Good morning! Today we’re going to spice things up at the café with a new feature: Meet The Author Moment. Today, we’re introducing LLm’s own Caroline James. Welcome Caroline!
[AC]: What do you absolutely need to write?
[CJ]: I have a passion for food and the hospitality industry. When my fingers touch the keyboard and my head clicks into gear on this subject, the words start to flow and I’m off! I met so many fascinating characters in my years as an hotelier and latterly as a consultant and the hotel environment is a hot-bed of characters and gossip. The best piece of advice I ever had was to write what you know, so I work on that basis and adapt incidents and experiences that I’ve come across or been part of. I often think the stories seem far-fetched, but in truth I’ve generally toned them considerably!
[AC]: What inspired you to create the lead characters?
[CJ]: I’ve worked with chefs for many years and had a good insight into the machinations of what makes a so called ‘celebrity chef,’ seen constantly on our TV screens. I also appreciate how hard they work and wanted to weave a story around the industry from a different point of view – backstage and how it might work. The lead male character is loosely based on a chef who had a reckless lifestyle off-stage but was a completely loveable rogue.
[AC]: Was there an alternate ending?
[CJ]: I remember listening to crime writer Ian Rankin talk about his writing and he said that he never knew the ending of his novels until he wrote the last page. I felt like this with So, You Think You’re A Celebrity…Chef? It wasn’t until right at the end that I knew for sure what would happen and was then able to write it. So I guess the ending could have had many alternatives.
[AC]: Where were you when the idea for this book came to you?
[CJ]: Stonked off my face at a food festival in Ireland, enjoying Irish hospitality at it’s best! The festival was Kinsale’s Annual Gourmet Food Festival – a truly incredible event and for those that can stay the course, it is three days of total food and drink debauchery. Paradise for me! Wonderful people and fantastic entertainment; sadly the host of the festival, the enigmatic Derek Davies, died earlier this year but the show goes on and will ride successfully into its 40th year in 2016. It was blindingly obvious to me to base a book around this event because it is so colourful and interesting. Some of the plot came from an experience I’d had with a crazy chef in France but again, no one would believe me if I’d kept to the truth!J
[AC]: You’re in a café, like this one, and you go up to the counter. What would you order?
[CJ]: A large Americano, with hot skimmed milk on the side, then I’ll loiter around the glass dome that covers a tray of chocolate brownies and tell myself not to go there, but deciding that life is too short not to, I’ll order two to have with my coffee.
[AC]: What’s up next for you? Anything you can share that’s in the works?
[CJ]: I’m continuing the Coffee, Tea series. My debut book Coffee, Tea, the Gypsy & Me has a strong fan base and I am constantly asked what happens to the main characters, Jo and Hattie. So, Coffee, Tea, the Caribbean & Me is about to be born and we find Jo and Hattie have moved on in years and following life changes for both, go on holiday to Barbados. The book is a romantic comedy – a story about the friendship between two women who have both suffered loss. The story shows that there is hope in middle years, romance can happen and life really does begin again. I loved writing this book and enjoyed the research, especially the pina coladas which were compulsory throughout! Two more books will follow next year: Coffee, Tea, the Boomers & Me and Coffee, Tea, Christmas & Me. Can’t wait – 2016 is going to be busy!
Today’s Giveaway Is Sponsored By….
Anneli Purchase! You can read about Anneli and check out her books HERE.
There were no winners this month. What a shame! Join us next month for another chance to win.