Hi Helen, thank you for joining me today to talk about your new book, Keeping up with the Kershaws. Congratulations on book four in the spotlight series.
Helen is originally from Hounslow in West London and now lives in Bedfordshire. She has a BA in Journalism and Contemporary History from City University and Queen Mary, University of London, and an MSc in Gender, Sexuality, Politics and Culture from Birkbeck (University of London).
During her undergraduate final year she started volunteering for a charity (Young Minds), and after she graduated got a job working at Stonewall, running their national information service.
Ever since she was little she wanted to be a writer, to turn daydreams into books. Fascinated by fame and in love with Happy Ever Afters, she is enthralled by slow-burn romances. She squeezes in time to write around looking after her two young sons.
Keeping Up with Kershaws
A compelling new romance where real life and reality tv collide
What do you do when your life becomes more dramatic than reality TV?
As the devoted carer for famous antique expert Harold Kershaw, Karrie Morgan was always happy to keep a professional distance from his four spoilt grown-up children, who rarely made time for their father. But then a surprise involving Harold’s Will means Karrie is flung headlong into a press scandal, and into the chaotic world of the surviving Kershaws.
With the support of her trusted childhood friend Andrew, mild-mannered Karrie must face down ruthless ice queen Portia, master manipulator Gabriel, Botox fanatic Arabella, and ladies’ man Rafe, star of reality TV show Raised in Richmond … although perhaps not as fake and flashy as he initially seems?
As vicious rumours circulate and Karrie’s past comes back to haunt her, she struggles to know who to trust. Can she keep up with the Kershaws’ schemes?
Helen, I have always loved the way you combine celebrity lifestyle with beautiful romances in all your books and you’ve done it again in Keeping up with the Kershaws. But before I ask you about all things reality TV related I note from your acknowledgements that you met your husband at Richmond rail station, obviously this led on to great things, but this sounds like a fabulous meet cute. Can you tell us about it?
It’s not quite a “meet cute” – we did meet for the first time in person at Richmond Station, but we met first online on a dating website! It turns out we went to the same College and grew up just round the corner from each other. Richmond features heavily in my new book as it’s an area of London that I know and love.
I thought it was really clever the way you incorporated mentions of SOS Celebrity and Strictly Skating into this story. Beautifully done and we have a new reality TV series Raised in Richmond, which sounds great fun and would definitely be on my watch list.
There are some great reality TV shows around at the moment, Great Pottery Throw Down is one of my favourites, what about you?
I really love Celebrity SAS, I enjoy watching people being pushed to their physical and emotional limits and seeing what aspects of their character are revealed. I love the Bake Off (my next Christmas novel is Bake-off themed) but it makes me so hungry!
Master Chef or Bake Off? Bake Off
Strictly Come Dancing or Dancing On Ice? Dancing on Ice
Love Island or Big Brother? I’m not a fan of either!
The Apprentice or Changing Rooms? Changing Rooms – The Apprentice stresses me out!
Now I’m going to put you on the spot:
Harold was an antique expert, imagine for a minute you were a guest on Bargain Hunt and have been let loose in an antiques shop, what would you be looking for first?
An antique writing desk, of course!
Are you good at driving a bargain?
No, I am far too sheepish to ask for a discount
Okay, I’m moving on now to the Repair Shop, Karrie has a music box, is there a special item that as a guest on Repair Shop you’d like to see fully renovated.
A traditional bicycle – there’s something romantic about an old fashioned bike with a basket on the front
Come Dine with Me, what three course meal would you cook for your fellow contestants?
A starter of Nachos, followed by Chilli con Carne, then something decadent like a cheesecake.
And cocktails, Andrew and Karrie spent an evening trying cocktails, what cocktail would you serve with your meal?
My fave – a Pina Colada!
Okay Britain or America’s got Talent, you’re through the audition stage, what act would you perform before the judges?
I haven’t got that many talents, but I can play a bit of jazz flute so I’d give that a go!
Before we finish, can you tell us something about your writing process, what comes first for you – character or plot?
Characters – always. I always start with them and their backstory and take my inspiration from there
Would you describe yourself as a plotter or a pantser?
I’ve given up on plotting now, so definitely a pantser. I let my characters lead the way!
What does a typical writing day look like in the Buckley household?
I’ve really struggled to write recently as my two small children (3 yrs and 16m old) have both been so poorly. When I get a chance to write it’s usually around 5.30am, gulping down a cup of tea before the boys wake up!
I’m so sorry, that must be a real worry for you. I hope they start to feel better soon. I know when we spoke last you said you had two more books in the Spotlight series, without giving too much away, can you give us a glimpse of the next one?
The next one is a Christmas Bake Off themed book… coming October 2022! Full of delicious treats and another delectable hero!
Wow, I can’t wait, that’s one of my favourite programmes. Thank you so much for coming today to talk to me.
Thank you so much, Anni, it was so fun to answer your brill questions!
You’re welcome. Ax
Kindle: Keeping Up with the Kershaws: This contemporary has twists, turns & plenty of drama, but also a wonderful slow-burn romance at the heart. (Spotlight Book 4) eBook : Buckley, Helen: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store
Kobo: Keeping Up with the Kershaws eBook by Helen Buckley – 9781781895115 | Rakuten Kobo United Kingdom
Google: Keeping Up with the Kershaws by Helen Buckley – Books on Google Play
Nook: Keeping Up with the Kershaws by Helen Buckley | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)
Website: Keeping Up with the Kershaws (choc-lit.com)
Goodreads: Keeping Up with the Kershaws by Helen Buckley (goodreads.com)