. I have a bit of an obsession when it comes to cookbooks, not that I refer to them that often, but I find them comforting somehow…

If you could have a dinner party with any authors from any time in history, who would you choose and why?
I haven’t personally read many of the classics, so I’m drawing on my childhood mostly, as far as historical authors are concerned. I would have liked to have met Beatrix Potter (having seen a film of her life), maybe CS Lewis as I loved The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and those that followed and re-read those some years back. Jackie Collins would have been a must have, sitting at my table and other than that, I would want at least one of the great chefs of today, no point in having a fictional dinner party without one and the one that strikes me as being someone who would be good company, would be Michel Roux Junior. He comes across as such a nice man, no matter which TV chef series he is doing at the time. If he were unable to attend, maybe Marcus Waring would be a good alternative (I met him at the summer Taste of London a couple of years ago) or to have a blast, maybe despite his language, Gordon Ramsey.

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I love colours, so much so that I add colour to my hair either via a hairdresser or myself. Also, my hairdresser in France introduced me to hair feathers some years ago and ever since, whenever she does my hair, I either buy more, or have her re-attach the ones I’d been wearing. Hair feathers are fun and come in a multitude of colours, are attached by a small silicone washer and last for months. They can be washed, just as you would your own hair and though I found a cheaper place to buy them, via Ebay, my French hairdresser still obliges in re-attaching them. She has also introduced me to hair beads, which attach in a similar way to the feathers, and so I often have those as well, though I buy those from her.

Tell us something interesting about the area where you live.
Much like you probably Suzy, otherwise why would you now live in Portugal, I live near the coast. We usually have pretty good weather though on the odd occasion we have had some doozies as far as storms are concerned. On a good day, if you look at the calm sea, the colour of it might make you consider you were somewhere on the Mediterranean whereas as occurred recently, there are storms, the most recent of which was an electrical one which blew up our TV, due to having left it on standby.
There is also a strong connection to the First World War in our area and there are many tributes to the soldiers who lost their lives dotted along The Leas. We’ve been visited by both The Queen and Prince Harry, in respect of that connection.
On a more humorous note, once a year during the summer (obviously), though I have no clue who organises it and wouldn’t ever consider taking part (despite having spent many a summer on a nudist beach, in South West France, in my youth), there is a nude bicycle ride. The first time my husband and I came across that rather large group, of all kinds of ages, shapes and sizes, we were both somewhat shocked, as you could probably imagine. The cyclist waved at us though as we drove past and we burst out laughing, once we were a safe distance away.

Colette Kebell is an author of Chicklit, though a relatively new one and thus far has self-published her books. Her books are light-hearted, fun and quirky and even considered by some to be inspirational. She has also found avenues to translate both into Italian (thanks to her husband), and one, thus far, into French, Spanish and Portuguese via Babelcube. 
As a career, Colette spent her later years as a legal secretary. After a first attempt at writing many years ago (a book that still remains in her drawer) she resumed this passion a few years back, after being made redundant. After few book signing events and a book talk, which almost caused her to collapse with nerves, Colette now spends her time between her home in the UK and her home in France.
Colette has two adorable dogs and spends some time, when not writing and marketing her books, cooking for herself and her husband, gardening or designing various items for their home. Amongst her other hobbies, she has also experimented with furniture upholstery and she might, from time to time, have a paintbrush in her hand.
Twitter: @ColetteKebell
Youtube of Folkestone Book Festival Book Talk
These are the links to my books. The links are universal ones for Amazon so matter which country the person lives in that clicks on them, it would take them to their version of Amazon to purchase.
The Retail Therapist
Blue and Green Should Never Be Seen! (Or so Mother Says)


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  2. Just popped in to say hi and thank you so much for interviewing me, Suzy. I quite enjoyed the questions you posed and hope I brought a smile to a few of your followers faces when reading it :) Have a fab day and I shall pop back from time to time to reply to any comments that have cropped up :)

    1. Its an absolute pleasure, Collette! You're welcome here any time :D
      Suzy x

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