Chantel Guertin is a Toronto‑based beauty expert and television personality, well-known to audiences of Canada’s number‑one daytime talk show, The Marilyn Denis Show, and a frequent guest of morning news shows. She’s also previously worked as a beauty editor at fashion magazines. Her latest novel “Instamom” is due out June 29th via Penguin Random House Canada.
It’s the influencer’s golden rule: know your niche. Kit Kidding has found hers on Instagram, where she gets paid to promote brands and share expertly curated posts about her fun, fabulous, child-free life. Kit likes kids just fine, but she passionately believes that women who choose not to become mothers shouldn’t have to face guilt. Or judgment. Or really hot chefs who turn out to be single dads.
Will MacGregor is aggravating, sexy, persistent, averse to social media, and definitely a bad idea. As soon as Kit learns his parenting status, she vows to put their scorching one-night stand behind her and move on. But Will and Kit are thrown together on an Instagram campaign, and the more time she spends with him—and his whip-smart, eight-year-old daughter, Addie—the more difficult it is to stay away, much less sustain what Will so cleverly calls her “Resting Beach Face.” Kit’s picture-perfect career path is suddenly clashing with the possibility of a different future—messy, complicated and real. Which life does she truly want? Will she have to re-invent herself? And will love still be waiting by the time she figures it out?
We had the opportunity to chat with Chantel about the inspiration behind her novel, what she’s learned along the way, and what’s next.
Kat: What inspired you to write this story?
Chantel: I wanted to explore the role that social media plays in our lives—how we portray ourselves to the world, how others see us, and how it affects our decisions and ability to change our mind and our beliefs. I also wanted to write about the decision to have kids or not have kids because I think for women, no matter what decision we make (or don’t get the opportunity to make) it defines who we are and is not just part of who we are, but also how others see us and treat us.
Kat: What did you learn writing the book?
Chantel: I learned a lot about the decision to be childfree, and the type of questions and opinions those who choose to be childfree face from others. I also had a lot of fun writing about being an Instagram influencer, and it gave me a new appreciation, thinking about how much work goes into running a feed as a business.
Kat: What do you hope your readers will take away from the story?
Chantel: I hope they’ll find this a fun escape as they lie in a hammock this summer, and that they’ll also think about the book after they finish it, and the way that we don’t always know someone’s whole story, whether we’re friends IRL or just follow them on social media.
Kat: Without giving away any spoilers, what was your favourite chapter to write? Or what was the most fun to write?
Chantel: I actually really liked the opening scene. It was one of the last scenes to write and it was fun to be sort of over the top to set up the influencer event.
Kat: What’s next? Do you see another book, and potentially creating a series?
Chantal: I’m currently working on a new novel that I hope will come out next summer! Stay tuned 😊