Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Interview with Jenny Colgan


Being such a busy mum, where do you find the time to actually sit down and write?

This is the most boring answer ever: I hire someone to look after the house and work when the children are at school. I'm just a working mum like everyone else, except I'm luckier because I get to pick my own hours, so it's actually a lot less stressful. I am in total awe of women who work full-time, they do an amazing job, it looks so hard. 

What do you get up to on Mothers Day? Do you have any family traditions?

No, it's awful, I'm british, my husband is a kiwi and we live in France, and all the days are different in each country. So everyone forgets until the 5 year old stands at the end of the bed and sings his special Mother's Day song. 

What's the best gift you have ever received for Mother's Day? (bet it's something handmade)

Well, we get things they do in school, I suppose, but, without sounding evil, I'm not mega impressed by the stuff they all get made to do as a group. What I love are the spontaneous things- my middle boy made me my very own TARDIS (I also write for Doctor Who) out of a coffee box to keep my pens in and I adore that; or my elder son, who is 9 and very formal, sent me a very polite thank you letter for his lovely Christmas. That's the stuff I really enjoy. 

What suggestions do you have for mothers or parents who want to write or further a writing career?

Well, a writing career is the same as any other career; you just have to work harder than the next person who's up for the same job. When I started writing in my twenties I  knew loads of incredibly smart talented people who wanted to work in the arts in some way and now, twenty years later those of us who managed it weren't always the best or the brightest- I certainly wasn't- but we're the ones who put the hours in. Oh wow, all my answers are SO BORING! I will say now it is easier than ever to follow editors and publicists and agents on twitter and get advice on the internet, all of that was really hard to find out when I was starting. But mostly, it's just: read all the time, write all the time and if you genuinely can't dig out an hour a day, every day, to do it in, maybe it just isn't for you. I thought I wanted to be a stand up comic, but I hated doing the actual work. It was such a relief to pack it in!

I always look forward to seeing the recipes at the back of your books. What would you recommend making with younger children?

Hooray! Anything with a mixer, they sure do love pressing the button on that mixer. Otherwise, make the basic cupcakes then let them decorate, or shortbread. Hard to go wrong with a quick bit of shortbread. 

About the Author

Jenny Colgan is the author of fourteen bestselling novels - most recently The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris and the Top 5 bestseller Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop of Dreams, which won the RNA Romantic Comedy Novel Award 2013. Meet Me at the Cupcake Café was also a Sunday Times Top 10 bestseller, and won the Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance 2012. She is married with three children and lives in London and France. For more about Jenny, visit her website and her Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter: @jennycolgan.


Little Beach Street Bakery

Can baking mend a broken heart? From the bestselling author of Meet Me at the Cupcake Café comes this deliciously funny, heart-warming and inspirational new novel.

Polly Waterford is recovering from a toxic relationship. Unable to afford their flat, she has to move miles away from everyone, to a sleepy little seaside resort in Cornwall, where she lives alone above an abandoned shop.

And so Polly takes out her frustrations on her favourite hobby: making bread. But what was previously a weekend diversion suddenly becomes far more important as she pours her emotions into kneading and pounding the dough, and each loaf becomes better and better. With nuts and seeds, olives and chorizo, with local honey (courtesy of local bee keeper, Huckle), and with reserves of determination and creativity Polly never knew she had, she bakes and bakes and bakes . . . And people start to hear about it.

Sometimes, bread really is life . . . And Polly is about to reclaim hers.

Praise for Jenny Colgan's previous books

‘Jenny Colgan has hit the sweet spot yet again with this funny, heart-warming and wonderfully romantic novel. It's a book which should be devoured in one sitting, along with a box of chocolates, naturellement . . .’ - Sophie Kinsella 

‘The sweetest, loveliest book I've read in a long time. Gorgeous, glorious, uplifting. A very happy-making book’ – Marian Keyes 

‘This delightful, nostalgia-inducing story is utterly charming - and left us craving a paper bag stuffed with treats!’ - Closer

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