Kiltie Jackson talks about her new book, An Artisan Lovestyle, her characters, and her writing.

1. Tell us more about your latest book, An Artisan Lovestyle.

An Artisan Lovestyle is the second book in the ‘Lovestyle’ series. It follows on from A Rock ‘n’ Roll Lovestyle but the main characters are Elsa Clairmont and Danny Delaney. Elsa first appeared in A Rock ‘n’ Roll Lovestyle but Danny is a new character.

2. Can you tell us more about the characters of Elsa and Danny?

In A Rock ‘n’ Roll Lovestyle, the reader finds out that Elsa is a young window and that she has a massive crush on Pete Wallace but little else is revealed about her. In An Artisan Lovestyle, we learn her story – about how she has struggled to come to terms with the loss of her husband and the reasons why. Through the course of the book, the reader walks by her side as she begins to live her life again and finds out who she is.

Danny Delaney is one of the nicest guys you could wish to meet. Attractive, but not drop-dead gorgeous, he lacks self-belief and, as such, is not very good at finding nice girl-friends. While he can be assertive in the workplace, he’s pretty useless at it in his own life. This flaw is rooted in his upbringing – an abusive, drug-taking, alcoholic mother who never had a good word to say to her eldest son. He was a very talented artist in his teens but his mother manipulated him in such a way that he turned his back on it. In An Artisan Lovestyle, we watch as Danny learns to become a stronger man, takes more control of his life and, finally, once again embraces the wonderful gift he was born with.

3. How did you come up with the plot for An Artisan Lovestyle?

It began as a dream. I woke up one morning, with the remnants of a very strange dream still hovering in my mind. I immediately realised that it had potential and it didn’t take long to work it up into the basics for a story.

4. Was there a particular part of the novel that was really difficult to write for you?

All of it! (laughs) Initially, it was all good but I was approximately halfway through writing it when my blog tour for A Rock ‘n’ Roll Lovestyle went live. The reviews on that were coming in very favourable and everyone was raving about the wonderful connection, and witty repartee, between the MC’s Sukie and Pete. I knew that this second book was going to be quite different and I hit some kind of writers’ wall. I was convinced An Artisan Lovestyle could never be anywhere near as good and people would really not like it. I panicked pretty much every time I sat down to continue my first draft.

Fortunately, when I when back to begin editing, I was able to move on and saw that, while different, it has its own special qualities.

5. Can you describe An Artisan Lovestyle in 3 adjectives?

Positive, Uplifting and Funny.

6. What is your favourite and least favourite thing about writing?

I love the editing process. Many authors dislike this stage but, for me, this is when the magic really begins to happen. The gist of the story of the story is written and this is when you get to play with the words. Changing just one word, or moving it elsewhere, can completely alter the whole structure of a sentence and this kind of thing really gives me a buzz. My least favourite thing is definitely writing the first draft. On the two occasions, to date, where I have written one, I have been quite convinced both times that it was the biggest pile of drivel EVER! I really do need to work my positivity in that area.

7. What is your creative process like?

I am a Pantster! This is the name given to an author who sits down and pretty much just types away with minimal planning. I will have an idea in my head, a timeline of sorts, on events that need to happen and where in the story they come in, and I simply let the words ebb and flow as I go along. Some authors plan everything quite meticulously before they begin to write but I’m too impatient to do that. I just want to sit down and get on with it.

8. What authors have inspired you in your writing journey?

I am part of a wonderful Facebook writers group where support is given every day. The members range from traditionally published authors, to indie authors, to those who are still working towards their first book. People like Isabella May, NJ Simmonds & S.D Mayes inspire me every day because they are always so positive in their outlook and are such fabulous cheerleaders when the self-doubt kicks in.

9. What message do you want readers to take away from your novels?

I’m not really one for writing books with a message but, if my readers were to find one in them, I hope it is that not all women in novels are riddled with anxiety, struggle with their nerves or live harassed home lives. It is possible to be a strong, independent woman without being a bitch. It is possible to be in control without the need for anti-depressants or a partner by your side. There may sometimes be men in the lives of my female characters but they are always there through choice, not because the woman believes she needs them.

10. Can you tell us a bit about your plans for the future?

I will soon begin working on Book 3 – also part of the ‘Lovestyle’ series – and I am, at this moment, really looking forward to it. No doubt that will change approximately half-way through that first draft when I, once again, convince myself it is a load of rubbish. I promise I WILL work on the positive thinking part of the process.

Are you ‘living’ your life or just living your life?

Elsa Clairmont was widowed barely five years after marrying her childhood sweetheart. She has struggled to come to terms with the loss and, six years later, has almost ceased to live herself. She does just enough to get by.

Danny Delaney is the ultimate ‘Mr Nice Guy’. He’s kind, caring and sweet. A talented artist in his teens, his abusive mother ruined his career in art and he turned his back on his exceptional gift. Now, he does just enough to get by.

On New Year’s Eve, both Danny and Elsa die in unrelated accidents.

Thanks to some poker playing shenanigans, Elsa’s husband Harry, and Danny’s old Art teacher, William, manage to orchestrate a deal with Death that allows Danny and Elsa to live for one more year on the condition they both agree to complete three tasks.

They have until the last chime of Big Ben on the 31st December to fulfil their quests. If they succeed, they stay in the world of the living. If they should fail however…

Kiltie Jackson grew up in Glasgow in Scotland. When she was old enough to do so, she moved to London and then, after several years of obtaining interesting experiences – which are finding their way into her writing – she moved up to the Midlands. Kiltie currently lives in Staffordshire with five cats and one grumpy husband. Her little home is known as Moggy Towers, even though despite having plenty of moggies, there are no towers! She loves reading, watching movies, and visiting old castles. Her biggest desire is that one day she can give up the day job and write her stories for a living. Kiltie’s debut novel, A Rock ‘n’ Roll Lovestyle, was released in September 2017 and won a “Chill With A Book – Reader Award” in December 2017.

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