Rebecca Chance’s latest novel, Killer Heels, is in stores now and we borrowed her for the following author interview. I will let Rebecca describe the book in her own words, but let me tell you…I have read it and it makes for one interesting (and rather erotic) story!
Tell us a little bit about your new book, Killer Heels…
It’s about a very ambitious young woman, Jodie Raeburn, who is desperate to become a famous fashion editor, and the journey she takes to achieve her goal. I loved setting the book in the fashion world, as it’s so obsessed with image and identity, and it’s also very sexy!
Jodie apprentices herself to Victoria Glossop, the editor of STYLE magazine, who has her own driving ambitions, and the two women’s stories are interlinked. Jodie starves herself from a UK size twelve to a size zero (UK size 4), and embarks on a torrid affair with the Svengali Jacob Dupleix, her boss, to try to walk in Victoria’s footsteps – but though the two women have the same goals, their paths are very different.
Victoria thinks she’s got everything she ever wanted – but during the course of Killer Heels, she discovers a whole new sexual side to herself she never thought possible, and starts to crave something completely new…
Do you have any experience in the magazine industry?
Yes, I interned in the fashion desks of Cosmo and Company when at university, and have written for both magazines extensively since, plus Grazia and Marie Claire and quite a few other fashion magazines.
Where did the inspiration come from for your lead characters Coco and Victoria?
Coco is really an every-woman – normal background, normal family, normal size – everything normal apart from her talent and ambition! She starts the book very eager and youthful and through her eyes we learn about the craziness of the fashion industry and what you have to do to get ahead.
I intentionally made her ‘normal’ – ie, not a posh girl, or one born into the industry, like so many of the women who work on Vogue for instance. Victoria isn’t normal at all – she’s aristocratic, well-connected, beautiful, well-educated. Very privileged, arrogant, and with a reputation for being extremely demanding. I’m sure we can all think of a famous fashion editor that she resembles! I certainly took some real-life inspiration when I created Victoria.
Which one do you relate to the most?
I relate to all my characters – if I didn’t, I couldn’t make them come to life. But I definitely related to Coco feeling big, surrounded by all the skinny-minnie tall giraffe girls on Style! I remember helping to organise model castings and shoots when I interned on fashion desks, and feeling very intimidated by the thinness of the models and many of the other fashion women.
There are a few moments in the book which will leave readers blushing, what was it like writing those scenes?
Tons of fun! I love writing sex scenes and they’re an essential part of my books. With Killer Heels, I knew I was going to try some new things I hadn’t put in a book before – there’s an increasingly hardcore S&M relationship in it (very timely, with the success of 50 Shades!), and also another torrid affair with a twist that hopefully the reader won’t see coming at all (as it were). I always want to do something different from one book to the next with the sex scenes, and in this one I’ve certainly managed it!
This book also has a really strong story line, was it difficult to create a good balance between the fashion, characters and that sizzle?
No, the trick is to outline very tightly before I start writing. I did a 10-page outline for Killer Heels, breaking it down between the three main female characters’ perspectives, so I always knew what would be coming next. And yes, I am aware that the sex scenes need to be fairly regular in the narrative or my readers will be disappointed!
How long did it take for you to write Killer Heels?
About four months to write, a month off as my editor went over it, and then another month to do edits. But as I said above, the planning and outlining are a really essential part of writing this kind of intensely-plotted blockbuster.
Would you describe yourself as a lover of fashion?
I adore fashion but that doesn’t mean being a label junkie – I don’t like that side of things at all. I like making individual choices, and dressing well for my figure (which isn’t at all model-ly, so takes a lot of work!) So what I do is take what’s in fashion and adapt it to myself – so I’m wearing an outfit, rather than it wearing me.
How did you get started as a writer?
I worked as a journalist in London for a few years, then moved to Tuscany to live more cheaply so I could start writing a novel without the financial pressure of living in London. I finished a mystery novel, sent it to a girl I’d known at college who was working at Hodder, a publisher, and she took it – I got an agent off the back of the publishing deal, which is really the wrong way round to do it. I wrote seven mysteries, then three chick-lits and a dating book under the name of Lauren Henderson.
Is writing a full time job for you or do you have a day job?
No, writing has been my full-time job for over twenty years now!
What’s next for Rebecca Chance?
A new book called BAD ANGELS, which comes out in November of this year. It’s Christmas-themed, so it’s set over Xmas and New Year in a luxury apartment building in Docklands, in London, with a beautiful actress and an assassin recovering from plastic surgery, holing up there, a Polish nurse, and a Russian oligarch in the penthouse with a crazy villainess wife running round threatening everyone and having pervy sex with her toy boy. I loved writing it!
We have 5 copies of Killer Heels by Rebecca Chance to give away! Want to win one? ENTER HERE
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