Today on Why Words Work, I have the absolute pleasure of being part of the Pot Love book blog tour! Huge thanks to Jenny (or as she is better known, Jenny In Neverland) for her help in arranging such a wonderful tour!
At the end of this post, you’ll find a link to a book giveaway. First prize is a £25 amazon voucher and a FREE copy of Pot Love 2 – The Sinking Chef. (A book which I will be reviewing later this month!)
In Belsize Park, London, Ashley works hard on her daily YouTube channel “The Sinking Chef”. It’s filmed right in her kitchen, so she doesn’t go out much.
James is a gruff British TV director, turned publisher, who Ashley had a crush on ages ago. She has moved on but when he calls with an offer to take her out to lunch she doesn’t say no. It’s only lunch – what can go wrong?
The day Ashley meets James for lunch and he promises her a book deal, she makes the worse decision in her life – to hide the book deal from her boyfriend, Giacomo. As things progress Ashley’s secrets mount up and other things in her life unravel. Is there a connection? And how is she going to get out of this without losing Giacomo and the life she loves?
Now, without further ado, time to introduce the lovely author of this hilarious, foodie book series: Sylvia Ashby!
Sylvia Ashby is fond of the written word: books, blog posts, recipes, even an explanation to the HM Revenue & Customs as to why she thinks skirts should be exempt from VAT – she’s written it all!
She likes travelling and has lived all over Europe – London, Brussels, Amsterdam and Sofia, Bulgaria. Currently, she lives in Leuven, Belgium with her husband, daughter, son and a sparrow called Jack, who comes occasionally to peck the seeds she leaves for him on top of the garden shed.
I interviewed Sylvia about her Pot Love series. This is what she had to say!
You owned four shops. Now, you’re the proud author of four books! What inspired you to pick up the pen in between these two periods of your life?
Owning a business is a never-ending roller coaster. It’s exciting, and empowering, and exhausting. I wanted to slow down and as soon as I reduced the workload stories started pouring out of me as if I’ve been subconsciously writing them all this time.
I’ve always wanted to write, so it wasn’t so much a case of “picking up the pen” as going back to it. Writing is my first love. And as we’ve all been told “first love never dies”. It was true for me.
What do you think makes your Pot Love series stand out from the chick lit crowd?
Two things are very characteristic about my work – food and disasters.
As with all chick lit, my stories are light and humorous. My novels are about the life and love of modern women, but all my heroines seem to be quite enamored with food (as I am), and seem to come across mysteries they need to solve to get on with their lives.
My first foray in chick lit was through the books of Sophie Kinsella, who also has a penchant for solving story riddles. For me those at the best kind of chick lit novels – funny and with lots of twists.
I simply write what I want to read.
Food and love are two big themes in your books. However, is there a funny food story of your own you can share with us?
My funny food story involves a wedding cake for 80 people and a plastic CD holder.
A few years ago, my best friend got engaged and asked me to bake her wedding cake. The wedding was supposed to be a small friend-and-family affair, so I readily agreed.
In the months to follow the wedding grew in attendance until I estimated that in order for everyone to have a decent slice, the cake itself had to weigh 12 kilograms or more. I had to bake nine layers of cake, buy two kilograms of fondant and use the whooping three kilograms of butter in the cream and cake batter.
When I got to the assembling, however, I couldn’t do it. I had no idea that the cake was going to be so heavy, and that the bottom layers will need support to carry the top.
It was the day before the wedding. It was late in the evening and the shops were closed. It took the agonizing two hours to find something in the house to use for support. In the end, I settled for an empty plastic CD holder, which had a round base and a stick in the middle to hold the CDs. I washed it thoroughly, turned it around and stuck it in the soft cake. Then put the remaining layers of cake on top of it. It worked!
What inspired your decision to make Ashley – your protagonist – a Youtuber instead of a professional chef?
I love YouTube. There are so many people, brave, first adopters, who are daring to put out there for the world to see their creative flair. I watch on YouTube cooking shows, entertaining programs, documentaries, and music videos I can’t find anywhere else.
Let’s just say that if Ashley’s channel The Sinking Chef really were on YouTube, I’d watch it.
Do you have any favourite foodie Youtubers of your own? If so, who are they and why do you like them?
You have to see them to know how truly inspiring they both are.
Are there any similar characteristics that you and Ashley share? And if not, how is she different?
Ashley seems to have visited a lot of the places I have – Sardinia, Chichester, Belsize Park in London. She and Giacomo sail, which, amazingly, is what me and my husband like to do.
Apparently, being a YouTube vloger is as lonely as being a writer. Who knew! 😊 The first chapter of The Sinking Chef is pure real-life writing. Minus James. I don’t have a James in my life.
The house Ashley lives in is a lot nicer than ours. It’s basically my dream house. And she has a much bigger family than me, as we’ll get to see in the Pot Love Christmas Special, which comes out in November.
Now, time for the tough question. Which two authors have inspired you the most and why?
Sophie Kinsella for her sense of humor and amazing abilities in plotting.
Virginia Wolf for her way with words. I find her writing really inspiring.
Are there any new projects on the way that you are allowed to share with us today?
My Pot Love Christmas Special is coming out in November 18th. I’m really busy working on the edits right now with my lovely editor Heather.
And finally, to all the aspiring authors out there, what is the one piece of advice you want to serve up?
Ask yourself this: Would you still write if no-one was reading?
If the answer is yes, then you don’t need more encouragement. If the answer is no, then you should look harder into your motivation for becoming a writer.
And remember, the only thing that makes you a writer is writing, so just… write.
Another HUGE thank you to Sylvia Ashby for her answers. Go ahead and check out her website and Twitter to find out more about her wonderful series. And don’t forget to visit these other lovely bloggers on the Pot Love blog tour!
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