Interview: Chanel Cleeton, NA Author

AuthorPhoto copyChanel Cleeton writes New Adult contemporary romances and Young Adult thrillers. Her New Adult debut, I SEE LONDON, will be released by Harlequin (HQN) on February 3, 2014, followed by a sequel, LONDON FALLING, later in the year.

An avid reader and hopeless romantic, Chanel is happiest curled up with a book. She has a weakness for handbags, puppy cuddles, and her fighter pilot husband. Chanel loves to travel and is currently living an adventure in South Korea.

Keep up with Chanel on her website.

Let’s see how Chanel answers the Proust Questionnaire!

What is your idea of happiness?
My idea of happiness is feeling peace in my life. I’m never happier than when I’m at home with my husband and three dogs. I’ve learned that there’s so much in life that is unnecessary and so much that you can’t control. I’m happiest when I’m surrounded by the people I love the most and that’s really all that matters. If you add in a good book, it’s my perfect day :)

What is your favorite song? When do you first remember hearing it?
I have way too many to list just one, but if I had to go by my iTunes playlist, my most played song is “Video Games” by Lana Del Rey. The first time I heard it was in an episode of Gossip Girl. Chuck was apologizing to Blair for pretty much everything and this song was so perfect for the moment. Honestly, a huge chunk of my library comes from Gossip Girl episodes. Besides being an awesome show, it really had some great music :) The second I heard the song I bought it. I love the lyrics. It’s so beautiful and full of emotion. I play it a lot when I’m writing and it really inspires me.

Which talent would you most like to have?
I want to be the best writer I can be.

On what occasion do you lie?
I hate lying and normally try to avoid it. That said, I also hate confrontation so I do tend to lie when I feel the truth could hurt someone. Sometimes I think that’s a good quality, but other times I wish I could be a little more honest and direct. I’m working on it :) The only exception is that I never lie to my husband. I’m a really firm believer in total honesty in marriage. Sometimes it’s tough to do, but trust is built on honesty and open communication. Without trust you don’t really have a relationship.

What is your present state of mind?
Stressed :) I’m a little over a month away from my book release and it has been a crazy ride. Preparing for your debut is a lot of fun and excitement, but it’s also a TON of work. Even with my crazy lists I’m still always forgetting something.

What is your motto?
Go big or go home.

What character trait do you most value in your friends?
I love friends who are easygoing. I’m really not of fan of drama and I have a hard time dealing with pettiness. I love friends that you can just totally be yourself with. Friends who won’t be upset if life gets crazy and you lose touch for a bit.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
In writing, the word “okay” (seriously, such a boring crutch word- no idea why I use it so much).

In life, words like “fabulous,” “amazing,” etc. I tend to gush when I’m excited:)

Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh, 1889

Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh, 1889

Your favorite painting?
That’s a hard one. It’s a tie between Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh and The Kiss by Gustav Klimt. I love Starry Night because there’s just something so breathtaking about it. It represents the ultimate adventure. The Kiss is SO romantic and full of passion. They both have a dreamlike quality to them.

What is your favorite journey?
The one I’m on right now :) This year has been a crazy one- full of lots of changes. I graduated law school, moved to South Korea, and signed a two-book deal with Harlequin. Through all of these life changes I’ve learned so much about myself and my priorities in life. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

What is your favorite time of day?
Evening. I’m a total night owl :)

With which literary hero or heroine would you most like to share a coffee?
Probably Elizabeth Bennet from Pride & Prejudice. Her character is so witty and clever, she would be such an entertaining person to share a coffee with. She’s probably my favorite literary heroine.

What do you need to achieve before you can die happy?
I would like to be a mom. I want to watch my kids grow up and watch them have babies of their own. I can easily envision what my husband and I will be like when grow older and I’m looking forward to a long and happy life with my family.

I SEE LONDON COVERWho or what is your first love?
London is probably my first love. I moved there when I was seventeen and it was the biggest dream of my life. The years I lived there were some of the best years of my life. I found myself in London and I will always love it.

What’s the last dream you remember?
I never remember my dreams. I’m always envious of people who can describe these really vivid dreams. I wish I could have a cool plot for a book appear to me in a dream, but so far I’m still waiting :)

What’s your madeleine?
Honestly, I think my book, I SEE LONDON is my madeleine :) I miss London so much. I miss it daily. Writing I SEE LONDON gave me the ability to travel back in time and relive some of my memories. I got to write about my favorite places in the city and at times I felt like I was transported there. Of all my books this one will always have a special place in my heart for that reason. It really is my love letter to London.

Without thinking, in one word: what is life?
Adventure.

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