I’m over the moon today to be part of the blog tour for Oh! What a Pavlova by Isabella May with a fabulous Q & A.
Kate Clothier is leading a double life: a successful jet-setting businesswoman to the outside world, but behind closed doors, life with Daniel and his volcanic temper is anything but rosy.
Some days – heck, make that EVERY day – cake is her only salvation.
Slowly but surely, the cities she visits – and the men she meets – help her to realise there IS a better future.
And the ley lines of Glastonbury are certainly doing their best to impart their mystical wisdom…
But will she escape before it’s too late?
Q & A with Isabella May
What is the first book you remember reading or having read to you?
I honestly can’t remember the first book I had read to me, but for sure my parents would have started me off very young. I can vaguely remember sitting on the potty for hours on end with a pile of books at my feet. By the time I had ‘finished reading’ I would have a lovely red ring mark on my derriere, as you can imagine!
Who is your favourite literary character?
My favourite literary character is one tough cookie of a question. But I think the answer would have to be Allan Karlsson – The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of a Window and Disappeared. I think he sounds awesome and his sprightly nature would teach all of us a thing or two about life and rekindling the inner child.
Which book have you always meant to get around to reading, but still not read?
Ben Okri’s Starbook is one of those titles I have long planned to read … and still not managed to get around to even buying! I went to see Ben (and Joanne Harris) at the Gibraltar Literary Festival almost three years ago, and that’s what sparked my interest in his books. He’s a natural born storyteller – as is Joanne. Just listening to him gave me goose bumps, so I can well imagine his written words would do the same.
If you could only take one book with you on a desert island, which would it be?
Just one book on a desert island? Are you kidding? It would definitely have to be one of Esther Hicks uplifting titles about the Law of Attraction … and then hey, I’d get so good at instant manifestation that I’d be bound to ‘magically’ attract a whole library.
What are you currently reading?
I’m being a bit naughty at the moment as I’m concurrently reading three books: The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson, The Silence by fellow Crooked Cat author, Katherine Johnson, and The One by John Marrs. None of these are my usual reads, funnily enough. But I have so many books on my To Be Read list that tackling a few highly recommended titles at the same time, is the only way to plough through it …
Who would be at your dream dinner party (alive, dead or fictional)?
Prince would be guest number one at my dream dinner party. It’s always good to have somebody around the table who really knows how to sing and play the guitar. Oh, how I cried when he passed away last year! I think I would also have to invite Nigella. She could whip us all up some fabulous desserts and would stop everybody from feeling guilty about indulging in them. Pam Grout and Esther Hicks would be a must to keep up the positive vibes. And now we need some more men (and I’m well aware my husband could be reading this, so must stick to those who aren’t too good looking): Perhaps Harry Hill and Peter Kay to keep everybody in rapturous fits of giggles. Yep. I think that would make a pretty cool dream dinner party.
What’s the best advice you have ever received?
To stop people pleasing and be selfish … not in an egotistical way, but we have nothing to give to others if we don’t put our own happiness first.
What’s the worst advice you have ever received?
To put others first! We are (most of us) brought up on this; be it at school, at home or via the media. But it is a flawed premise.
Who is your hero or heroine (real or fictional)?
I think anybody who isn’t afraid to embrace their kookiness is my hero or heroine: from the person living next-door, to the mega star.
Where are you happiest?
Happiness is a mind-set as opposed to a time and place or a destination. So, I make it my mission to stay in my happy bubble as much as possible. Sometimes that’s easier than others. Right now, for example, I have a hot, whiny six-year-old running around the table because he is ‘bored’…
Who would you like to star in the film of your life?
That’s a hard one to answer! I don’t really have a favourite actor, but many that I have admired in different roles. Minnie Driver’s portrayal of a mother whose baby died at birth was acutely similar to my own experience, and based on her dedication to stillbirth awareness, I would probably have to nominate, Minnie.
Describe your best ever holiday.
