Sunday, 3 March 2013
Brook Cottage Books is thrilled to have Sue Watson as the Author in the Spotlight. Here's what Sue had to say.
When asked to take part in the author spotlight for this blog I procrastinated and nibbled and drank wine and baked a cake. Then I finally came up with an idea. The question I’ve been asked most since becoming a writer is: ‘where do you get your ideas from?’ which is almost like asking ‘how do you breathe?’ It’s a tough one to answer because, luckily for writers it just happens... or so I thought. Anyway, I contemplated this and realised the subjects I write about are often based on or around my obsessions - dieting, eating, baking, wine ... and when I’m not doing any of the above, I consume reality shows. My show of choice often involves weight loss and has ‘Celebrity’ or ‘Brother’ in the title. Therefore, any one of these profound issues are likely to turn up in my novels ... oh yes, my shallowness runs pretty deep!
So where do I get my ideas? From everyone. Everywhere. Every day. My handbag is a mess but among the carnage of receipts, congealed sweets vital phone numbers and old tissues, there’s a note book to write everything down, even my most embarrassing moments. You have to capture those feelings as they happen... even if they make you cringe. I’ll confess, I also plunder all my friend’s lives, comments and dramas, changing a few elements so they’ll never know ... I hope!
My first novel ‘Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes,’ is about Stella, a wife and mother with a weight problem, a work problem and a man problem, who finds comfort in baking amazing cakes. Though I didn’t live through the man problem (my husband has asked me to make that point!) I certainly lived through a lot that’s in the book. The heroine is disorganised, can’t stick to a diet and loves the smell of icing sugar in the morning and when I’m stressed, just like Stella I find solace by whipping up a fresh batch of warm, vanilla fairy cakes.
I’m currently completing and editing my second novel, ‘Younger, Thinner, Blonder,’ and have created a very different heroine. This lady is organised, disciplined, obsessed with cleaning, exercises constantly and has amazing control over her weight ... you guessed it, the absolute opposite of me! I wanted the challenge of entering into a completely different life and believe I’ve created an entertaining, funny and perfectly flawed heroine. A successful daytime talk show host, Tanya Travis appears to have everything, a fabulous career, walk-in wardrobe, designer kitchen and gorgeous, hunky boyfriend. But at forty-something her age is becoming an issue in the youth-obsessed world of celebrity and when her life begins to unravel, she finds herself in a strange situation, questioning what she’s sacrificed along the red-carpet way. It’s a romantic comedy about women, lovers, money, age, fertility and the truth behind what we consider to be ‘a successful life.’ As a former TV Producer with the BBC, I know and worked with people in the public eye and feel I can provide an insight into the ‘real’ life of a presenter/celebrity. Oh and my favourite things have popped up again, there’s a reality show, a handsome guy and lots of very expensive shoes... what’s not to love?
Anyway, I have a deadline to meet so I’ll sign off and get back to that edit... or perhaps I’ll just grab that mixing bowl and make a fresh batch of vanilla fairy cakes, well I need something to eat while I’m watching The Biggest Loser!
‘Younger, Thinner, Blonder’ is published by Rickshaw Publishing and due out in the Autumn (if Sue can ever put the cakes down, stop watching TV and get back to the edit!)