#GIVEAWAY & #INTERVIEW: Colette Kebell answers some fun questions and Biggest Giveaway Yet!

BIGGEST GIVEAWAY YET! Colette is giving away TWO Sets of her books!  We are opening this to readers in Ireland and England, as well. 

Two lucky winners will each receive a copy of Colette’s two books, “Blue and Green should never be seen” and “The Retail Therapist” GOOD LUCK! Both are great…and, my quotes are on the back, so these are extra special to me!

Giveaway Rules:  Leave comments here, on Twitter, or on Facebook by Monday, October 5th by 4pm to be entered in to the drawing. The Winners will be announced sometime after 5pm that day.  The Winners will have to get me their delivery information by noon on Friday, October 9th.  GOOD LUCK!!

Interview with Colette Kebell, author of “Blue and Green should never be seen” & “The Retail Therapist”Colette French Garden

 Q:  When did you realize you were a novelist? 

That is a tough one, Annie.  The seeds were sewn I guess when I was in school, I took English Literature and though I didn’t do that well in the exams, I did write a lovely poem about King Arthur that I would love to be able to get my hands on, but my school kept it to display on their walls.  After that, there was a long hiatus due to work and the day by day routine getting in the way.  I wrote my first novel approximately 14 years ago, though it, to this day still, sits in a cupboard waiting to be revisited at some point.  My husband then gave me the bug when we had been discussing ways of changing our lives completely. We threw a few ideas on the table, including opening a gourmet restaurant in the UK, but I eventually thought that I wanted to be involved is something creative.  My husband knew of my first book, but hadn’t quite realized that I still had the writing bug and so Blue and Green came about and the rest just follows on from there.

Annie: I am glad you stuck with it. I really devoured your books!

Q:  As you gear up for your Book Releases, what was the most exciting part(s) for you? 

I guess the most exciting part in gearing up is when the whole book returns from the copy editor and I get to read it through one last time, pre-launch.  That is my pleasure reading time, though I can’t help but check the copy editors work in the process.  After that, I guess the build up to the marketing, devising how I am going to present it, devising posters and attempting to generate a buzz in the hope that first day sales go well.  I have to say though that to see the physical printed copy of the book is quite a buzz, especially as I have found such a lovely cover designer in Lizzie Gardiner.  My books, due to the options I selected are quite tactile as well, so the feel of them is almost as important. 

Annie:  Funny you speak of how tactile your books are. When my husband held your books, he said that he loved the feel of them. Nothing nicer than a book that just feels great in your hands.

Q:  Will you always write books with fashion, friendship and love taking center stage?  Is that your favorite topic to explore? 

I wouldn’t say that is what I will always write about…though those are my favourite topics as I’m a bit of a shopaholic.  My first novel was a fantasy one and I have another project on the go which is quite far removed in some respects; though the romance element is still there.

I doubt I shall ever bore of fashion though, I guess that was ingrained in me by my mother who grew up having that instilled in her by her mother and aunts.  Guess a love of fashion has passed down through the generations in our family.  In my case though, when I was a child I was so skinny and had practically no backside.  My mother had to spend money on decent clothes or spend hours adjusting those she bought to fit!

Annie: So, Fashion sense was ingrained in you early on.  My mom would make us lots of sweaters, so the colder weather provided us with some fun clothing choices. 🙂

Q:  Did you know someone like “Gigi”?

Blue and GreenThat, Annie is a bit of a pointed question as Gigi is loosely based on myself and what was my work ethic as much as possible.  I was never, I hasten to add, a boss though, just a minion who worked hard to earn their income.  I came across the legal profession quite late considering my age but thoroughly enjoyed the work I did then.  It is an interesting profession but one that takes up far more time than any other job I had had previously.

However a real “Gigi” does not exist, she is the combination of many characters, bits of myself, some friends and… some aspects of her are pure imagination. Maybe I can say Gigi is how I’d like to be.

Annie: Gigi is definitely one of my favorite characters.  I would love to read more about her adventures. (hint, hint!)  From one of our email exchanges, you shared with me that you love

Q:  Is there an author that you feel resonates with you and your writing style?

