Sunday, 14 February 2016

Blog Tour: The Stylist featuring a Q&A with author Rosie Nixon

Today is is my turn on the Blog Tour for The Stylist by Rosie Nixon. There is a great Q&A with Rosie followed by my review of The Stylist. Enjoy!

About the author

Rosie Nixon has been joint Editor of HELLO! magazine for the past five years where she relishes the role of hands-on editor with a love of all things celebrity, royal and fashion-related.

She previously held senior positions at glossy women's magazines including Grazia, Glamour and Red.

In her career she has been lucky enough to attend a multitude of glamorous award ceremonies, premieres and showbiz weddings all around the world. The Stylist is her debut novel.

Connect with @Rosie_Nixon and @Mira_BooksUK on Twitter to talk about #TheStylist

Q&A

Before we get down to business (i.e. talking about your book) I would like to ask a set of questions I call 'Breaking the Ice.'

The last book you read? (Inquisitive bookworms want to know)
New Beginnings, a collection of short stories written by Adele Parks. I'm nursing my three month old baby at the moment, so this was perfect for night feeds and my fuzzy mum brain. Short stories are a great alternative when you haven't got the time or the headspace for a longer read.

The last movie you watched, which you felt left a mark (in your heart, soul, wallet...you name it)?
I went to the opening night of Spectre - I love a bit of James Bond and especially Daniel Craig in the role. I saw it a few days before my son was born, thankfully the loud bangs and crashes didn't bring on labour in the cinema - that would have left a mark on a number of people.

Are you more of a Game of Thrones or Outlander kind of gal?
How about neither? I am a Homeland and The Affair kind of gal.

What do like to do when you want to relax?
I bake a mean banana loaf, I always have music on and enjoy a jig around the kitchen to a classic dance anthem with my toddler, I'm a guilty internet shopper ( fir some reason new shoes relax me) and I always feel better and calmer after exercising.

Which famous person (dead, alive, barely kicking) would you most like to meet?
I'd love to have a conversation with the Queen, preferably over afternoon tea at Balmoral. I think she is incredible - 90 years old and still doing so much in the public eye.

Something you treat yourself to, now and again? (Cream ├ęclairs totally count)
I'm a massive chocaholic and often have to ban chocolate from the house, because I 'm not the kind of woman who can have one and put the rest away. Dark chocolate and mint is my absolute favourite - it might sound grannyish, but a new box of Bendicts Mint Collection choc make me very happy.That and internet shopping - I'm a magpie and particularly adore jewellery by Monika Vinader, she's always top of my list for birthday and Christmas treats.

All of the above questions are actually a pretty elaborate pysch evaluation disguised as random questions. Have no fear here come the real ones. Let's talk about The Stylist.

The Stylist is certainly a full speed ahead non-stop event. From the very first page the main character is just a blast of energy swooping all over the pages. Fashion and accessories galore!

It seems as if there is even more pressure in our day and age for girls to be en-pointe with their clothing and style in general. Is there any kind of middle ground between dressing as a fashionista and just being fashionably comfortable?
Yes. It's imperative that you dress for yourself - when you feel uncomfortable or aren't convinced about your outfit, it shows. Fashion should be about feeling good - your clothes should give you confidence and turn you into the best version of yourself that you can be.

The Stylist gives us quite a brutal insight into the celebrity endorsed fashion industry and into the lives of the so-called stylists to the stars. Just how accurate would you say your portrayal is?
I think it's very much rooted in reality - I've been lucky enough to observe many stylists at work and these days they are a central part of a star's entourage. It's not always the glamour and gloss you might imagine. I hope I've given a rounded insight although Mona Armstrong is a completely fictional character.

I have to say you surprised me with a twist at the end. Amber makes an unusual choice (I won't say which one, so I don't spoil it for any other readers)... what would you say was her true motivation for this? 
She never managed to get him out of her head, and they are so good together!

I enjoyed the way the focus was on Amber and satisfaction in her career choice, as opposed to a purely romantic plot. Was this a conscious choice on your part when you were writing The Stylist?
In this book Amber is at a stage of her life when getting on the career ladder is just as important as finding a man. I wanted her to be a full character, whose sense of self is not purely based around who she is dating.

Amber is such great character surrounded by a multitude of other solid characters with loads of potential. Will we be hearing more about Amber and Co. in the future?
Yes, I'm currently woking on the sequel to The Stylist. I'm having a ball, it's set in New York, and involves more fashion dramas, parties, hangovers and matters of the heart as Amber relocates to the city that never sleeps and navigates her first relationship.
I would just like to thank you for answering all of my questions, even the slightly odd ones.



Review

In The Stylist the reader gets a glimpse behind the curtain of fashion glam and glitz. How our perception of the fashion industry and celebrity lifestyle doesn't necessarily match the reality of this particular industry and the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

Nixon puts the emphasis on her character as a whole, as opposed to just her romantic escapades. She is strong willed individual with a lot of ambition, and she isn't afraid to make right choices for herself, her career and her life.

A fashion faux-pas opens up a pathway for Amber straight into the high-end world of celebrities, award shows, fashion and fame. It must seem like a dream to be able to knock shoulders with the rich and famous. To be able to choose what global stars wear and are photographed in, which in turn means everyone suddenly also knows your name.

I have to say I felt completely mortified on behalf on Amber. Embarrassing isn't quite the word for being at an awards show in a stinky onesie.

The reader gets to watch Amber grow into her role and then outgrow her boss in a matter of hours. She learns the ugly truth about what really happens behind closed doors in the world of celebs and stylists. Just because something sparkles like a diamond it doesn't mean it is one. Cue Mona and her excellent ability to fake her way through every situation.

Nixon writes with a sarky sense of humour with a subtle romantic undertone. Her characters are strong and memorable, so I am looking forward to reading what happens in the sequel.

Buy The Stylist at AmazonUK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

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