Reader Spotlight: Meet Kelly!

Without a doubt, meeting and getting to know the people who've found the books and this blog has been my biggest delight. It's right up there with the soul-burstable pleasure of writing, truly. "Soul-burstable" is a positive, I should note, not something I avoid, messy though it sounds. 

I'm happy to share that there is a new person to get to know: the fun-loving and sometimes princess-costume-wearing Kelly. (Kelly, I hope you don't mind me sharing that tidbit, since it appears in a comments thread further down.) 

Her answers made me smile and made me want to write long, windy responses. But I try and stay out of the spotlights as best I can, though I can be a tad meddlesome, as has now been established 'round these parts. 

So, further ado be gone. Meet Kelly! 

What is your best good habit? 

Waking up early. I always wake up earlier than I need to and do chores / go to the gym / prep dinner for that night etc.  It means that I get to relax after work as all the boring stuff gets done in the morning.

I'm an early riser, too, and love your commitment to getting all the chores done early. I'm typing this sentence at 5:33 a.m., in fact. I write the Wilfair books before dawn, usually. Though if I need to write an especially lovey scene, I will make a point to stay up late because my guard drops a bit.

What makes a lifelong friend?
One of my best friends once described us as being ‘compatibly weird’ which I quite like.  But for me, I know someone is a lifelong friend when I realise I am comfortable enough around them to say or do horribly embarrassing things without any shame.


Pet peeve (and how you deal with it when it happens)?
People who don’t like music. I don’t mind what kind of music people like, but when people say they aren’t interested in music at all, my brain cannot compute.  Fair warning to anybody who says this to me: it is likely I will corner you at random times and blast songs at you until you change your mind.

I for one like being cornered at random times when there's a nice reason. Music is definitely a nice reason. I've listened to a lot of tuneage while writing these books, both while writing but while daydreaming and driving and washing the dishes, too. I can't imagine the books without their mega playlists.

You mentioned loving romcoms, musicals, and Christmas films. What are your favorites? Better yet, your favorite scenes ever?
SO tough trying to narrow this down. This is the best I could do!
Favourite scenes ever (the shortlist):
-           ‘You’re just too good to be true’ in 10 Things I Hate About You
-          The 5 smiles bit at the end of Win a Date With Tad Hamilton
-          The song on the plane in The Wedding Singer
-          Everyone singing at the end of Elf
-          The end of Its a Wonderful Life
-          ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ in Meet Me in St Louis
-          ‘America’ in West Side Story

Love! Gahhh, "Meet Me in St. Louis" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." That is my favorite x 100 carol of all time. And Judy singing it in her creamy-voiced, slightly sad way. I can't even. It's such a moving little melody. Can I also say that my favorite scene in "It's a Wonderful Life" is when Jimmy Stewart walks Donna Reed home from the dance? Gahhh again. That's, of course, after they fall in the swimming pool. :)

Is life in London like its most romantic movies? Say "Notting Hill" and "Love, Actually"? How LA is presented in movies always charms and amuses me, even if it isn't the whole story, and I'm sure it is the same for London.

It can be! Like you said it’s not the whole story, everything has a movie sheen put over it. But there are definitely parts of Notting Hill, Love Actually, Bridget Jones, and even Shaun of the Dead (if you ignore the zombies!) that pretty accurately depict London life.

"Shaun of the Dead"! I am a big Edgar Wright fan. He puts on a little film festival every year at Monty Overbove's favorite cinema. It's in The Wilfair Hotel's neighborhood.

This is all interesting to me, the nature of cities and how they are portrayed. I'll talk some more on how LA is depicted in film.

You also like costumes. What's your favourite lit or film costume?

My all time favourite movie costume is the butterfly dress Drew Barrymore wears in Ever After


What's the best thing about living in England? What's a misconception people who live elsewhere have? (I used to think that everyone had black pudding for breakfast practically every day.)
I think the best thing is how eccentric and eclectic it can be. Especially in London.  It’s full to the brim of busy, buzzing, diverse crowds of people. You have ancient historical landmarks right next to shiny new modern buildings and everything in between, squashed up next to each other and arranged all higgledy piggledy, dotted with big patches of green and cut through by the river.  It all adds up to give it this feeling that there are new exciting adventures to be found around every corner.

As for the biggest misconception, I have met several people while abroad who seem to think England is so tiny that everyone must know each other, and I’ve also been asked if I am friends with the Queen!

Ha ha, I love that last bit! Are you? ;) I get asked what stars I know. Like a lot of Angelenos, I know people who know people, which isn't nearly as fascinating as being BFFs with a movie star.

I think I mentioned that I found London to be a lot like Los Angeles in a lot of respects, and both cities certainly share a rather vibrant eclectic spirit. You'll have these imposing Art Deco landmarks nearly cheek-by-jowl with funky hamburger stands. I find the "higgledy-piggledy-ness" of the architecture rather intoxicating. (Great term!)

Do you ever listen to a song on repeat, like I do? What's the song you've listened to most and how many times in one sitting?

