Sunday, May 1, 2016

Blue and Green Should Never Be Seen! a contemporary female novel by Colette Kebell



In this weeks Author Spotlight, Colette Kebell discusses her fabulous and oh so fashion forward novel, Blue and Green Should Never be Seen! (Or so Mother Says), a Female Contemporary / Chick Lit. 

What is your book about?

This book falls under the Contemporary Female Category, though more specifically Chick Lit or Upmarket Literature, if you are an American.   Below is the synopsis together with a sample chapter, which I hope your readers will enjoy.

GiGi (well, Griselda Griswald actually, but everybody calls her GiGi) is a woman with a mission: to help people improve the way they look, increase their self-esteem, and eventually, make them happier people. Being a personal shopper is a dark art, with few tangible rewards. Spread by word of mouth, her clients would never admit they needed her assistance. Not even if they put them under torture. Let us be honest, who would admit to being in need of a style consultant?
It is like being an alcoholic: the first step is to admit you need help, and acknowledge that that pair of leggings, now that you are in your mid-fifties, do not suit you anymore.  When you have recognized it, you are on the path to recovery, and GiGi’s services will help you, despite her mother nagging that she is not doing a “real” job.
People need advice and often a fresh point of view helps in rejuvenating a wardrobe that, with time, has become boring. Would they admit it? Not a chance!
So, it is just a matter of going around and helping people buying clothes and shoes?
Not quite so. Money is tight; GiGi has to work with rich and very eccentric people, who often do not have any idea about what they want. She and her business partner Ritchie are in a constant struggle to keep the business afloat, but as they say in Dragon’s Den, she is very investable.  But, with success comes the difficulties, the Battersea Fashion Center is going to open soon, just opposite of her office, and they claim they will be fierce competitors.
With the constant struggle to keep her business afloat, a powerful enemy is lining up ready to make a meal out of her, knowing very well that GiGi’s approach, eventually, will make her successful. Whilst she invents new ways to make her consultancy firm successful, she finds who could be the love of her life, thanks to some of her best friends. 
The business eventually expands and they take onboard new partners along the way, making them one of the most influential fashion consultancy firms in London.  But, with a very demanding job, hours and hours spent working, will she be able to balance her career and her private life?
Will she reach a point where she loses focus on what is important in life?
Do not worry; mother is there to remind her, with her nagging.

Here are a couple of tasters:
--“ Those clothes could have been very good for our beloved Queen in her eighties, but come off it; Mommy was barely in her thirties! One in particular horrified me: a blue and yellow sequined dress with humungous pink flowers all over the place. I poked it with a stick from a distance to ensure it wasn’t alive and ready to kill me. You know, sometimes they haunt you. Could these really be her clothes, or were they keepsakes from an old, deceased aunt?”--

-- With a torch in her hand she started searching in the vast garden until she was satisfied and then said, “You stay here.” It was dark and I could barely see her walking in the general direction of the shed; a few thumping noises followed and then she reappeared with a pair of shovels and working gloves. She tossed a shovel to me. “Start digging the grave; I’ll be back in a minute,” she said, giggling like a teenager. I was flabbergasted; I’d thought she meant she’d bury her clothes in a figurative way, like at the bottom of the wardrobe. This was beyond belief! I pondered the situation for a moment and then I kicked the shovel in the ground; if we were going to make a mess, I’d better get started. The earth was soft from the previous days of rain and I could work quickly. I wondered for a moment if someone would see us, here in the garden, digging like a pair of tomb raiders, and would call the police.
            “Ah good, you’ve started already,” she said, depositing the bags nearby.
            “Natalie, I’m not digging a six-footer here!” I complained; that would have taken the whole night.
            “Not to worry, sweetheart: just deep enough to let all this stuff rot with the worms.”
She started quarrying as well and after an hour we had to stop, because we were both quite tired but also because every few minutes we looked at each other and, without a word, we’d burst out laughing at what we were doing. I made a comment about the neighbours, and that also made her laugh out loud. “I’m going to put the kettle on,” she said eventually. “Take a break.”
            I sat on the edge of the grave and let my legs float into the empty space; it was now almost a meter deep and perhaps it would have sufficed for the clothes. Natalie came back after a couple of minutes with the brews and we admired our work in silence. Eventually she was satisfied with the result and she tossed the lot in. Covering it up didn’t take too long.
            “I’d pay to see the face of your gardener when he discovers this.” --

What inspired you to write this book?

