Love, Lies and Lemon Cake is published today, and Sue has stopped by for a Q&A on the novel, the inspiration behind it and what she'll be writing next...
Tell us about your latest novel in 15 words or less.
A woman risks everything to chase long forgotten dreams...but is she doing the right thing?
What inspired you to write Love, Lies and Lemon Cake?
It was a chapter title in my first book ‘Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes’ and the idea has been percolating for a few years in between other books. I wanted to write a modern day Shirley Valentine, about an ordinary woman who thinks she knows what her future holds and has given up on her dreams. It’s about second chances and having the courage to chase your dreams.
Where do you do most of your writing?
I have an Ikea desk and cupboards in the corner of the kitchen which is my office, where in theory no-one is allowed to bother me... but everyone does. I once tried to work in a spare room upstairs but I am far too interfering and nosy and want to know what everyone’s doing so I am now positioned in the heart of the house. It’s useful to be where others are because when I want to procrastinate I can usually rope someone else in.
What is your favourite book?
I don’t have a favourite as such, I've read so many brilliant books and plan to read so many more in my lifetime it’s a great – but very tough question. Having said that - I read a book last year that has stayed with me so much it probably will be one of my all time favourites, ‘The Age of Miracles’ by Karen Thompson. It’s ostensibly science fiction – but it’s so much more than that and says so much about being human – it’s sad, funny, scary and so profound I made my 15-year-old daughter read it too.
Which part of Love, Lies and lemon Cake did you enjoy writing the most?
I loved writing the whole book – I love Faye the heroine and fell a little bit in love with Dan, the gorgeous bronzed Australian in the novel. But the parts set on the Greek Island of Santorini were probably my favourite to write ... I wrote it at home in The Midlands in February and could almost feel the sun on my face.
Who is your favourite literary heroine?
Cadence Roth in Armistead Maupin’s Maybe the Moon. She is the narrator and full of life and love and fun and anger – and eventually she turns out to be not quite the person you think she is. I strongly recommend it.
Do you have any tips for readers who are looking to become published writers?
Yes, don’t get too caught up in the publishing aspect, just write the book you want to write – and it may seem obvious – but finish it before jumping to the next stage. It’s very tempting to write a book with a view to getting it published, making money and becoming an author. Trust me it doesn’t work – I know because I was that wannabe author who gave up my career as a TV Producer with the BBC to ‘become a novelist.’ That was almost eight years ago and it was only recently after a long, hard struggle and a million rejections I felt able to call myself a writer – and I still haven’t made any money!
Are you working on anything else at the moment and if so, can you tell us?
Yes I’ve almost finished my next book which is about two sisters who both very different. When things take an unexpected turn the women have to learn to live in the same world again and rely on each other – which brings about some humour and heartbreak.
You can find out more about Sue Watson by visiting her website and following her on Twitter.
Love, Lies and Lemon Cake by Sue Watson
Faye Dobson has lost her sparkle. Living on film star fantasies and vague memories of a marriage that once was, she can't help feeling that life is passing her by. She dreams of being whisked to Paris for dinner, making three wishes at the Trevi fountain and having sex under the stars. But the wrinkles are multiplying, her husband's passion is for plumbing, and the nearest she'll get to Rome is a take-away pizza. So when Faye meets Dan the gorgeous Australian surfer guy working in the local deli she can't help but wonder what it would be like to see the world. He is blonde, tanned, ten years younger and bakes the most amazing lemon cake. Unlike her husband Dan actually listens to Faye, his smile makes her feel fizzy inside, and when he smiles... Oh. My. God. But is Faye being silly? What would Dan see in someone like her? Even if he did have feelings for her, could she give everything up to be with him?