Interview + Giveaway: Kiss Me First by Lottie Moggach

Monday, July 1, 2013

Today, I'm here with an interview with debut author Lottie Moggach of Kiss Me First and a giveaway for two copies open internationally! So hang on tight and get familiar with this original, haunting and utterly gripping literary thriller!

Kiss Me First
Title: Kiss Me First
Author: Lottie Moggach
Publisher: Picador (AUS) | Picador (UK) | Doubleday (US) | Bond Street Books (CAN)
Date of Publication: July 1, 2013 | July 4 | July 9 | July 9

A chilling and intense first novel, this is the story of a solitary young woman drawn into an online world run by a charismatic web guru who entices her into impersonating a glamorous but desperate woman.

When Leila discovers the website Red Pill, she feels she has finally found people who understand her. A sheltered young woman raised by her mother, Leila has often struggled to connect with the girls at school; but on Red Pill, a chat forum for ethical debate, Leila comes into her own, impressing the website's founder, a brilliant and elusive man named Adrian. Leila is thrilled when Adrian asks to meet her, and is flattered when he invites her to be part of "Project Tess."

Tess is a woman Leila might never have met in real life. She is beautiful, urbane, witty, and damaged. As they email, chat, and Skype, Leila becomes enveloped in the world of Tess, learning every single thing she can about this other woman--because soon, Leila will have to become her.

An ingeniously plotted novel of stolen identity, Kiss Me First is brilliantly frightening about the lies we tell--to ourselves, and to others, for good, and for ill.


You have to see the trailer for this. You need to allow it to connect to your Facebook as it needs to access your friend list to truly make for a creepy trailer. It just uses the names of your Facebook friends, no worries. But the trailer seriously gave me the heebie-jeebies. Do you really know who you are talking to online? Or maybe that person already committed suicide and someone is manning her online presence? Freaky, right? Go read Kiss Me First if you're disturbed and if you can't stop thinking about that question.


On Kiss Me First

I must admit the premise of Kiss Me First is unique and truly thought-provoking. How did the idea for Kiss Me First come to you?

The idea came in 2007, when I was an underemployed freelance journalist and spending far too much time on Facebook. I was poring over minute details of the lives of my friends and acquaintances, yet hardly seeing them in real life. I rarely even talked to them on the phone. Then, I thought, what if one of these people were being impersonated and didn’t actually exist in the flesh at all? Would I ever find out, or could I just have an indefinite online-only relationship with them?

Is there a song/playlist/book/movie that inspired you while writing Kiss Me First?

There were several books that gave me the courage to do what I wanted to do with Kiss Me First, such as have an awkward, not immediately appealing narrator: Zoe Heller’s Notes on a Scandal was one.

Did you put something of yourself in the characterization of any characters? To whom are you most alike?

The two main characters are very different to me. They are both extremes - Leila is logical, literal, sheltered and unimaginative and Tess is reckless, sexy, creative and febrile. Boringly, I’d say I sit somewhere in the middle and can relate to them both, a bit. I have my Leila moments and my Tess moments, although, unlike Leila, I’m not an obsessive fan of Red Dwarf and, unlike Tess, I’ve never jumped into the Thames fully clothed. Not yet, anyway.

On writing

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Yes. My mum is one, and she made it look like a lovely job. Because she wrote in the mornings when we were at school, it seemed to me that she hardly did any work at all, and she always claimed that making up stories was the best fun one could have. Also, I liked the fact that writers didn’t have to brush their hair.

Are you interested in writing for a different genre or audience?

Yes, only because I didn’t write Kiss Me First with a genre in mind; I was rather surprised when it was labelled as a thriller. But at the moment I can’t imagine writing without a good, strong plot.

Any advice for writers on getting published?

Get the first draft done, quickly, and don’t worry about how terrible it is. It’s a great confidence boost to have written through to the end of your story, and the second draft is when the real writing begins.

On publishing and reviews

Was it hard to get Kiss Me First published? Can you tell us your publishing experience?