I enjoy telling a good story.  Having been made redundant I had so many ideas buzzing around my head, of avenues I might take on a self-employed basis (I, like GiGi, had had enough of being an employee) and I thought, why not write about it? I’m sure other people would feel the same way.  Though I wrote my first book some 15 years ago, I did nothing with it.  I then became friends with a lady in Kentucky called Donna McDonald and she has kind of been a mentor to me and set me on the path to self-publishing.  I have a passion for fashion (pardon the pun) along with many other things so this was quite a natural process as I can write about all the things I love. Maybe I’m not an entrepreneur in the classic meaning of the term, but I guess being an Indie author is a close match.  I also wanted to bring some smiles and laughter into other people’s lives and so my book is light-hearted, fun and quirky.

Who is your favourite, and least favourite, character in the book?

My favourite character has to be GiGi, closely followed by her best friend, Ritchie.  My least favourite is Jasper Barnes, though I had to write him that way to bring some element of struggle for GiGi.  I couldn’t just write a book where things are plain sailing, could I?

What draws you to this genre? Do you write in any other genre?

I am drawn to these kind of books myself and just adore the Sophie Kinsella Shopaholic series, along with Bridget Jones’ Diary and Katie Oliver’s books.  My first book, as mentioned above, is a fantasy novel though whether I shall revisit it, is another matter.  I have a couple of other WIPs but they are largely Chick Lit, unless as the story unfolds, I decide to add an element of something else.

Is this a standalone book, or can we expect more?

It is a standalone book, although I thought of adding additional stories around GiGi.  I did things a bit the wrong way around though as this is my first book, then I decided to go back in time by writing the prequel, The Retail Therapist, to give more background to how GiGi came to be where she was.   I plan on writing a sequel too though not quite sure when that will be due to other commitments and moving house. Having said that, each book is thoroughly enjoyable as a standalone work.  

Tell me about you and what drew you to writing? Are there any authors who inspired you to become a writer yourself?

The array of books that I have read has been quite vast.  In my youth, I was drawn to the likes of Stephen King and James Herbert, so about as far removed from what I prefer to read now as you might get.  Tolkien inspired by first novel but I guess Sophie Kinsella inspired this one; not forgetting, of course, the lovely Donna McDonald who mentored me to some extent, at least as far as how to go about self-publishing is concerned.  Her books are quite a different genre, though I have read just about every last one of them and there are quite a few.  


Other than your own book, what is your favourite novel?

I don’t think I could pin it down to just one.  I adore also the young adult genre, for example Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, and of course everything that is romance orientated, like the now deceased Jackie Collins.  Having said that I guess one of my all-time favourite reads of this year would have to be “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes, despite the box of tissues I needed to keep at the ready.  Now that I write my own books, and then of course there is the marketing of them, I don’t have as much time to read as I might otherwise like.

Have you written other books we should know about?

As mentioned previously, I wrote the prequel to Blue and Green, which is called The Retail Therapist, which takes us to the birthing place of GiGi’s fashion consultant business.  It tells of the trials and tribulations in the world of being an employee that brought her to make a decision to go it alone.  There is an element of inspiration to this book as well as a little more drama than in Blue and Green.
 

If you could advise aspiring writers on only one aspect of authordom, what would your advice be?

Tenacity and persistence, I guess.  You need to be able to take knock backs too, if you intend to go down the traditional publishers route.  Self-publishing is an option, the one which I took, but there is still a lot of hard graft even once you’ve written your book…I wouldn’t say that I would turn down a traditional contract though, on the right terms and still live in hope of that.  Whatever you do don’t just write a book and publish it.  You need a copy editor (and maybe even some beta readers) and it is best to have a cover designer too to give your book that professional looking edge.  I was incredibly lucky to be introduced to Lizzie Gardiner, who previously worked for Harper Collins, but now works for herself.  She did an amazing job on both my covers given a relatively short brief.  She just seemed to get me and how I wanted my covers to appear.

