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Update: Chelsea has gotten the Jimmy Choo boots and had them resoled once already. She is now happily married to a literary fellow, and they are getting a puppy in the summer. As for the bookshop plans, they have been usurped by other bookish things, but the hoe-down is on. Now all she needs to do is learn how to line dance.

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Chelsea Haywood is an early eighties baby. While this may be a fact more suited to the census, it’s also her excuse for a propensity to question whether it’s okay to have a quarter-life crisis, to feel embarassingly great via songs by Jon Bon Jovi, and to lust after things like leather pants and spandex unitards. She also hopes that it’s responsible for her current and oh-so-irrational, man-I-gotta-have-it desire to wear this fall’s thigh-high boots because A: even Louboutin is making them, and B: people are pretending to be casual about it.

Obviously, she is a girl who loves fashion, although it wasn’t always so. As a teenager she was known to leave the house in a knock-off Nepalese fleece, a long, green silk skirt and hiking boots – with a djembe drum. If the temperature was sub-zero, which it often was, she’d layer on a miscellaneous toque (i.e. hat, or beanie for all you non-Canadians), and a very large, cast-off corduroy coat from her grandpa, complete with faux bone toggles. It was warm, what can she say.

From an early age Chelsea found herself to be a voracious reader and a bit of a smartie pants who loved to read the dictionary. She graduated early. For a while she modelled in a profoundly un-famous, gypsy-like way, wearing Prada and Lanvin for wages and dressing up in that red, maiko-inspired creation by John Galliano for Dior while chumming with Chase Aston for Elle. While fashion was fun, her favorite thing about it was the catering, and eating all the food.

Needless to say, she needed a more appropriate career and so around the casting calls, the jobs and the eighteen kilometres that she’d run five days a week to keep that kind of figure, she began to dream up a creative and entrepreneurial endeavour of her own. It was while eating a (delicious!) slice of New York cheesecake in a food loft high above Sukhumvit in Bangkok that she was struck with the idea to write 90 Day Geisha, and two days later Chelsea was en route to Tokyo.

After her three months in Japan were up, it was then a matter of putting it to page and signing on a literary agent. The latter part was not so easy, but after an endless river of rejection she eventually found a match. Since then she’s seen some cool things happen: rights going to auction, publication and a book tour in Australia; distribution in New Zealand and Singapore; translation into Dutch and a publicity trip to Amsterdam. This December will see the North American release with accompanying publicity in New York, followed a few months later by publication in the UK in April.

Chelsea now lives in London, in a townhouse. She’s not quite sure if it’s her thing, yet, (she thinks she needs more houseplants), but there are things you do for love and this is one of them. She aspires to write more books and to one day have a bookshop, a wrinkle-dog and a hoe-down in Britain, though not necessarily in that order. She hopes that you are happy and that no matter what the people say, you have the belief and determination to make your dream into reality.

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