I couldn’t possibly pitch my many past holidays against each other; none could be compared because they were all so different and enjoyable in their own right. But my dream holiday at the moment would be a trip to New Orleans, ticking off an amazing cocktail bar every night!
If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?
Oh these questions are too much fun! I’d probably tickle my son and daughter until they eventually tidied their bedrooms.
If I joined you on your perfect day, what would we be doing?
We’d be reading, writing and chatting books in the morning over the best coffee (served by George Clooney), then a quick city break by teleporting ourselves to New York for a little shopping heaven … followed by afternoon tea at The Ritz, a quick pamper session in a spa … and then on to New Orleans for two or three amazing cocktails.
What do you think is the best thing about social media?
What I love most about social media is the way it has allowed
me to re-kindle friendships with old school friends, as well as forge new ones. It still amazes me that we can keep in touch with people all over the world at the click of a button.
And the worst …?!
The negativity is the downside. The scaremongering is incessant! The number of people I have had to un-follow because of their constant sharing of the news … or this statistic … or that …
What is the most important item you require for a quiet night in?
Chocolate, a cushion to hug, and a good comedy movie.
Is it best to always tell the truth or is it sometimes better to tell a little white lie?
I think the truth can be very overrated at times. As can reality. Having finally realised that we create everything on the outside via our thoughts on the inside, that life is all just a reflection of what’s going on in our mind; then yes sometimes I do choose to ‘lie’. But I call it ‘acting as if’ … And it works … it’s how I became an author, after all.
What’s your signature dish?
My signature savoury dish is probably risotto. I can whip up a mean one with as few or as many ingredients as we have in the house! That signature dish list is endless when it comes to pudding.
Do you prefer Twitter or Facebook, why?
I like both for different reasons. Twitter is great for short and sweet (or sharp!) tweets, as well as to connect with the bigger names. Facebook is great for connecting with specific and like-minded groups, as well as friends. That said I have made friends with a lovely baking community on Twitter. It’s also a good place to find your tribe, but it’s all about using the right hashtags.
Which book character do you wish you had written?
It would have to be Allan Karlsson.
Why did you write a book?
I have always been a storyteller. It’s an innate thing, I guess. For example, I’ve never been able to write an email without it turning into War and Peace – admittedly usually a comedic version. And I was always playing games of ‘consequences’ as a child… and teen… and actually, we played it just the other day in a Facebook writing group. I love language, the flow of words, the descriptions of food, the dialogue of characters. I can’t just leave those things in my head. They have to spill out onto paper.
Why did you choose your particular genre?
Aha, well, I don’t really have a genre. My novel(s) cross many genres. I’m a little bit chick-lit; that’s true. Yet I am also contemporary, satirical, and spiritual. And besides that, I verge on being a travel and a cookbook writer.
If you had to write in a different genre, which would you choose?
I probably would be a travel writer if I didn’t write in a mixture of genres. But unlike most travel guides which focus on where you can get a good savoury meal, my eating advice would be full of ice cream parlours and cake shops.
What’s the worst thing about writing a book?
Waiting to hear if anybody will take on your manuscript!
What’s the best thing about writing a book?
The joy of creativity.
If you could be anyone for the day, who would you be?
For a long time in this physical incarnation, I wished to be anybody but me. But now I honestly couldn’t think of anybody I’d rather be. And that’s pretty liberating. I must at least be halfway to enlightenment!
I’d like to say a massive thank you to Isabella May for taking the time to answer all these fabulous question. I’ve loved reading all the answers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains. When she isn’t having her cake and eating it, sampling a new cocktail on the beach, or ferrying her children to and from after school activities, she can usually be found writing.
As a Co-founder and a former contributing writer for the popular online women’s magazine, The Glass House Girls – http://www.theglasshousegirls.com – she has also been lucky enough to subject the digital world to her other favourite pastimes, travel, the Law of Attraction, and Prince (The Purple One).
She has recently become a Book Fairy, and is having lots of fun with her imaginative ‘drops’!
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