I wouldn’t say there is any author who resonates me and my style as no two authors are the same.  Having said that I am a huge fan of Sophie Kinsella and Helen Fielding, having read all of the shopaholic series as well, of course, Bridget Jones’ Diary books.  I have, however, drawn on my own life experiences in many cases and some of the stories within my books are ones that I lived through but adapted hugely for the books.

In some aspects I think Rick Riordan had some influence, especially in his use of irony; I also admire John Grisham’s style, the rhythm he has in his books and the way he depicts his characters.

 Annie: I loved the Bridget Jones’ series, and the shopaholic series, and I know while reading both of your books I was reminded of them quite often. I loved seeing your story in my head play out like a movie. That is a huge compliment, because it means you really delivered on the characters and scenes!

Your stories definitely have a lot of rhythm.  That was one of the best aspects of your story-telling.  You are so gifted!

Q: When do you typically write?  Where do you write?  Set this up for us… 

The Retail TherapistI write every time I can; I always dedicate one or two hours a day to that. Even if some of the stories I write will never end up in a book; I enjoy the creative process. Maybe one day those pages will be part of a new book. Writing is like going to the gym, you have to do it regularly to get some results. The mood I am in though decides what I am writing. There is little point in forcing something out if you are not feeling in the mood to write one particular genre but you may be another, hence I have a few projects on the go.  It does take time to re-read on occasion, but I would rather that then force my writing and produce something that is not as enjoyable as it should be.  I write, mostly, in the office of our house which I stole from my husband banishing up to the top floor to work.  He took that quite well considering he works from home.  I face the window in said office which doubles up as my dressing/ironing room and due to lack of space and my shopping addiction even has shoes hanging on the back of the door!! 

Annie: I love how you definitely have the “fashion bug” like Gigi does.  How awesome that you have a dressing/ironing room. Jealous!  (even though I you told me that you love writing in the garden of your French home! I love this picture! It seems like an amazing spot to write and get those creative juices flowing!  I included this picture on the top of the interview, as I loved it so much..what an awesome spot to write!)

Q:  May I ask who your favorite authors are?  Books? 

I have a few, Annie.  First and foremost, especially considering the genre that I write in mostly, is Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic Series.  Then I just love Donna McDonalds books and have read every last one of them (around 20 or so now).  Then there are the Percy Jackson books which have me gripped (that may go back to have studied Greek and Arthurian Legend in school) but I just adore those books.  Many years ago I was a bit of a horror junkie so loved James Herbert and Stephen King books, but these days I tend to steer clear.  Don’t want to be scared to death (almost) any more, I guess.

Annie: Funny how we go through “rotations” of the genres we are interested in reading. I am kind of all over the place. Books like yours will always be in the top for me though. 

Q:  What is your favourite part of being an author? 

I guess my most favourite part is the writing itself and bringing a story to life, other than being able to set my own hours, which after a job as demanding as having been a Legal Secretary is almost like heaven.  Don’t get me wrong though that does not mean I spend all day doing as I please, as being self-published, there is an awful lot of marketing and yet more learning to do as well as research.  I can’t just mention any old designer in one of my books, as I would hate if someone came across it and knew that particular designer as an awful one rather than one that is respected.  I knew little or nothing about publishing let alone self-publishing and so this whole experience has been quite a steep learning curve, thankfully assisted by you as well as my other main reviewers whose reviews appear on the back cover of my books in thanks for your participation.  

Annie: It is such a HUGE honor to have my quote on the back of your novels. It makes Book Reviewing seem rather important.  I am very grateful to be on your books, as I would recommend them to anyone to read. My goal is to inspire readers. I would love to know I am doing that. I am so glad that our paths crossed! If these books become a movie, can I have a starring role?? LOL.

Q:  When can we expect your next book?  Do you want to tell us a little bit about it? 

If you have anything to do with Smashwords you may have already seen that I have already uploaded the title of the sequel to Blue and Green and a tentative publication date of around 30th March 2016.  If I pull my socks up and crack on at a good pace I hope that date is achievable but I can amend that, if need be.  The problem in recent months has been the fact that our house is on the market currently and keeping the house in a state to be viewed, and dealing with the viewings themselves takes up more time than I would like.  Suffice to say I hope it sells soon and I can get back to writing.

