I hope your 2012 has got off to a great start!
I’m furiously making headway on my new fantasy novel (still untitled) as it now needs a very good ‘going over.’ So, because of this, I don’t have the time to update my blog… But never fear, as promised and as a treat to you, here is the first of my Guest Blogs!! And it’s by Bestselling author Carole Matthews.
Being a Successful Author While Baking Cakes- By Carole Matthews
As I write two books a year, I use up a lot of material. So I try to do lots of varied and interesting things that I can store up for future use in my books -paintballing, ballroom dancing, white water rafting. You get my drift. I once spent a whole year researching opera for Welcome To The Real World and, frankly, if I ever see another one in my lifetime, it will be too soon. For my latest book, Wrapped up in You, we went on safari to the Maasai Mara. Doing two books every year, I use up a lot of research material. So when I had the vague idea that learning to decorate cupcakes might come in useful for a future novel, I never imagined that going along to a cupcake course would rekindle a long-lost interest in baking and turn it into an obsessive hobby.
Baking in general seems to be making something of a comeback and I spend a lot of time on Twitter and Facebook joining in with the comments on the Great British Bake Off or Masterchef. I’ve also dug out my old Delia recipe books and have invested in some new Lorraine Pascale ones. It’s also lovely to swap recipes with my readers – a lot of whom are also keen homebakers. But it’s cupcakes that seem to have fired the imagination – they’re very of the moment.
I think the beauty of cupcakes though is that they’re so easy to make. With very little time and/or skill you can whip up something edible that looks impressive. Once I discovered the joys of a Wilton ‘Mr Whippy’ nozzle, my life was changed! Now I have a cupboard chock full of cutters, piping equipment and edible glitter.
As I writer, I spend a lot of time living in my own head and my poor brain takes a battering. It’s lovely to have found a pastime that enables me to completely switch off. To spend a morning creating flowers or butterflies to embellished the top of a cake or trying out different flavours is all-consuming. And, quite often, as a lovely bonus, I find that tricky plot points have sorted themselves out in my head while I’ve been doing it. Hurrah!
The only downside is that I already have to watch my weight as I spend all day sitting down in front of a computer. With a fresh tray of cupcakes out of the oven, the temptation is just too hard to resist. So I have to balance my cake intake with a lot of lettuce!
I can’t see a new career for me in cupcakes. I still definitely write better than I bake and only force my home baked goods on those who love me most. But it’s a great form of relaxation and, who knows, one day I might yet be able to feature my new hobby in one of my novels.
Carole’s latest novel, Wrapped up in You, is currently available from all good book outlets. Here’s a bit about it below:
‘Leaving winter behind, Janie takes the plunge and books an exotic trip to Africa. Her friends think she’s mad and Janie thinks they may very well be right… but then she falls head over heels for her tour guide – and fully fledged Maasai Warrior – Dominic. But can Janie now face spending a snowy Christmas back home without him?’