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Q&A with Kelly Tink

Meet Me in the Treehouse by Kelly Tink

In their secret treehouse, nine-year-old Emma and her best friend Chris made a promise: ‘You and me forever’.

It’s been five years since Emma left her hometown with her soon to be ex-husband and eight years since the tragedy that taught her and Chris that nothing lasts forever.

Now thirty, Emma is an unemployed nurse living back on her parents’ farm, her life in tatters. Chris, however, is finally healing and making a success of his family’s country estate.

They step into their old friendship as if it were yesterday, but as Emma sets out to rebuild her life, will their past and Chris’s future throw her further off balance?

Or will she find the happiness she left behind by returning to the treehouse?

What is Meet Me in the Treehouse about?

It’s a story about love, loss and finding your way home, in every sense of the word; not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually. I think life can often throw some pretty awful curveballs our way and make us lose ourselves to many things; self-doubt, depression, fear, regret, loneliness. This story is about making mistakes, but how they don’t have to define us. It’s how we move on from them and what we learn along the way that matters.

Is it a sad or uplifting story?

Both, but never to a level where it’s too much heartbreak. I think many people will identify with the struggles the characters face, one way, or another. Sometimes sadness and nostalgia can be uplifting, in a strange sort of way. There is lots of warmth, joy and laughter in the novel to balance out the heavier elements of the story.

What inspired you to write your first novel and choose your main characters?

I started writing Meet Me in the Treehouse in 2014 after my first marriage ended. To start with, it was a form of therapy—cheaper than actual therapy, however, it wasn’t long before I realised how much I enjoy writing. Emma, the main female character, starts out on a similar path to where I was. Her emotional journey reflects my own. I loved creating her world. Her childhood home on the farm, in the village she grew up; her safe place, with family and friends who love her. The magic of creating places and people like the ones I did in this story, warmed even my own heart, in a time when I needed all the warmth I could get. The main male character is, Chris. He came along when I needed a hero in my life. It didn’t matter he was just fantasy—a creation, far from my own experiences. I wrote him to be everything I wanted in someone, flaws and all. Perhaps all writers have a work of fiction that’s personal. Maybe all works of fiction are, to some extent. Meet Me in the Treehouse will always be special to me, because it gave me a focus and helped me at a time when the darkness could have quite easily overwhelmed me. It played a huge part in me healing.

Have you always wanted to be an author?

I’ve always wanted to write a book and I started a few chapters here and there, but never got going. I think the more I write and the more I experience what it takes to be an author, the more I want it. I have definite imposter syndrome though, despite having actually written my first book. Calling yourself an author feels a little odd. Undeserved, perhaps. When I hear the word author, I think of: Paige Toon, Nicholas Sparks, Jojo Moyes. Not Kelly Tink. I imagine that’s how they felt once upon a time.

Which authors do you aspire to be like?

Paige Toon and Nicholas Sparks, the authors I mentioned above, are two of my absolute favourites and I continue to fall in love with their stories. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, broke my heart, in a good way, and I adore both the book and film adaptation. Lately I’ve been reading Beth O’Leary, Josie Silver and Lia Louis and I can’t wait for more books to come out from these authors. I do love it when you can’t put a book down and you’re so invested in the outcome. My favourite description for some of my all-time favourite books have been that they’re ‘breathtakingly beautiful’. If anyone refers to my book as that then I’ll be a very happy author.

Are the characters in your book based on real people?

Real people or a mixture of people I know, or have met over the years inspired many of the characters, however, they are mostly fictitious. Lucy has many traits and quirks of a good friend of mine, who was a single mum at the same time I was. We had some adventures and really supported one another, hence the friendship Lucy and Emma share. Chris is inspired, at least in name and looks, by my absolute crush, Chris Hemsworth—I mean, why wouldn’t you want to imagine him! Personality wise, I’ve already mentioned that he was a creation of all the things I wanted in a man, flaws and all. Emma, looks wise, is based on Kate Middleton because I admire her grace and elegance.

There are so many great characters in Meet Me in the Treehouse. Who’s your favourite and why?

Main characters aside, I love Colin. I was advised to axe his scenes in some of the feedback I received along the way, but as much as I appreciated all the amazing advice, and I did make many of the changes suggested in other areas, I couldn’t lose Colin. I think he brings a different dimension to the story and much of the nostalgia I love. Another character that deserves a mention is Granny, I mean, what can I say. I loved writing her scenes and quirks. I actually like her directness. It’s the older generation I fell in love with in this book.

Is there going to be a follow on?

Not a follow on, as such, in terms of a series, but I’m working on book number two. It’s the story of a character we meet in Treehouse, called Jo, so there’s a link there, and we catch up with Emma and Chris in the next book too.

Can you tell us a little more about it?

Well, it’s in the very early stages, but is set in the South of Cornwall and features a stunning beach and an even more stunning main male character called Ben. As for the rest, you’ll just have to watch this space.

If you’ve enjoyed this interview and want to read the novel, Meet Me in the Treehouse, by Kelly Tink, you can pre-order the e-book now on all Amazon sites (some links below):

This title will be released in both paperback and as an e-book on 12th November 2020!


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