Today I’m delighted to feature Dutch businesswoman and author Heleen Kist. Heleen has lived all over the world while growing up and for her career. Then she fell in love with a Scotsman and his country, and now writes about its (sometimes scary) people from her garden office in Glasgow.
Heleen was awarded a Spotlight as ‘up and coming author’ at Bloody Scotland 2018 for her debut ‘IN SERVITUDE’, a dark tale of family, crime and betrayal set in Glasgow. It was shortlisted for The Selfies 2019 awarded at London Book Fair and won a silver medal at the Independent Publishers Book Awards 2019 in the USA.
‘STAY MAD, SWEETHEART’ is an empowering thriller set in a data science start-up in Edinburgh, published by Red Dog Press. It received third prize in the inaugural Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award 2020 and a silver medal in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards 2020.
Further stand-alone suspense novels are completed and in the works. She’s represented by Annette Crossland of the A for Authors agency.
Over to Heleen
Which five pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?
Runaway by Bon Jovi. This came out when I was about 14 and I liked the rebelliousness of it (though I was quite a good girl, relatively speaking.) I’ve been a fan of the band ever since and saw them live 3 times.
Make You Feel my Love by Adele. Because I used to sing this to my kids at bedtime.
Wait for It from the musical Hamilton. Because it has a great line that rings very true: “I am the one thing in life I can control. “
Purpose from the musical Avenue Q. A satirical song about a 22 year old (puppet)’s quest for purpose. I don’t believe we need a ‘passion’ or a ‘purpose’ to have a good life. If I’d looked for them, I’d never have become a writer!
Because I Knew You from the musical Wicked. A heart-warming song of friendship. I moved around a lot in my life, but I’ve clung on to friendships, many of which I feel have shaped me.
What five things (apart from family and friends) would you find it hard to live without.
Ear plugs (to sleep with)
Give five pieces of advice to your younger self?
Say ‘no’ more. It’s ok; nobody will hate you
Entrepreneurship is not a dirty word
You don’t need a plan
Marry a man who makes you laugh
Be attuned to who you real friends are
Tell us five things that most people don’t know about you
I used to make Fairy Liquid
I’ve been offered money to give a man a wedgie (I declined)
I’m a huge Excel nerd
I rarely listen to music (and you’ll have noticed when I do, it’s musicals)
I can’t catch a ball
Tell us five things you’d still like to do or achieve.
Mastering a bit of aerial acrobatics
Visiting all the major waterfalls in the world (quite a few done)
Learning to converse in Arabic (I started – it’s haaard)
Owning a kayak and having ready access to water to use it regularly
Building a metal sculpture
Many thanks for joining me and sharing today Heleen. Always good to have an opportunity to play Adele as I’m a big fan, so I appreciated that. I’m with you on Chocolate and always have ear plugs to hand – my biggest fear is forgetting them when we go away anywhere. I’m very particular about which ones I use as well. Definitely good advice to marry a man who makes you laugh, anything else doesn’t bear thinking about. My Excel expertise is probably just bit more basic, so I bow to your knowledge. I use it for work and thankfully get by as the clients that use it on the whole know even less than me. Good luck with your Arabic, I’m still struggling with Spanish after a number of years. I think I’d really need to be immersed in the language to really start to get to grips with it. Visiting waterfalls sounds a wonderful pursuit – lets hope the world opens up again soon!
Stay Mad Sweetheart
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?
When Grace’s beloved sister Glory dies in a car crash, her life spirals out of control. She discovers Glory was indebted to a local crime lord and laundering money through her cafe. What’s worse, Grace is now forced to take over.
Defying her anxiety, Grace will stop at nothing to save herself and those Glory left behind from the clutches of Glasgow’s underworld. But her plans unravel when more family secrets emerge and Grace is driven to question everything she believed about her sister – even her death.
IN SERVITUDE is a gripping roller coaster of family, crime and betrayal. Perfect for lovers of page-turning suspense.
You can follow Heleen via her website, Twitter and Amazon
A metal sculpture – let us know when it’s finished. I love seeing outdoor art installations and photographing them; a fun way of publicising one’s books!
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A good idea.
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Thanks for having me, Jill. I hope nobody will ask me to show them my ball catching (non-)skills. Heleen
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My pleasure Heleen, I think the questions are more likely to be related to the offer for a wedgie!