It took about five years to get from the initial idea to selling the manuscript of Kiss Me First. That’s partly because I’m quite a slow writer, but there were also some practical obstacles. My first agent and I didn’t agree on the approach I was taking to the story, so we parted ways and I found another agent, who helped me hugely but then left her job just as the manuscript was nearly ready to be sent out. For about six months the book was in limbo, no one seemed passionate enough about it to take it on and I was feeling quite despondent. Then, last year, I found out I was pregnant, and that galvanized me to make a final push. I approached an agent, who made a few brilliant editorial suggestions and then, after all those months of stasis, things started to happen very quickly. The book was sent out and there was a surreal, wonderful few weeks last summer when bids came in and an auction was held. We sold it to Picador, and then, a few days later, I had my son. It was a good summer!

Do you read reviews of your book? Why or why not?

If trusted advisors alert me to a review that is overwhelmingly positive, I’ll read it over and over again and rejoice. But I get the impression that one is not, then I find it very easy to resist reading it. I’m ridiculously oversensitive, and it’s painful enough knowing that someone didn’t like the book, I don’t need the gory details.

What is next for Lottie Moggach?

I’m just starting another book. Details TBC!

Thank you Lottie for taking the time to answer my questions and for gracing my blog with your presence!

About Lottie Moggach

Lottie Moggach is a journalist who has written for The Times, Financial Times, Time Out, Elle, GQ and The London Paper. She lives in north London and is the daughter of novelist Deborah Moggach.


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  1. Holy crap, that trailer was creepy. Imagine someone having all that info about you. While reading the blurb, it doesn't sound 'thriller-ish' but after watching the trailer, I am definitely hooked. Looking forward to read this book. Props to the awesome trailer!

    Charlie @ Letter Trails

    1. I know, right! I think the blurb undersells the novel because it's really creepy! I'm reading it at the moment and it makes me think a lot and fear a lot!

    2. Looking forward to your review. It seems really interesting and the first time I've heard about this concept.

    3. I hope I can finish it soon! Will definitely inform you once my review's up. Haha!

  2. I entered your giveaway.
    It would be great to win a copy of Kiss Me First By Lottie Moggach.
    In response to your questions of What interests you the most about KISS ME FIRST? Do you have any question for Lottie Moggach?
    I would like to read this book because i enjoy reading
    and discovering new authors.This sounds like a book i would enjoy reading.
    My question for Lottie Moggach is Has she ever thought about what it would be like to have her book turned into a movie
    and who would be great as the main character?
    Thank you for having this giveaway!!!!!!!

  3. I am loving the blurb, Dianne!!! Tell me about it when you start reading. I wonder if Leila can pull it off.

    1. I started it but I wasn't able to finish it just yet! Had to read some other books for tours and whatnot. But I'll inform you! Or maybe you'll win and you'll be able to read it for yourself! :> Thanks for dropping by, Rach!

  4. I just have a question for the author. I'm just wondering where did she mostly write this book? Does she write it on her home or does she go to special place to write?

    1. Oooohhh, I'll try to ask that! Thanks for commenting, Alyssa!

  5. We are online all the time in this day and age. I could be reading newspaper online, checking emails from friends and families, reading blogs that share my interest. This book intrigues me because I could relate to Leila in some ways. I play online game with other players. I do find the comfort in being able to be myself without the needs to pretend as we are there due to having the same interest, the said online game. Then there's factors of being anonymous, no one knows who I am, which from time to time makes me feel at ease in saying my deepest thoughts that I don't normally divulge to people I know or hang out with. I would love to discover where the plot leads me to.

    1. You are absolutely right. That was what gravitated me towards this book as well. We all take this anonymity online but this could happen. Thanks for a very profound comment, Lid!

  6. This sounds really interesting...and creepy! Kiss Me First is definitely a book I'll have to check out! Thanks for the giveaway! It would be great if I was lucky enough to win...

    1. It's definitely creepy. Good luck, Desnica!


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