Where can we find your book?


 

Where can we find out more about you?

Twitter @colettekebell







74 comments:

  1. Just wanted to thank you so much for the opportunity to take part in your Author Spotlight. It was a pleasure :)

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  2. Sounds like an awesome book! I am going to get a copy for my upcoming long weekend :)

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    1. Thank you so much for saying so and enjoy :)

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  3. I love the quote about the blue and yellow sequined dress! I can really picture it in my mind. When I was younger I dreamed about a career in fashion merchandising, so I bet I would love this book!

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    1. In that case, you should very much enjoy it :)

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  4. I am also a fun of the Shopaholic series and this seems like it would be a fun read also.

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    1. I hope you won't be disappointed by it as I had great fun writing it :)

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  5. You know I was totally saying to myself that it reminded me of Sophie Kinsella and then she stated it as one of her influences. Sounds like a cracking read.

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  6. I am definitely a fan of Chick Lit, and this book sounds like something I'd enjoy! I've read all the Shopaholic series, too!

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    1. Well this could be your next series to read then... there are more on the way :)

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  7. I need a GiGi in my life. I think I would enjoy this one!

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    1. It should make you titter if not outright laugh out loud in places and I had such fun writing it :)

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  8. I have actually been reading a lot more contemporary fiction lately. It seems to fit the mood that I have been in!

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    1. There is plenty to keep you occupied for a while in this and it will make you smile at the very least :)

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  9. Now this is the book for me! I love these kind of books and I'm already adding this to my kindle must read list. Thank you!

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    1. Thank you, that is very much appreciated and please do leave a review once you have read it, even if it is just a one liner. Enjoy ! :)

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  10. Now this is one I will add to my goodreads list! I really like the sound of this plot and especially this time of the year for beach holidays! You can't beat a lighthearted and fun story for lounging in the sun! Great, detailed spotlight!

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    1. Thank you for adding it to your TBR on Goodreads. Enjoy it when you have that beach holiday :)

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  11. I love reading books and though I have not been into books for a long time due to professional work, I might just start once again with this book. :)

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    1. Thank you and enjoy it! It is bound to return you to your love of reading :)

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  12. I also loved the Sophie Kinsella series so may have to try reading this book! I only tend to read on holiday hough so next time I go away, I'll keep my eyes peeled for Blue and Green should never be seen!

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    1. The only thing I have to say, other than thank you, of course, is that you may have to plan ahead as though it is widely available, as I'm self-published it is tough getting onto a bookshop shelf. You can buy it from Amazon or any bookshop though, just might have to be ahead of your travel time :)

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  13. Sounds like a very interesting story line. I am always on the lookout for a great new book to read, especially with summer just around the corner.

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    1. Thank you for saying so and hope you do get around to reading it as I am sure you will enjoy it :)

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  14. Sounds like a a great story line! I am more into reading YA novels! But I am pinning this!

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    1. Well my two 13 year old nieces loved reading both my books so hopefully you shall as well :)

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  15. This sounds like the kind of book that I may actually have to read - about all this personal shopping and stuff :)

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    1. I sincerely hope you do, as I had such fun writing it :)

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  16. This book is just my style of reading. Can't wait to hopefully purchase it for Mother's Day. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. I hope you were able to buy it in time? I had completely forgotten that Mother's Day in the US is completely different to ours in the UK which was back in March :)

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  17. I LOVE that the author herself doesn't like some of the characters she wrote! What a great writer to be able to write a character that even she doestn like!

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    1. Thank you for saying so and I hope you enjoy reading the rest of the story when you get the chance :)

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  18. Gigi sounds like a great character with a very interesting career. This sounds like a really fun book!

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    1. From some of the reviews I've had so far, the fun I had writing it is somewhat infectious :)

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  19. This book is so right up my alley! I love the whole premise and getting to know a little about the characters makes me want to read the book!

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    1. I hope you do and that you fall in love with GiGi and Ritchie just as much as I did :)

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  20. Sounds like a fun read, my daughter would love this book. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I would hope she would as my 13 year old nieces loved both of mine :) Do let me know what she thinks of it :)

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  21. Oooo this sounds like my kind of novel! I'm all about fashion so I must get this to read :)

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    1. In that case you should love it, though there is more to the story than fashion :)

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  22. This author has a fun and entertaining style of writing. I'd be interested to see how she incorporates conflicts into this story, but from the snippet provided it seems like this author has a fun and entertaining style of writing. I'd be interested to see how she incorporates conflicts into this story, but from the snippet provided it seems like a very lighthearted read.

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    1. I enjoyed writing the villain into the story and hope that comes across when you read it. Not that I liked the character that much, but that was the whole point of having him there :)

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  23. I think I would thoroughly enjoy this book. What a fun style the author has. Amber N

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    1. Thank you, Amber for saying so. I hope you do enjoy reading it :)

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  24. I will definitely have to tell my daughter about this book, I think she would find it very much to her liking!

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    1. I'm fairly sure she would love it, my 13 year old nieces did... and it is a clean read too :)

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  25. I'm not much of a reader, but I do love reading about fashion. I'm actually more interested in reading the prequel.

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    1. Then you should enjoy both. The prequel is only 99p on Kindle so a bargain to boot. I reckon though, once you have read it, you are going to want to know what happens next... or at least I hope you will :)

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  26. I love reading books and it sounds like an awesome book! I need to check it out!

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    1. Thank you for saying so and enjoy :)

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  27. Gigi sounds like a really interestin character, I might have to try this book!

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    1. So glad that you like the sound of GiGi and I hope you do, give the book a try that is :) Enjoy :)

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  28. Must read this book. I can relate to GiGi because I am an iage consultant-stylist so I know the struggle.

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    1. It's not solely about fashion but you should love it due to your profession :)

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  29. That is a great cover, and it sounds like a fun book!

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    1. Thank you for saying so and I shall pass your compliment on to my cover designer. Hope you do get to read the book as there is plenty to keep you smiling :)

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  30. Great book for people that like fun books. I am not much of a reader myself. And if I read it's usually blogs or magazines. But I think that the feeling of reading a book is really old school and cool, I should do it more often. Very detailed review by the way. Properly done!

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    1. I hope you do get around to reading. There are so many fabulous authors out there waiting to hear what people think of their books as they are written with other's enjoyment in mind. Thanks for the compliments to both I and my lovely host :)

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  31. THIS IS COMICAL because my name is GIGI and I am the LAST THING from a stylish person! AH HA HA!

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    1. Nice to meet you GiGi and I hope you get round to reading it and learning about your namesake :) It is a fun, light-hearted read and meant to be enjoyed :)

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  32. Sounds like I need to read this! I love the author spotlight because it is literally making me build my reading list!

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  33. This sounds like the perfect summer read. Have never heard of this author before but I like the sound of this story so will check her out :)

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    1. Thank you for saying so and I've only been an author about a year and a half now so it is tough getting my name out there and my books known, being self-published. Having said that there are wonderful reviews of my books, not least being this one so please do give it a try :)

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  34. This looks like a fun read! I really don't like reading and I am more into podcasts but I want to try to work on my reading more! Great suggestion for my holidays!

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    1. I hope that picking up my book will change your mind about reading :) It is such a lovely pastime to have... to be able to get lost in another world is fantastic :)

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  35. Sounds like an interesting book to read, though the author is pretty new for me. I love different kind of books no matter what theme they hold on to, anything that gives some interesting moments, I am up for it. Would love to grab this one for sure.

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    1. I've only been writing about a year or so, hence you may not have heard of me yet, but I hope that will change soon. Do give it a try...I doubt you will be disappointed :)

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  36. Ohh I need to find this book asap. Seems interesting for me. Thanks for the recommendation.

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    1. Thank you for saying and please do. I certainly had fun writing it and that seems to come across when reading it :)

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  37. Sounds like an awesome read - love books like that! Definitely adding to my reading list!

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  38. This seems like a good read. I will try to see if my library here has a copy of it. - Allan Liwanag

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  39. Sounds like a fun read! Will check it out

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  40. Sounds like a great book and surrounding an area that I so love. I love fashion and I love to dress persons even if it is in my head

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