My latest novel, Baked with Love, is now available for pre-order. The book features a fictionalised version of a well-known and loved baking show, so there are a lot of descriptions of cakes in it.
In general, there are a lot of descriptions of all kinds of foods in all my books, reflecting my other passions in life, cooking and eating. If I were any good at food styling and photography and filming, I’d run a food blog for sure. I toyed with the idea at one point and came up with the snappy (not) title, Emma Cooks the Books! along with fancy-schmancy graphics too, see above.
Anyway, as that did not happen (food blogs and vlogs look like a tonne of work – and many of them take place in immaculate kitchens, using state-of-the-art equipment that seems as if it’s being used for the first time), I’ve rounded up a collection of foodie pics and quotes from my books…
Well… the end of Happy Valley! What did you think?
The series writer Sally Wainwright receives a lot of well-deserved praise for her depiction of strong female characters, her ability to create conflict and ramp up tension and her characterisation and dialogue (“I might have singed one of your crochet blankets”).
I would be grateful for teeny-tiny percentage of her writing talent.
Oh, and did you know that George Costigan (Happy Valley’s Nev Gallagher) and Siobhan Finneran (Clare Cartwright) have acted together before? In a certain 80s comedy-drama also set in the north.
Click the button below if you want to see the NSFW clip.
Do you use the premium or business versions of WordPress, and what are the benefits and drawbacks?
Many of you who are reading this are also bloggers. I use WordPress’s bog-standard free version because it meets the majority of my needs, however I pay an annual price for the domain name.
WordPress for business is expensive—£240 per year (about $292)—for a lot of features I won’t use or need, though signing up for some of the premium services would also mean that the adverts and WordPress branding would be removed, giving the site a more professional appearance. I can also upload videos directly if I want to.
If I want to sell books straight from this site, which I do, the only option via WordPress is the business because you can install the required plug-in.
For the time being, I can link folks to my Payhip store, but best practise dictates that if you’re attempting to sell something online, you should make the transaction as simple as possible, i.e. one click.
Amazon will always account for most of my sales. Will this site generate £240 in book sales per year? Doubtful…
Can lifelong baker Lissie turn down a last-minute invitation to appear on the popular TV show Best Baker UK, even though her ex-boyfriend is one of the contestants?
Not a chance…
Her current boyfriend isn’t thrilled, and Lissie’s decision to put herself under the intense pressure of a reality TV show while spending so much time with the man who broke her heart six years ago appears to be a recipe for disaster…
But could Lissie uncover the truth about what happened all those years ago, prove herself to her grandmother, keep her boyfriend happy, and win Best Baker UK, forever changing her life?
A spellbinding, warm-hearted read for romance and Great British Bake Off junkies, Baked with Love is a thoughtful, unforgettable story with characters you will love about second chances, forgiveness, and the search for true love.
How to spend creative hours productively – part one
To format your book’s paperback edition, use a pre-made template. It takes approximately an hour.
How to spend creative hours productively – part two
Use no templates. Insist on formatting word documents yourself because you know the measurements and you want to do fancy-smancy things. Get yourself in a pickle trying to work out page breaks, section breaks, odd page headers, even page headers, numbering, and so on.
Waste five hours + one hour uploading the document to KDP Print – time you will never get back – only for the system to reject it repeatedly because the margins aren’t correct, despite the fact that YOU HAVE USED THE MARGINS SPECIFIED BY KDP IN THE FIRST PLACE.
How to spend creative hours productively – part three
Skip part two.
Anyhoo, the paperback edition of my latest chick lit novel, Baked with Love, is now in the system and will be available in mid-March.
Adventures at the BBC
On Tuesday, I took part in a pilot show recording for BBC radio. Because the show is about books and reading, a small panel of us, led by Scottish author and broadcaster Damian Barr, discussed Kazuo Ishiguru’s sci-fi novel, Klara and the Sun.
I was the only one who found the book a chore to read. For me, there wasn’t enough description, making it hard to imagine the world he’d created, the dialogue felt awfully stilted and the characters weren’t particularly sympathetic, but everyone experiences books differently, which is why book groups are so fascinating to be a part of.
The others were drawn in by the simple prose and lack of description, and two mentioned binge-reading the book, whereas I read it as part of my ‘to-do’ list for the day.
A few words were bandied about that I had to look up afterwards, having no idea what they meant, and I’m afraid I’ll come across as the panel dunce when (or if) the show is eventually broadcast.
But, as a long-standing admirer of Aunty Beeb (an affectionate British term for the BBC) and almost everything she does, it was a privilege to be involved,
What I’m baking/eating
For years, I followed a low-carb diet. Bread was the thing I missed the most. These days, I eat low-carb-ish, but a small amount of bread is a daily staple because…
Like almost all foodstuffs, it is far superior made from scratch. Kneading, on the other hand, is tedious, especially for those of us with butterfly attention spans. But after seeing someone tuck into ‘no-knead’ bread on YouTube, I decided to make two loaves this week.
You’ll need to plan ahead of time because the bread takes fourteen hours plus to make (dough rising time)—but it’s so easy and so tasty*.
Best served with lashings of butter and a thick layer of Marmite.
What I’m watching
We’ve recently discovered Detectorists on BBC iPlayer and binge watched the three series. The programme follows the fortunes of a small group of metal detectorists and was written and directed by Mackenzie Crook (left in the picture above). It’s sooooo lovely – great characters, acting, the setting, the wildlife. If you haven’t seen it, you’re in for such a treat. I don’t know if it’s available outwith the UK, but if you are reading this and you’re in another country, I hope you can find it!
*As energy prices are through the roof at the moment, bread-making at home is a real luxury because you need the oven at a high temperature and the loaf takes an hour to bake.