Title: A View to a Kilt
Author: Wendy Holden
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Publication Date: 3 April 2019
I am absolutely delighted to be today’s stop on the blog tour for A View to a Kilt, the hilarious Scottish-themed novel from author Wendy Holden.
Forget about Cool Britannia and Gallic Chic. Scotland is having a fashion moment…
London’s most glamorous glossy magazine is in trouble. Advertising revenues are non existent, and if editor Laura Lake can’t pick them up, she’s out of a job.
According to those in the know, Scotland is having a fashion moment. Haggis tempura is on Michelin-starred menus, smart spas are offering porridge facials, and a chain of eco-hotels is offering celebrity bagpipe lessons. So Laura’s off to a baronial estate in the Scottish Highlands to get a slice of this ultra-high-end market.
It’s supposed to be gorgeous, glitzy and glamorous. But intrigue follows Laura like night follows day. And at Glenravish Castle – a shooting lodge fit for a billionaire – Laura finds herself hunting for a scoop that won’t just save her job, it could save her life…
GUEST POST FROM WENDY HOLDEN
View To A Kilt is my tribute to Scotland, a land I have always loved. It’s beautiful, romantic and dramatic; the perfect setting for a romantic comic drama! I go there every year; I even married a Scotsman, which is probably taking things to extremes. But even Scotland has its funny side and in A View To A Kilt I explore the castle culture; those remote fortresses in far-flung locations with relics such as Bonnie Prince Charlie’s waistcoat and Mary Queen of Scots’ shoe on display in dusty glass cases. MSQ and BPS clearly scattered their clothes freely all over the Highlands; they are of wildly-varying sizes, too!
Apart from Laura, my funny, resourceful magazine-editor heroine, my favourite character VTAK is called Sandy McRavish. She is lady laird of a Scottish estate but due to her remote situation and the machinations of greedy relatives, she has been kept in a 1980s time warp. She wears white heart-attack lipstick, thinks Princess Di is still alive, has no idea that Duran Duran have split up and has never heard of Meghan Markle.
I wrote her as an unlikely comic character but now I am wondering if she is actually me. I too look back at the 1980s as a wonderful time. The music, the clothes, the freedom of university, then afterwards hitting a London in the grip of Sloane fever. I plunged straight in and worked first for a publishing house full of Camillas and Selinas, then on a posh magazine where I met Princess Di practically every week. Looking back, it all seems like a golden time.
A lot of people ask me how I write; I’ve written sixteen so far, ten of which were consecutive top ten bestsellers. I’m Northern, from Yorkshire, which is probably where the work ethic comes from. It definitely explains the humour. My family always laughed at everything, especially me. I was a very pretentious child, but it was my version of punk. My parents, who rode motorbikes and loved loud music, would not have batted an eyelid if I had had a safety pin through my nose. But they were scandalised when I pronounced ‘bath’ with a long ‘a’!
I also enjoy writing, which helps with the output, although my favourite part of the day is when I’ve finished and am celebrating with a large drink. I’m not the sort who can write all night in a frenzy of creativity. I work a normal office day as this was my pattern for many years in my former job as a journalist. The hours between 8am and 11am go the fastest and those between 2pm and 4pm the slowest!
A View to a Kilt is another quirky, laugh-out-loud novel from author Wendy Holden. Set in the Scottish Highlands, Scottish stereotypes are flung at the reader from all sides – there’s tartan, bagpipes, neeps and tatties, dour Scotsmen and some dismal Scottish weather. However, she also provides a brief but charming description of the rugged beauty of the highlands, with mile after mile of shimmering lochs set amongst the green landscape. Holden has ensured that Scotland is now a place on my ‘to visit’ list.
As with Holden’s previous novels, she writes with an irreverent tone that mercilessly mocks any social group that falls within her grasp, from the aristocracy to estate agents, the publishing industry and hipsters – none are safe from her sparkling wit! The story bubbles forth in a pacy fashion, capturing the reader’s attention and enthralling them into Laura’s madcap world.
The characters are virtually caricatures of themselves, from the zany heiress Luna to terrifying publishing guru Bev Sweet and the odd MacRae couple, Holden has provided a wonderfully colourful and quirky cast for the story.
Written in Holden’s typically sparkling and witty tone, A View to a Kilt is a tongue-in-cheek, lighthearted romp and a wonderful bit of escapism for a dreary winter weekend!
About the Author
Number-one bestselling author Wendy Holden was a journalist on Tatler, The Sunday Times, and the Mail on Sunday before becoming an author. She has since written ten consecutive Sunday TimesTop Ten bestsellers. She lives in Derbyshire.
Finally, don’t forget to visit the rest of the stops on the blog tour for this laugh-out-loud book. Details as listed below: