Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Interview with Sue Watson - Author of Fat Girls & Fairy Cakes

Last week I posted my review of Fat Girls & Fairy Cakes by Sue Watson which was launched on 8th September.  If you haven't already read my review, you can do so here.  It really is a fabulous, fabulous book which I thoroughly enjoyed. 

I was delighted when Sue agreed to do an interview for my blog.  Thank you Sue for sharing a little bit of your life with us, I wish you every success with this book and all your future ones. 

Here's to Gin in the Seychelles! Kim xxx

Can you tell us a little about you Sue and your life to date?

I’m from Manchester and am now based in the West Midlands. I’m a former journalist, TV Producer and cake obsessive who finally plucked up the courage to leave the day job and pursue my dream of writing for a living. To be honest I think I may have to wait a little while for that holiday home in The Seychelles, but I feel very lucky to get up each morning and write.... and bake.

When did you decide you wanted to write a book?
I think in a way I always knew I would write a book – it was in my head for a long time but it took a while for me to realise it. I remember once talking to someone at the BBC where I worked and she said she wanted to abandon her well-paid job and be home all day baking cakes ... I think that’s when the seed was planted for me on lots of levels. Leaving the BBC and a career I loved was a huge step and I decided I could only do it if I could achieve something better – which for me was writing a book.

How long has this book taken you to write?
The book itself probably took me 12-18 months to write – but I’m easily distracted and if a friend phones to go for lunch or lattes I’m off! Lunch and latte time does tend to eat into the day and I have vowed to be more disciplined ... until the next time! The writing is the fun bit – there’s a blank canvas and anyone can be or do anything – which is why I love fiction more than fact. However, by the time you edit you’re locked into characters and events and that can take longer and be far trickier than the initial writing of the book.  

How did it make you feel to know that your book was going to be published?

This is a dream I’ve always had and my road to publication has been very rocky (I have written an article on this for the Love a Happy Ending website) therefore it’s especially wonderful to hold the final copy in my hands. Of course the angst now is ...”will anyone like it?” “Will anyone buy it?” but all that aside I feel i have done something tangible, I can keep a pristine copy at the back of my cupboard for my daughter’s children to hand down to their children. They say what most writer’s really want to achieve is immortality and I can understand that - but I can die happy now.

Family is obviously important to Stella in your book, how important have your family been to you?

My family have been incredibly important. My husband has supported me financially (and my cake expenses are not inconsiderable) and my daughter, who’s twelve has been a cyber whizz kid helping me with all the technical computer stuff a writer has to embrace these days. My mum has always had absolute faith in me as have my lovely in-laws who have supported and encouraged me from the beginning.

What's next for you, are you writing more and if so, can you tell us a little about your next novel?

Yes my next novel is almost finished and it’s very exciting. It’s called ‘The Terrible Truth about Tanya Travis’ and is a story about a Jeremy-Kyle-style TV host – with a dark secret. I’d also like to take Stella (from Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes) to a glamorous, exotic location to meet gorgeous men and bake fabulous cakes... Flip Flops and Fairy cakes is the obvious title for the sequel... and I can’t wait to dip my toes into that azure pool!

Where do you write and what inspires you to write?

I write in the kitchen on the table from where I can see the garden and keep an eye on what’s going on. I sometimes think I’d like a lovely minimal office in white gloss with matching accessories, but it would feel too much like going to work...and I don’t do white or minimal because I’d just get cake crumbs everywhere. As for inspiration I only have to buy a few copies of Closer, Now or a fabulous baking magazine and I’m away. Oh and I have to say my lattes and lunches are all in the aid of research – there’s nothing quite like ‘the girls’ for a bit of inspiration.

What book are you reading right now?

I’m reading ‘Welcome to My World’ by Miranda Dickinson, a great opening and a very promising read so far... I loved her first book Fairytale of New York too. And I’ve just finished US writer Jen Lancaster’s Such a Pretty Fat – which is hilarious for anyone who’s ever tried to eat healthy and exercise to lose weight (like me!)

What types of book do you like to read and who are your favourite authors?

I love Jen Lancaster because she’s overweight, loves food and is addicted to trash TV (we must have been separated at birth!) I also love crime/psychological thrillers  from writers like Ian Rankin, Joy Fielding and Nicci French. Crime books can be scary so it’s a good excuse to comfort oneself with large chunks of cake or chocolate, washed down with hot coffee. Ooh and on the beach I read and would recommend The Particular Sadness of lemon Cake by Aimee Bender – quite different, I loved it... but as I was on hols I washed that down with iced coffee and BIG ice creams.

You are a featured writer on www.loveahappyending.com, what has being a member of this site meant for you?

Funnily enough Kim I was reading your excellent blog and spotted the logo for the site – I then looked into it and so it’s thanks to you that I’m a member! The site is a brilliant idea for us new writers to showcase our work – but more than that I have found the companionship and support to be fantastic. Writing is a lovely, but lonely business and it’s wonderful to know that there’s always another LAHE writer going through the same problems and good times as you. And talking of the good times – when a fellow LAHE writer’s book is launched or they have some good news, everyone is so supportive and genuinely pleased – it is inspirational.

Thank you so much for having me!


Anonymous said...

Ladies, what a wonderful interview. Really enjoyed getting Sue's insights into her work (and cake habits), and Kim is asking fab questions. Thank you both! xx

Kim The Book Worm said...

Thanks for your very kind comments Nicky, glad you enjoyed the interview - yours next! xxx

Linn said...

Fabulous interview ladies - another stunning one Kim! Sue is so right when she says how important family support is - it's like a protective barrier for times when the world is pretty fierce! Congratulations Sue on the success of Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes - delicious!!!!! Linn x