The new book is of course the sequel to Blue and Green Should Never Be Seen! (Or so Mother Says).  It follows the two main characters as well as the others than have come along.  Any more than that, at such a young stage of that book I would rather not say, but it will be just as enjoyable and humorous; I can assure you of that. 

Annie: Do you need Beta Readers?  🙂  just marked this on my calendar… I cannot wait to get my hands on this sequel!!! I have not heard of Smashwords, but will definitely check it out! 

Lastly, Book or eBook?? 

I love my kindle (though have an original one so not many bells and whistles to it) to bits but still love the feel of a book, especially mine as they have an almost velvet like touch which just enhances the experience as far as I am concerned.
Having said that, I appreciate that the cost of paperbacks these days doesn’t much compare to the price of ebooks so consider that there is still definitely room for both, even with the greener world that we all strive towards. 

Annie:  Thank you, Colette, for this wonderful interview. It is always so much fun to learn more about the authors I adore!!  I appreciate you taking the time to join us today…You are a spitfire, just like Gigi!!

AFTER THE INTERVIEW, I ASKED MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT HER LOVE OF FASHION…NOTHING LIKE LEARNING ABOUT A TRUE FASHIONISTA’S WARDROBE….SO, HERE IS SOME BONUS MATERIAL ON COLETTE KEBELL!!

This is what happens when you ask a person that loves fashion, and writes about a woman enamored with fashion….about…well…Fashion…..(I learned what the IN look was in shoes this Fall Season)

As far as designers are concerned I like far too many to name them all, and don’t favour any particular one, other than Ted Baker and maybe PhaseEight, though don’t find something I like every season….. I do like Amanda Wakeley who has yet to feature in a book, amongst many others.  I buy clothes from Designer Outlets, TK Maxx (been shopping there for about 25 years now) and both France and Italy (where Valentino Red or Roberto Cavalli might be my thing) so spread myself around a bit and mention clothing that I love and adore in my books mostly. Russell & Bromley Flat Boot Russell & Bromley Pump Ted BakerDon’t even get me started on shoes (though I have to say as I have narrow feet and prefer an Italian lathe, I love Russell and Bromley)…..or handbags for that matter.  I spent almost the whole of my 20s and a good part of my 30s with the same handbag, which was supposed to be a man’s one, that I had picked up in France.  That had to be replaced at some point but with one of a similar style, which lasted almost a further ten years.  I then met and married my husband and his parents started buying me handbags as gifts (Italian Leather – what could be better!) and so those have become a bit of thing as far as I am concerned as well, these latter years. 

I’m also attaching a photo of a pair of boots and a pair of shoes that I love from the current Russell and Bromley range….(this season’s colours)  if I have enough money I hope to buy one or both (or hint about them up to receive as a birthday/christmas present !).  Also attached a photo a dress amongst Ted Baker’s current collection that I like.   I keep track of a whole heap of designers but rarely download something that can be sent by email.  I do, however, pin them onto my pinterest so you could check that out as well….

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#SPOTLIGHT: “The Retail Therapist” by Colette Kebell

The Retail TherapistBE SURE TO CHECK BACK TOMORROW FOR MY INTERVIEW WITH COLETTE AND TO ENTER YOUR NAME FOR HER FABULOUS GIVEAWAY!!

Summary:

Window shopping! Don’t you just hate the term?
It is like going into a sweet shop and not being able to buy anything, or not knowing what to buy first. That is exactly my line of business, helping people make the right choice.
I’m one of those fashion consultants that are so popular nowadays amongst the upper crust, although I started ages ago. Choosing the right clothes for the right occasion is not an easy task: the dress has to match your personality and, if it can, enhance it.
This story is about how I abandoned the rat race, spending days in a legal office, and followed my dream of becoming a fashion consultant. I believe I’m something more though, I’m a Retail Therapist and I’m sure you are itching to know the story about how I started and how I helped my clients look fabulous! So, what are you waiting for? Hurry up, click that “buy” button up there and be prepared to enter the mysterious world of a Berkshire Retail Therapist girl.