A warm welcome to author Heleen Kist, who is interviewing Laura Flett from her feminist thriller, Stay Mad, Sweetheart. Let’s take a look at the cover and blurb first.
There’s a fine line between innocence and guilt. An even finer line between justice and revenge.
Shy and sensible Laura prefers the company of her books to the real world – let alone that cesspit online. But when her best friend Emily becomes the victim of horrific cyberbullying, she makes it her all-engulfing mission to track down the worst culprits using her finely tuned data skills.
Petite corporate financier Suki is about to outshine the stupid boys at her firm: she’s leading the acquisition of Edinburgh’s most exciting start-up. If only she could get its brilliant, but distracted, co-founder Laura to engage.
Event planner Claire is left to salvage the start-up’s annual conference after her colleague Emily fails to return to work. She’s determined to get a promotion out of it, but her boss isn’t playing ball.
As the women’s paths intertwine, the insidious discrimination they each face comes to light. Emboldened by Emily’s tragic experience, they join forces to plot the downfall of all those who’ve wronged them.
But with emotions running high, will the punishments fit the crimes?
You can buy the book here:
Amazon link – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07YNTBY8W/
Now let’s move onto Heleen’s interview with Laura
Thanks for taking the time to talk Laura. How do you feel about being the main character in a book?
I’m thrilled our story is being told, of course, and as a huge book lover it seems incredible. But I’m a little uneasy about being the main character. I don’t like being in the limelight at all. That’s why I let my co-founder Jason be the main face of our software start-up Empisoft. I’m much happier just programming my data science models — or sneaking to the photocopier room on my break to read.
Besides, this is my story as much as it is Suki’s and Claire’s… and of course my best friend Emily who’s having a very tough time.
You grew up with Emily, didn’t you?
Yes, we’re the firmest of childhood friends. We grew up in Peebles, a small town in the Scottish borders. I’m not much of a people-person but she and I had loads of fun. We were at school together, went to scouts, went camping in the garden. The only place she wouldn’t be at my side was the library! She’s not much of a reader, unless you count romance novels. She can get a bit carried away with men, which I guess is how this whole mess started.
Sorry, where was I? Ah yes, growing up.
We both went to Edinburgh for university, which was hugely exciting, but it also meant I lost her a little bit: she met so many new people. So it’s been great to have her working at the PR firm representing my company, even if she’s not been herself lately.
How’s the company doing?
It’s going tremendously well. We’re one of Scotland’s most successful start-ups, what they call a ‘unicorn’. We’re about to be acquired for a mind-boggling amount of money by PeopleForce, a silicon-valley giant. Jason is beside himself, excited he’ll be joining the ranks of the super entrepreneurs. As for me, I have no idea what I’d do with so much money. I just like the work.
Is this how you came across Suki?
She was hard to avoid! And not for lack of trying. Suki is the corporate financier charged with making the deal happen and boy, is she driven. She’s like a tiny tornado getting in my way when all my attention is on finding out who’s hurt Emily so.
But I’ve also learned to admire her immensely. She’s smart; one of the few people who gets what I’ve created. Mostly, she does not take any crap from anyone – and that has started to rub off.
Turns out she and I, and Claire (who is organising the big Empisoft event where the acquisition will be announced), have a lot more in common than you’d think: we’ve all been discriminated against in one form or another.
I’m sorry to hear that, what are you doing about it?
Ah, that would be telling…
But I can say this: it involved hitting people where it hurts and it’s delicious.
Alright, what does the future hold for you Laura?
Once the acquisition is completed, I have some family matters to attend to and then, frankly, I just want to keep working on my models. The fact that my software will help so many people in future, victims of cyberbullying, is enough reward for me.
I’m not going to go away to some millionaire’s island. You’ll just me reading my books, as usual.
As for Suki, I heard a rumour she’ll be in one of your next books, Heleen…
That sounds great. I wish you the best of luck and thanks again for agreeing to the interview.
No problem. And Heleen, be kind to your characters, will you?
Some Nice Author Endorsements:
“On point topical and beautifully written. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”
- Jo Spain Author of several International No 1 bestselling psychological thrillers
“One of the most interesting books I’ve read for a long time. Relevant, uncomfortable, incredibly exciting – it’s simply superb. A topical novel with its roots firmly in the #MeToo era, An excellent plot, compelling characters and superbly paced, this was one of my standout books in 2020.”
- MW Craven CWA Gold Dagger winner, author of the bestselling Washington Poe series
“A fresh, satisfying & thrilling read perfect for the post #TimesUp and #MeToo era.”
- Claire Allan USA Today, Irish Times and Kindle Top Ten bestselling author
“A topical, twisted tale of revenge with a cast of kick-ass female characters – something a bit different and just what I needed – recommended!”
- SJI Holliday Author of the No1 Kindle bestselling The Last Resort
“With Stay Mad, Sweetheart, Heleen Kist takes the psychological thriller out of the domestic setting and into the workplace. With its on-the-money themes of technology, the darker side of the social media and the #MeToo movement, Kist has crafted a superb and thought-provoking page-turner.”
- Alison Belsham Author if the International bestselling The Tattoo Thief trilogy
What brilliant endorsements! If, like me, you’re intrigued and want to read the book you can get a copy here:
Throughout her life, Heleen Kist has been fondled, patronised and ordered to smile by random men; so she wrote ‘Stay Mad, Sweetheart’, a feminist tale of justice – or is it revenge?
Heleen was chosen as an up and coming new author at Bloody Scotland 2018. Her debut ‘In Servitude’ won the silver medal for Best European Fiction at the Independent Publishers Book Awards in the USA and was shortlisted for The Selfies awarded at London Book Fair. ‘Stay Mad, Sweetheart’ won a silver medal at the Next Generation Indie Book Awards 2020 and 3rd Place in the Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award 2020.
A Dutch strategy consultant living in Glasgow and married to a Scotsman, she’s raising their son to be a good man and their daughter to kick ass.
She’s completed her 3rd novel, which is with her agent, and is squeezing the 4th one, started during the pandemic, out like blood from a stone.
Thanks so much for dropping by to tell us about your fantastic new book, Heleen! Wishing you much success with it.
Karen King – Writing about the light and dark of relationships.
Amazon Author Page: https://tinyurl.com/y2q5audb