Yes! All the time! If I find a new song that I love I can set it on repeat and take it in for hours. No idea what I’ve listened to the most, or how many times, but some songs I’ve done this with recently are:
Long Live the Queen by Frank Turner
Hey Julie by Fountains of Wayne
The Happy Song by The Aliens
Something Going Round by Hanson

Fountains of Wayne! So good. I don't know a couple of these so you are educating me! I will give a listen. Chances are they'll end up on some Wilfair playlist. Any time a reader tells me she likes something I'm like "ohhh, I bet that's for me, too." Hi. I'm that way.

Wilfair question: If you could show any Wilfair person something in your corner of the world, who would you pick and what would you show this guy or lady?

Ooh I’d either take Gomery to the science museum or go shopping for vintage clothes around Spitalfields Market with Fair.

Hugging this last answer.

Okay, Kelly, now for your special Spotlight photo! As my dear readers know, I love choosing a special snapshot to run with a reader's spotlight. You're getting two, because every time I looked at the top one I'd sigh and think "but is it enough?"

It's the Brussels sprouts dish we discussed in an earlier comment section. I believe Brussels sprouts were one of the first things we talked about, and I mentioned loving a certain dish in The Wilfair neighborhood. Here it is. Ahhh, so savory! And crispy!

But while I know a photo of yummy Brussels sprouts should definitely be enough, I thought maybe a bit more razzmatazz was required. So across the street from the Brussels sprouts restaurant is a jewelry shop that has a giant, and I mean giant, green antelope plunk in the middle of it, and a mondo hyena as well.

These are not taxidermy, I should add, or I think not. They're over-sized animal creations and very brightly hued. They almost look like they could have been built in Jim Henson's Creature Shop. If I stood next to the antelope I'd probably reach his flank.

This is also in The Wilfair's neighborhood, of course, as it is across the street from the Brussels sprouts restaurant. So when I hear someone say that the Wilfair books push the whimsical or twee envelope, I nod and agree. I've set the stories in an area where a giant fake green antelope and his bracelet-wearing hyena friend keep company.

Basically Wilfair is almost factual, is what I'm saying.

* Okay, just confirmed that these are something called "fabricated animals" created by artist Frank J. Zitz. Not taxidermy. I didn't think they were real, as they were very fantasy-like in person. Anywho, who knew you could have a life-sized, or beyond life-sized, fabricated animal? Now I want a beautiful and faux grizzly bear of my own.

No joke. I love bears. At a distance, of course. I want them to frolic in nature while I watch documentaries about them inside on television. 


Erika said...

Hey Kelly! Great to meet you!

I 110% agree with your pet peeve because REALLY who doesn't like music??

Kelly said...

Hi Erica! I know right! My manager at work doesn't like music, and refuses to have any on in the office, and it drives me crazy!

Thank you for the spotlight Alysia, I love both the photos! The brussels sprouts look delicious, and the bangle sporting hyena and his giant green friend are amazing! Oh and I definitely don't mind you sharing my princess dress wearing ways. If only there were more occasions for it I would bust out my princess costume all the time.

Definitely listen to those songs if you haven't heard them. Love live the queen is my favourite sad song.

Wilfair Book said...

Kelly! You are so kind. I have to tell you that this week is THAT WEEK where things are all a bit funkity-wonkity. Work and holidays and everything. It's a good funkity-wonkity, but I fear your spotlight was a little rambly and rushed. I hope you really like it! I've been worried. Because I worry.

As for music in the office. Oh boy. I had a very similar situation at one of my first jobs. I used to listen to my tape player on very, very, very low at my desk, so I could only really discern the bass. Not that satisfying, really, but I liked having the music there. Like a comfy security blanket.

Wilfair Book said...

Also, Frank Turner? So good. Thank you for introducing me! Buying it.

"The Happy Song" is also great. I see Hot Chip did a remix of an Aliens song. I've been big into Hot Chip these last few months! Will give that one a listen as well.

Hanson. :)

Kelly said...

Hi, sorry, tried to reply before but I've been away in Iceland, so not had much internet.

I do really like it, so don't worry! (I am also a worrier, over all kinds of little things, so I know it's easier said than done).

I'm glad you like Frank Turner, I was only recently introduced to his music by my big sister, and I love everything of his I've listened to so far.

As for Hanson, they took me completely by surprise. I don't know if it's the same there, but here they're only really famous for mmmBop, which was HUGE when I was about 10. Me and some school friends went to a concert of theirs recently thinking it would be nostalgic and a bit of a laugh, and I was totally blown away to discover that they've made several albums and a bunch of decent songs since their mmmbop days.

Chiara said...

Nice to meet you Kelly!

I'm in awe at you early risers! Early mornings and me don't go well together. Late nights and me go very well together though.

I'm seconding Alysia's big YES to the friends question, definitely!

I like your description of London, that's exactly the impression I got the few times I've been there. Oh, and I totally get what you mean about everybody knowing each other! I'm Dutch and sometimes I get that as well. Most of all everybody thinks all Dutch people are from Amsterdam.

Those Brussels sprouts!! I want them! They look delicious.

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