Kelly Bensimon has lived quite a life as a model, famous photographer’s wife, mother, designer, fashion icon and trend-setter. She has overcome numerous obstacles all while living with the scrutiny of the public eye – including the very negative judgement she faced on and after Real Housewives Of New York. Kelly is now chronicling her experiences through her first novel, A Dangerous Age.
“I love things that are imperfect, that have flaws,” muses Kelly. “Everything has a story. Just because it’s not perfect doesn’t mean it doesn’t have an amazing story. It usually does.”
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The idea to write A Dangerous Age came about through Kelly’s agent, who recognized the huge platform she developed from appearing on Real Housewives Of New York and the elusive worlds of fashion, modeling, art, television Kelly had insider access to. Kelly reportedly kept many aspects of her ‘real life’ away from cameras on RHONY. “I’ve been writing all my life and began working on this novel when I was at Columbia,” shares Kelly. She did not use a ghost writer!
For Kelly the writing process let her explore her own diverse life, and learning to navigate the upper-echelons of NYC’s fashion and art communities. “People don’t understand I worked very hard to get where I am,” she tells Haute Living New York. “I wasn’t born with a silver spoon.”
A Dangerous Age tells the story of four NYC friends, all once prominent ingenues, whose statuses and friendships are at a serious crossroads. It is both a comedy, and a drama, which ruminates on the poignancy of relationships, but also the ever-changing worlds of art and culture in a fickle city, as these women struggle to confront their new roles in the society they once dominated – some will flounder, while some will thrive.
The major theme of novel is love. “A quest for love, real love, unrequited love, how people love, how people fall in and out of love.” Central to the novel is NYC, with its demands for new and different.
“Sometimes people don’t see what they have,” explains Kelly. “A lot of Type A personalities gravitate to New York – they are constantly wanting more and more because more is more; that feeds them. But I think this [dynamic] is one of the reasons I have been able to reinvent myself. Contemporary society has allowed me to do that. The more I’m curious about, the more people are curious about [me], and the novel deals with that.”
“The novel is very voyeuristic and very inner circle,” promises Kelly. She opines that today’s socialites are more than just wealthy women who represent a certain fantastical lifestyle. “New is everything,” she adds. “… the city’s most philanthropic women are incredibly hard working, very well educated, and often entrepreneurs.” So they’re not Real Housewives, is what Kelly is saying? And we won’t find them on Bravo shilling their souls to promote a pinot or a margarita?
In addition to writing, Kelly has also launched a lower-priced jewelry line, Kelly Killoren for Kelly Killoren Bensimon, for HSN. “It’s a destination vacation line influenced by my travels,” she describes.
I have to say Kelly’s novel sounds interesting – I’m curious about her story, and if she’ll be covertly dishing on RHONY, and spilling any insider gossip!
A Dangerous Age is currently available for sale by all major book retailers.
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[Photo Credits: Donnelly Marks for HLNY Magazine]