Jessica Beam is a girl who knows how to party. Only lately she’s been forgetting to turn up for work on time. Or in clean clothes. Down on her luck, out of a job and homeless, Jess seeks the help of her long-lost grandmother.
Things aren’t going well for Matilda Beam, either. Her 1950s Good Woman guide books are out of print, her mortgage repayments are staggering and her granddaughter wears neon Wonderbras.
When a lifeline from a London publisher arrives, the pair have an opportunity to secure the roof over their heads – by invigorating the Good Woman guides and transforming modern, rebellious Jess into a demure vintage lady.
The true test of their make-over will be to capture the heart of notorious London playboy Leo Frost and prove that Matilda’s guides still work. It’s going to take commitment, nerves of steel and one seriously pointy bra to pull this off . . .
Today we’re excited to kick off the blog tour for Kirsty Greenwoods new novel The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance.
Kirsty has kindly shared with us what inspired her latest novel, The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance which is published today (April 9th) – So you can go ahead and purchase a copy for yourself right now, Happy Publication day Kirsty!
What inspired The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance?
By Kirsty Greenwood
The first thing I do when I try to come up with a book idea is to find a situation that makes me laugh. It has to be something visual, an idea where I can instantly see the ‘big’ scenes. It HAS to make me excited. You have to be excited about an idea if you’re going to spend a year (or more!) of your life exploring it.
One afternoon my sister sent me a link to some 1950s dating tips she had found online. They were absurd and hilarious. Things like ‘never make eye contact with the waiter when out on a date’ and ‘never discuss clothes with a man – it bores them.’ I thought about how a modern woman would react to dating tips like this and the idea made me laugh. Then I went a step further and thought about the kind of woman who would be a complete antithesis to the way that women were expected to be in the 1950s – someone bold and cheeky, a feminist, a blogger, a sexually liberated scamp of a woman. And I came up with Jessica Beam. I fell in love with her immediately and knew I really wanted to write about this character.
I have a very strong familial female influence in my life and enjoy writing about female relationships, particularly between different generations. And that instigated the idea of Matilda Beam, and Jessica’s tricky relationship with her.
I already loved the 1950s in terms of fashion and music and movies, so it was a complete pleasure to do more research into how women were expected to behave back then. The research I did informed a lot of the plot. The whole fairground scene was inspired by advice I saw that instructed women to ‘drop their glove’ near a man they fancied so that he would pick it up and they could have a conversation. Putting Jessica Beam into a situation like that heralded so many ideas for comedy, I couldn’t not write it.
I’m so pleased my sister sent me that internet link. Because I’m now writing the second Jessica Beam and Matilda Beam adventure!
Thank you to Kirsty for taking the time to share her inspiration with us, the 1950’s dating tips sound great, I doubt we’ll be trying them out ourselves any time soon.
We are however loving this book right now and look forward to more Jessica Beam!