So as part of bookouturexmas I was lucky enough to have a chat to the Lovely Sue Watson
Hi Sue – Thank you for taking part in this q and a for #bookouturexmas Would you like to start by introducing yourself to my readers..?
Bella’s Christmas Bake off can you tell us a bit about it?
Hi and thank you so much for having me. My Christmas book is about Amy Lane, whose husband walks out on her just before Christmas. Amy is so upset she begins to dread Christmas – her favourite time of the year. This is made worse by the constant on screen presence of TV kitchen goddess Bella Bradley, darling of the nation and Amy’s old friend. Amy is constantly being faced with Bella’s perfect life and luxurious, glittering Christmas in her beautiful Cotswolds home. But is everything as it seems? When Amy gets the chance to visit Bella in her new world there is trouble ahead and the atmosphere is pretty chilly – which has nothing to do with the snow falling. This is a very Christmassy story about baking, friendship, marriage – and living a lie – a big fat one actually! Oh and there’s a rather fabulous fluffy cat ‘actress’ who stars in Bella’s show and whose TV name is ‘Pussy Galore,’ but in reality he’s a Tom cat called Keith.
How did you go about doing the research for this book?
I used to be a TV Producer with the BBC and have worked on many cookery shows over the years and always wanted to write about a celebrity chef. The combination of Christmas baking and TV diva was too irresistible, so I wrote about what I know and didn’t research so much as just remember and imagine. Though I did try to dress my cat Harry up as a festive Pussy Galore to see what would happen… I still have the scratches!
Who are your favorite Authors? And what genre of books do you enjoy reading? If you have time.
I don’t read much chick-lit because I would be constantly thinking ‘why didn’t I write that?’ My choice of reading is always much darker – I love psychological thrillers, my favourite writers are Gillian Flynn and Tamar Cohen, both brilliant at plot and atmosphere and I love Tamar Cohen’s subtle dark humour and her take on life and people.
What is the best thing about being a writer?
Not having to leave the house on a cold morning when everyone else has to. I particularly relish the calm that descends when everyone has gone to work and school and I’m home alone with the cats and a nice cup of coffee.
Do you have a favourite writing place?
Yes my desk is in the kitchen so I can be near to the fridge in case of emergencies (it’s where I keep chocolate). I also like my spot because it overlooks the garden and it’s close to the kettle.
I would love to know a bit about your career before writing I understand you were a Journalist and then a TV Producer. What made you decide to leave this all for a career in writing?
While I was working in TV I loved it. Making a TV programme is surprisingly similar to writing a book because you’re always telling a story… and it has to be interesting enough to keep the viewer/reader engaged. I was with the BBC for about 12 years and during that time found myself sitting in edit suites making notes, devising plots and jotting down ideas. I would also spend a great deal of time listening to people’s comments and again I would make notes – and when I decided to leave to write I already had the bones of my first novel, Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes.
And finally – have you started writing your next book? Any clues as to what it maybe about? I am sure my readers would love to know.
I have a few ideas in my head, but at the moment they are just percolating like coffee… which reminds me, I haven’t had a cup for at least five minutes! ;)Thank you for taking the time to answer these
Sue Watson was a journalist on women’s magazines and national newspapers before leaving it all behind for a career in TV. As a producer with the BBC she worked on garden makeovers, kitchen takeovers and daytime sofas – all the time making copious notes so that one day she might escape to the country and turn it all into a book.
After much deliberation and copious consumption of cake, Sue eventually left her life in TV to write. After a very successful debut novel, Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes, Sue signed with Bookouture and has gone on to write four fabulous books.